(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
In the April 13 front-page article, “Supreme Rabbinical Court reaffirms woman’s conversion,” Rabbi Yisroel Rosen, founder of the State Conversion Authority in the Chief Rabbinate, stated that according to Halacha, “there is no concept in Jewish law of annulling a conversion” after the fact.
The rabbi is correct.
A simple review of Jewish legal text reveals that even if the convert leaves the mikve and the beit din and goes out for [non-kosher] McDonalds to celebrate, s/ he is still 100% Jewish.
I served on an Orthodox beit din in the US for many years. One of our dayanim used to remind our candidates that joining the Jewish people is a forever thing. He would quote the Eagles’s famous song, “Hotel California,” and tell the candidate that joining the Jewish people was like the words of the song: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Kudos to Rabbi Rosen for telling the truth.
RABBI JEFFREY RAPPOPORT
Jerusalem Where to pray
Reader Yigal Shalom Horowitz – a self-described “convinced secular Jewish Israeli atheist” who is “neither ultra-orthodox, Orthodox, modern Orthodox, Masorti, Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist” asks “where does [he] fit in ‘at the Wall’?”(Kotel Prayer, Letters, April 11) As a fairly regular attendee at prayer services “at the Wall.” I gladly invite Yigal (and all others like him) to attend prayer services there. I can assure him (and them) that he (and they) will be welcome there, as long as neither he nor they are disruptive, disrespect the sanctity and significance of the location and do not seek to make a spectacle of himself or themselves.
Many thousands of visitors – both Jewish and non-Jewish – visit the Kotel every day without incident.
Yigal, you are invited ! Interestingly, Yigal, in his letter, refers to his “mainly secular ancestors.” It should be noted that “Horowitz” is a fairly common surname of many hassidic rebbes. Who knows? Yigal may be a descendant of one or more of them.
Wouldn’t that be a “kick.”
It was with great interest – and surprise – that I read Ariel Dominique Hendelman’s article on “Maestro man” (Arts and Entertainment, April 11).
“Maestro” Gil Shohat is quoted there as saying: “Artists used to love separation.
The composer could never be a pianist, and the pianist could never be a conductor.” Really? This is a very sensational discovery.
My feeble memory recalls hearing excellent 78 rpm records of a minor musician such as Bruno Walter, a friend of Gustav Mahler, playing a Piano Concerto by Mozart while conducting the Vienna Philharmonic from the piano. Likewise, I remember hearing a negligible musician such as Leonard Bernstein playing a Beethoven concerto while conducting the Israel Philharmonic on his first visit to Israel in the 1950s, possibly before “Maestro” Shohat was born To name but a few.