Stern’s Giyur Bill Passes Preliminary Vote in Knesset

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knessetThe Knesset on Wednesday, 3 Kislev 5774 passed the Stern bill in its preliminary reading in a 45-16 vote. The bill seeks to establish nationwide giyur centers. If the bill passes its first, second and third readings it becomes law. This would result in permitting rabbonim nationwide to perform conversions, essentially taking the process out of the control of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

According to Stern this is not the case as he feels his modified giyur process serves to strengthen state-controlled giyur. He adds “I am not embarrassed to say there are some who feel the process will include leniencies. To the best of my knowledge, the chief rabbis are on board.

MK Yitzchak Vaknin, who was serving as speaker presiding over the session corrected Stern, informing him the Chief Rabbi is not backing his bill was is evident from the Chief Rabbinate statement.

Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett supports the Stern bill, explaining “we remain committed to improving religious services. Dialogue is the key and any unilateral actions taken will be vetoed by us. At day’s end we are a Jewish nation and legislation will be in line with Halacha while it must also be good for the State of Israel.”

“In this case it is good as the partnership with MK Stern and Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan have used dialogue to coordinate regarding Halacha and this is good for the State of Israel. Therefore the cabinet is supportive. However, anyone who believes there will be civil marriage that is not in line with Halacha is mistaken.”

MK Moshe Gafne, who opposed the bill, explains from his perspective, the bill is not in line with Halacha. He accuses Bennett of doing things that are against Halacha. Gafne adds the letter from Rabbi Dov Lior Shlita instructs him not to support the bill, as do other dati leumi rabbonim.

The bill will now go to a Knesset committee where it will be prepared for its first reading.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


2 COMMENTS

  1. I am close with an individual from the FSU that underwent Geirus in front of a Charedi Bais Din in Yerushalyim. The abuse and ridicule that was heaped on this poor individual would make any of us shudder in fear of the retribution from Hashem. It is no wonder this is the reaction to shoddy treatment of our brothers and sisters. What else should we expect when we cannot police our own Rabbonim?

  2. “Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett supports the Stern bill” – this is only partially true. He has said that he supports a bill that will form more batei-din for giyurim, but both he and harav Ben-Dahan have made it clear that the bill proposed by MK Stern requires modification to ensure adherence to halacha. The minister also publicly said that if MK Stern would try to force a bill through without modifying it to the requirements of HaBayit HaYehudi – it would not pass.