Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rabbi Druckman, Rabbi Sherman and the Conversion Crisis (Part 7)

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, whose articles about Jewish law are almost always enlightening and thought provoking, wrote an article in last week's issue of BeSheva entitled "Shmirat Mitzvot KeTnai LeGiur" (Keeping the Commandments as a Condition for Conversion). The article stresses the importance of the prospective convert accepting upon himself to observe the Torah. I recommend that all of you that understand Hebrew read the article.

With regards to the conversion crisis Rabbi Melamed wrote the following:

כל העקרונות שהזכרתי עד כה עומדים בבסיס המדיניות המנחה את בתי הדין לגיור של הרבנות הראשית, ובכללם בית דינו של הרב דרוקמן.

All of the principles that I have mentioned so far stand at the base of the policy that guides the conversion courts of the Chief Rabbinate, including the court of Rabbi Druckman.
That's just splendid. However, Rabbi Sherman and his court apparently feel otherwise, and they accuse Rabbi Druckman's court of not following these guidelines, i.e. of not making sure that the prospective converts are serious about keeping the mitzvot. Personally I would like to see evidence in order to judge the merits of these conflicting claims.

Rabbi Melamed makes no mention of the forged conversion protocols, which is perhaps the most serious issue raised by Rabbi Sherman and his court. Instead he finishes the article with the following:

עוד חשבתי להוסיף דברים קשים על השערורייה שחוללו דיינים בבית הדין העליון, אבל נגמר המקום, ואולי טוב שכך, כי מי יודע, אולי בינתיים יחזרו בתשובה, ולא נצטרך לדבר עוד בזה.

I thought to add harsh words with regards to the scandal caused by the rabbinic judges of the Upper Court, however the space [allotted in the newspaper for his article] is [already] used up, and perhaps this is for the good, for who knows, perhaps they will repent in the meantime, and we will not need to speak more about this.
Somehow I don't think that Rabbis Sherman, Izirer and Scheinfeld are going to "repent" so quickly. In any case I left the following comment on the internet addition of his article:

I am interested in hearing the rabbi's opinion with regards to the forging of rabbinic court protocols by Rabbis Druckman and Avior as was documented by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen and quoted in the ruling of Rabbi Sherman.

Let's see if Rabbi Melamed will respond.

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