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A Law of Return For Judaism©

A Law of Return For Judaism© Rabbi David Baum Parashat BaMidbar, 5777/2017
About a decade ago, one of my classmates, a dear friend, asked us to compile a list of questions that will be most relevant for Jews in the 21st Century and beyond. There were many questions that came up – but let me ask you, what do you think are the most pressing questions for Jews in the 21st century?
The answer we collectively agreed upon was: Who will be counted as a Jew?
It comes down to a base question – who is counted among the Members of the Tribe, and who is not counted. In the past, the answer was easy – who is a Jew? But today, the answer is a little more complicated. I think its complicated because of the law of return – who gets to go to Israel.
Law of return, or ḥok ha-shvūt, which was expanded in 1970 from its original form in 1950 states, "The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law... are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse o…