Jewish Journal


November 26, 2011

Some further thoughts and an apology about child conversion- Rabbi Hyim Shafner


I want to clarify that my aside regarding giving an aliyha to a goy after he had been called up accidentally as a question of kavod habriot verses an issur d’rabanan was probably wrong.  Though generally kavod habriot is docheh an issur dirababanan (Gemara Berachot 19b), this instance is a case of being motzie others in their chiuv and just as we would not allow a goy to make kiddush and be motzie us, so too with regard to an aliyah. 

One other thing (my thanks to a respected Rabbi in our field for pointing it out)-Though I said that batey din (Jewish courts) do not rely on Rav Moshe’s leniency regarding to ger katan (converting a child) out of fear, this is perhaps incorrect, their motivation may be (and judging others favorably would demand I assume it so), a halachic one, not wanting for halachic reasons to rely on such a leniency.  Though knowing the individuals on the ground and our sociological reality today, in my opinion we should rely on it, nevertheless, I apologize for my tone and assumption of wrong intent.

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