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      Secular Panic over Ne’eman’s Call for Return to Torah

      Secular media and MKs panicked over the Justice Minister’s call to follow Torah law.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 12/8/2009, 4:41 PM / Last Update: 12/8/2009, 4:44 PM

      The Torah is considered to be the Light of the world, but Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman’s call Monday night for a gradual return to Jewish Law in the country set off panic among secular media and Knesset Members. Some of them called it a “backward step” into a “world of darkness.”

      Following the outbursts, Justice Minister Ne’eman’s office clarified, “These remarks were not a call for Jewish religious law to replace the laws of the State of Israel, either directly or indirectly. Minister Ne’eman spoke in broad and general terms about restoring the stature of Jewish law and about the importance of Jewish law to the life of the country."

      Jewish Law has been recognized in legislation as the basis for Israeli judicial decisions and often is quoted by the High Court, including its secular judges, but most mainstream media and several Labor and Kadima MK pounced on Justice Minister Ne’eman’s remarks. MK Ofer Pines-Paz (Labor) alleged that “a previously concealed agenda has been revealed that presents the attitude of a dark world.”

      Kadima MK Nachman Shai warned, “Ne’eman must promise that Israel will remain with its laws that place it on the same level as advanced countries in the world and not with religious law that wilt turn the country backwards.”