The Sephardic Hakham is no less devoted to Torah than the Haredi rabbi, but he would act very differently on an El Al flight, Marc Angel explains.
For centuries, rabbis steeped in Torah and Halacha have served as the gatekeepers of the Jewish people. They have determined which non-Jews may join the Jewish people as converts.
Every year, thousands of non-Jews make the fateful decision to convert to Judaism. Some are seeking spiritual fulfillment. Many are married to or planning to marry a Jewish spouse. Others have a Jewish father or grandparent and desire a full sense of belonging to the Jewish people. Some have discovered Jewish ancestry and wish to reconnect with their roots. Many are living in Israel and want acceptance as Jews in the Jewish state. Whatever their original motives, they are a remarkable — and growing — part of the Jewish people.