Thursday, July 11, 2013

Religion and State in Israel - July 11, 2013

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.
Special edition on Women of the Wall coming soon


Organizations such as Hiddush and the Movement for Quality Government will be justified in their demand to disqualify candidates like Eliyahu and Yosef, in part because the comments of someone who holds a public office are seen as a reflection of the official state position.

Therefore, we believe that for the sake of religious freedom there needs to be a separation. Like all citizens of Israel, rabbis are entitled to full intellectual freedom. 

But in order to provide this freedom the rabbinate must relinquish its state-backed monopoly over religious services and rabbis should stop receiving a salary from the state’s coffers.

If rabbis wish to express their opinions, let them do so as individuals who enjoy the freedoms of democracy, not as representatives of the State of Israel.

By Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie

[Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik] was right. In 1972, the Chief Rabbinate was in a state of disintegration. We can only imagine what he would say about it today. He clearly believed that an independent rabbinate, severed from the suffocating embrace of government, was necessary to address the problems of Jewish life. For that to happen, the Chief Rabbinate must be dismantled, and this year’s government-sponsored election must be the last.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid … was asked to comment on the forthcoming election of the chief rabbis of Israel. 

He replied, “We have Rabbi Shay Piron, No. 2 on our list of Knesset candidates, who was ordained by the Sephardi chief rabbi. I tell everyone who asks me about this to talk to Piron, and I say that whatever is agreed on with him is fine by me.”

Religion and State issues

Jewish Identity Administration

IDF Burial

IDF and Haredim

IDF Hesder

IDF Haredi draft bill

Attack on IDF Haredi soldier

Haredi society


When it comes to reducing inequality, he added, the government is not the only one responsible to take action.

“I hope that those who cause inequality from their behavior, who won’t study the core curriculum, that they will also contribute to it. If they contribute, then it can change,” he said, alluding to ultra-Orthodox schools that don’t teach basic math, science and English.

Long before the extreme Right goes ahead and adds millions of Palestinian Arabs to the country’s population, it would be worthwhile to consider that even without them, at least half of Israel’s children already today − Arab Israelis and ultra-Orthodox Jews, constituting 28% and 20%, respectively, of the children enrolled in the country’s primary schools − receive an education at a level that is below that in many Third World countries.


Aliyah and Diaspora

Temple Mount

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.
All rights reserved.