Monday, February 15, 2010

Those Who Say Don't Marry a Ger/Gyoress II

The original poster over on the Daas Torah blog has commented on my original post. So, I am posting my response to her. However, I'm also using that longish response to begin a new post on the same topic.

Over and over again, I hear that parents object to a potential shidduch between their precious little FFB and a gyoress (or ger). Usually the reason cited is that they don't want to deal with in-laws who aren't Jewish. Well, what if such parents don't exist? I mean, what if the potential shidduch's parents have both passed on? This also destroys the argument that you have to worry about interference from non-Jewish grandparents. I suspect, though, that no man would look at my profile on Frumster long enough to see that even if it were in my profile. They would see "convert" and that would be enough for them.

Now, moving on to the "revocations," the number of these revocations is few and far between compared to the number of conversions out there. I, as a convert, wanting to take the side of the one who's conversion, often find it hard to, as usually the rabbi has a good solid case for revoking the conversion-the conversion that should not have happened. I'm glad that I went through a beis din with a pretty solid reputation. I know that the girl who converted at the same meeting as I did, has already married IN ISRAEL. She sent her papers over to her now mother-in-law who took them into the beis din where she lives near Tel Aviv where they were accepted on the spot without questions or anything.

Also, if you think about it, an FFB could be blacklisted in the same manner that gerim are "revoked." Rabbis could suddenly refuse to give references for them and a community could speak about how they fell off the derech and they, too, would no longer be able to do anything in the Jewish community (like get an Orthodox mohel or get their kids into an Orthodox school) if they came back on the derech.

When BTs come back, they are questioned. I was told by a BT that several people have accused her of being a gentile who didn't want to convert. Where's her proof that she's Jewish? Why didn't she read Hebrew? I've also heard of BTs who got rejected for Aliyah.

Finally, when someone's precious little FFB is over thirty and still not married, perhaps one should consider that a gyoress might be a viable option.

21 comments:

  1. err. What a load of crap. Sorry. I'm a convert and I married an ffb israeli guy. No more problems with the in-laws than normal. In fact, it was probably better cause we could chalk issues up to cultural differences.

    And as far as the blah blah about conversions being revoked, people need to make a decision: either we're here to stay, or don't take converts at all. They cannot have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I posted about how the rabbis talked about you to your husband right in front of you. Nebach! I can bet you're one of the finest Jewish women out there. Honestly, there may be situations where there might be problems with in-laws.

    However, I think this has more to do with the fantasy that parents have of their children getting married and becoming friends with your child's in-laws. Although, my father did have my sister's in-laws over for Easter one year, seriously how often do people do this?

    I mean I guess if they all live in the same neighborhood (I met a couple that lives on the same block as his mom (if I'm remembering right his father was already gone) and her parents were about ten blocks away. However, many of the couples I know of, one set of in-laws is in Flatbush and the other is Kew Gardens Hills or the adult children are in KGH and both parents are in Flatbush. In Flatbush this might be realistic because it's really the biggest community that the odds of two people being from there are better. However, there are never guarantees. If someone marries someone out of town, they won't be best chums with those in-laws, either. Maybe that's why out-of-towners can't get married....

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was my comment to that "daas" torah post. Let's see if they post it...
    _______________
    I found this blog from another blog, so please forgive the intrusion. I cannot help but have an emotional reaction to your post. It actually makes my stomach turn.

    They should make everyone considering conversion read your post- let them understand what they are getting into.

    Looks like you're a guest poster, so you should be ashamed of yourself for putting this down in writing and the owner of this blog should be ashamed of himself for posting it.

    May the Holy One forgive you for both making me (who, by the way, is a convert who has been married to an "FFB" for almost a decade now) and other converts feel like second-class citizens when they read this.

