Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

3 Iyar 5768 - May 8, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Opposition to Justice Ministry's Intervention in Beis Din Decision

By Yechiel Sever

Rabbonim and public figures are protesting Justice Minister Daniel Friedman's intervention in a decision by the High Rabbinical Court (Beis Din Hagodol). The Justice Minister stepped in when a beis din ruling issued in accordance with halacha was at odds with his world view.

Friedman tabled a bill that would allow the rabbinical court to rehear important cases presided over by a panel of three dayanim. If passed the law would allow the ruling by the High Rabbinical Court to be appealed retroactively.

According to MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni, "This is a legal case which was heard, in accordance with the law, by the regional beis din and subsequently a decision was rendered by the High Rabbinical Court, which heard the appeal of the district beis din's decision and issued a long, detailed ruling according to which the conversion was done falsely and [Rabbi Druckman] rubber-stamped the conversion, though he could not have been present during the beis din hearing. In other words, an act was committed here that the ruling states is an act of deceit.

"What would have happened if a ruling by the [secular] High Court was handed down of the judges signed the ruling fraudulently, saying he sat, saw and signed, but later it was found he had not been on the bench at all? Wouldn't there be demands for the Attorney General to open an investigation?

"But because the case in point involves conversion, anything goes. The High Rabbinical Court sits and hears a matter in an orderly manner and writes a long, detailed ruling citing the facts, checks all the details and documents and determines the facts in the case are very serious. Had the High Court issued a ruling not accepted by everyone and did this on a regular basis, would the judges' authority be revoked and a call made for a new panel?

"This statement by the Justice Minister stems from a lack of knowledge of halacha and a lack of knowledge of the rabbinical court's authority. I hope this remark is merely an empty statement issued the media and nothing more."

After the ruling was issued by the Ashdod Beis Din the woman filed an appeal at the High Rabbinical Court headed by HaRav Avrohom Sherman. In later backing the Ashdod ruling, the Jerusalem court cited a 5744 (1984) ruling by HaRav Shach, the Steipler, HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and ylct"a Maran HaRav Eliashiv.

In Sivan 5767 (2007) the Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami LeInyonei Giyur founded by the late Gavad of Antwerp HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth, and Rav Weinman, who has been fighting false conversions for over 30 years, contacted the High Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem to take part in the case, which has become a public issue due to its many ramifications for conversion in Eretz Yisroel.


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