Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Tzohar Law:" Torah vs. State Under the Chuppah

כ"ו לחודש השמיני תשע"ד 

Arutz 7: 'Revolution'? New Law Lets Marrying Couples Pick Their Rabbi
Naftali Bennett
Bayit Yehudi Party Chief  and Minister of Religious Services
Couples can now marry in any city or town in the country, select rabbi they feel comfortable with, making Jewish marriage easier.

David Lev, October 28, 2013

The Knesset on Monday night passed on its second and third reading a law that will allow couples to marry in any city or town in the country. The law, popularly known as the "Tzohar Law," was sponsored by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home Party), and was designed to allow couples to more easily choose rabbis they feel comfortable with.

Tzohar Rabbis
The law was passed by a large majority, with 57 MKs in favor and 14 against. All opposed were MKs were from hareidi parties, who have been vehemently opposed to the legislation.

With the marriage “market” now becoming competitive, local authorities will have to ensure that the experience – including registration, procedures, and rituals – is pleasant for couples, Bayit Yehudi said. A spokesperson for the party said that the law would assist some 35,000 couples that get married in Israel annually.(cont.)

(Tip Credit: Sharkskin)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
R' David Stav

This law was NOT "designed to allow couples to more easily choose rabbis they feel comfortable with."*

This law was designed to give more control to the Mamlakhti (undying State loyalist) rabbis, under the guise of "more freedom of choice."

Many were cheering the passage of this law. The Rabbanuth, they said has been controlled by "Haredim." So, now they have Statists instead of rabbis.

MK Shai Piron (Yesh Arid) already has control of the Ministry of Re-Education, and MK Elazar Stern (HaT'nu'ah) is crying for Jews and non-Jews to be buried together.

What's next?

I'll tell you what;s next. Non-Orthodox "rabbis" will be included. The law says that a rabbi must undergo training, and become "licensed" to conduct weddings. But, does the law say what being a "rabbi" means?

It doesn't matter what the law says; it will be contest and handed over to the State of Israel's illustrious justice system.

And, what do you suppose that the Israeli Supreme Court will say?...

There goes the Torah out the window. The Erev-Rav controlled State wins.

Stay tuned!

These newly included "rabbis" will create Batei Din (rabbinical courts) with dayanim pesulim (judges disqualified from being judges) and will produce treif divorce documents, which will invariably be followed by the production of mamzerim - halakhic bastards, who have limited rights in the community, including who they may marry.

Then, what's next?



Tzohar Law? More like Tzo'ah Law.


*"...was designed to allow couples to more easily choose rabbis they feel comfortable with."

David, must you continue to split your infinitives???


Shy Guy said...

With regards to "Mamlachti Dati" rabbis, they are already being Mesader Hupah and Kidushin.

Are you saying that's a problem even without this law?

Esser Agaroth said...

How do you know this to be the case?

This has not been my experience.

Shy Guy said...

That what is the case? That you can go to any local rabbi who is recognized by the Rabbanut and he can be the Mesader?

It happens every day, all over the country.

You need to go to more weddings. :)

In any case, so are you saying that the Kiddushin is not valid or is only Bedi'avad in such cases?

Esser Agaroth said...

I'm not saying anything of the sort,...so far.

What I am saying is that even if you could pick your own rabbanut, mamlakhti (instead of Haredi) mesader qeddushin, now the mamlakhtim have gained more power,...officially.

The State has its "minyons" in place.

What will be the next target? When will they start going beyond the Torah norm?

It's only a matter of time. I'm only pointing out what I believe is one of the signs.

Israel Tachlis said...

I've been thinking about blogging on a particular point regarding issue but I guess I've been too lazy thus far, but b'kitzur it is this - the more the government sticks it's nose into the rabbanut and tries to take control of it, the less people who value halacha over the government will be willing to give any credence to the rabbanut (I dare say even if it does act within the bounds of normative halacha).

We very well could get to the point where the religious community will simply compile databases of which families are married/divorced/converted by an accepted B'datz and anyone not on the list won't be considerable for a shidduch. It's very sad as it will lead to big division in Am Yisrael and would be a nightmare for anyone who's born into a family not on the list and decides to do t'shuva later on life and marry into the frum world. However, it could be the only way to truly play it safe.

It already plays out in kashrus - there is the rabbanut and then private B'datz's. While some may choose to eat rabbanut many will only eat B'datz food even if they aren't willing to say that the rabbanut isn't kasher (though from what I've heard of people who have worked at rabbanut restaurants there are big problems people don't know about). But even those who do choose to eat rabbanut can't argue that B'datz is a higher standard and would undoubtedly be the safer bet if you are unsure.