    And PLEASE let me know your name so I can be sure that my beautiful sons never, ever have the chance to get set up with your daughters.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think that you pasted something that you posted on the DT blog. The original poster who started this nonsense on the DT blog goes by DK. She didn't comment on this post, "Those Who Say Don't Marry a Ger/Gyoress II." However, she did comment on, "Those Who Say Don't Marry a Ger/Gyoress," which was my original post on this blog for this topic, but the topic came from the DT blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah yes, the questionable BT's. Once you're more than 150 miles inland from the ocean coastlines, it's more and more likely that known born Jews can't read Hebrew, didn't have bar/bat Mitzvah (especially for those coming of age in the few decades after WWII), and even not knowing their or their parents' Hebrew names. Family members not knowing what Yom Kippur is, other than it's some High Holey [sic] Day. Facebook photos in late December of little X-mas trees and menorahs. Not a single grandparent known to have said a bracha in their life.

    I hear for shidduchim some on the right bring up geirus l'chumra...not so much a problem for a guy, but for a woman now there's a real tangible impact...

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    I found it offensive that she considers my commitment, which has held up under more fire than hers ever has, to be inferior.

    As one who works with the sorry results of Ashkenazi inbreeding in genetic diseases, I also found her criticism of my genetic material outrageous. Thank G-d, no Tay-Sachs, no Canavan, no Gaucher's no Familial Disautonomy. No tendency towards diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, bli ayin hara.

    Dispositionally, while my extended family tends to be quite bright, I think my partially inherited ability to keep plodding along has been a huge factor in sticking with my commitment to Judaism, as well as a successful aliyah and reasonably decent semi-mature offspring.

    No Nazis, cossacks, killers, or idol worshippers in the woodpile, either. They were too busy plodding ahead and trying to do the right thing. Ornery, yes. Curmudgeonly, absolutely. But we're great at showing up when we're needed. I see nothing about which to be ashamed or feel inferior here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would not object to a child marrying a ger tzedek merely because of potential interactions with the ger's family.

    OTOH, I might advise a child to think very carefully about marrying someone, FFB, BT, or a ger, if I perceive that the prospective spouse's parents / family are going to be difficult to deal with.

    At this moment, retroactive annulment of conversions IS a serious issue. It should not be so. IMO, the retroactive annulment should be of the semichas of the rabbis who are trying to cause such pain to other Jews.

    Hopefully, by the time my children are ready to get married, someone will have dealt with that issue.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Whatever DK. I'm waiting for an apology.

    And unlike you and your precious children (may G-d protect them from your views), I actually have papers proving that I am Jewish, all stamped and sealed by both the RCA here and the States and that horrid Rabbinut in Israel.

    I hope, for your children's sake, that no one ever questions your own Jewishness. It really just takes one person to question you and you'll be scrambling to "prove" that you are Jewish. Then you'll know how it feels.

    Or maybe someone will question your use of the mikvah. Or will mention that they saw you eating treif food. A rumor is all that's needed and your own "commitment" will be questioned.

    Retroactive annulments of conversion is only a serious issue in your head because you allow it to be so. No one with an ounce of sense takes this seriously.

    And seriously, please tell me your full name; I need to write that down.

    ReplyDelete
  9. For what it's worth, I submitted the below comment to the DT blog post, which the admin declined to publish.

    In general I'm disgusted by the implication that because there are unbalanced, callous or malevolent people corrupting the Torah, we must be responsive to their demands; since they're doing it 'all in the name of Judaism'... As though their intention in perpetrating this corruption is relevant:


    >>> DK said...
    However, when a mother is a giyoret, there is the additional risk of someone in some supposed position of authority [may Hashem save all of Klal Yisrael from them] interfering with the status of the marriage and of the children. Hopefully, someone will soon deal with this issue.


    Well golly, DK. Then I guess the solution to the problem is to ensure that you're always maintaining a tight checklist that will satisfy every wingnut, fanatic, lunatic and self-appointed zealot out there.

