Litzman Threatens To Quit Government As High Court Permits Women To Take Rabbanut Tests


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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)


  1. Fine, let Litzman quit. He should never have been allowed in the new cabinet (and in fact, should be under prosecution right now) for his disgraceful behavior in helping that Australian molester woman remain in Israel.

  2. We (in Eretz Yisroel) saw all the meshugas going on in America and around the world, with the PC, gender and lib nonsense, and we brushed it off as only a problem for “them”. But unfortunately, as always happens, if we don’t care enough, then soon enough it comes to us too r”l.

  3. This whole article is based on a false premise. The Supreme Court ordered that women be allowed to take the tests given by the Rabbanut for Smicha and that if they pass, they be given the same recognition as having a “To’ar Rishon” (a Bachelor’s degree – a BA or BS in the US) for the purposes of government-regulated employment, where certain jobs require such a degree in any subject or provide for higher pay to one who has such a degree. The Supreme Court DID NOT order that women be given Smicha – that is not within their purview, and was not something that they addressed.

    It looks like Minister Litzman and his party colleagues are looking to make a fuss about something that’s not a big deal at all – the spread a falsehood that “the Supreme Court is making us ordain woman Rabbis – Gevald! Reform!” to rile up their followers and get them to “rally to the flag”, then they can announce that they stopped this major catastrophe and should therefore be seen as heroes. It’s called playing politics, and the Chareidi parties do it at least as much as anyone else in Israel.

    an Israeli Yid

  4. IF one has a “state religion” it means that the “state” controls “religion”. This is something that many religious Israelis don’t understand. It means that the ultimate authority in religious matters is not going to be this rabbi or that rabbi, but will be the political leadership. If the Israeli political system authorizes something that we consider to be halachically unacceptable, tough luck for us. If a Yid in Eretz Yisrael wants the freedom to do Torah and Mitsvos, he needs to give up accepting government funds.

    Note that the structure of an “official rabbinate” in Eretz Yisrael is on a British model, one in which members of the political leadership, many if not most of whom are not Anglicans, choose the leadership and doctrines of the Church of England. Under the American model, the government has no say in halacha or leadership of frum institutions. It is nice when the government gives money, and they have a phrase for that, “selling you soul to the devil”.