Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Well, finally.

It's about time that the State of Israel remembers that it was formed to be a homeland for ALL Jews, not just Chereidi ones.

YNet News
Rabbinical Court ordered to explain conversion annulments
High Court gives Great Rabbinical Court 90 days to explain decision to disqualify conversions preformed by Rabbi Haim Drukman; ascertain its jurisdiction in such matters
Aviad Glickman
Published: 05.19.09, 12:09 / Israel Jewish Scene

...The court, headed by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and the honorable Ayala Procaccia and Elyakim Rubinstein, ordered the court to detail the reasoning which led it to believe it would have the authority to annul the conversions to begin with – a move which cast doubt on the halachic status of thousands of people....

And an earlier, related story:

Bill: Rabbinical courts will not rule on conversions
On aftermath of High Rabbinical Court's conversion annulment, NRP chair calls for stripping rabbinical courts of authority to rule on conversion matters. Rabbi Drukman calls court’s verdict ‘malicious fraud’
Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 05.04.08, 14:36 / Israel Jewish Scene

National Religious Party Chairman MK Zevulun Orlev announced Sunday he plans to propose a bill calling for stripping the rabbinical courts of all authority pertaining to conversions.

"The High Rabbinical Court's political, anti-Zionist ruling about conversions proves we have no choice but to form alternative conversion courts, presided by rabbis who served in the IDF and who pray for the state," he said...

...The court ruling has elicited strong criticism from various groups in the political and religious arenas, as well as women’s rights organizations. The Tzohar Movement of “user-friendly" Zionist Orthodox rabbis called the government to recognize all conversions performed in all factions of Judaism.

The issue at hand is clear - the UO Rabbis have used the Rabbinic Court to wage political and cultural war against other sects of Judaism, and it's high time the State of Israel stepped in. Nobody disagrees that Israel is supposed to be a Jewish State - but "Judaism" can't be defined by only one sect's opinions, or by those who hold that ethnic Jews are somehow not Jewish if they choose to be agnostic or atheist.

It's time the State of Israel stood up for the basic civil rights of all Jews - the right to freedom of religious conscience, for example. Included in that would necessarily be the right to marry or divorce without interference by Rabbis of some other sect, and the right to be free of coercion and have their civil and religious rights respected and recognized by all their neighbors, even the Chereidi ones.

If the State can't accomplish this, then it is a failure. Israel cannot be only a homeland for Ultra-Orthodox or Chereidi. It has to be a homeland for all Jews of all sects (or no sect at all) or it deserves to disappear into the dustbin of history.

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