Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Makes You Wonder...

Why did Mercaz Harav invite Rabbi Sherman, the rabbi who without checking each individual case, cancelled hundreds of conversions and wrecked havoc with the religious status of thousands? According to the report in the Jerusalem Post (linked above) people came to physical blows.

Mercaz Harav is the ultimate "Chardal" = Chareidi + Dati + Leumi yeshiva. Rabbi Sherman's psak (rabbinic decision) created great dissention, something that should be averted, in general, and during the Nine Days in particular.

How would the original Rav Kook deal with such a question?

9 comments:

Hadassa DeYoung said...

Shalom!
Rav Kook, ztz"l, wouldn't have invited someone likely to cause an uproar, certainly not during the Nine Days. If such an individual had appeared, Rav Kook would have known how to calm tempers, discuss the matter rationally and come to the proper conclusions. In this case there just wasn't anyone around of a stature sufficient to quiet the crowd.
Perhaps if some of the late gedolim were alive today the conversion fiasco would never have occurred. Although this has been a issue for quite some time.
Hadassa

Cosmic X said...

Muse,

FYI:

1) The lecture took place at Mosad HaRav Kook and not Merkaz HaRav. The organizations are not affiliated.

2) The psak does have serious ramifications but I believe that they said that each case had to be considered on its own merit.

3) Rabbi Sherman had good chances to become the next rabbi of Jerusalem. He sacrificed that with his unpopular psak because he believes that what he decided is the truth.

40 I was there.

Batya said...

hadassa, thanks for the input

and cos'
thanks for the correction!

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify further, there was no psak that cancelled the conversions under Rav Druckman's watch and Rav Sherman does not have the authority to do that anyway. On examining one case of person converting and not keeping mitzvot, he opinioned that perhaps all the conversions were suspect, but at no time did he annul them, and frankly he or his beit din couldn't anyways.

This is not my opinion, but fact. The story has ballooned and been exagerated from the Haredi side as well as the sruga side.

Batya said...

josh, thanks for the dose of reality and common sense

Anonymous said...

"he opinioned that perhaps all the conversions were suspect, but at no time did he annul them, and frankly he or his beit din couldn't anyways. This is not my opinion, but fact."

This is technically true, but very misleading. R' Sherman explicitly said that R' Druckman was an "apikoros bemezid" making every conversion invalid. He did not technically "annul" all these conversions, in the sense of changing their status from what they were previously. But he did make clear that he would not consider anyone with such a conversion to be Jewish. So instead of the converts' Jewishness suddenly ceasing, we are to be informed that they were in fact never Jewish from the beginning. That's so much more reassuring, isn't it?

"3) Rabbi Sherman had good chances to become the next rabbi of Jerusalem. He sacrificed that with his unpopular psak because he believes that what he decided is the truth."

And suicide bombers sacrifice their lives for what they decide is the truth. That doesn't mean their actions are worthy of our respect.

By the way, does a lower profile position than the Jerusalem chief rabbi exist? Does anyone here even know who the current chief rabbi of Jerusalem is?

Batya said...

I guess we should be thankful that he opened his mouth before becoming Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. Hopefully this will stop his career.

Hadassa DeYoung said...

Shalom!
So the two organizations are not officially affiliated, but how can an organization that specializes in printing Rav Kook's works not be associated at least informally with Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav? If Rav Kook were (was?) alive today I would hope that he would be well aware of what was happening at both institutions.
Hadassa

Batya said...

very good point m'dear
Now I don't feel so stupid for mixing them up.