Conversion – Halakhah and Practice by Menachem Finkelstein
Conversion Halacha and Practice deals with the halakhic process of conversion a topic that is on the public agenda in Israel constantly, and that is of great concern to Jewish communities throughout the world. The question “Who is a Jew?” touches directly upon the subject of conversion, the process by which a non-Jew enters the community of Israel. This groundbreaking study examines the entire halakhic literature in the realm of conversion, from the periods of the Mishnah and the Talmud until the present, in order to gain an understanding of the essential nature of this fateful legal process. Special attention is devoted to the application of the laws of conversion in the responsa literature, especially in recent generations. The book illustrates the fascinating ways by which halakhic authorities rule on the concrete queries that are directed to them, remaining faithful to the basic principles of conversion, while taking into account the unique circumstances of the particular case and broader contemporary issues. This work is unique in its legal analysis of conversion. The author complements the halakhic discussion with a description of several relevant historical issues from the annals of the Jewish people, adding an additional dimension to the legal discussion.