Chief rabbis slam conversion reform legislation as divisive

 Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attend the “Yeshivot March” to call for the strengthening of Jewish identity in the State of Israel against the Conversion Law and Kashrut Law on January 30, 2022 in Jerusalem.


Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, right, and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attend the ‘Yeshivas March’ against conversion and kashrut reforms, in Jerusalem, January 30, 2022.

Israel’s two chief rabbis — Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef — send a letter to cabinet ministers criticizing the approval of a bill that would reform the country’s conversion system, calling the proposal divisive and false.

“The government is discussing a law that will have an impact on many citizens and on Israeli society as a whole. Making decisions on a topic as sensitive and important as this while ignoring the stance of the chief rabbis and Israel’s rabbinic judges… makes a tear in the nation and will necessarily cause the formation of disparate communities in Israel,” the letter reads.

The chief rabbis say Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana’s proposal amounts to “deceit of the convert, as anyone who goes through this [conversion] process will not be considered a righteous convert by the majority of rabbis and rabbinical judges of Israel.”

The bill was drawn up with advice from several leading rabbis in the Modern Orthodox movement, including Rabbi Chaim Druckman, a top figure in religious Zionism. However, ultra-Orthodox rabbis have rejected Kahana’s reform outright.

Courtesy: The Times of Israel


Rana Tanveer

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