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Is a convert allowed to conceal the fact that they are a convert, as long as they don't outright lie or take a position of authority that a convert is not allowed to take?

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    How is this different from anyone else lying about anything else?
    – Double AA
    May 24 at 23:57
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    Cases of embarrassment. May 25 at 1:15
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    IIRC there's no prohibition of lying per se. There's however a branch of theft called Gneivas Daas, which is a kinda fraud. As long as it is not monetary it has no Halachic implementations, besides maybe being somehow just and pious. However, people might claim, that they would act differently had they known that you're a convert.
    – Al Berko
    May 25 at 21:02

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Excellent question. If you haven’t noticed from my previous answers I’m an expert in the subject, living in Guatemala by default I have dealt with many conversions. You have no obligation to reveal you are a convert nor is it anyone’s business. Unless: you are joining a new community and you need to provide proof you are Jewish or are in Shidduchim. If you’re conversion is merely lechumra you don’t have to mention it until you have met a potential match a couple times (a descendant of anusim is considered a full conversion now a days). The Rov of Crown Heights, HaGaon HaRav Zalman Shimon Dworkin z”l once officiated a wedding of a convert lechumra and a Cohen being that as the term implies, when there is a Chazaka(1) that the person is Jewish he/she only goes through the process of conversion out of doubt. Even if you are a full convert there’s no obligation for you to explicitly express you are a convert in a resume, that’s up to the other side to find out when making reference calls. Nevertheless, most of the times in Shidduchim it’s better to be upfront about things. When it comes to getting called up to the Torah I asked a Shailoh to a prominent Rov who said that although lechatchila it’s better to use ben Avrohom Avinu, in a case where the person is sensitive you may omit Avinu or even say ben Reb Avrohom. A convert who’s biological or adoptive father is Jewish or another convert in a case of embarrassment or feeling uncomfortable because of Kavod Habrios he may be called up by the name of the person who raised him. It is evident from various Gemaros that you are allowed to lie in cases of embarrassment whether you are the subject or someone else. In truth there is nothing to be ashamed of in this case but you don’t have to carry the title as a badge. The same Din applies regarding a Baal Teshuva. If a random person asks you if you are a Ger directly and you’re not comfortable with answering, I suggest you somehow cleverly dismiss or ignore the question and change the subject making it clear you don’t want to touch it. Hope this answered you’re question!

  1. The Din might be different when the Giur Lechumra is done because there is an essential Sofek without a Chazaka like in a case of IVF where the egg belonged to a gentile Jewish woman. In such a case I don’t know if the Giores Lechumra may marry a Cohen. See this Teshuva.

Link Link Teshuvos about how a Ger gets called up to the Torah.

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  • Thank you very much this answer was very satisfying :) Do you know the source for that Gemara that you can change the truth? I feel as though I remember reading that a man can go by a different name than that of his father if he is embarrassed of him but I can't seem to find it now.
    – BID
    May 25 at 0:54
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    Brachot 43b and Avoda Zara 58a May 25 at 1:06
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    Actually you’re allowed to outright lie in a case of embarrassment but it’s better not to do so that’s why I wrote “change the truth”. I’m gonna change that and add the details. May 25 at 1:08
  • Thank you very much Yehoshua you've been very helpful and kind :)
    – BID
    May 25 at 1:18
  • You’re welcome! Blessings for a Kabbolas HaTorah BeSimcha UbePnimiyus. That’s the Chabad Nusach (: May 25 at 1:23
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A convert is inevitably forced to reveal his past in certain cases. One such case would be a marriage, in which not only is it standard practice for the officiating beis din to require proof of one's Jewish identity, but also where his name will be recorded on the kesubah as "ben Avrohom Avinu". Similarly, when called up to the Torah a convert will be revealed for the same reason.

Nevertheless, a convert doesn't have to reveal his status to everyone. Additionally, there is a mitzvah to not embarrass others (based loosely on Vayikra 19:18, 25:17), so if a convert would become embarrassed if his past were revealed, it seems to me that one should not spread the information when not absolutely necessary.

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    'his name will be recorded on the kesubah as "ben Avrohom Avinu". Similarly, when called up to the Torah a convert will be revealed for the same reason.' From my observation, I haven't seen converts have the "Avinu" part added to their fathers name, it's usually just "Ben Avraham", which doesn't definitively indicate he's the son of a convert. Someone might just have a dad named Abraham. May 25 at 0:20
  • There is precedent of converts using a different name for their father aswell, for example Rav Samuel Bar Yehuda. The Rabbi is praised for revealing that he is a convert (as it was previously a secret). Yevamot 101b 16. But according to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel a convert does have to be clearly defined as such in a get.
    – BID
    May 25 at 0:35
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    Thank you very much Ezra, you answer was very helpful for my learning :)
    – BID
    May 25 at 1:21
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    I have known a situation in which an adopted ger is known using the name of his adopted father rather than ben Avraham. May 25 at 3:05
  • @sabbahillel I was just wondering about that… I found a Teshuva about a case of a Ger who’s father is Jewish and raised him as his son, if it causes him embarrassment he ma use his father’s name instead of Ben Avrohom Avinu. I added the link above by my answer. May 25 at 3:36

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