Suffern, NY – Rabbi Feinstein: Geyrus By Rav Tropper Valid, Rabbi Chaim Blum to Serve as Interim Director of EJF

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    Suffern, NY – EJF announced that Rabbi Chaim Blum, EJF’s liaison to the network of Botei Din in the Torah community, has agreed to serve as interim director of EJF.

    The organization operates offices in the US, Europe and Israel with international headquarters in Monsey NY. In accepting the position, Rabbi Blum said: “The recent announcement by Rav Tropper that he is resigning his post at EJF is accepted with sadness and regret. The announcement by some of the world’s leading Torah authorities that they will take an increased role in the Eternal Jewish Family is testimony of the organization’s strength and commitment to its core mission. The many people who benefit from EJF’s activities should know that the organization remains fully committed to its important mission, one which has helped thousands of people in their pursuit of a Jewish life.”

    EJF International is headed by distinguished halachic authorities around the world, including Rav Reuven Feinstein, Chairman of the Halachic Committee (US), Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu (Europe) and Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern (Av Bais Din of Rabbi Wosner’s Bais Din – Israel).

    Statement by Rav Reuven Feinstein, President of Halachic Committee on EJF

    I hope that Rav Leib Tropper’s decision to resign his position at EJF will serve him and his family well. At the same time, I have also agreed to take on a more active role in overseeing all of the halachic nuances of EJF in assuring that all universally accepted conversions are in compliance with the highest standards of halacha. I wish to reassure the community that EJF will continue to be guided by the highest halachic standards under the leadership of the Gedolei Yisroel. It should be noted that EJF has never been, and will never be, involved in the actual geyrus (conversion) of candidates. That function is left solely to the discretion of Botei Din. Our sole mission is to support those botei din in their work. The resignation of Rabbi Tropper in no way casts any cloud over the validity of any conversion performed by a Bais Din affiliated with or supported by EJF. Our role, as per the halachic rulings of Gedolei Haposkim, is to be mekarev the Jewish spouse in an intermarriage while referring the non-Jewish spouse to an independent Bais Din that will offer the geyrus candidate a universally accepted conversion in a case where both agree to a family life of Torah and mitzvos.

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    56 COMMENTS

    1. This is all very good news. We don’t have a mesorah of invalidating conversions. The fact that Rav Leib Tropper went as far as to invalidate conversions for women who were caught not covering their hair or occasionally wearing pants gave the organization a bad name. Rambam says that if a person worships avodah zara the day after his conversion he is still considered a Jew. Can’t take it away.

      • Given that there actually exist a few minority opinions that women are not halachically required to cover hair, and that there is a very important Orthodox *community*, the religious Zionist kibbutzim, who openly declare wearing pants by women to be mutar, there is no justification to even consider pasuling a coversion by a woman who does either. My own rabbi heard from a prominent rosh yeshiva in Israel that a beit din should even convert a woman who *tells the beit din* that she will wear pants and won’t cover her hair after marriage.

    2. Since when is rabbi reuven Feinstein a posek, he is only a rosh yeshiva just like tropper, and r wachtfoigle, who all have huge financial resposabiltys to their mosdos…..

    3. @ caroline: Are you serious? google it.

      Can people please drop the “Rav” already. I dont know what’s worse, what he did or how other rabbis are trying to cover it up.

      • “Can people please drop the “Rav” already. I dont know what’s worse, what he did or how other rabbis are trying to cover it up.”

        Why do you pre-judge Rav Tropper, shlita’s behavior. These are only allegations and have yet to be proven. He is a a great tzadik and such loshon horah is a big chilul hashem.

        • “Why do you pre-judge Rav Tropper, shlita’s behavior. These are only allegations and have yet to be proven. He is a a great tzadik and such loshon horah is a big chilul hashem.”

          If he committed these acts, he may NOT be a “great tzadik” because what he has done is considered by many big rabbonim to be inappropriate behavior and raises issues of tzinus.

    4. That misbehavior occurs in our machane is not unbearable. The unheard condemnation of the Torah leadership is very concerning. The message goes out from our gedolim that any misbehavior (of course other than mesira or loshon hara) is normative and acceptable. This is the comment of the gemoro: al Iyov she-shasak, Job was punished, to be the epitome of tragedy, for NOT SPEAKING OUT in protest. Rav Reuven Feinstein and his many colleagues who endorsed and supported this piece of dirt, had better say: ” we were misled: he’s a bad scoundrel!”

