Q. I’m a Yeshiva bochur learning successfully in a well known Yeshiva and I plan to stay in learning after I get married. I became aware since I became bar mitzva that I’m an adopted child, and I underwent as a baby a proper gerus kehalacha. I recently also became aware that it is possible these days in this state, to find out who your real parent were.
I was able to find out from other adopted kids from the same adoption service, that there is a chance that some of my biological forefathers were actually Jewish. Naturally I have a great natural desire to find out who I am and if I may be even a Cohen.
I’m very interested to know what Horav Miller’s opinion is if I should pursue and continue in my search. According to the Halacha, do I have to proceed so I will marry correctly and not do any issurim? My parents left the issue open to my decision. What is the correct thing to do?
A. Igrois Moshe (Y.D. 4: 104) rules that for all practical purposes we follow the holchin acharei harov majority rule, and an adopted child is usually after proper gerus considered a ger.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that you are not obligated to research and find out what your genealogical background is. The Rov added that there is a possibility that this type of search may turn out detrimental to you and it may be better not to pursue the search. There are other more meaningful ways to understand your true spiritual identity and who you really are and what are your particular ways in life to follow. (See Introduction to Mesilas Yesharim).
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a