web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Converted Inheritance

Business-Halacha-logo

Andrew Connor was not born Jewish. He grew up in the Midwest, with almost no Jews around, so Judaism was the farthest thing from his mind. In the course of his military career, though, his unit was served by a Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Hillel. After being seriously wounded and coming close to dying, Andrew had numerous opportunities to discuss the meaning of life with Rabbi Hillel.

Andrew recovered and returned to civilian life. The spark ignited by Rabbi Hillel, though, led him to read about Judaism and have theological conversations with his Jewish coworkers.

At age 35 Andrew met Serena Thompson at a professional convention. She, unlike him, had grown up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood and was familiar with many Jewish practices. After knowing each other for two years they decided to get married.

Over the next few years, Andrew and Serena drew closer to Judaism. They decided to covert. Andrew contacted Rabbi Hillel and asked him for directions to begin the process. Rabbi Hillel connected Andrew and Serena with a rav in their neighborhood who was experienced in guiding potential converts.

After studying for two years and participating in Shabbos on a weekly basis with a host family, the guiding rav referred them to the beis din, which interviewed them and completed the conversion process. Andrew adopted the name Avraham, Serena the name Sara. Their young son Ike, who was also converted with them, was renamed Yitzchak, reflecting their new association with Judaism.

“I feel just like the family of our namesakes,” Sara said to Avraham. “The first Jewish family – Avraham, Sara and Yitzchak.”

Three years later, Avraham and Sara were blessed with another son. “Let’s call him Yisrael,” Sara suggested. Avraham willingly agreed. Yaakov was born four years afterward.

The three boys grew up aware of the special privilege of being part of the Jewish people. They were educated in yeshivas, sharing what they learned with their parents.

Some years later, Serena passed away due to illness, leaving Avraham with his three sons.

Avraham wanted his three sons to inherit his estate equally. He had heard a shiur about the importance of creating a will, and of the benefit in attaching documents to make the will halachically valid. He wondered, though, if there was any need for this, since he simply wanted his assets shared equally by his three sons.

He decided to consult Rabbi Dayan on the issue. He met with Rabbi Dayan and asked: “Now that I am survived only by my three sons – Yitzchak, Yisrael, and Yaakov – is there any halachic purpose in creating a will that the sons share the estate equally? Wouldn’t that happen anyway?”

“There certainly is a need,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “In general, a person who converted – such as you and Yitzchak – is considered as a newly born child. This means he no longer has any halachic lineage do his gentile relatives, including his biological father.” (Yevamos 62a)

“What does that mean in terms of inheritance?” asked Avraham.

“Following the logic that a convert is considered as a newborn child, the convert child should not inherit from his biological father,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “The child is not deemed his legal son, halachically.”

“So what happens with the father’s money if a son converted?” asked Yitzchak.

“If the father remained gentile, only his other, gentile children should inherit him,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, the Sages instituted that the converted, Jewish son also inherit his father, lest the son return to gentile ways to procure the inheritance.” (C.M. 283:1)

“And what if the father also converted, such as in my case?” asked Avraham. “Would his child who converted then inherit him?”

“In this case there is no concern of the child reverting back, so there is no need for this institution,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Thus, the Torah law remains intact, and the converted child has no halachic claim to his father’s estate. The father would be inherited only by the children he bore after he became Jewish, who are deemed his halachic sons.”

“So what does that leave me?” asked Avraham.

“Only Yisrael and Yaakov, who you bore after conversion, would have a halachic claim to your inheritance,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Yitzchak, who was born beforehand, has no halachic claim without a will.”

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Converted Inheritance”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Republican Sen. Kirk at Senate debate on pro-sanctions amendment.
Senate Warns Obama by 100-0 Vote for Pro-Sanctions Amendment
Latest Judaism Stories
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Daf-Yomi-logo

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

Nothing beats some preparation to make it a memorable Seder!

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Do we have to donate again?” some people asked. “Is it fair that we should have to pay twice?”

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

“Halacha differentiates between giving a gift, forgoing a debt [mechila], and granting permission to take something,” answered Rabbi Dayan.

“I don’t accept this,” said Mr. Zummer. “I want you to finish! You’re not allowed to just stop in the middle!”

“That’s what you’re wondering?” laughed Mr. Rubin. “That ring is not mine at all. A relative gave me money to buy it for him.”

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/converted-inheritance/2013/06/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: