Concerns voiced by gedolei Yisroel shlita that civil
marriage will be introduced into Am Yisroel, inevitably
leading to breaches in the walls of Yiddishkeit,
proved justified when Justice Minister Daniel Friedman
told reporters he plans to arrange civil marriage for Jewish
couples, in addition to the arrangement for non-Jewish
couples Chief Rabbi Amar agreed to one day earlier.
Maranan verabonon are deeply concerned over the
proposal to allow civil marriage because there would be no
way to verify the marriage candidate's declaration that he or
she is not Jewish, and because once civil marriage is
established at all, the High Court is liable to interfere by
forcing the Interior Ministry to recognize civil marriage
between Jews as well.
Just hours after reports of the agreement reached between the
Justice Minister and the Chief Rabbi, Prof. Friedman said
during an interview that he will work to advance a similar
arrangement for Jewish couples who prefer a civil marriage.
In another interview the Justice Minister said, "I hope we'll
be able to continue in this direction. The [goal] is to keep
reaching consensual agreements, [which] is easier, simpler
and in the long run better for both sides, although on both
sides there will be groups that will not agree to these
The agreement reached between the two drew harsh criticism,
both of Shas for supporting the proposal (saying there are
two halochos in Am Yisroel) and Chief Rabbi Amar, who
made this dangerous agreement with the Justice Minister.
Prominent rabbonim and dayonim said that on an issue as
fundamental as changing marriage and divorce laws a move
should not have been made without the consent of gedolei
Yisroel. "We view with great seriousness the fact that
Chief Rabbi Amar arrived at a final decision with Justice
Minister Daniel Friedman without seeking the opinion and
consent of gedolei Yisroel on such a fundamental
matter. There is no doubt that the secular establishment is
looking for cracks so that in the near and distant future the
law can be expanding to all residents in the State of Israel,
and is even looking for partners and collaborators to promote
this goal," they said.
"A move was made independently, with grave disregard for
maranan verabonon gedolei Yisroel shlita," they said.
"We urge all parties involved not to cooperate in this matter
since maranan verabonon gedolei Yisroel shlita have
stated their opinion that the proposal is dangerous and is
liable to bring civil marriage into Am Yisroel and to cause