The same could end up with marriages. Everyone will assume that a B'adatz marriage will be kosher but many won't feel comfortable marrying their children off to kids from families that got married in the rabbanut because how can you really be sure at the end of the day?

I hope it doesn't get to that but I wouldn't be surprised.

Esser Agaroth said...

Israel Tachlis,

Thanks for writing.

You bring up some very good points, like how we must be careful about creating division, and letting humroth get the best of us. (Please correct me, if I've gotten it wrong. I don't want to put words in your mouth.)

The main point I want to make is (gee, I guess I have to work on clarity, huh?), is that the far-left segment of the Erev Rav, the mamlakhti and Haredi segments, and any other segment of the Erev Rav you can think of, wants division.

There are definitely problems in the Rabbinuth, but this "law" is going to make things worse in the long run, with what I believe will invariably follow.

The Mamlakhtim are creating a new religion, which will eventually include un-Torah concepts. For example, Rav Cherlow believes in this demoninational pluralism, which whether he knows it or not includes many un-Torah elements.

Kashruth is an interesting story. The Rabbinuth's job, which they're relatively successful at, appears to be preventing Jews from eating mamash treif.

As far as out of control humroth are concerned, in Jerusalem they seem to be taking care of themselves.

Rav Rubin has been moving into Jerusalem steadily. Eidah Haredis places are changing to Rubin's hashgahah. Most Hassidim will eat at a Rav Mahpud (Teimani) place. although I'm not sure they'll talk about it openly.

The Eidah is losing the battle, and Hassidim and Teimanim and many others are joining each other in the same restaurants. Maybe I'm being naive, but that sounds like a hint of ahduth.


david said...

I was just talking to my havruta about this marriage thing last week. His father is a rav who worked under R. Ovadia zt'l the last 15 years. There is apparently some type of system that has already been considered (I don't know if it's past the 'theoretical' stage), but where the religious community will maintain its own database in the event the government begin trying to completely mandate marriage

Israel Tachlis said...

The comments about achdus and chumras were def intended points, but mainly side points. My main point was what the likely conclusion of all this will be, and how unhappy a future it would be. However if the religious world were to take these chumras, I wouldn't vilify them for it - I'd just view it as them doing what they think is necessary (and what likely is necessary) in order to keep a kosher Jewish lineage in existence.

I don't necessarily agree that the left wing wants division. I don't think they care either way - what they want is power. If fostering division achieves that goal then they will not hesitate to use it but their real goal is garnering as much power as possible. They already have control of the media, academia, and many if not most of the institutions that make up the state itself (Supreme court, Army, Police, much of the knesset, etc).

The one last institution that always seems to allude them is religion. Unlike their American brethren Israelis have, thank G-d, not been swayed by the pull of movements like reform or conservative. Something I've always admired about Israeli society when it comes to Torah is that though a large segment of this country isn't religious, when they do involve themselves in something that involves Judaism such as getting married or going to a house of worship - they at least bother doing it the authentic way. Most Israelis even if totally not shomer mitzvot will still want a frum mohel to circumcise their son and will take that same son to a religious shul for his bar mitzvah later in life.

I think this more than most other things drives the left crazy. Yair Lapid may be able to convince the average Israeli that a charedi Rav is a backwards bigoted caveman leeching off their paycheck. Yet as much as they may believe it they still trust that rav to officiate at their chuppa more than they would trust Lapid himself to do so.

I think that the left believes that if they can completely take control of the religious institutions they will finally be able to pull the populace away from the last independent voice that holds sway outside of their influence. However what I was getting at earlier is that for people who actually care about halacha, they will never stop listening to their rabbanim and instead they will simply stop putting any stock in the corrupted institutions. Take the position of chief rabbi for instance - it has essentially been whittled down to a glorified political position. Who really pays attention to what the chief rabbi says on any given issue and gives his opinion any more credence then whoever is the gadol of their camp or even their own community rav? Not to say current or former chief rabbis weren't great talmidei chachamim. Rather just because they held the artificial post of chief rav doesn't say one thing or another about their level of lomdus and halachik authority and therefore if there is somebody recognized as a greater chacham outside of the rabbinut people will automatically listen to him and not bother hearing what the chief rav has to say.

