Shalom K’vod Ha Rav,
I am writing you to ask you a question regarding my situation.
My father Z”L was Israeli and halachically Jewish. He wasn’t observant however, although he was very knowledgeable on Halacha. My mother is a convert (she did an orthodox giyur, registered with the — Beit Din). Yet, in line with my father, she did not observe all the mitsvot, including the most important ones. My brother and I were raised conservative, but certainly not orthodox.
BH I met my husband very young and we are now doing Teshuva, it has been a process but we are so happy to finally be doing the right thing. Now my question is regarding my status: my understanding is that a convert who doesn’t follow Halacha is not valid, especially if there was no intent to lekh’atkhila. And that their children are mamzerim. This made me very sad, upset and worried but at the same time i know that I’m doing right by living according to Torah. My husband is now very worried that my mother’s conversion is meaningless and that I am subsequently not Halachically Jewish, and that I do not have a Jewish Neshama. This would also affect our two little girls, which worries me the most.
I would like to mention that my mother believes in Hashem, and that she was attracted to Judaism before she met my father Z”L. She attended lectures and went to a liberal shul. My parents met at a common Jewish friend, and my father insisted that she make an orthodox Giyur for the sake of their future children. I asked my mother why she did not follow Halacha and if she never intended to, why she did the Giyur. She said that many of the mitsvot seem outdated and not so relevant to the modern day. She always tried to be a good person, help others, be kind, give tzedaka. She also said that it was very important to her that her children be integral parts of Am Israel. She truly believes in Hashem, but she dislikes constraints. On the other hand she is very respectful and when she visits us she keeps Shabbat and Kashrut, and doesn’t question our ways.
These thoughts have been haunting me and I don’t know what to do. I am afraid of discussing this with my Rabbi as I’m scared of being rejected, and worse having my children rejected. If my mother’s giyur isn’t valid in the eyes of Hashem, then my Ketubah is void and my children are mamzerim and goyim. These thoughts make me want to cry but I want to do the right thing. If anything needs to be corrected, I’ll do what it takes. My husband and I are orthodox, we keep the mitsvot to the best of our knowledge and we’re continuously learning.
What is your opinion on my situation? My hope was that the Giyur was done in front of a proper orthodox Beit Din, and I was born after that, so hopefully it counts. And no matter my parents’ choices, I am learning and living according to Halacha to the best of my knowledge (it will be a learning process until my last day on earth).
Thank you for taking the time to read this mail.
Wishing you a Pessah Casher ve Sameach.
You concern is understandible, but your situation is not as bad as you think. You and your children are definitely not mamzerim, as that would only apply if your father bore you through a relationship with a married woman, which doesn’t seem to be the case, so you don’t have to worry about that. Your only concern is regarding your mother’s geirus, which does sound questionable, and in order to determine this you would need to talk to a Rov in person. Even if the geirus is questionable, the bais din can perform another geirus for you, and your children. You can contact R’ Ehrentreu or R’ Gelley at thier Bais Din in London. It is called United Synogouge, and the phone number is 44-208-343-8989. They will be able to help you out and walk you through any processes that may be neccessary.
If you need any additional help feel free to contact us again