web analytics
August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.”

“Would Yisrael, who was first-born after conversion, be considered my bechor, then?” asked Avraham. “Should he be getting a double portion?”

“No,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “If a man had children before conversion his subsequent children do not have the status of bechor [C.M. 277:9]. However, if you want Yitzchak to share the estate, you should prepare an explicit will and attach the appropriate documents to make the will halachically valid. You can contact my office for help in procuring the appropriate forms.”

“Will do,” said Avraham, thanking Rabbi Dayan.

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ZIM ship near Oakland, Ca port.
ZIM Piraeus Successfully Unloads, Moves On to Next Port of Call #BlockTheBoat = #EpicFail
Latest Judaism Stories
Azrielli Tower - Shema Yisrael

A bit of (non-Jewish) history can help us understand this week’s Torah portion: In the early 1500s, the Catholic church was being fundamentally challenged by movements which claimed it had monopolized religious power and used to enrich the church and its officials. The most radical of these movements were a particular sect of Anabaptists. Anabaptists […]

Leff-081514

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

The-Shmuz

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

“But they told me to come in today,” she said. They gave me this date months ago. It’s not my fault if it’s the wrong day.”

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem.

Blind obedience is not a virtue in Judaism. God wants us to understand the laws He has commanded us

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Israel is the only place where we have the potential to fulfill our mandate as the chosen people.

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Do I have to repay the loan?” he asked. “Does Yosef have to reimburse me? What if doesn’t have that sum, does he owe me in the future?”

When Yoram got home that evening, he went over to Effy: “My day camp is looking for extra supervision for an overnight trip,” he said. “Would you like to come? They’re paying $250 for the trip.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

Mr. Haber called Rabbi Dayan. “We sold various household items, including my bicycle, the refrigerator and some professional tools with the expectation of being relocated,” he said. “It turns out we’re staying. Can I annul those sales?”

“You cannot restrain Ari from building a fence on his property,” answered Rabbi Dayan.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: