In his letter sent to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, the legal advisor of the nation’s batei din, attorney Rabbi Shimon Yaakobi explains the committee to appoint dayanim must convene immediately and appoint new dayanim as the batei din are on the verge of collapse. Yaakobi explains his letter is on behalf the President of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Courts, Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita.
Yaakobi explains that the appointments have been delayed for years and as a result of current political realities, the expected appointments are frozen for at least six additional months. Yaakobi details the system is short five dayanim [out of a total of seven] on the Rabbinical Supreme Court and 14 dayanim in regional rabbinical courts [of a total of 89]. He adds that in coming months there are some others who will be retiring.
Yaakobi points out according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, in 1960 there were 129 judges serving in the nation’s courts and in 2013 that number was 652, representing a growth of 400%. However in the rabbinical judicial system there were 63 dayanim back in 1960 and in 2013, only 90, representing a growth of 42%. He adds that the rabbinical courts are crumbling under the pressure and years of discrimination as the rabbinical system has not been permitted grow in line with the population and number of cases.
Yaakobi adds most dayanim are truly committed and are doing their utmost but in light of the realities cited, they cannot begin to expect to keep up with the case load. He adds they are working tirelessly to assist agunos and others, but they simply cannot be expected to operate in today’s current reality.
Yaakobi reminds the attorney general that two years ago, prior to elections for the 19th Knesset, he authorized the appointment of 12 justices to the magistrate and traffic courts and they entered their posts eight days before elections so there is a precedent for such action.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)