Haredi Soldiers 311.
(photo credit: YAAKOV KATZ)
Conversions carried out by national religious rabbis in the Israel Defense Forces are invalid unless authorized by the haredi-dominated Chief Rabbinate, State Prosecution told the Supreme Court Monday.
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During a hearing held over a petition to overturn the annulment of conversions carried out by national religious rabbis, State Prosecutor Yochi Gnessin was quoted by Army Radio as saying that there was "a problem" with the army conversions.
"You're saying that all IDF conversions are invalid," The President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinisch asked Gnessin in response.
The petition was filed by Itim, the Jewish Life Information Center,
which asked to rescind a decision by haredi rabbi Avraham Sherman which
invalidated conversions carried out by national religious rabbi Haim
Maj. Gen. (Reserves) Elazar Stern, a prominent member of the national
religious movement and supporter of Itim's petition, told the Jerusalem Post
the situation was
"It's a sad day they that we see the sad face of the country trying to
avoid a simple question: How is it that rabbis working for the state are
being paid to invalidate conversions of other rabbis in the IDF?" he
said. "The notion that they can annul conversions and keep people in
limbo, who gave them that right? They're playing with people who are
defending the country. If there's no other choice there will be two
separate religious systems. It's a shame the State of Israel has given
the keys to a group of people that many of which don't even recognize
Stern called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to intervene on behalf
of those who underwent conversions by IDF rabbis. He added that
would-be converts rejected by the Chief Rabbinate were invited to come
to national religious synagogues over the high holidays.