The Israeli mouthpiece for the Litvishe world criticized Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar on Monday for his recent statement that conversions conducted in the IDF are halachically valid. “Rabbis and senior rabbinical judges in the Holy Land and Diaspora are openly and firmly protesting the severe breach in maintaining the pedigree and sanctity of the people of Israel, following the chief Sephardi rabbi’s declaration” on the validity of the military conversions, Yated Ne’eman’s Page 2 read.
The chareidi community has been consistent in its objection to conversions that are not in accordance with stringent halachic standards – most specifically an assurance that the converts plan to adhere to Orthodox observance.
Rav Amar’s office had issued a statement on Thursday, following the demand by the Knesset’s State Control Committee, after a State Attorney’s Office representative, Yochi Gnessin, told the High Court of Justice that there may be problems with some 4,500 military conversions.
Amar’s statement said that for years, the IDF rabbinate had been acting to convert soldiers in military conversion courts.
“The chief military rabbis acted in full cooperation with the chief rabbis of Israel, in all matters pertaining to religion and state,” the statement said. “Soldiers who converted in these conversion courts were also wed in keeping with the Halacha for many years by marriage registrars, in accordance with all religious standards.”