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.
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 2
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.
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 3
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 4
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 5
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.
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 6
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 8
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 .
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 9
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 10
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.
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 11
Hilchot Geirut: The Laws of Conversion: Lesson 12
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.