Hagar The Horrible: Son of Leading Reform Rabbi Declared Non-Jew

fackenheim_webIsrael is caught up in an interesting controversy involving a Rabbincal Court. Rabbi Yissachar Dov Hagar, a judge on Jerusalem’s Rabbinical Court, ruled that Yossi Fackenheim, son of the famous Canadian academic and Reform Rabbi, Emil Fackenheim, is not really Jewish. The ruling came as part of a divorce decision and has caused a firestorm of controversy.

The problem according to Rabbi Hagar is that Yossi’s mother did not convert to Judaism until after Yossi’s birth. He converted at the age of two with an Orthodox Rabbinical court in Toronto.

Hagar ruled that there was no need for a Jewish divorce because the conversion was invalid because Yossi did not maintain an Orthodox lifestyle after his conversion. Hagar noted that Yossi was a Shakespearean actor and went off on a rant about non-Jews being anti-Semitic. While he finally agreed to issue a divorce decree, he insisted on adding language establishing that Yossi is not Jewish.

There is growing tension of the power of these Orthodox courts and their political parties in Israel.

For the full story, click here.

4 thoughts on “Hagar The Horrible: Son of Leading Reform Rabbi Declared Non-Jew”

  1. He thinks he’s got trouble. My doctor, you know him, Dr. Vinnie Boombatz? He told me I’m not even human! I tell you, I get no respect. (Insert pulling at tie here. All respects to Rodney.)

    Mike, copy that on the excellent translation.

  2. For those non-Jews mystified by this try this analogy: Think of someone with the intellectual fairness of Pat Robertson, John Hagee and Jerry Falwell, being able to rule on whether or not someone was a “real” Christian and you get to the point where you realize that us Jews can religiously be just as crazy as some Christians and some Muslims. The ultra-Orthodox (haredim) have put forth an interpretation of Judaism that would horrify my Orthodox
    forbears and shame them. They are more invested in their own power than in their piety and/or humility.

  3. This is a really heart breaking story which saddens me deeply. The only thing that can really help this situation (as well as many others pending) is for the orthadox relgious zionists under Rabbi Sholomo Riskin and Rabbi Marc Angel to hurry up and get their alernative orthadox infastructure up and running. Only then will personal status issues such as conversion, divorce etc. get a fair and proper judgement. Sadly, the haredim seek to impose the most stringent interpretation possible over Israeli as well as international jewry and, as we can see,they are now somewhat succeeding (because of the political set up in Israel). This co-oping of jewish law to only the strictest interpretation is both ahistorical and contrary to the normative way the jewish nation operates which grants legitamacy to several different halachic thoughts and approaches.

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