In (rare) praise of Rabbi Ovadia - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • 17.01.11 | 03:14 (IST)

    Rabbi Ovadia has just settled the military conversion problem by issuing a (religiously) legal ruling that validated all past IDF conversions. Chief Rabbi Amar is Ovadia's disciple and will now officially approve all such conversions. How was R. Ovadia able to do it without looking at particular cases of converted soldiers which were actually questionable according to principles he upholds (such that the convert would genuinely intend to adopt an orthodox life style)? There is a Talmudic principle, derived from Psalm 119:126, "עֵת לַעֲשׂוֹת לַיהוָה- הֵפֵרוּ, תּוֹרָתֶךָ" (It is time to act for the Lord- your laws have been violated). The Talmud however reads this as "It is time to act for the Lord- violate Your laws". In other words, act now, even in violation of the Law, in order to fix an unusual situation that will be worse for the Law. The danger was that the Knesset will pass a law approving of all IDF conversions, past and future. Rabbi Ovdia must have realized that it would be better not to look with a magnifying glass on the past conversions, approved by moderate rabbis, so that the Knesset will not cause more damage. I give him credit for realism. The Ashkenazi rabbis are less realistic.

    from the article: Peres to Haaretz: Probe of Leftist NGOs harms Israeli democracy
    First published 01:52 17.01.11 | Last updated 01:52 17.01.11
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