    You'll never be safe until even the mentally ill and religiously corrupt are unable to impugn your choice of shidduchim, right? And that must be our goal -- to reduce machlokes in klal Yisroel by making sure that we all conform to the standards of the ignorant, the malicious and the insane. Surely, is that not the Torah way?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice Wingate. Why was it rejected?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I dunno, aml. I guess one would have to ask the master of that domain. :-/

    I suppose it's harsh; but I am infuriated by the legitimacy and deference that is granted to these corrupt and novel cultural obsessions. IMO it's as disgusting as the perpetrators of the degeneracy themselves.

    I'm unsure as to how DT is doing anything but legitimating and normalizing this kind of foulness by publishing it without comment or objection -- as though it's normal or acceptable.

    We don't have moral license to grant anything more than ZERO tolerance to that kind of garbage -- it's a cloud of toxic gas and it deserves to be contained and eradicated, instead of accommodated, coddled and "understood". Muslim societies provide a case study of what happens when fanatics and malefactors set the cultural/religious baselines.

    Just imagine if the new cultural obsession was against marrying Kohanim and their children, since the gemara says that Kohanim are mercurial / short-fused. Who knows, maybe such insanity is coming next.... All of this is the product of a xenophobic and increasingly obsessive-compulsive mode of living that has almost zero to do with the mission of Am Yisroel.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think he's trying to work the comments to get more hits on the site.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Abraham Avinu was a convert. Moshe Rabbeinu married a convert. Are we (Klal Yisrael in the year 5770) holier than they are?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well what do you expect from Moshe Rabbeinu? He was a baal tshuvah, afterall.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What kind of comment is that about Moshe Rabbeinu? As if what he said no longer counts. That should make it count even more. If Moshe Rabbeinu was a BT, perhaps people SHOULD have more respect for them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lighten up...that's the whole point of what I said.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Couldn't find of a good place to mention this (but I think this post works), have you seen this piece yet: http://www.frumsatire.net/2010/02/21/go-for-the-ger/ ?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I know this post is older but I just heard about your Blog and I am getting hooked. I am a convert as well. I agree. I started my journey 21 years ago. My father's father was Jewish so there was Judaism in my family and I was not brought with any religion. Since 3rd grade I gravitated to Judaism. Immediately after high school I went Reformed (I know, it's not halachic). Over hte years I was extremely active. I come from am nice fmaily I am college educated but never wrapped up my degree. While I was Reformed I was constantly beaten down for not having a degree yet I made more money than my degreed friends. They were more concerned with where my family went to college, and when was I going backt o college. I actually broke off an engagement. My fiance was in law school and both parents and sister were lawyers. They told me if I did not get a degree and higher education I would never fit in their family.

    Nowfast forward to today, 5 years ago I went through an Orthodox conversion in hopes of finding a nice Jewish husband. I see SO many women in my community who met Jewish men first and then converted to marry or after marriage for children. No one tells these women anything. But I am a single, divorced mom and we are kosher and have an RCA conversion and I am constantly put on the spot about why we converted. No one converts to be a "CONVERT" I converted to be Jewish. I am still just a convert to everyone in the community. I have been on and off Frumster. These men are the worst. They contact you and almost harrass you for being a convert which is none of their business. So when I was reformed it was all about your University and how much money you made. Now being Orthodox its that you will never fit in or be accepted. Yes there are lucky women out there who find nice Jewish men and their families are accepting but I have not met one yet. I guess it's always something.

    I feel your pain and frustration. I am also tired of people only wanting to inroduce me to other converts !!! I justy keep davening for a good man and I have faith Hashem will send someone my way. It just won't be from someone in the community wanting to help me out. While going htrough conversion I kept hearing, once your conversion goes through you will meet a nice Orthodox man and he will meet with you a few times and boom you will be getting married. Yes, just like that .....NOT !
    It has been a very painful and lonely path to say the least. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. Thanks for sharing, its nice to see someone else with the same problems. I was beginning to think I was bitter and it was just me having all these problems.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey, I got the University and how much do you make in the Orthodox community. The community isn't very supportive of my having gone back to school. I guess they're just jealous.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh don't get me started on thsoe Frumster men. They call and ask, "who do you eat by where so you daven?" they are nasty if you just don't eat by people.

    ReplyDelete