July 13, 2024
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One Small Note on Conversions

Rabbi Reuven Taragin’s lengthy essay on the current conversion controversy in Israel (“The Conversion Controversy,” February 17, 2022) requires one small correction.

He writes: “On the halachic plane, regarding the conversion of minors, many Poskim (including Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l) believe that the conversion only works if the child’s parents are observant and plan to raise the child that way.”

In Rav Feinstein’s responsa Igrot Moshe (Even Ha-Ezer 4:26: Section 3), he writes explicitly that while the ideal is that minors should be converted only when it is probable that the children will be raised to be halachically observant, he concludes: “And also, even if the children will not grow up to be Torah observant, it makes sense that it is still considered a benefit (zechut) … rather than remaining non-Jews,” and thus the conversion is valid.

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot
Teaneck
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