With the Giyur Bill set on the Knesset agenda for next week, Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita met with Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita. The meeting took place on Thursday 6 Marcheshvan. It should be remembered that Rabbi Druckman was the head of the state giyur program. Rabbi Yosef met with him in the hope of preventing the bill from being voted into law next week. The meeting was held in Rabbi Yosef’s apartment in the Sanhedria neighborhood of Yerushalayim.
Rabbi Yosef detailed the Chief Rabbinate’s objections to the bill as well as the fears surrounding a new situation in which giyur is facilitated. Rav Yosef referred to both the original bill that was to have been passed by the government as well as the bill scheduled for a Knesset vote next week.
In a letter Rabbi Yosef wrote to Rabbi Druckman, the Rishon L’tzion explains the government is placing the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and rabbonim in Israel and around the world in a situation that will make it difficult to accept these converts.
Rav Yosef explains “as such, we cannot accept either version of the bill”, adding he sent the same message to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a meeting earlier this week.
Rabbi Yosef calls on Rabbi Druckman to use his name as the former head of state giyur to warn against this bill and to warn of the consequences of passing such a bill.
Rabbi Druckman earlier in the week spoke with Kol Berama Radio, using the interview to express his opposition to the bill. However, he did not call on the Bayit Yehudi party to break away from the coalition over the matter of the upcoming vote on the bill.
There are reports on Thursday afternoon that agreement for a compromise bill has been reached between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid. Details to be presented to the cabinet at Sunday’s meeting.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)