Rav Amar: Conversion Issue Can Cause Monumental Rift


rabbi-shlomo-amarLast week’s ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice ordering the state to fund Reform and Conservative conversion institutes as well as Orthodox ones could create a schism in the Jewish nation, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Rav Shlomo Amar warned yesterday. Until now, non-Orthodox conversion programs were not eligible for funding, which is provided by the Immigration and Absorption Ministry.According to Israel Radio, Rav Amar and Ashkenazi Rabbi Rav Yona Metzger held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the court’s ruling, which was reached unanimously last Tuesday by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch and justices Miriam Na’or and Edna Arbel.

At the meeting, Rav Amar reportedly said that the struggle over the conversion issue was a historic halachic dispute, and he warned that the court’s decision might lead to a rift in the Jewish nation.

He added that the cabinet had already decided that state-sponsored conversions must be done according to Halacha.

Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi of Shas also slammed the ruling, saying the High Court would force anyone who observed Halacha and who was concerned with maintaining his Jewish identity to keep genealogy records.

Shas MKs who took part in the meeting, together with representatives from Habayit Hayehudi and United Torah Judaism, have decided to demand the implementation of a coalition agreement that will anchor in law the state’s recognition of Orthodox conversion alone.

{JPost/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. With all due respect, the conversion process needs to be done ke Halacha and through the Orthodox rabbinate.
    You can not have several bodies giving out gerius certification. Imagine if there were several bodies licensing doctors or giving out car licences. It would be one big balagan.
    Let the Liberals and Conservatives run programs but let them be overseen by Orthodox rabbonim and the Orthodox Rabbinate. Let all converts be licensed by the one body and I do appreciate it is a hard process but there are good reasons for that. Nothing is gained by making up Mickey Mouse conversions to please a few people with money. That is not what Judaism is about and it should not be.

  2. Rav Amar’s apparent inaction in the face of the unsubtle attempt to “convert” Rav Druckman into an Apikorus and thereby annul previous giyur only helped to stir up a hornet’s nest. It would have been good if those issues were dealt with quietly, quickly and with due sensitivity as opposed to the propagandist breast beating we witnessed. That parsha drove a bigger wedge between the frum and the not yet frum.

  3. This is what happens when frei people make decisions. You should know this is based on the ongoing Tziyoni (yimach shmam) agenda to rid Israelis of all traces of Jewishness.