A meeting took place on Tuesday of the Ministers Yaakov Litzman (construction), Yaakov Avitan (religious affairs), and Zeev Elkin (Higher Education and Water Issues), and the Sephardic Cheif Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef. The topic of the meeting was how to prevent the decision of the High Court of Justice allowing women to take rabbinical exams through the Rabbanut and get certified as Rabbis, from coming to pass in practice.
During the meeting, Rabbi Yosef said, “We will not allow some to receive Smicha from the Rabbanut. If we have to, we will cancel all testing for the Rabbunt if the High Court forces us to test women. If they force us to test and give smicha to women, I will instruct all echelons within the Rabbunt to refute this in any way they can and I will demand that all testing and programs to prepare for the Rabbaunt be stopped.”
Minster Avitan said during the meeting that: “Halacha as well as Jewish tradition, which the Rabbanut has sworn to uphold, prevent the giving of smicha to women. If women would like to take tests in the study of Talmud they can do so under the framework of the Ministry for Higher Education. Such tests already exist in numerous universities around the country.”
Minister Litzman added that during the cabinet meeting this week he brought up the subject and told the rest of the cabinet that he would leave the coalition should the Rabbanut be forced to ordain women for the Rabbanut, Dayanut, or Halacha.”
At the end of the meeting, it was decided that the appropriate people should meet again and make sure that all of the details are in order. They also said that they would put together a comprehensive plan to combat the decision by the High Court of Justice.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)