The Rabbinical Court has jurisdiction over cases questioning the validity of a conversion ruled by either a conversions court or a lower rabbinical court, the Rabbinical Courts' Administration asserted last Wednesday, in a legal brief filed with the State.
The 100-page brief was compiled by Rabbi Attorney Shimon Yaakoby, following a petition against recent conversion annulments.
The courts' jurisdiction, said the brief, "applies when a conversion in questioned in a debate concerning matrimonial law – which is under the rabbinical courts' exclusive jurisdiction."
"A conversion can be annulled if it is proven that the person converted with the intention of deceiving the court," argues the brief, adding that if a person fails to make the necessary lifestyle changes that the court is within right to assume they do not truly intend to convert to Judaism, despite any statement to the contrary.
The rabbinical courts' counsel cited Civil Law ordinances which allow a verdict to be overturned on appeal, should it be proven a ruling was given based on false evidence or testimony.
"A conversion certificate is a piece of paper which cannot create a true conversion… According to the Halacha, every (religious) judge must be allowed to consider the matter Independently, free of outside considerations."
The brief also asserts that the Conversions Court, being one that operate by administrative power alone, lacks final jurisdiction on the matter.
The brief also criticizes "convenience conversions," performed as means of solving the religious affiliation of those determined by the State as having no natural religious affiliation.
Many of those converted that way, concluded the brief, "Have no religious motivation and no affiliation with the Jewish ethos.
"Mass conversion, which lacks true intentions… is a slippery slope which can lead to a de facto split in the Jewish nation."