Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Adar I 5771 - February 24, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Behind the Scenes of the Fictitious Conversion Apparatus

By Yechiel Sever

Following various reports of the disturbing state of affairs within the IDF conversion apparatus, Attorney Shimon Yaakov, who serves as legal adviser for rabbinical jurisdiction at the rabbinical courts directorship, conducted a comprehensive study that revealed alarming figures.

"During the 13 years from the start of 1996 through the end of 2008, a total of 118,521 couples divorced, of which 1,313 were converts (328 men and 985 women). At the time of divorce, 97.2% of the converts were not observant," he writes. This finding is not derived "solely on a survey based on an empirical formula, which itself is an accepted scientific method in the academic world. Rather it is derived from a detailed computer assessment of all of the `ma'aseh beis din' documents issued in Israel between 1996 and 2008, and therefore this finding is absolute, precise and unambiguous... This statistic should be a cause for deep concern among those involved in the task of conversion."

People who conducted careful examinations of the issue rejected outright the claim heard recently that thousands of conversion requests were abandoned or rebuffed due to stringent demands of mitzvah observance, therefore presumably the thousands of accepted "converts" accepted the mitzvahs.

The fact of the matter is that all of the requests that were rejected were either from people who came to Nativ just to enjoy the trips and leisure activities that the program arranges in preparation for "national conversion" and upon reaching the actual conversion process in practice said they were uninterested in conversion in any form, or from people who openly declared they would not take part in the routine lie of undertaking mitzvahs.

On the other hand, those who felt a need for a conversion certificate because they wanted to marry a Jew and to ensure that their children and family would be recognized as Jews agreed to make empty declarations, though officials in charge of the conversion system were well aware that the conversion candidate did not have genuine intentions.

Further evidence of this can be seen in the astonishingly high number of young women who undergo the "conversion procedure."

Conversion court member David Bess, in an article published in Tzohar, 30, wrote that according to calculations by demographer Sergio Della Pergola, a professor at The Hebrew University, there are 2,000 women from the FSU in every one year age cohort.

"It comes out, therefore, that we convert a very significant portion of these young women. During each of these eight years (1999-2006) we converted an average of 1,529 people. The lion's share (80%-90%) of converts among FSU immigrants are young women, the vast majority of whom are single, and who have a vested interest in conversion in order to improve their marriage prospects; for the remainder of the population there is not much interest in conversion."


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