The first argument in the newly sworn-in 24th Knesset took place on Wednesday morning between the first Reform Rabbi to become an MK, Gilad Kariv (Labor) and Noam MK Avi Maoz.
Kariv spoke from the plenum about the state of Israel cultivating a commitment to all Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora – to all streams of Judaism.
“As long as the state of Israel isn’t willing to recognize all the streams of the Jewish people, Israel’s investment in the Diaspora won’t be of benefit,” Kariv said. “Because despite the investment people won’t accept being told that they’re second-rate or third-rate Jews.”
MK Avi Maoz responded: “A Jew is whoever the highest halachic authority, which is the Chief Rabbinate, determines is a Jew. There’s a difference between individual Jews and streams or movements. There are no streams in Judaism. There’s one Yahadus according to the Torah. And these streams are new, but Yahadus is over 3,000 years old.”
“It’s impossible to mislead the public and say that everyone can establish their own Judaism. Just like I can’t establish an academic institution and call myself a professor, it’s the same thing in Judaism. There is only one Judaism.”
Kariv interjected: “You’re a small minority. This is a Jewish and democratic state, not a halachic state.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)