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What is it with all these "conversions" lately?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Sivan 11, 5776
With all the intermarriage and lack of marriage between Jews in this generation, shouldn’t we focus our Jewish resources on making shidduchim between Hebrew men and Hebrew women rather than going out of our way to convert all these shiksas, thus diluting our historical and genetic connection to the history and land of Israel?
Jewish law is extremely sensitive to the needs of our nation, but also those of the individual, so morally, we can’t reject someone who earnestly wants to be Jewish. In general, ideals are not at the expense of each-other, for there are scores of mitzvot and topics which preoccupy us, and we must do them all! How much more-so in this particularly complex generation, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, in the shadow of mass assimilation, but with the shining light of the national rebirth and ingathering of the exiles, we must busy ourselves with shiduchim, as well as conversions, and many other challenges, as well. We worked, prayed, corresponded, and protested for several decades (mainly between the years ’69-‘89תשכ"ט-תשמ"ט/) for the freedom of aliya for our 3,000,000 brothers who were in the USSR, the most assimilated exile in Jewish history, knowing very well that realistically, the only way many will come is with their non-Jewish spouses [although “miraculously”, because anti-Semites didn’t want to marry Jews, about 80% did marry Jews!]. Now that Hashem has answered our prayers, and has brought back the most assimilated galut ever, at the last moment before getting lost, we can’t just abandon them. We cannot dictate to Hashem how to redeem us, but rather must thank Him and realize that these challenges are part of the “package deal”! In addition, converts are 100% Jewish and their halachic conversion doesn’t “dilute” any genetic or historical connection whatsoever. In short, we must and can, meet all of the challenges which Hashem sends us.
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