Bnei Brak rabbi accused of arranging illicit conversions

Amar supporters charge that unnamed rabbi supposedly headed panel in framework of the haredi Beit Din Zedek so the convert could marry a relative of his.

By JONAH MANDEL
January 13, 2011 02:34
2 minute read.
A STREET notice in Bnei Brak slams senior rabbi.

Bnei Brak conversion sign 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The battle of anonymous mudslinging between Lithuanian haredi elements and champions of Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar in the wake of the latest conversion controversy rose a notch on Wednesday, with pashkevilim (street notices) plastered in Bnei Brak charging a local, senior rabbi of converting a woman “for the intent of marriage, which is prohibited according to the Torah’s law.”

The unnamed rabbi supposedly headed a panel in the framework of the haredi Beit Din Zedek so the convert could marry a relative of his. This, according to the unnamed Amar supporters behind Wednesday’s notices, is proof of the hypocrisy of the Ashkenazi haredi camp, which recently slammed the chief Sephardi rabbi for his rumored intention to approve IDF conversions.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Conversion bill moratorium extended another 6 months
Think Again: Why army conversions are lacking

The latest notices were the second phase in a series of pashkevilim responding to earlier notices against Amar – and indirectly also against head of the Shas Council of Torah Sages Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who is backing the chief rabbi in his stated intent to give his signature to the military conversions.

Amar is officially meant to be the final signatory on such conversions, but this formality has been overlooked for several years.

He recently formed a threeman panel to help him examine the IDF process, in what has amounted to a race against Israel Beiteinu’s military conversion bill. The bill, which seeks to separate the army conversions from the rabbinate by providing them an independent legal status, will be brought for a vote in the Knesset Law Committee next week.

Sources close to Amar assert that the chief rabbi will indeed give his approval to the IDF conversions, a move that will take the sting out of the impending bill and most likely keep the coalition from supporting it. Such a move would be much to the relief of Shas, which, like Amar, strongly spoke out against the notion of a conversion authority independent of the Chief Rabbinate.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


As rumors of Amar’s inclination hit the haredi street some 10 days ago, harsh pashkevilim accusing the chief rabbi of nothing less than heresy materialized, signed by “the committee for the battle against assimilation headed by the leading rabbis.”

The Amar defenders swiftly hit back, slamming “the Lithuanian rabbis who convert gentile women for money” (who were supposedly behind the notices) and promised a scandalous exposé in the near future.

That arrived on Wednesday. Under a huge headline screaming, “Disgrace – organized crime,” the latest notices told the tale of a Filipino woman who was converted by the senior rabbi’s court so she could marry his widowed relative.

The Jerusalem Post learned the identity of the rabbi in question, but he refused to speak with the media.

The pashkevilim promised further revelations about the “conversion industry” allegedly run by the stringent Ashkenazi rabbinic court.

“The public will see and judge,” the notice ends.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF