Thursday, December 06, 2007

More Conversion Developments II

Following up on this post, Dr. Daniel Eidensohn has a relevant letter in this week's issue of The Jewish Press on this subject (link):

Radical Break

The Bedatz of the Eidah Chareidis has recently brought some disturbing developments to our attention. (This is the actual Bedatz, not an unofficial offshoot, as some unfounded rumors would have it.)...

Why did the Bedatz issue its protest against participation in Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) despite its being supported by many gedolei Torah? Because EJF is actively pursuing the conversion of the non-Jewish spouse. Rav Leib Tropper, the head of the organization, has repeatedly denied proselytizing because he says he is only dealing with couples referred to him by rabbis. However, it is difficult to understand his denials since proselytizing means trying to convince someone to change his or her religion, and that is clearly what EJF does, spending a considerable amount of money per convention to persuade a handful of uncertain or curious couples that they should become Jews.

In a recent intensive exchange of e-mails, I asked Rav Tropper the halachic rulings of Rav Moshe Feinstein he claims as the basis for EJF’s activities. His response was, “Why do you think it is prohibited?” This is an astounding justification for a radical break with the past. While in fact it is not explicitly prohibited, devoting a considerable amount of energy and funding to convince non-Jews to convert presents, in my opinion, serious dangers to the Jewish people. It requires acceptance or rejection through scholarly discussion in peer-reviewed response – as innovations have been justified in the past.

Daniel Eidensohn, Ph.D.
Read the full letter here.

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