Rabbi Avraham Sherman, who last year retroactively disqualified thousands of conversions that had already been recognized by the Chief Rabbinate, recently annulled another conversion.
This time Rabbi Sherman declared a conversion granted by the Rabbinate to a woman null and void, questioned her Jewishness, ordered her to divorce her husband immediately and stated that as of now her children are to be branded "unfit to marry" other Jews.
Sherman revoked the conversion after he found "flaws" in the process of conversion, which was conducted by the rabbinate. In the ruling Sherman wrote that according to the woman's husband, she paid NIS 10,000 ($2,500) to a rabbi for a "speedy conversion." He also alleged that the woman was not sincere in her acceptance of mitzvot, as she did not go to the mikvah after menstruating.
State will have to decide
Rabbi Sherman's ruling prompted strong reactions among members of the religious administration. Rabbi Moshe Klein, former deputy head of the Chief Rabbinate's conversion program, said that the ruling was "one of the last nails in the burial coffin of conversions in Israel."
Klein called on people seeking to convert to Judaism to wait, because in light of the present situation there was no guarantee that their conversion will eventually be approved.
Dean of Sha'arei Mishpat College Dr. Aviad Hacohen, who appealed Sherman's conversion annulment to the High Court of Justice, said that the current ruling proves that "the Rabbinical Court of the State of Israel could turn into a tiny branch of an extremist, stringent Lithuanian beit midrash."
Hacohen added, "The State of Israel will now have to decide whether matrimonial law is conducted according to these norms, or according to the traditional halachic ways of living Torah, which are peaceful and pleasant."