• December 8, 2019
  • 10 5780, Kislev
  • פרשת וישלח

Ruth & Conversion

Ruth & Conversion

In this course Rabbi Fischman will discuss “Ruth the Giyoret” and how many of the halachot of giyur, conversion, are learned from Ruth’s interactions with Naomi.

June 4, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Ruth & Conversion: Ruth & Conversion Event
Class description

Conversion to Judaism is one of the topics that is heatedly debated today. In the United States it has been incorporated into the larger subject of “Identity Politics.” In Israel many people say that the Chief Rabbinate is excessively strict in determining who may convert to Judaism.

The holiday of Shavuot provides us with an opportunity to study the laws of conversion to Judaism. On Shavuot we read The Book Of Ruth.  Ruth, a Moabite woman, chose to accompany her mother-in-law Naomi when Naomi returned to Israel. When Naomi tried to persuade Ruth to remain at home  instead of accompanying an elderly woman on a journey to a foreign land Ruth responded with four simple words: “. עמך עמי וא-להיך א-להי”

The Rabbis of the Talmud based the process of conversion to Judasim upon the dialogue of Naomi and Ruth. Every word of their dialogue is analysed in masechet Yevamot.

I look forward to studying the story of Ruth’s with you and I hope that it will help us to understand this very important subject.


June 11, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Ruth & Conversion: Ruth & Conversion Event
Class description


In tomorrow’s shiur I hope to discuss one of the most significant issues in the contemporary discussions of גיור. The question is whether גיור can be annulled .  This question received a great deal of attention in the Jewish media first when one of the Rabbinical Courts in Israel nullified the conversion of a person’s mother. This ruling meant that the man in question was not  Jewish even though he viewed himself as jewsih for his entire life. At about the same time the Chief Rabbinate of Israel published alist of rabbbis whose conversions would not be accepted in Israel.

I have posted the source sheets that we will see tomorrow. I included the complete transcript of the  ruling of the Rabbinical court. It is long (perhpas very long) but for anyone interested in the subject of גיור it is essential to be familiar  with the reasoning of Rav Sherman and Rav Daichovski who came to very different conclusions when called upon to rule on the issue.

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.