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Pledges of Jewish AllegianceConversion, Law, and Policymaking in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa$
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David Ellenson and Daniel Gordis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804778053

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804778053.001.0001

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(p.165) Conclusion
Pledges of Jewish Allegiance
Stanford University Press

This book has analyzed decisions rendered by Orthodox rabbis throughout the world regarding conversion over the past 200 years. It has looked at the attitudes of many posekim toward conversion and intermarriage as well as their approaches to Jewish law and Jewish communal life. The rabbis' legal opinions also reflect their conceptions of the essence of Judaism and define the borders of the modern Jewish community. These posekim were not just legal arbiters who decided individual cases; they also framed public policy for Jews who have struggled during the last two centuries to address the overarching issues of Jewish identity, status, conversion, community, and religion at a time when intermarriage and religious non-observance have been (and are likely to remain) widespread.

Keywords:   Jews, rabbis, conversion, intermarriage, posekim, legal opinions, Judaism, Jewish identity, Jewish law, religion

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