    5. Where sexual favors are the price of (at least some) conversions other Orthodox rabbis will be examining the situation to determine whether a particular conversion is valid.

    6. The only way to try somehow to lessen the HUGE chilul Hashem by Tropper is to come out publicly condemning him & REVOKING his semicha.
      All the Rabbonim & institutions that he claims gave him Semicha should take out ads
      in many Newspapers (free of charge) REVOKING his semicha & putting him in cherem.
      This will be picked up by the secular media and at least they wont think that this conduct is condoned or swept under the rug by the orhodox Rabbis & the masses.

    7. So wait…. a few months ago this Tropper guy got into a big fight with an Israeli billionaire, now he magically has a career-ending scandal? Is anyone looking into this connection? Israeli billionaires are notoriously immoral and theres a big mob connection over there, I wouldn’t be shocked if this was set up(not to take away from the Rabbi’s guilt, but I bet theres more here)

    8. This is a sad period for Torah observant Jewry. Maybe we should re-examine our entire derech and figure out what has gone wrong in this generation. We seem to have a new scandal almost monthly.

      • “This is a sad period for Torah observant Jewry. Maybe we should re-examine our entire derech and figure out what has gone wrong in this generation. We seem to have a new scandal almost monthly. ”

        100% correct. Each of us must take responsibility to learn Torah and live the way Hashem would want, not looking to neighbors or “rabbonim” for role models. Look to tzaddikim of the past, or the few we still have alive today (Rav Kanievsky, etc.). Strengthen your emunah/bitachon with stories of past greatness, and try to emulate them. Daven each day to ask Hashem to help you find the TRUE path. Say Tehillim kuf-yud-tes (119). Have extra kavana in birkas hashachar when we ask Hashem to save us from bad neigbors and false witnesses – and our own yetzer hara. Likewise have extra kavana at night when you say shema- especially the part about forgiving everyone. In other words, ask Hashem in the morning to protect you from bad people, and forgive those people who harmed you at night.

        The revolution you’re looking for has to be a personal one. Don’t wait for a “leader” to start this movement – start it yourself with your own tefilos and your own derech. Not just you, everyone!

      • You are absolutely right.

        One Rabbi after the next caught in scandal after salacious scandal. Who is next and what will it be next time?

        These reports serve to reinforce my determination to surround myself with people I KNOW are decent human beings instead of those who pretend to be, by virtue of donning a costume.

    9. Reply to #16: 1. Please specify which Poskim disagree with the Gemara in Sotah.
      2. There is an “Orthodox” community in NYC, Bet Simchat Torah that holds it is mutar to engage in immoral deviant behavior, so what does that prove?

      • Ra’avyah on Berakhot 24 states that the issur of hair is only that (if any) which is usually covered in that place, ritva 81b Pit’hei Teshuvah, Even ha-Ezer 21:(4)and yam shel shlomo kiddushin 4:25 state that if no erotic desires are generated it is completely permitted (they even apply this so far as to say that it was permitted for rabbi yochanan to look at women unclothed ) and (and in part because of this) See Arukh ha-Shulhan, Orah Hayyim 75:5; Iggerot Moshe, Orah Hayyim 1:42;
        Yabi’a Omer, Orah Hayyim 6:13; all state that in a place where women do not cover their hair looking at a womens hair is permitted

      • 1. Read Rabbi Michael Broyde’s 86 page summary of all the sources concerning hair covering. It is in the current issue of *Tradition* which is available online.

        2. Bet Simchat Torah is not Orthodox. Religious Zionist kibbutzim are Orthodox and are awaiting your apology.

    10. dear 9 and 4. how do u build up the cuptzpa to say tht about one of the posek hadar and rosh hayeshiva hadar i just had a conversation with the rosh hayeshiva my self in halcha and i tell u one thing he has the right to give a posak he is a huge talmid chachum u schould really ask mechilla from him ps. this is from s\o who knows first hand

      • Calm down brother. There is a very substantial difference between a very very very big Talmud Chochum and a regular Posek. He could be the biggest of Talmudei Chachomim and have the most students and be the greatest Rosh Yeshiva. However, he still cannot pasken shailos. The aforementioned are great gedolim, Are the a Posek.

