5/24/2007

Would Rut Have Been Accepted Today?

The answer to this one is simple (and is actually the beginning of my response to the RCA-Rabbanut agreement): there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that Rut’s giyur would have been accepted by the Rabbanut if it existed then. Of course, that’s a bit misleading – there w1uld have been some encouraging the wholesale conversion of Moabite women, and others saying that none can convert, and if they did, the conversion is invalid.

The Gemara discusses, in the 2nd Chapter of Sanhedrin, how even in the times of David Ha-Melech there were still those who cast aspersions on his yiches. Ploni Almoni didn’t want to touch that one, either. Boaz had a family tradition that Moabitesses weren’t included in the prohibition, but family traditions hold very little weight in large bureaucracies.

I can also only imagine what the Rabbino-pundits were saying about Boaz the night he died, which, according to tradition, was his wedding night. Especially after the original husbands, Machlon and Kilyon, also died/ See? They were punished for being megayer her and marrying her.

Heck. There are dayanim who are retroactively annulling the conversions of well-known and respected Rabbanim. I can only imagine someone trying to undo Rut’s conversion. Look what she has against her:

  • There’s a question whether a Moabitess can convert in the first place
  • She converted in order to marry
  • Boaz, who paskened that her conversion was OK, then went and married her. Isn’t that like a guy being me’id that a woman’s husband died, in which case he’s forbidden to marry her? Certainly seems fishy…

So what does this have to do with the RCA? Stay tuned.

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