For example, in halacha I am personally noheg like Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ztz'll and my halacha rav was a close talmid of his. Now it just so happens that he was a chief rabbi of Israel at one point, but for me that makes no difference. If he had never been a chief rabbi I would still go according to his opinions and if somebody else who was a chief rabbi disagreed with him on a psak I wouldn't give the second opinion the time of day since I already have my rav. His psak is the one I go by and just because somebody has a fancy title on their name has no bearing whatsoever on the halacha at the end of the day.

Israel Tachlis said...

So I think for people who the ikkar for them is halacha - for such people if they sense the rabbanut has been hijacked and is no longer necessarily in accordance with halacha they will simply walk away from the rabbanut and stick with their individual rabbanim. That is the irony - the left thinks that by taking over the rabbanut they will be able to control the religious world - however I predict all they will achieve is ruining the rabbanut itself as nobody will any longer take it seriously.

As a side note - as far as the rabbanut kashrut (I'm talking stam rabbanut, not rabbanut mehadrin) it's tricky what you define as "mamash treif." While it's true you will never find any pork being served at a rabbanut restaurant (at least not while Tzippi Livni is not yet in charge) however you may also have a hard time finding a salad with properly washed vegetables. If I remember correctly I think eating pig you are only over one issur, while eating insects you are over upwards of half a dozen.

All in all I think we are basically saying the same thing, just looking at different aspects of it.

Shy Guy said...

Bifro'ach resha'im kmo eisev (Eisav)

Shy Guy said...

Rabbi Simcha Kook: Tzohar Bill - More Illegitimate Children?

Here's a sample quote:

Kook labels Bayit Yehudi's support of the bill as "criminal", firing that "they choose to support the bill without any Rabbinical backing. If people can marry anywhere, there will be a huge upswing in illegitimate children (mamzerut). Every city has a community which knows the members of each party's family, and knows about that family's personal history." Kook then offered a number of possible problems the unfamiliarity could cause. "What if a man chooses to divorce, and marries his ex-wife's sister while the ex-wife is still alive - all of their children are illegitimate," Kook postulates.

Rav Kook's concern should be no different in the rest of the Jewish world outside of Israel, yet Jews have married and divorced for almost 2000 years without a Rabbanut.

Esser, I recall your article with the video from Rav Bar Haim about the Rabbanut being alien to historic Judaism. And here you are now, saying somewhat the opposite.

I am not for or against this bill yet because I don't fully understand why it is bad for any Jew to go to any legitimate Torah observant rabbi anywhere in the world and get married.

Sifrei Yuchsin? I've thought that was a good idea 40 years ago. I don't see this piece of legislation making things any different.

Anonymous said...

With all cynicism aside, the fact that some mamlachti Rabbis are crossing the line in certain things is a completely separate issues. To get married according to halacha, you need to qualified witnesses. It doesn't matter who the meseder kiddushin is. Furthermore, there is nothing in Judaism about having to go to the Rabbinute before you get married. If someone gets married in the US, everything is done directly with the Rabbi. Why should people only be able to be married by certain Rabbis? IMHO, the Rabbinate is turning people off of religion. This is throwing torah out the window

Anonymous said...


With all due respect, I have a problem with the extremes that seem to be proposed here. Either the Chief Rabbinate makes things difficult for most Israelis (because of the "haredization" of the organization) or the "state" has more of an influence (which, in some views, leads to non-halachic practice).

Why do we have to choose between two extremes? If the present system seems to cause many Israelis to have even less respect for religion (because of a perspective that their particular practices are being "shoved down the people's throats), then there needs to be a change. As long as the line called halacha is respected, what is wrong with being as "moderate" as possible?

Again, I respect your opinion, but maybe there is a common sense solution here, and I hope that such solutions will allow more respect for Judaism in Israel.

Esser Agaroth said...

You all have made very good points I would like to ponder before making my next comment.

Aharon, You missed the point.

This is about a shift in control, and the pattern of that shift, and how it benefits the gov't, anti-Torah party line, because the mamlakhtim are rarely willing to see flaws in the "holy" state, and make excellent court rabbis/lap dogs.

Yes, there are countless flaws in the system. This law is worse than making it worse, because it fools people into thinking it's an improvement, and does so, in part by putting more into play the seeds of demonizing Haredim and Haredi rabbis, they planted long ago.

The fact the Haredi leaders aren't helping the situation in the least is irrelevant here.

BTW, I couldn't give a rat's tuchus about what is or isn't done in galuth.

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