      • It does not take first hand knowledge of anything (hashem yerachim!) to know and see as clear as day how corrupt and blinded by money everyone involved in this is. including your r”h! the only ones who need to ask mechilla is your rosh yeshiva and company for perpetuating this chilul hashem by contradicting themselves in the statement saying that EJF was in no way involved in actual geirus and then saying all EJF supported geirus battei din etc. While at it tell him to ask g-d for mechila for saying they view tropper’s resignation with sadness and regret. even the blind deaf and dumb would know better then to react this way to the chilul sheim shomayim of the century. but then again, they were part and parcel to this mess all along and continue to fail to condemn this and any other avlaos done by the kitanim they all are. The world would be better and safer without the bums like tropper and your r”h. Remember one thing, expressing regret and sadness over this mamzer’s resignation after all he has commited over the last 40 odd years is unforgivable and downright assinine.

        • I am saddened by your anger at R’ Feinstein. It is unfounded. It is hard to believe he would be complicit in tropper’s actions. He is probably as shocked as I am at Tropper’s misdeeds. He is taking the stand that he must to remove any shadow of doubt casted on the children of EJF geirim. HE has not lied, he simply omitted the circumstances of Tropper’s resignation

    11. First this:
      “It should be noted that EJF has never been, and will never be, involved in the actual geyrus (conversion) of candidates.”
      And then in the same press statement:
      “The resignation of Rabbi Tropper in no way casts any cloud over the validity of any conversion performed by a Bais Din affiliated with or supported by EJF.”

      Hakodosh Baruch Hu, I rest my case! All these rabbonim are the scum of the world!
      First roshei yeshiva with zero knowledge of psak halocha run this complex halachik org and now the chaufeur runs the org. How low can it get? stay tuned. These rishoim have been whoring for money and commiting more sins in one hour than we will commit in a life time.

      • Please explain where you see a problem . EJF does not do conversions itself , but support other Botai Din that do conversions.

        When I see that you call all these rabbonim scum of the world, I rest my case that your opinion is worthless

    12. Sad state of affairs in the so splintered Jewish world.

      Rabbi Tropper had a dream and great idea to unite all Gerous under one umbrella of perfect Chezkas Kasherous.
      EJF closed down shop for many Batei Din and Rabbonim from performing sham “quicki conversions” and “conversions for cash”.

      It is still a great idea with fine tunning perhaps with new leadership it can actualy be a reality.

      wishfull thinking

      • The Rabbinical Council of America has now created standardized procedures and a network of batei dinim with respected rabbis. There is now no further need for EJF.

    13. Actions speak louder than words. The sudden resignation speaks volumes and raises troubling questions about what really happened. Even though nothing has yet been proven. hmm…

    14. People, please!
      Noone who is commenting on this site has the wherewithal to decide as to whether or not someone is a valid Posek/Talmud Chacham, or anything like that. People have spent their entire lives learning and doing G-d’s will, and some gossiper on an internet-site can call these Rabbonim “scum”?! Really?! I’m not sure why I’m even validating what that obvious low-life said, but we all need to reserve judgement on people who spend more time learning in a week than we do in a year. As (R’) Tropper proved, that is not necessarily a sign of piousness, but what if you make such a comment and are wrong??? Making a mockery of Gedolei Yisroel can’t be too favorable to G-d, right???
      And who are we to decide whether or not a Rosh Yeshiva is “qualified”? If you don’t trust the opinion of a specific person, don’t ask him, but to make a blanket staement………
      Not good.

    15. Seems that people either don’t know Jewish history at all or have forgotten. Anybody hear of Shevna? Big Rosh Yeshiva. Had I think 175,000 talmidim. Poor Chizkiyahu Hamelech, unquestionably a tzadik, “only” had about 120,000. So of course he had respect and was afraid of Shevna. Shevna died with Sancherev. Chazal say because he was involved in immoral behavior. Rosh Yeshiva. 175,000 talmidim. Hey history don’t change. Only names and extent might change. Just because Tropper is a rav hagaon and a noted rosh yeshiva and does chesed etc, does not exactly allow him to engage in aroyos with a poor unknowing wannabe ger tzedek, even if it was consensual. Tropper ain’t holier than Shevna.

