Rabbi Maklev Defends Conversion `Stringencies' in IDF
By Eliezer Rauchberger
Opponents of halachic conversion "cannot strike fear in the hearts of rabbonim and dayonim, who will continue to perform conversions only in accordance with halacha as handed down to us from Mt. Sinai," said MK Rabbi Uri Maklev this week in a meeting of the Knesset's State Control Committee on the issue of conversion in the IDF. His remarks came in response to heavy criticism of so-called stringencies in conversion among rabbonim and dayonim, which are really the result of their careful adherence to established halachic rulings in performing conversions.
The committee met after the State Attorney's Office, in reaction to a High Court petition, announced that all of the conversions in the IDF were not conducted by certified dayonim and therefore are not approved by the Rabbinate and are not valid. Committee members from wall to wall — from the coalition and the opposition, left and right — lodged criticism against the State Attorney's Office, which quickly retracted its announcement.
Commenting on the figures who initiated the committee meeting, Rabbi Maklev said, "These officials are seeking every possible means to wage war against halachic conversion, and now they are using the committee meeting to wield influence on the court hearings, because they don't like how they're proceeding."