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Oh no, he didn’t! "Why Orthodox Rabbis Must Stop Conversions"

A prospective convert appears before a rabbinical court in Israel. Photo Credit: Jewish Chronicle

In “Why Orthodox Rabbis Must Stop Conversions,” (Jewish Chronicle of London, 2/4/10), as the title notes, Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet tells Orthodox rabbis that they need to stop converting people “for the foreseeable future (except perhaps in special circumstances such as adoptions).”

Expletive! Expletive! Expletive!
Now, I would love to give this rabbi a piece of my mind. What convert wouldn’t? This is one of the most disgraceful things I have read about the current “conversion crisis” and trust me, I’ve read a lot of disgraceful things about it. This piece, in particular, is a disgrace to Judaism and a personal affront to all converts!!!!
Why is it that it’s converts who constantly have to pay because the rabbis can’t get their acts together? Why? Why? Why?
Oh dear, I think I’m going to be sick…from reading this.
And please don’t tell me not to take it personally. I would like this rabbi to stand before me and other converts and read this piece aloud. And then I will tell him truly why I feel like he’s just spat in all our faces. I feel like I have to go wipe the slobber off right now. Also, perhaps if he saw our faces, our reactions, our heartbreak, he would feel a sense of shame.
He writes passionately: “Conversion is the single biggest issue ripping at the fabric of Jewish society. If we persist in our current trend, we will self-destruct.”
But dear rabbi, if the Jewish people self-destruct, it will be because of rabbis like you. Not us sincere converts.
This is not Judaism.

If you want to give Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet a piece of your mind, here are some ways to contact him:

Related: “Who is a Jew?”

12 thoughts on “Oh no, he didn’t! "Why Orthodox Rabbis Must Stop Conversions"

  1. Amen. Seriously, I understand our non-proselytizing ways and taking caution but why should we refuse solid, upstanding human beings the right to follow their heart (and possibly their genetics). There are so many people out there who were raised Christian but have a Jewish heritage. Not to mention that some of the most wonderful and knowledgeable Jews I know are converts. It is sad to say but converts and baal tshuvas are going to be the foundation of Judaism soon (with all the assimilation and intermarriages).

    Rock on sister sledge!


  2. Oh my. I'm a convert (albeit not Orthodox) and this frightens me. I love being Jewish, I love the connections I have made because of the life-changing event I decided to embark upon, I love how it has made me, more 'me'.

    I cannot believe what he said. but the thing is, people like that just make me more stubborn and vocal.


  3. A comment from a reader: In the spirit of R' Shochet's proposal, I strongly recommend that because of the agunah crisis we halt all Jewish marriages, because of the metziztah b'peh crisis we stop all bris milah, etc., etc. After all, if an ultra-orthodox rabbi anywhere disagrees with a modern orthodox rabbi, the logical result should be the complete paralysis of Judaism and the suffering of thousands of people, no?


  4. “Conversion is the single biggest issue ripping at the fabric of Jewish society.”

    Really? I thought the single biggest issue was the political infighting between different Jewish sects.

    Deleting all the expletives I just typed about this “rabbi”


  5. Aliza, I swiped one of the comments from this post and copied it to the comments section of this one. This machloket/dispute among the rabbis concerning who is a Jew and/or who is a rabbi is a huge chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name), and makes a mockery of our claim to be, as last Shabbat's parsha says, “a nation of priests and a holy people.”


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