Chief Rabbis at ICC
Chief Rabbis at ICCIsrael National News

Hundreds of rabbis from the haredi and religious Zionist sectors took part Tuesday evening in a conference and demonstration at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem against the kashrut and conversion reforms of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana.

In recent weeks, since the final version of the conversion reform was published, the Religious Affairs Minister has been trying to recruit rabbis to support his outline, but with the exception of a few individual rabbis, even if relatively influential, most rabbis have made it clear they oppose the reform.

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef said at the conference: "We are in a struggle the like of which we have not seen in years. A halakhic ruling was issued according to the opinion of the poskim and the Shulchan Aruch. The Religious Affairs Minister consults with minor rabbis, 'rabbis' who confuse his mind. I think he needs to wake up."

"He needs to understand that all the rabbis of Israel do not trust him, in everything he does, in kashrut and in conversions. He needs to leave these minor rabbis behind," Rabbi Yosef added. "The same rabbi he consults with says that a convert should not observe the commandments, it is enough to be traditional, come to a synagogue, perform a kiddush and then travel to the sea. This is the uprooting of the Torah, gentlemen."

"The municipal rabbis are excellent but they do not want to convert. Of the minority who want to convert, if they do this move and convert, we will consider [their converts] as Shabbos goys. There is no validity to such a conversion. Every convert who converts without taking the commandments upon themselves is not a valid convert. He is a gentile in every sense. They are misleading the masses and are causing a great destruction. What will be in another generation? Two more generations? It would be terrible and horrible to make a genealogy book,'' Rabbi Yosef added.