Identity, Israel, Religion

We're From the Government and We're Here to Help You….

Seems there’s no level too low to which certain groups can sink. Ynet reports that certain rabbis Hadana and Tsadok are scamming Ethiopian couples by finding their conversions problematic, at the last minute so that they can’t get married, offering to do a “fake” wedding for them since they can’t cancel at the last minute… of course, not forgetting to charge them an arm and a leg for the favor… and then after the “fake” wedding and the “proper” conversion are over, Hadana will then do a “real” wedding for them in his office… for another fee, of course.

A Yedioth Ahronoth reporter approached Rabbi Shalom Tsadok with a “similar case,” in a bid to verify the couples’ complaints.
“Rabbi Shilo is introduced when it’s necessary and conducts the wedding; he is popular but must be paid what he asks for,” Rabbi Shalom Tsadok told him, adding he was “not involved with setting the price.”
When asked by the reporter whether he could ask Rabbi Hadana about Rabbi Shilo, or tell him that the wedding was not a real one, Rabbi Tsadok said: “You can, but no one should know it was make-believe… Rabbi Hadana probably knows everything…it’s for your own good.”
The Rabbinate, added Rabbi Tsadok, will not recognize the marriage. “It’s not binding. It’s just a little ceremony.”
The reporter than asked the rabbi whether NIS 3,000 ($900) would be enough. “He will only want cash,” said Rabbi Tsadok. “When you get to the wedding hall, you meet him before you go in, give it to him personally and then enter the hall with him.”
The wedding, explained the rabbi, is invalid: “It doesn’t count, just a make-believe… It’s artistry. There will be a wedding and everything, a ring too.”

Unsurprisingly, the couples mentioned in the article decided not to continue the conversion process, and did not get legally married. SO: in sum: chillul hashem, in making these people – who opted to go jump through every hareidi hoop so that they could be married, had someone deliberately screw them over for money (I wonder whether in fact there really was a problem with their conversion, given that halachically, it doesn’t actually take much to convert someone and have it stick) offer to fix it for more money, and then try to get – what, yes more money out of them… and they don’t want to consider continuing their journey towards joining the Jewish people? Astonishing.
FOlks, just go to the Masorti movement, already. They’ll do a proper conversion, they’ll marry you, and they won’t try to con you because you’re brown.

4 thoughts on “We're From the Government and We're Here to Help You….

  1. Does the Masorti movement agree with the charedim that Ethiopian Jews need a full conversion??? Rav Ovadia Yosef, former sefardic chief rabbi of Israel, famously ruled that Beta Israel Jews could marry without having to undergo a conversion. Meanwhile, Rav Moshe Feinstein, the internationally respected posek (halakhic adjudicator), ruled that Beta Israel Jews only needed to undergo a pro forma (giur l’chumra) conversion for the sake of stringency only — mainly to help remove any doubt (safek) as to their status. I would think that progressive Jews would at least agree with Rav Ovadia’s position rather than expect Ethiopian Jews to choose between a pro forma orthodox conversion or full on masorti conversion.

  2. Besides that single photo caption identifying “Falashmura Jews” there is nothing in the article to suggest any distinction being made between “Falasha” or “Falashmura” Ethiopian Jewish weddings.

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