Conversion Bill

Conversion Bill

Regarding the story on the conversion bill, while I understand the greater good argument and certainly thought that the way Rabbi [Chaim] Druchman was treated [his conversions were revoked by the Chief Rabbinate] was disgraceful and more importantly sinful, there is another issue (“On Rotem Bill, Focus Should Be On Israel,” Aug. 6). What about all of the olim who are currently in Israel or who plan to immigrate who were converted, either at birth or subsequently? They have been in a state of limbo for the past two years, and this proposal is their death knell. It is hard enough to try to make a go of living in Israel with its Byzantine government bureaucracy, total absence of a service culture and general lack of Western manners — but to cast uncertainty as to whether an immigrant will be able to marry, obtain a divorce of be buried is the final straw. There would never have been an aliyah from Russia or Ethiopia if the Chief Rabbi had determined “who is a Jew.”

In some instances we make a decision and there are unforeseen “unintended consequences.” In this case, given the terrible track record of the Chief Rabbinate to focus on minutia and not on the greater good for Am Yisrael, there is no doubt that this bill would be disastrous for the state. The Chief Rabbinate already has too much power without any accountability.



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