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Israel: Bill to exept reform and Conservative conversions
July 13, 2010, 11:52 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

WASHINGTON POST: JERUSALEM — An Israeli parliamentary committee on Monday advanced a bill that could lead to lack of recognition for conversions to Judaism performed by rabbis from the Reform and Conservative movements.

The bill could give the chief rabbinate, the religious authority in Israel run by ultra-Orthodox Jews, the power to decide which conversions are accepted, overturning an Israeli Supreme Court decision that ensures eligibility for Israeli citizenship for Jews converted by rabbis from all branches of Judaism.

Above Reform Rabbi Lisa Edwards and her lover Tracy

Representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements, which have been battling for years for more rights in Israel, saw the committee vote as a threat to their efforts to strengthen their legitimacy in Israel. The chief rabbinate already holds a monopoly on such rituals as marriage and divorce.

“It sets us back 20 years in terms of the advances that were made,” said Rabbi Steven Wernick, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, an umbrella organization of Conservative Jewish congregations in the United States, who spoke by telephone during a visit to Jerusalem. “The practical implication of this bill is one that we are very, very concerned about and angry about.”

The bill “delegitimizes most of North American Jewry” and brings back the question of “who has the authority to determine someone’s Jewish identity,” Wernick added, noting that 85 percent of American Jewry is affiliated with non-Orthodox branches of Judaism.

Taken from and read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/12/AR2010071203071.html

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2 Comments so far
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“Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye said before his departure that he asked God to credit him for all the Torah and mizvot of his entire life with the same value he gave to the great Baal Shem Tov’s heavenly thoughts (yichudim) when he smoked his pipe.
One day Rabbi David, head of the Ostrow Beit Din (Jewish court) was shown by the Baal Shem Tov the new heavens that had been created by his thoughts while smoking. Rabbi David fell into a faint from the awe and fear that the sight inspired in him “

Comment by Mr. Diamond

Mrs. Yetta Rosenberg gets off the plane in Miami and, being tired from the flight, goes to the first hotel she sees in order to get a room. She walks up to the desk and tells the clerk, “I’m Mrs. Yetta Rosenboig, and I desire a room for de night.”

The clerk looks disdainfully at her and coldly says, “I’m sorry, madam, but our hotel is “completely booked.” Just then, a man with his suitcase in hand, drops his key and a check at the desk, and heads for the door.
“Oy, vot luck, says Mrs. Rosenberg. “I can take ‘his’ room.”

“I’m sorry, madam,” says the clerk, “but I thought you understood my meaning. To

be blunt, we do not cater to Jews.”

“Jews?” exclaims Mrs. Rosenberg. “So, who’s a Jew? I’m a Cat’lic.”

Comment by H.




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