Rabbi Shlomo Dichovsky serves as the director-general of the nation’s rabbinical court system. He is a senior dayan and has served on the Rabbinical Supreme Court. Israel Radio asked the rav to comment on last week’s High Court ruling supporting the giyur of the former head of the state’s Conversion Authority, Rabbi Chaim Druckman.
The rav stated that he and Rav Sherman held a long discussion regarding one’s ability to retroactively pasul one’s conversion if one ceases to be shomer Shabbos at some point in one’s life. Rabbi Dichovsky began by explaining all legitimate batei din are of the same opinion, that giyur is contingent on one accepting Ohl Torah U’Mitzvos. That said, he added that he feels if one stops being shomer Shabbos in 2, 5, or 20 years after giyur, the beis din cannot retroactively cancel giyur since one cannot know what kavana one had when one went to mikve. Rabbi Sherman feels the beis din can and must retroactively pasul one’s giyur. This is the core of the dispute which is obviously significantly more complicated.
Regarding the High Court’s ruling, Rav Dichovsky stressed the court did not address the giyur or Halacha, simply the fact that it gives validity to the state’s giyur and the man who stood at the helm. He feels however the High Court was deficient in three areas, that it did not invite Rabbi Druckman to explain his point of view; (2) the court did not invite any of the converts who were ruled not Jewish by Rabbi Sherman, and (3) the case that prompted the entire matter was not a giyur issue but a divorce case before the Rabbinate that involved a former convert.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)