With all due respect to those who are now coming out with declarations that they will continue to marry outside the framework of the Rabbinate – Let us hear you express an opinion about the marriage of mamzerim. Rabbi Dubi Haiyun was not arrested for having performed outside the Rabbinate, but because he did so for a mamzer (according to the Rabbinate). But Rabbi Dubi Hayoun, with all due respect, would not conduct a wedding for somebody that he considered a mamzer. I’m calling upon you – those who conduct weddings outside the auspices of the Rabbinate – to declare that you have done so, will do so, and believe that it is necessary to marry people who are considered mamzerim by all standards. The concept of mamzerim must be eliminated. Judaism must be freed from the stigma of boycotting people for no fault of their own, and we must say that there are no mamzerim. People are not born mamzerim.
Rivkah Lubitch, is a veteran rabbinic pleader who writes and lectures extensively about feminism and religion. In her former capacity as Director of Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ)’s Haifa office and social awareness coordinator, Rivkah helped redefine the public discourse on aginut through her compelling depictions of the issues and women she represented in rabbinic courts through more than 300 blogs and articles.
The arrest of Rabbi Dubi Haiyun for conducting a chuppah and kiddushin ceremony without a permit from the Rabbinate is a shocking disgrace. Indeed, Haiyun broke the law, but in this case the law itself is a disgrace, a law with a black flag flying over it. A law that states that marriages, even Orthodox, outside the framework of the Rabbinate, will not only not be registered, but they will constitute a criminal offense punishable by up to two years in prison, is a law that had no right to exist in the first place, a law that should be deleted as soon as possible from the Israel’s book of laws, and until that happens, we must ensure that it will not be enforced, just like the law that in the past that defined sex as a criminal offense, which was also not enforced until it was simply canceled.
By the way, this law illustrates how critical the Supreme Court’s power of disqualifying is, because our politicians do not hesitate to exercise the tyranny of the majority, and in this case even the tyranny of the minority that holds the government by the throat. After all, there is really no majority in the public that supports such a delusional law, and it came into the world only because of the surrender to the ultra-Orthodox and the Zionist ultra-Orthodox. And who knows, perhaps the true outcome of this day will be the final burial of the override clause and of the Orthodox monopoly in the field of marriage.
Yair Sheleg is a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, journalist, author, and publicist. Yair Sheleg has been an astute observer of the religious-Zionist world for many years. He served as a reporter for the newspaper Nekuda and was a member of the editorial board of Haaretz.
Stop this now. The Haifa police arrested Rabbi Dubi Haiyun, the rabbi of the Conservative community of Moriah in Haifa for (listen carefully): conducting a chuppah and kiddushin ceremony without the approval of the Rabbinate. Red line crossed. Someone there wants to burn down the nation’s home on us, and just before Tisha B’Av. Someone there does not understand what a unique historical window in time this is, in which the Jewish people have returned to Israel and begun to live there. Someone there thinks that in constitutional violence he will subjugate liberal Judaism and remove it from the face of the earth. That’s what hatred of brothers looks like. That’s how the house was destroyed in the past. My brothers and sisters, Jews who believe in the vision of the return to Zion and who hear the sound of the wings of history. Help stop it. Share this with all your might and prevent this violence.
Binyamin Tzvi (Benny) Lau, (born October 20, 1961, Tel Aviv) is an Israeli Orthodox rabbi, community leader, activist, author, and public speaker who lives in Jerusalem. He is also the head of the Human Rights and Judaism in Action Project at the Israel Democracy Institute.
Liel Leibovitz’s “How to Finally Get Egalitarian Prayer at the Western Wall” can be found HERE.
Rabbi Uri Regev’s response follows below:
As Liel Leibowitz (LL) suggests, the non-Orthodox movements should broaden their appeal and avoid unnecessary conflicts. Nevertheless, I have strong reservations as to the specifics of LL’s perspective on what is “unnecessary conflict” and *who* the appeal should be broadened to include. I fear that LL, in as much as his credentials are impressive, may not be as authoritative on the relevant questions involving the Kotel controversy and the politics of religion & state in Israel, as he assumes in prescribing to the non-Orthodox movements how they should conduct their affairs.
LL suggests that the impasse over the Western Wall Agreement (WWA) was generated by the Nov. 2 demonstration by liberal North American rabbis, but this had very little to do with it. The impasse was ironically precipitated in party by the victorious Torah service at the Wall celebrated on February 25 during the CCAR (American Reform Judaism’s rabbinic umbrella) convention in Israel, which, by chance or Divine providence, took place shortly after the WWA was announced. Israel’s ultra-Orthodox leadership dug its feet into the ground at that point, and demanded that PM Netanyahu not implement the agreement. This was not a regular case of slow-paced Israeli decision making. Rather, the WWA was an exceptional case of an agreement slow in the making (more than 3 years of intensive deliberations), which received tacit endorsement from the political leadership of the Haredi parties, as well as the Rabbi of the Western Wall. It was achieved because it was viewed by the Haredi operatives as the lesser of all evils. What neither they nor the PM took into consideration was the extent to which this agreement would play into the hands of disgruntled Haredi rabbinic leaders in both the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities who were looking for an opportunity to challenge the movements’ leadership, as well as the sensationalist urges of some key Haredi media outlets that refused to hold their peace in the face of an agreement.
While LL probably does have experience with “buearucratic Israel,” as he claims, this conflict has nothing to do with that, but rather with a theological conflict, which can only be won by “hard-sell tactics,” which LL objects to.
The more than 3 years of