Rav Aviner Calls on Bayit Yehudi to Stop the Giyur Bill


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avinerLeading dati leumi tzibur posek Rabbi Shlomo HaKohen Aviner Shlita is calling on the Bayit Yehudi party to stop the Giyur Bill from passing in a second and third reading in Knesset, thereby becoming law. Rav Aviner warns the bill be “bring a churban the magnitude of which cannot be described”. The rav spoke with the dati leumi Srugim news agency.

He adds the bill permits “any kind of giyur as one wishes, Reform, Conservative, light, half, whatever one wishes”. The rav continues by pointing out the absurd, that the Arabs are permitted to determine the criteria regarding who is a Jew. Rav Aviner adds that Bayit Yehudi has already stated numerous times the party is in the coalition to advance the tzibur’s agenda, not for other personal gain or advancement and now, with the Giyur Bill knocking on the door it is time for Bayit Yehudi to act appropriately.

The rav warns if chas v’sholom the bill is passed into law it will result in an untenable situation in which we will not be able to determine if a person claiming to be a convert is Jewish or not. He insists the bill will divide the nation, adding it makes a mockery of giyur and the convert. “There will be Jews and sub-Jews, an entity that has not existed since the churban Bayis Sheni and now, what was not seen then will occur today”. Rabbi Aviner fears the bill will bring unprecedented churban to the Jewish People.

The rav is certain that if passed into law, it will compel the establishment of a yuchasin database and anyone wishing to be listed will have to bring rabbinic documentation. “There will be increase fears, concerns and complications in marriage”.

Rabbi Aviner explains the bill is obviously aimed in a big way at the former immigrants from the FSU, adding “They are not fools. They read the newspapers and understand they will not really be Jews so they will not bother for life is good for them today. Those already in the process will halt for they understand tomorrow many will not accept them. Those wishing to convert want the real thing. They do not want a situation in which tomorrow they are told ‘you are not a Jew’. To date, such marriages which resulted in the cancelation of giyur were less than ten but now, there will be many such cases and it will bring catastrophe. Therefore I do not say we must leave the government on each matter for then it is not taken seriously. Remain in the government even if it does not find favor in your eyes”.


But resigning from the coalition could topple this.

Rav Aviner:

It depends. Each person has his red lines. I remain your friend even if you do things that do not meet with my approval. However, there are red lines and I say if you do this, Shalom”.


The Giyur Bill does not represent a red line?

Rav Aviner:

Yes it is a red line for it determines who is and who is not a Jew. This is no small matter.


So the party should break away? If not now most certainly at a later date.

Rav Aviner:

I do not know exactly when but only on condition it will topple the bill. Many times politicians pull a fast one and do not leave when they should and afterwards express their opposition while questioning ‘what good will it do if we leave the coalition now’.

Therefore, the bill must be stopped at all costs, even if it means leaving the coalition as they broke away when the government wished to destroy Gush Katif. That was very serious but not more so that who is a Jew.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Oh for goodness sake!

    1. The Stern bill merely proposes allowing the Chief Rabbis of Israeli cities to conduct conversions. This is a small, select group of rabbis who are all talmidei chachamim and strictly orthodox. They would all be considered more than qualified to conduct giyurim abroad. The bill most certainly does not ‘permit any kind of giyur as one wishes, Reform, Conservative, light, half, whatever one wishes’.

    2. HaBayit HaYehudi already opposes the proposed bill as it believes that, due to the sensitivity of the issue, further safeguards should be added including requiring the approval of the Chief Rabbis of Israel for each conversion, thus giving them veto power.

    3. Resigning from the coalition will not stop the bill, which is not being sponsored by the government but rather has been presented as a private bill by MK Stern.

  2. Yagel Libi, you are not looking at the big picture. The MK who has sponsored the bill, Elazar Stern (Shem Resha’im Yirkav), has himself explained that he wishes for the bill to pass so that “people whose father is Jewish will not be humiliated when they come to Israel and told they are not Jewish”. Does that sound to you like he is promoting strictly Orthodox standards of conversion? Rabbi Aviner is not known for his extreme stance on many matters. If he feels so strongly about this, you can be sure that there is reason to be very concerned.

  3. Many Gedolim, Rabbonim and Poskim both chareidim and dati leumi clearly stated if chas vecholiloh the Giyur bill goes through there would be a need for Sifrei yuchsin.
    Does that not clarify enough the danger the bill poses?

  4. #2- I’m not familiar with the quote you attribute to MK Stern and fail to see how it can pertain to the bill under discussion. I am also mocheh on your terming MK Stern ‘SR”Y’. And no matter what you think of MK Stern personally, his bill does require orthodox conversions. Finally, while I agree with the position that further safeguards should be added to the bill, that does not justify a false portrayal of the current bill’s provisions. HaEmet VehaShalom Ahevu.