Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs (Bayit Yehudi) Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan used his Facebook page to respond to a decision from the Chief Rabbinate Council. The council decided to oppose the so-called “Tzohar Law”, the Bayit Yehudi plan to regionalize marriage registration. This is not just a minor issue for Bayit Yehudi, but it is “the” major reform it planned for the nation’s religious services. The party feels by regionalizing marriage registration is will facilitate the process and generate less hostility among couples, without compromising halacha.
The Chief Rabbinate however was pessimistic from the get-go, signaling opposition amid fears that the reform plan will lead to questionable marriages chas v’sholom. The Chief Rabbinate announced on Wednesday, 22 Elul 5773 that it opposes the planned reform. The Chief Rabbinate feels that regarding marriage registration it cannot approve leniencies for fear it will result in a compromised system of probing the bride and groom’s status vis-à-vis Jewishness, marital status and other matters.
Rav Ben-Dahan writes “I regret the decision of the Chief Rabbinate to resist the to this process which the Israeli public is so thirsty for and needs so badly…especially because this system also benefits the rabbis themselves, both from a halachic perspective and towards cross-examining candidates and probing information.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)