JERUSALEM (Jun. 25)
The former Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Shlomo Goren, elaborated Wednesday on his sharp criticism of the Interior Ministry’s new regulation that requires the word “converted” to be stamped next to the designation “Jewish” on the identity cards of converts to Judaism in Israel.
Goren said on a radio interview that the ruling was totally contrary to halacha, Jewish religious law. According to halacha one is absolutely forbidden from putting any stigma on a convert once the conversion procedures are completed. “He should not be reminded that he is a convert,” Goren said.
The Orthodox rabbi added that the new regulation did injustice to most converts since they observe Judaism more strictly than secular Jews. He stressed that converts are equal to other Jews and even have privileges other Jews do not have. “It is a mitzva to love the convert,” Goren declared.
Meanwhile, Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives warned Tuesday that the new regulation would create divisions within Jewry and distance Israel from the diaspora communities. Dulzin spoke at a meeting of the Coordination Body, a panel of senior Cabinet ministers and Jewish Agency leaders.