Monday, June 04, 2012


Montreal Birthright

at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks on Mystical Paths


     Are you getting used to me? Have you been following these articles for a while? If so, then you can continue reading. If not, it would probably be better for you to skip this one. It’s another one of those, “Me and my big mouth,” occasions.

     I asked one of the boys in this picture if he would marry only a Jewish girl. He answered that it did not matter. I asked him if his mother was Jewish. He answered that she was a convert. I said, “If it was a kosher, orthodox, conversion, then she was Jewish, and if he didn’t marry a Jewish girl she would break both his legs.

     He answered very sincerely, “My mother would never break both my legs.”

     I said, “Then, it probably wasn’t a kosher conversion.”


  1. Please keep the tone at the kotel reasonably civil as well. Thanks.

  2. Is P. Almonius the same Ploni Almoni from Sefer Ruth?? If so, he was probably the first guy to do Chalitzah to pay alimony. You should just call yourself Reuven or something like that. Anyway, I think Rav Gutman's response was civil and clearcut. It is important not to beat around the bush on issues such as these. A person has to know whether he is or is not a Jew. If he is, then he has certain obligations as a Jew including marrying a Jew. If he is not a Jew, then he has no such obligations. We all have to know where we stand on such basic issues. If the mother did not properly convert, than her son is not a Jew. This was likely the case with Ariel Sharon whose mother never received a Teudat Zehut stating that her conversion was valid at a time when one's religion was on the Teudat Zehut. And see what happened because of him. So it is best that we be open and direct about such matters in order to spare everyone concerned future misery.

  3. I should point out that the removal of the shoe by Ploni Almoni (Or Alimony) at that time was not pure Chalitzah since this was not a case of pure Yibum (levirate marriage) and since Ploni was not Elimelech's brother per se'. But his refusal to redeem Elimelech's field was also a rejection of marrying Ruth because of her tainted Moabite yichus. So if we hold by the opinion that it was Ploni Almoni who removed his shoe and not Boaz who removed his shoe, then it was very similar to Chalitzah.

  4. The name from sefer Rut simply means "anonymous" in modern Hebrew. I prefer not to use my name on blogs where breaking legs is part of Judaism.

  5. I got you. Perhaps Reb Locks should have said it would break his mother's heart. Whether she would go and break his legs because of it, obviously it is not what we should do. Yet, if the boy's mother's conversion was not sincere, I doubt that it would break her heart to see her son marry a non-Jew. In this generation after the Shoah we are all like Avraham, free to choose Judaism again for its Truth and its greatness and its capacity to bring Mankind towards total redemption. So choosing to marry outside of this Faith with a universal goal of perfecting the world under G-d's unchallenged rule should break all of our hearts.

  6. Montreal is an exceptional case. While most of the Jews are not-religious (like most of North America), the vast majority are members of Orthodox synagogues and many, if not most, of the children learn in Jewish day schools. It's important to build Jewish identity before the kids get to college where they are exposed to attractive non-Jews. (though the Jews are also attractive :-)


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