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Rabbanut’s Refusal to Perform Giyur on an Actress Revives Controversy

getA decision by a Chief Rabbinate beis din to disqualify a candidate for giyur because she is an actress is being used by the agency’s opponents to prove there is a need to revamp the entire giyur system and remove the Chief Rabbinate’s exclusivity. Alin Levy explains “The rav phoned and told me they have decided to stop the process because my profession does not go together with giyur”.

According to the Yediot Achronot and Mako reports, she was also a participant in the Big Brother program and the giyur process which she began months ago has been halted as a result. This was also told by Levy to Channel 10 News on Sunday night the eve of 15 Adar II.

The woman in question was born in the Ukraine. Her mother is a non-Jew and her dad is Jewish. She began the giyur process while studying acting in the school. She tells the media the rabbonim informed her they will not meet with her until such time she abandons the acting studies and makes a major change in her lifestyle. “There is no point in continuing the process” she quotes the beis din explaining the rabbonim insist that she changes her current lifestyle.

Mako News turned to the Ministry of Religious Services, which is quoted responding – “The giyur beis din is a Halachic body. Its demands are in line with Halacha, that one accepts to adhere to Torah and Mitzvos. Batei din meeting with candidates inform them that lifestyle changes are a part of the process. The beis din will not prevent the convert from entering for as long as long as there is a request via appropriate channels for a hearing pertaining to a private matter.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

13 Responses

  1. Being an actor or an actress is mutar. See Cantor Dudu Fischer for a great example.

    This is more proof that Rabbi Avi Weiss is right.

  2. It sounds a bit suspicious. Are you leaving something out? There have been frum actors, suggesting that the profession per se isn’t the issue, but some more specific aspect of lifestyle. Did someone frum ask the government officials in charge what the issue is (she the woman is a well known celebrity who is publizing the matter, there shouldn’t be a privacy concern).

  3. You cannot be “megayer” while chewing on chazer. Running around like a prutza actress clearly indicates a disregard for Jewish Law and an ineligibility for conversion.

  4. #1: I don’t think she gives Dudu Fischer-style performances.

    In any case, this is what she had to say, as told by Ha’aretz:
    “she began the procedure for Orthodox conversion, studying Torah three hours each week, dressing modestly, making blessings over her food and began to observe Shabbat. Asked if she might become fully Orthodox in the end, she responded “I can’t rule it out.””

    She can’t rule out being a frum Jew. Doesn’t sound like what a beis din is looking for, really.

  5. Actually, if her father is Jewish there is an opinion that holds that it is a mitzvah to be megayer her so that it not be that her dad, a Jew, brought an “idol worshipper” into this world. She may not keep tzniyus to the hilt but definitely her davening, kashrus, tzedaka, etc. will be a positive on her dad’s soul rather than leaving her totally “out of the fold”.

  6. The details of the story just disprove Avi Weiss’s idea that just anyone one can perform giyur. There has to be at least some intent to keep basic halacha.

    If it were up to Avi Weiss, there would be no standards at all for giyur.

  7. I urge Yeshiva World to adopt a standard whereby halcha issues are not open to debate by unqualified individuals. It is embarrassing to see the shallowness of some of the people who write in.

  8. “I urge Yeshiva World to adopt a standard whereby halcha issues are not open to debate by unqualified individuals.”

    I agree. The Chief Rabbinate’s *en masse* pasuling of past conversions, something with no backing from any halachic source and no basis in our mesorah, shows that they are unqualified to debate issues of giyur.

  9. “If it were up to Avi Weiss, there would be no standards at all for giyur.”

    Not true. I personally know several of his converts and they were required to be religious. I also know someone he refused to convert because he did not think that the man would be religious; the man found a charedi beit din to do the conversion. Remember also that “Rabbi” Tropper was doing conversions of people who weren’t religious and that this was endorsed by the charedi gedolim.

    This isn’t about standards, it is about power.

  10. Charlie,

    As has often been said, you are entitled to your own opinions, no matter how sill they may be, but you are not entitled to manufacture your own facts.

  11. “This isn’t about standards, it is about power.”

    So now you are agreeing that Weiss has no standards. And he is trying to gain power by publishing articles in all the anti frum and anti semitic papers such as the well known communist rags, the NY Slimes and the Forverts. (Further proof that he has no standards)

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