COPENHAGEN (Feb. 2)
The local Bnei Akiva, a religious Zionist youth organization, came out today in support of Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior in his controversy with ultra-Orthodox leaders in Israel and other countries on the validity of his conversions. Some ultra-Orthodox rabbis have intimated that conversions performed by Rabbi Melchior were not in struct compliance with halacha, religious law.
In a statement issued today, Bnai Akiva said it rejected completely the criticism of Rabbi Melchior. “Such criticism, levelled without any prior investigation of the facts, undermines seriously our religious life and particularly that of those whose Jewish character is suddenly surrounded with great doubts,” the statement said. “It is our sincere hope that wherever a Jewish heart beats it will be understood that a great injustice has been done and one which strikes hard at our united people and its national ideals.”