Bill to Diminish the Authority of Israel’s Rabbinical Courts Delayed for Now


amarA bill sponsored by MK (Yesh Atid) Dr. Aliza Lavie which seeks to diminish the authority of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s batei din has been delayed. After former Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Moshe Shlomo Amar Shlita called on Housing Minister (Bayit Yehudi) Uri Ariel to block anti-religious legislation the minister managed to temporarily place the bill on hold.

The MK’s bill would have made it preferential to open divorce proceedings in the Family Court system instead of a beis din. While the matter of a ‘get’ is always handled by a rabbinical court, the MK would like to see all other components of a divorce agreement handled by a civil court and not a beis din. The bill was raised in the Ministerial Legislation Committee on Monday, 13 Teves 5774. Lavie and supporters of her initiative feel the batei din only serve the interests of a small segment of society while the family courts more widely preferred.

When the bill was raised, Ariel, a member of the ministerial committee stated he objects to the bill in its current form and would like to delay it to permit time to consult with the chief rabbis in the hope of reaching a formula that is acceptable to them as well. Ariel praised his colleagues on the committee for understanding, stating “one cannot legislate a bill addressing such a sensitive matter without agreement from all the involved parties”, in this case referring to the Chief Rabbis of Israel.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)