Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Av 5764 - July 28, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Sharon Supports Civil Marriage Proposal
by E. Rauchberger and Betzalel Kahn

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to a request by Justice Minister Yosef Lapid (Shinui) at this week's cabinet meeting to address the recommendations formulated by the Bar-On Committee regarding civil marriage registry in Israel.

The committee was headed by Ronny Bar-On, a member of the Likud, but the recommendation is one of the pet demands of Shinui and was included in the original government agreement. The other members of the three-man Knesset committee are the National Religious Party's Nissan Slomiansky and Shinui's Ronnie Brizon.

Sharon said committee members would be invited to the next cabinet meeting to present the report to the ministers. If the recommendations receive government approval, an alternative to religious marriage would be set up in the State of Israel. Lapid told reporters that if the proposal is accepted "a parallel authority for registering couples would be set up. Those who register there will not be married according to religious matrimony laws but will be eligible for all of the legal rights granted to those who marry through the Rabbinate."

Such a proposal upsets one of the central aspects of the status quo agreement reached between the religious community and the secular government at the founding of the State. The central requirement for a common marriage standard ensures that the Jewish residents of Israel remain a single people.

In a related matter, the government has decided to form an interministerial committee for religious services that will be charged with overseeing the provision of religious services in the State of Israel in light of the closure of the Religious Affairs Ministry and the partial dismantlement of the local religious councils.

Welfare Minister Zevulun Orlev will chair the committee and members will include Finance Minister Netanyahu, Interior Minister Poraz, Education Minister Livnat, Health Minister Naveh and Minister Sharansky.

The committee will be authorized to accept reports, information and follow-ups on the provision of religious services based on the new arrangements at the government ministries following the dismantling of the Religious Affairs Ministry. The committee will also be responsible for coordinating between the various ministries to improve and promote the efficient execution of religious services.

Political figures noted the committee was set up at the request of Minister Orlev of the NRP, who insisted the government grant him some authority to allow him to claim an achievement to his constituents following the resignation of two senior NRP MKs. Meanwhile state religious services have been collapsing for months and many religious council workers have not received their salaries on time, while others have not been paid at all.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.