Bintel Brief: Yitz and Blu Greenberg Peer Across the Denominational Divide

Dear Rabbi and Rebbetzin,

I am a convert to Judaism and have been living a “Conservadox” life for about 15 years. My conversion was traditional, with all of the rites, including hatafot dam brit, immersion and questioning before a beit din [rabbinic court] after a period of about two years of study. However, the rabbi overseeing my conversion was not Orthodox. I want to participate in an Orthodox minyan but face the ethical quandary of maintaining my anonymity with regard to my conversion versus divulging the full details of my conversion to an Orthodox rabbi. I believe my conversion was valid under halacha [Jewish law] and that anyone questioning my status is acting outside the bounds of Jewish tradition. But I also respect the halachic process and would not want to compromise the halachic status of a minyan if the other participants viewed my conversion otherwise.

I have three questions: What are my responsibilities under Jewish law in this case? What are the rights of the Orthodox minyan in questioning my status? And what is more important, Jewish unity or adherence to a legal opinion that is not universally accepted?


Yitz and Blu reply:

Blu Greenberg was the founding president of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She is the author of “On Women & Judaism” and “How To Run A Traditional Jewish Household,” among other books. Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg was the founding president of CLAL - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and served as the chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He is the author of “The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays,” “Living in the Image of God: Jewish Teachings to Perfect the World” and “For the Sake of Heaven and Earth: The New Encounter between Judaism and Christianity.”

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Bintel Brief: Yitz and Blu Greenberg Peer Across the Denominational Divide

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