Thursday, May 08, 2008

A vision regarding the Conversion crisis

So some Rabbinical court in Israel has invalidated the conversions done by a highly regarded Orthodox rabbi just because the convert was not observing Judaism in the Orthodox style.

I commented on this at DovBear, and thought it might be a service to my loyal readers to reproduce it here.

So, without any more ado, here's the ma'aseh:


The soft hum of thew CPAP was lulling me to sleep when the sapphire glow announced that I was about to get a Divine Visitation. Unfortunately, the red tinge at the margins meant that the Visitor was Right-Wing Fundamentalist Orthodox G-d. Rats. I was hoping it would be Laid-Back Egalitarian Feminist God, and His/Her Holy Bong. Well, can't always have what you want.

"CA" boomed the Divine Voice. "You're off the hook."

"Huh?" I answered in my usual articulate manner.

"I mean all those pork and shellfish entrees you prefer at the lunch buffet. I mean your arriving at shul just in time for kiddush. I mean your general and pervasive violation of every halacha known to Man. Every ritual one, anyway. Well, I don't care anymore."

What? The KBH doesn't care about the sins of a Jew? What's going on here.

"So continued the KBH, "What do you know about the Countess X__?"

"Wow," I replied, "My mom told me that story. Countess X__ was a beautiful Polish noblewoman who was so entranced by Mendel Y___, the family's Jewish accountant that she converted to Judaism out of love and became my many-generations removed great grandmother on my mother's side. The family story is the the Vilna Gaon did the conversion. How did you know about our unusual family history?"

"Nudnick," replied the Holy One, "I'm G-d, remember? I know everything."

Why do you mention Countess X___?" I asked.

"Because," Said Hashem, "about 25 years after she supposedly "converted," she was seen attending services in a Roman Catholic Church. You know what that means?"

"Not really," I said.

"You obviously haven't been reading the proceedings of the High Rabbinical Court of Israel," G-d look at me with reproach. "They have ruled that when a convert stops observing halacha as they interpret it, then the conversion is invalid, even if it was performed by the most distinguished rabbi in the Community.

"Countess X___ violated halacha by attending that church service. The fact that it was the funeral mass for her father is no excuse. Her conversion was invalid, and don't give me any nonsense about the Gaon of Vilna having performed it, it doesn't matter. She became s shiksa again, all her children were goyim, and so were their children right down and including your mother. Which means, CA, you are NOT an apikoris. You are a GOY. A Sheygetz.

"So go and have a good time throwing another shrimp on the barbie. But I'll bet it won't be as much fun, because you won't be breaking any rules anymore....."

Suddenly the sapphire wavered and the red tint disappeared.

"Pay no attention to what was just said, CA..." The voice was similar, but with a more melodious gentle quality. OY, looks like I get to chat with Laid Back Egalitarian Feminist God after all. There may only be One God, but when He/She suffers from multiple personality disorder, a person might as well be a polytheist.

"CA, you don't live in Israel and your Conservative rabbi certainly doesn't follow the rulings of the High Rabbinical Court of Israel. So as far as you are concerned, Countess X___ had a valid conversion, and you are still Jewish. Which means that you'd better not be buying any shrimp for your next barbecue."

At that point the alarm went off, which was fine with me, because after the shock of the revelation of Right-Wing Fundamentalist Orthodox G-d, I really wasn't in the mood to smoke dope with Laid-Back Egalitarian Feminist God. On the other hand, Laid Back Egalitarian Feminist God was right. Why should I care what the High Rabbinical Court of Israel rules?

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