Conversion committee recommendations cause trepidation

Rabbis call on Nissim Committee members who signed conversion recommendations to reverse position.

Mordechai Sones ,

Chinese men studying Torah in Yeshivat Mivtar, preparing for orthodox conversion
Chinese men studying Torah in Yeshivat Mivtar, preparing for orthodox conversion
צילום: Flash 90

Former Grand Court Dayan and son-in-law of the late Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, published a letter regarding the conversion controversy and the Nissim Committee recommendations expected to be submitted today to the Prime Minister.

The letter was also signed by Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl.

The rabbis call upon committee members who signed the recommendations to reconsider, according to which the conversion system would be severed from the Chief Rabbinate and removed from its authority.

At the beginning of the letter Rabbi Goldberg expresses surprise at the expected recommendations: "The committee's decisions, although they are made by very important rabbis, are astonishing because they apparently succeeded in distorting the rabbis' opinion and proposing a contrary proposal that does not require those rabbis' approval. They also make Reform conversion possible, G-d forbid, which would destroy the Jewish People and eliminate observance of the commandments."

Later on, he calls on the rabbis to retract their position, "I therefore ask you to declare immediately that it is unthinkable that those who would uproot observance of mitzvot from among the Jews should express their opinion. And I am sure that if the rabbis read their decisions it would cause them unending suffering and therefore the earlier the better to cancel such decisions," the letter said.

Jewish Quarter Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl adding that he "fully joins in the call of the illustrious Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg to cancel the committee's proposals that are unacceptable to the religion and to reason."

Last week, Moshe Nissim was informed by two rabbis - former Ramat Gan Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, and Rabbi Shmuel Balmas - that they withdrew their signatures from the committee's recommendations, because the final recommendations mandate establishing a new conversion system independent of the authority and responsibility of the Chief Rabbinate.

Chinese men studying Torah in Yeshivat Mivtar, preparing for orthodox conversion
צילום: Flash 90


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