Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Rabbi Angel's Blog on Geirut

For a Halachic review of Geirut - the ideal and the practical
See:

http://www.jewishideas.org/articles/more-issue-conversion-judaism

Question
I knew a ger who kept all mitzvot AFAIK

But on December 25 he would disappear and do XMAS, he simply could not give up that early experience.

Any Comments?

KT
RRW

3 comments:

Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

This question about XMAS is a most interesting one as part of the question may be what was in this person's mind at the actual time of gerut. The further question may be the nature of this celebration of XMAS -- is it religious in nature or simply a civic holiday that had roots in a previous religious holiday? If the latter, there may still be a problem because of the mitzvah of b'chukoteichem lo teileichu, but would the potential ger have understood the full extent of this prohibition and that it would exclude even celebrating XMAS in a secular way? If the ger did not recognize this, would his later celebration of XMAS then reflect a lack of kabbalat mitzvot at the time of gerut or not? This is a powerful question, in many dimensions, within this whole issue.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Mikewind Dale said...

Without knowing the individual, one cannot be sure, but from this very brief character profile:

I'd guess that the individual was fully committed to Judaism, and simply was too weak to resist all the old familial and communal traditions that he grew up with. He just couldn't resist the old family get-together, etc. But in general, he was completely committed to Judaism, and his violation was from ta'ava, not out of principle. (I don't think I need to say how tragic and lamentable this celebration of Christmas is. I'm explaining him, not justifying him.)

Moreover, while I cannot be sure, I assume that at the time of the mikvah, he did not plan on celebrating Christmans. Rather, later, after the conversion, he realized he couldn't resist Christmas. If so, then even according to the most strict opinions, those that completely reject Rabbi Uziel, this person would be a valid convert. The Gemara says that if a man arises from the mikvah waters and immediately joins a troupe of traveling idolaters, he is a valid ger; you cannnot get much clearer than that.

Rufus said...

I agree with you Mike its depend on every individual. But i hope to celebrate this chirstmas with my family.
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