Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Av 5767 - July 26, 2007 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Justice Minister Working to Introduce Civil Marriage

By Betzalel Kahn

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 things."

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 grave breaches."


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