• October 18, 2021
  • 12 5782, Heshvan
  • פרשת וירא

Defining Clal Yisrael

Defining Clal Yisrael

When using the term ‘Clal Yisrael’ who is it referring too? Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he explores the origins of the idea and what it means in a world with many different kinds of Jews.

April 21, 2021 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Defining Clal Yisrael: Defining Clal Yisrael
Class description

One of the most vexing problems that face the Jewish people now that we have our own  state is defining who is Jewish.  The Supreme Court of Israel ( a secular institution) has given rulings on this subject going back to the founding of the State of Israel, the most famous case being that of “Brother Daniel” which I hope to discuss with you. But the question of defining “Who is a Jew” or to use the broader title of this series of classes “Defining Clal Yisrael” was a challenge for the leaders of the Jewish people when then returned to Israel from the exile in Babylonia.  This is described in the Book of Ezra (again, as I hope to discuss with you).

So in these next three classes we will discuss what makes us Jews.

April 28, 2021 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Defining Clal Yisrael: Defining Clal Yisrael
Class description

Hello Everyone,

In our discussion of “Clal Yisrael”we will discuss this evening the question of permanence. Is a Jew always a Jew? Can a person either opt out of her Jewish status, or perhaps may her Jewish status be taken away? This question is not merely of theoretical interest. Are the descendants of Jews who abandoned Judaism hundreds or even thousands of years ago still Jews?

May 5, 2021 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Defining Clal Yisrael: Defining Clal Yisrael
Class description

Hello Everyone

In this, the final class in our series on “Defining Clal Yisrael” we will discuss conversion to Judaism, גיור, which the method by which a non-Jew may join the Jewish people.

גיור is one of the most divisive issues confronting the Jewish people today ( this statement I realize has some form of tautology or oxymoron).  Different groups within the Jewish people have different parameters for accepting converts and even within what is called Orthodox Judaism there are often quite ugly fights over whose rabbis are qualified to accept converts.

All that I can reasonably hope to discuss with y0u in 60 minutes is a brief introduction to the some of the issues involved in these terribly unpleasant debates.

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.