Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Don't Push Away Converts!

Rabbi Ovadia was quoted as saying that the conversion courts were being overly stringent with their rules on potential converts:"Accepting the yoke of the commandments is essential for conversion," Yosef reportedly told a small group of Shas MKs and functionaries. "But we must not push off converts too much. It is not right to cause them pain by rejecting them." Rabbi Ovadia explained that the Talmud (Sanhedrin 99-100) relates that the patriarch Abraham rejected Timna who wished to become his concubine. Instead, Timna married Eliphaz, Abraham's great grandson through Eisav and gave birth to Amalek, the Jewish people's archenemy. I find this story quite interesting since it's my understanding ( although I'm no experts) that the Sephardic community is very against marrying converts but perhaps that's only the Syrian community.

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