Are R. Barry Freundel’s Orthodox Conversions Still Valid?

I ask historian Marc B. Shapiro: “What do you think of the RCA coming out with a quick statement that all of R. Freundel’s conversions are valid? I suspect haredim now have even more reason to dismiss all MO conversions.”

Marc responds: “Why shouldn’t they be valid. He was not a public violator of Jewish law, so as far as halakhah is concerned, what is done remains valid.”

Selwyn: “We should encourage converts – and welcome them in. Judaism is global (all peoples prayed at the Temple in Jerusalem), pro-peace (we pray for it constantly – in every service), the original environmentalists (Tu Bishvat ) and we have much to offer adherents and society. We also believe sincerely that any path to a legitimate peace-loving God is to be embraced.”

Chaim Amalek: Instead of calling this a “conversion,” I think we ought to follow modern idioms and call it a “neshama reassignment.” We would then call “converts” “TransYidden”.

About Luke Ford

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