• December 5, 2022
  • 10 5783, Kislev
  • פרשת וארא

Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion

Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion

What is the Halachic approach to converting to Judaism? Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman will guide you through the Gemara as background and then learn the teshuvot and discuss the various approaches the Rabbis hold with regard to conversion.

This class is dedicated to a Refuah Shelaima (full recovery) for Stella Frankl, Tzuriya Kochevet Bat Sarah.

May 15, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 1
Class description

Today we discussed the the two suggyaot if Geirut is something to be encouraged (and actively sought out) or something that we “put up with.”

May 22, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 2
Class description

Today we studied the Gemara on Yevamot 24b about conversions which are done for the purpose of obtaining a jewish spouse (or any other non-spiritual motive). We saw Tosafot who discuss in few and well-chosen words the stories in masechet Shabbat about the converts who came to Shammai and then to Hillel.

May 29, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 3
Class description

Today we reviewed the gemara in yevamot and studied the teshuvot of the Rambam and Rav Shlomo Kluger about allowing marriage to someone who converts to Judaism for the purpose of matrimony.

Handouts
June 5, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 4
Class description

Today we reviewed the teshuva of Rav Shlomo Kluger zt” who permits the Beit Din to accede to threats of apostasy in cases of conversion. We also saw the remarkable teshuva of Rav David Tzvi Hoffmann who permitted the conversion of a woman married to a Kohen.

June 12, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 5
Class description

Today we studied the different approaches of Rav David Tzvi Hoffmann zt”l and Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l to conversion. Rav Hoffmann would allow the conversion of a woman who planned on marrying a Kohen while Rav Moshe Feinstein forbade such a conversion. We saw the rationales of both authorities, as well as the chiddush of Rav Feinstein who discusses conversion without a Beit Din.

June 19, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 6
Class description

Today we began the suggya of converting children, which of course has great bearing on the halachot of adoption. Next week I will not be giving the shiur because of my nephew’s wedding.

Handouts
July 3, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 7
Class description

Today we reviewed the suggya on Kettubot 11a about the conversion of a child.

July 10, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 8
Class description

Today we saw the teshuvot that deal with the question of adoption in general, and particularly if we can legitimately convert children who will be raised in homes where the Torah is not observed. The fundamental question is whether we can say it is always to the benefot of a child to be converted to Judaism .

July 17, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 9
Class description

Today we studied the suggyaot that address the need for a Beit Din to oversee a conversion. We saw the opposing views regarding the authority of contemporary (meaning post 6th century) Battei Din to oversee conversions.

July 24, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 10
Class description

Today we discussed the concepts of אנן סהדי, אומדנא, ודברים שבלב. These are concepts of Halacha which permit a court to interpret and negate agreements in opposition to the explicit language used in the agreements. In the context of conversion, every convert declares his or her acceptance of the Torah and its obligations, but if the convert fails to live according to the Torah then according to some authorities a Rabbinical Court may rule that verbal acceptance of the Torah was patently insincere (as born out by the subsequent life-style of the convert) and therefore the conversion was fraudulent and invalid. I have posted the p’sak of Rav Sherman’s Beit Din which about 3 years ago brought this subject to the attention of the broad public.

July 31, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 11
Class description

Today we studied the opposing approaches of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l and Rav Uziel zt”l. In my humble opinion, we can find in the positions of these two Gedolei Torah the source of the disagreements that are plaguing us now.

August 7, 2011 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 12
Class description

Today we studied a psak of the Beit HaDin HaRabbani HaGadol about a convert who failed to live a life of total observance. We saw the opinions of the two Dayanim (Rabbi Daichovsky and Sherman) who disagreed about the fundamental issues that we studied over the course of the z’man. I enjoyed the class and I hope you all did as well. Have a nice summer. Stuart Fischman

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.