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Rav Ariel: I Will Not Marry Some Giyorim

arielRamat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel Shlita explains that he too is among the critics of the bill presented by MK Elazar Stern which plans to permit many more rabbonim open independent giyur centers, to create an atmosphere of competition. Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron and others have expressed support, confident the competition will result in less bureaucracy and improved service for citizens.

The Bayit Yehudi party has the right of veto on all matters of religion and state. The party is yet to announce its position.

Speaking with Srugim, Rav Ariel adds “It will create illusions for some giyorim and create problems that will prevent them from getting married. I do not understand why they are doing this”.

When asked about the situation vis-à-vis dayanim, Rav Ariel states that today, there are complaints dayanim are too lenient and not too machmir. He does not understand how making the field competitive will in any way improve the giyur process.

Rav Ariel explains that regarding giyur there is ‘כח העדה’ and since the Chief Rabbi of Israel signs on conversion documents, he must set the standard and there cannot be a situation in which there are varying standards. He explains today’s system represents the norm seen in Eretz Yisrael and worldwide and opening this up to competition to infuse leniencies is not acceptable.

Rav Ariel warns that if the bill passes into law it will result in serious problems that will have to be addressed by rabbonim. He details that as a chief rabbi of a city he will have to accept some of the giyorim while others he will not accept. He explains that under the current system there is one norm and one standard. He believes that if passed into law, there will be converts that will not be eligible for marriage and he questions why this is being done.

When asked to comment on allegations that chareidim have taken over the Rabbanut, Rav Ariel explains regarding giyur the opposite is accurate and the chareidim are constantly shouting the Rabbanut is too lenient. He explains the chareidim are in no way running a monopoly on giyur.

The rav was asked to comment on the current situation in which the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is under attack from both sides, from the chareidim for leniency and the other side for being too strict.

He responds “As a rav, I must explain that when I give a psak and both sides are unhappy, this is a sign that I am correct.


The Ministerial Law Committee approved the bill. The only minister to oppose it was Uri Ariel, who followed the instructions of Rav Dov Lior Shlita. The bill will now float between the Justice, Religious Services and Interior Ministries as they prepare it for Knesset, where they hope it will be passed into law.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

2 Responses

  1. Isn’t it a pity that the haredi parties and Shas blocked the elevation of this choshive talmid chacham to the post of Chief Rabbi both this year and ten years ago?

    We could have had a serious talmid chacham and torahdik voice, instead of ten years’ ago’s political hack and this past year’s political hack.

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