    16. DID U SEE THAT ARTICLE???
      caution before we condemm
      reb reuven is trying to root out the bad w/o having all the good fall he is in a very difficult sitch.
      tropper stepping down is the right thing but the ramifications of broadcasting the errors for the sake of “transparency” are far worse than seeming to cover up

    17. I had been thinking of converting because I am getting married in May, but after reading about this, there is NO way I would consider it. My father was MO but my mother was Korean.

      • If you have my mazal, your offspring will be considered to be weirdos at the so called religious school (Bais Yaakov), but only worse because you’re a woman.

        As a convert with seven years of yeshiva education and the assumption that I was a native born Jew, Bais Yaakov girls were willing to marry to me, but when I told them I was a convert, they said forget it. Never mind that the Amida contains high praise for converts, very few people believe it. It’s just something they mumble three times a day.

        Personally, I have come to the conclusion that converts ARE NOT Jews. Rather, they are individuals who are permitted to marry Jews and are obligated in mitzvos like Jews.

        If I didn’t believe in HaShem and His Torah — sorry “FFBs”, I really believe in this stuff — I would just throw this all away. If I knew I would have been treated like trash, I would have remained a goy. I think you should NOT convert and that you should break off your engagement. I’m telling you, no matter how “frum” you are, you will never be accepted.

        • BS’D
          Dear Daniel, I suspected that the most affected by this scandals would be the converts themeselves so I understand how you feel.
          I need you to understand that a convert in these days has more meaning than ever before. The frum world needs converts to remind them that judaism is a covenant with Hashem and His Torah. You presence remind us (some times in a painful way)that our judaism has gone into a lifestyle rather than a revealed truth to live by . Do not feel bad when this rejection happens to you. Hashem on one side in protecting you from people that has lost its touch with the mission they are supposed to carry while protecting you from the painful daily possibility of having a princess that only uses her jewishness to proclaim to be better than anyone else including you. It is not an intended evil it is just a forgoten principal that along with other jewish principals had become forgoten or even corrupted. The truth is that even the most prominent of jews that proudly proclaim his pure ‘jewish blood’ would have to admit that his ancestors were converts. Take this insident with rabbi tropper as well as your discrimination as a sign that you can help the us!

        • I’m sorry, but I have to agree with Daniel. Except I’m an even bigger freak for being Asian. I have been hinted multiple times by insensitive people that I’m out of my mind to want a learning boy and to live in Lakewood because my family will be discriminated against, and that I should instead consider somewhere out-of-town like Baltimore where people are more “accepting.” So what if I learn at a bais yaakov seminary. So what if I have 3 college degrees at age 23. So what if I have a well-paid job that can support a family for years. Shadchanim take one look at me and automatically tell me about some random Chinese ger they’ve never actually met but heard about, who never stepped foot in a yeshiva, might be a little “modern” but don’t worry, you can always grow in yiddishkeit together. Puke.

          • BS’D

            Miss Rachel you brought me to tears! The only thing that I can find consolation from an act like those that hurt your feelings is that you exhist to balance the world on the possitive side of their insensitivity. It would have been thousands of times more interesting to have a forum to reveal the greatness of people like you… but stupid world finds it more interesting to talk about the nihilistic actions of the hipocrite world as if there is something new to learn.

            I find no interest in the desintegration of people that are supposed to be great, my interest is where it should be, namely with those that are building a better world despite what price they need to pay or what discrimination they need to bear.
            Miss Rachel and Daniel: YOU ARE KEEPING JUDAISM ALIVE!!!! BRAVO!!!

    18. It is time for Rav Feinstein to resign as head of the EJF. He has supported and encouraged Tropper for all these years, and helped him slander and malign many upstanding Rabbanim for the last few years. I guess it is true – “what goes around comes around”. He is complicit in these nefarious activities, and if he was a real godol, he would repudiate Tropper and step down

    19. He wasnt oiver any issurim mishkav zochor is only osur with men. not with women. and telling someone you want to “shqueeze you” is not ossur. and calling someone darling is also not ossur so he can resign but he didnt do any issurim. he might not be a good role model but he wasnt oiver anything.

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