Leading 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.
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?
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.
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)