You are on page 1of 1

Rav Reuven Feinstein, shlita: Kiruv and mixed couples

transcript of recording
definitely a shaygetz and they need to be
A young man comes before us who is
pushed away – because conversion in such
attached to a woman or the reverse and he
a situation is absolutely not lshem
is interested specifically in a relationship
shamaym at all. She obviously wants to
with a non-Jew. We explain to him that the
remain as non-Jew. There is an agreement
halacha is clear that this is prohibited and
amongst the Rabbonim prohibiting
such a relationship places a Jew outside of
conversion in such a case.
the Jewish people. This is definitely the
halacha. [Questioner: Is the opinion of Rav
Reuven that it should be publicly
However in America the situation has
announced that intermarried couples
deteriorated to the point where many of the
should be encouraged to become
Jews have no connection at all with
religious? In other words that
Judaism and Jewish law has no relevance
intermarried couples should come to
for them. They are concerned simply with
seminars or to kiruv programs and other
which person they want to relate to – and it
such things to encourage their increased
is irrelevant whether they are Jewish. So
religiosity?] I don’t know what is done in
someone who is involved in kiruv meets a
those programs. I know however that this
couple or a couple comes to rav by
approach got started in America and then
themselves and says their name is
became popular amongst the rabbis in
Lieberman – an obviously Jewish name –
Europe and then in Israel. There is no
and they want to participate in classes of
question that this approach is different.
Jewish study – both he and his wife. They
[Questioner: Let me clarify the Rav’s
become involved in the Jewish community
words There was a program in Vienna
and help build up the shul or beis medrash.
where mixed couples were invited to
Later it is discovered that one of them is
conferences publicized to attract mixed
not Jewish. So what should we do? If we
couples and in Israel there were meetings
tell them at this point that the non-Jew is
at the Lavie Hotel. Rav Reuven has clearly
not welcome anymore – than the Jewish
stated that this approach is prohibited and
partner also will not come.
this was not included in Rav Eliashiv’s
This issue was addressed to Rav heter. In other words if intermarried Jews
Eliashiv. [Questioner: In other words we become interested on their own initiative
are dealing with a Jew who did not really to Judaism and come to rabbis to find out
understand what being a Jew is and was more then it is obviously a mitzva to
attracted to the pleasant atmosphere of the encourage them and eventually to convert
Jewish community. It was later revealed the non-Jewish spouse if the non-Jewish
that his wife was not Jewish. If we tell him spouse becomes genuinely interested But
that his wife is not welcome anymore – to seek out intermarried couples to
then he also won’t be interested in being persuade them to become interested in
more religious anymore]. Judaism is definitely prohibited.]
Rav Eliashiv permitted in this case Yes. If we intentionally go after
(where they didn’t realize they were doing intermarried couples with the intent of
anything wrong) that it is possible to be eventually persuading them to convert then
mekarev the non-Jew and not push her that is prohibited. But if it develops
away. However she is not to be converted innocently and they eventually become
until she has accepted Torah and mitzvos seriously interested then we tell them that
completely lshem shamayim and that can if she wants to convert than they need to
be no suspicion that she is converting for separate from each other until the wife is
the sake of marriage. This is the essence of converted….
the matter. However in the case where a
person knew that he was a Jew but still
wanted to marry a non-Jew – he is