Sunday, January 24, 2010

Geros defend themselves

So, unfortunately, articles appear on the web discussing how some converts "adapt" to Jewish life during Xtian holidays. Unfortunately, the writers of these articles don't always select the most Orthodox people to use as an example. Voz Iz Neias had one such article up this past Xmas.

I feel like articles like this do a serious disservice to sincere gerim like myself and many of my friends. I have read several comments online (in blog comments and on Frumster) indicating that parents don't want their children considering gerim for marriage. They say they don't want to have non-Jewish in-laws. But, what if the girl in question's parents have passed away? What is the excuse, then, I beg of you? I asked some of my friends (also, geros) for their reactions.

The first feedback I got was, "Ho hum. You know when it says to love the Ger, Hashem didn't really

mean LOVE love. It was more like just don't kick them. I mean,

actually kicking is ok considering the long Jewish history of

persecution, but no kicking with soccer cleats. That is definitely

assur. Well at least on Shabbos it is. Well, it might be d'rabbanan,

so it could be ok with a shinui. Ask your Rav. But certainly, that

whole love part was just meant to be taken allegorically.

All cynicism aside, I think that the actual percentage of frum Jews

descended from geirim is probabally much, much higher than anyone

wants to admit. The system seems to be keep your mouth SHUT. I have

seen people advising that a giyores' children should not even know her

status. Don't make waves, be polite, don't stand out too much and

again, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Unless the boy and girl in question are

under a certain age, why would the in-laws-to-be even need to know?

The shadchan should know (no Kohanim) and the Rabbi that marries them

needs to know (different kesubah). Other than that, for a couple,

let's say 30 or over, who else needs to know????"

The second friend's reaction was, "My mother helped me make my son's Bar Mitzvah - and when I say "make", I don't mean calling a caterer. We did everything ourselves. She paid for the bentschers, and was there with me greeting everyone and kvelling in her long skirt, which she probably wore once."

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