Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

8 Adar II 5760 - March 15, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Beis Din For Azerbaijan Immigrants Founded

by Betzalel Kahn

At the initiative and with the blessings of maranan verabonon the gedolei Yisroel, a beis din for Azerbaijan Jewish immigrants has been set up. Led by the beis din of HaRav Mordechai Gross of Bnei Brak, the beis din will work to investigate the Jewish roots of immigrants from Azerbaijan, stopping forgeries and fraud which are liable to result in assimilation.

This special beis din was drafted by HaRav Moshe Kashi, Chief Rabbi of Azerbaijan, who consulted with maranan verabonon the gedolei Yisroel at every stage. He stressed that this issue is of highest priority today in light of the large wave of non-Jews immigrating to Israel in the guise of Jews. Maranan verabonon the gedolei Yisroel have urged action to preserve the purity of our yichus and to prevent assimilation and intermarriage. They note that in the current situation there is no choice but to maintain records.

The Chief Rabbi of Azerbaijan, HaRav Moshe Kashi, who has been active in strengthening the Jewish communities of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region -- some of which are quite ancient -- has been concerned about immigration of many non- Jews from Azerbaijan, who forge identity documents and dupe Israeli immigration and absorption authorities into believing that they are Jewish. He investigated possible ways of preventing this serious problem. It became clear that through his official position he could gain access to documents that could help fulfill this important goal.

He then told the gedolei Yisroel about his idea to found a beis din for Azerbaijan Jews to rule in all doubtful cases of Azerbaijan immigrants.

The beis din began to function a few days ago. HaRav Mordechai Gross, an experienced and widely respected rav, has agreed to devote himself to this project and to attach the new beis din to his existing one in Bnei Brak.

Upon finalization of this decision, the heads of the beis din and their dayanim sought the blessings of HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman and HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, who blessed them with success and expressed the hope that they would help curb assimilation and the penetration of non-Jews into our nation.

The beis din will meet in Jerusalem and will communicate its information and decisions to all marriage registrars throughout the country.

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