Do you know anything about the Beit Din of Rabbi Hafuta/Da’at Torah in Pico?

Many people of color and ex-Kabbalah Centre folks convert to Orthodox Judaism through this Beit Din. The conversion is reasonably priced, even free for some. It’s an intriguing collection of people who pass through its doors. They add vibrancy and excitement to 90035. One troubled woman is on her fourth attempt to convert to Orthodox Judaism and this is her best shot. She’s very impressed by how Rabbi Hafuta’s conversion class apparently revolves around the Zohar and Kabbalah.

Sam*: “I think I know some of the people you’re referring to. More of the bnai conversos who think they’re Jews by birth because they have the same last name as someone killed in the 1500s Inquisition. They have made their way all over California from LA. I’ve seen them but don’t talk to them, they’re like their own nation. I don’t know who this particular rabbi is, but he’s not on the Israeli list. I only know of one legitimate US based rabbi accepted in Israel who has done six weeks conversions (for free), but I’m not publicly divulging his name.”

Rabbi Hafuta is discussed in this interview with his son-in-law:

Another situation, no less serious is when a Cohen marries a convert woman and every week fights to get called up to the Torah. As far as he’s concerned he’s correct; he wants to partake of this special mitzvah like the rest of his fellow Cohanim. But from a Jewish law perspective it’s very problematic. My father in law dealt with this question in a book he authored called “Siftei Daat”. He wrote how to permit it in order to prevent strife between congregants.”

“Thought, caution and sensitivity are paramount in this position. You must use great wisdom to get to the hearts of people and influence them in a way that brings them closer so that they will want to strive for more of their own volition. For example, a family would come to pray Friday night by car. What do you do in this situation? At times it’s better to wait for the right moment to broach the subject even if it seems you should not under any circumstances compromise. This method is tried and proven; the family that drove to synagogue one day decided to give up their creature comforts in their home far from synagogue and moved to a much smaller house so they could be next to the synagogue.

When the goyim send us converts, they’re not sending us their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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