Attorney General Menachem Mazuz said Wednesday that the High Rabbinical Court's statement suggesting that the conversions preformed by Rabbi Chaim Drukman, former head of the Conversions Court, should be overturned, has no legal or halachic standing.
Thousands of conversions preformed by Rabbi Drukman and Rabbi Chaim Avior have been called into question, after the High Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem decreed they must be disqualified. The controversial statement was made just days before Rabbi Drukman was ousted as chief of the Conversions Court.
Mazuz was aked to weigh in on the matter by the High Court of Justice, following a petition made by a woman whose conversion was disqualified by the Ashdod Rabbinical Court some 15 years after it was decreed.
Addressing the woman's case, Mazuz said that the Ashdod Court's ruling "was lacking in ways undermining its authority in the matter… moreover, the decision was detrimental to the basic laws of natural justice and procedural fairness."
As for the High Rabbinical Court's statement questioning the validity of Rabbi Drukman's conversions, Mazuz noted that "beyond the fact that the High Rabbinical Court should never had been called upon within this case, the statement cannot be considered binding to anyone not directly involved in this specific case.
"Therefore, the ruling made by the first instance (the Ashdod Court) and the one made by the appellate court (the High Rabbinical Court), and any statement made as to the validity of the conversions performed by Rabbi Drukman over the years, do not apply to anyone not privy to the case."
The Rabbinate, added Mazuz, cannot stop or delay the marriage of proselytes, as long as they can produce the proper documentation.
"As long as a conversion decree has not been rescinded by the appropriate religious authority, no rabbi or marriage registrar has the authority to question its validity," he said.
Attorney Susan Weiss of the Center for Women's Justice, who represented the woman in question, said Wednesday that Mazuz's brief was "good news ahead of the New Year," adding it indicated that the legal system was taking a clear stand in favor of both converts and the common good.