Thursday, February 11, 2010

Those Who Say Don't Marry a Ger/Gyoress

Well, over on the Daas Torah blog, he has posted the topic, "Should One's Child Marry a Ger?" and discussion has ensued. Arguments are being flung back and forth. The guest poster who wrote this has some concerns that I would agree are legitimate. However, some of the statements are outrageous. The comments get even more interesting.

First of all, she is worried that this person would fall off the derech. I think this is more likely with a BT because a convert has to fight so hard for their conversion. Second, she is worried that there will be questions about the Jewish status of the children, that they will be revoked. Ok, there may be problems with Eretz Yisrael, however, I think this is the minority of cases. Furthermore, I've heard of BTs getting hassled, too. Certain cities in EY are supposed to be more problematic in this regard. Third, Daas Torah adds that now one has to worry about upsetting their spouse with regards to the commandment to love a ger. Oh, come on! This is not what the Torah meant by love the ger. Normal lively discussions in the bais are to be expected. Intentionally not considering an otherwise compatible shidduch BECAUSE they are a ger/gyoress, however is not loving us.

The first comment on the post is by an Eddie who stuns the blogreaders with, "I do no wish to insult any Gerim, but a shiksa may come out of the mikveh Jewish, but her deep genetic character is still goyish..."  The blog owner chimes in with, "Are you saying that if one has a choice of marrying two women that one should give preference to the ger? The Torah says to love them - it doesn't say affirmative action is required."

Hmmm, that's funny, Eddie, because the way Hashems states in is "when a ger comes to convert" which is interpreted that the ger was meant to convert. As for Daas, now come on! Who really has such a choice to make with such perfect ceterus paribus? So don't go to a shadchan and ask for a ger but, agree to consider one. If a shadchan tells about someone and you suspect they are sending a convert to you because you agreed to consider one and not becauase it's a good match, you ask, "why is the person being suggested to me? I'm not hearing any common threads between us." I had a situation where the same shadchan kept suggesting over and over this same convert who was younger and wants a thin girl. I asked for older, up to ten years. Also, I'm not thin. I'm not fat, but I'm not thin, either.

I think, though, people have to start thinking about what's really important. This is not Subway. You can't stand there and tell them, "one of those, one of those, one of those, no-not that. one of those..." You think about what's important and you go from there. Incidentally, "stack or scrape?" is not important.


  1. In regard to the poster, specifically in reference to her fear that marrying a ger would cause the FFB spouse to go off the derech, I think this is a complete pile of s#&t. First of all, as long as we are talking about a committed ger who came to Yiddishkeit honestly, such a type of person is not going to suddenly drop everything. If they do, they would probably have other personality issues that would be enough for deciding that they aren't right for marriage. Secondly, my concern would actually be that the FFB person would be discouraging, stifling, or a sort of buzz kill for the ger, perhaps dragging them down. I think that the original poster on Daas Torah needs to come to her senses.

  2. A Jew is a Jew, anyone who thinks otherwise is confused and not serious about Torah observance and should hang off a cliff amongst other things. I think they should live on their own little BS non-Torah island and leave civilized society alone. Seems to me these are the same people that want to dictate who goes to Heaven, who IS a Jew, and any other number of things and this in turn renders their opinions null and void for a whole host of reasons that I'll not expound on here. These people sit around deciding who to be intolerant to, would they let their child marry a widow or an orphan? I bet the topic is never discussed about marrying an orphan yet the same arguments could be made, was the orphan's mother Jewish?

    As for genetic characteristics, that's the biggest example of intellectual masturbation that I've seen yet this year...where do you find these people? These people are best left to their own crap.

  3. The (perhaps incorrect) way I've thought of converts is their Jewish neshama resides in a body that was inhabited by the non-Jewish neshama. Thus, the memories and molecules from treif food eaten pre-conversion are physically carried over, but this idea of non-Jewish genes overriding behavior I disagree with.

    Sincere geirim are statistically much less likely to go OTD than FFBs by and large, I'll wager. OK, family issues. If a BT's family is secular, I'd be worried that they could feel it is good for a grandchild to have some secular experiences and philosophies too. Or sneak some chalav stam to the grandkids while babysitting. A BT is going to feel compelled to trust their non-frum family's involvement with their children much more than a ger would.

    Geirim being repeatedly rammed in with unsuitable (not frum, etc.) people is so unacceptable. I express that someone being a ger should have no weighting when a match is being considered. I'm sure that does lead to more non-matches being sent, but it's just part of the price of finding the right one...

  4. Ok, but we don't believe in Heaven and Hell.

  5. Let me put this as indelicately as I can:

    The post you are referring to was superseded only in it's irrelevance by some of the idiotic comments that were to follow.

    It never fails to amaze me just how myopic and detached from reality some people can be.

    I am outraged and I am tired.

  6. How to answer the question (at least for a man):

    Are you a Kohen?

    No? Then, go ahead and marry a Giyoret.

  7. I am the author of the post on Daas Torah.

    If you have not already, please read the comment I posted last Friday afternoon.

    If I had to do it again, I would have placed more emphasis on the problem of retroactive annulment of conversions than the issue of converts being OTD. While most of those cases are in EY, there have been a few here. In any case, we all have a positive mitzvah to go on Aliyah. So, even if it is only a problem in EY, it is still a problem IMO.

    As I said in the first sentence of the original post: "I write this with a great deal of trepidation. G-d Forbid that I should cause any more pain to any ger tzedek."

  8. For one's spouse (or oneself) to go OTD is a risk; FFBs, BTs, or gerim. I'm not a social scientist, so I don't know if there are any studies on percentages. Given various issues in the frum community, I suspect not.

    In my lifetime, I have seen people go OTD; FFBs, BTs, and gerim.

  9. Honestly, I did see that you posted that but, I had been meaning to put up a post on this subject myself because of items I've been seeing on blog comments and comments in the Frumster forum.

    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.

  10. This past comment is also the beginning of a new discussion.