COPENHAGEN (Jan. 13)
Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior today offered to give “all necessary information” to any envoy who might wish to check the religious legality of his conversions. “All conversions to Judaism carried out in Denmark are objectively kosher,” he said. “I shall be glad to welcome any envoy and put at his disposal all necessary material,” the Chief Rabbi added.
The “Danish conversions,” mostly of spouses of Soviet Jews, had come under fire both in Israel and in the US, the last and most virulent attack on Rabbi Melchior’s conversions being that of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, who said last week in New York that the Danish conversions are “illegal” and “a danger to Judaism.”
If he has been quoted correctly then “the Lubavitcher’s words are an outright lie.” Rabbi Melchior said. He said that the Rebbe, leader of a Hassidic sect with a world-wide following, did not contact him before making his pronouncement. Rabbi Melchior declared, “I must therefore declare that the Lubavitcher’s words are nothing but an outright lie as our conversions are carried out according to religious law and under my jurisdiction.”
(In New York, a spokesman for the Lubavitcher Rebbe told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that when the Rebbe made his remarks in synagogue he mentioned no names and he (the spokesman) did not know why Rabbi Melchior felt he had been maligned.)