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Rabbi: A Family Includes a Father

New rabbi of Petach Tikva, Rav Micha HaLevi, says a family is built on a 3-way partnership: father, mother – and G-d.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/23/2012, 10:37 PM

Rav Micha HaLevi
Rav Micha HaLevi
Shlomi Shalmoni

"The relationship within a family should not be perceived only through the perspective of how people should treat each other, but as part of the relationship to G-d," said Petach Tikva's newly appointed rabbi, Rav Micha HaLevi, at an educational evening for women.

"The relationship with the Creator requires a proper relationship toward His creations, and first and foremost to parents. Parental authority needs to be part of the Divine authority," he added.

Rav HaLevi criticized the permission granted to women by some rabbis, to bear and raise children conceived  by IVF once they reached an age where they despaired of finding a mate. He paraphrased the Talmud in Tractate Nida 31, which says that each human being has three partners, saying that these are the three partners at the heart of every family – the father, the mother, and G-d.

"It is difficult to agree to a family structure that does not have three partners but only two," he said. "This is true even from the logical viewpoint, before one reaches the halakhic viewpoint. Rabbis must not constrain themselves to the halakhic corner. They must be men of spirit who project a vision to the public, and not just halakha."

Rav Yuval Chelow, Head of the Petach Tikva Hesder Yeshiva, gave permission in 2007 on a question and answer internet site for unmarried women to bear and raise children without a father under exceptional circumstances. The decision was severely criticized by other rabbis as being based on the letter of Jewish law, but not at all in line with its meaning or intention.

Hundreds of women from all over Israel participated in Wednesday's event. Additional speakers were Rabbi of Shoham, Rav David Stav; Rav Ben Tzion Elgazi of Kerem BeYavne Yeshiva, Rav Avichai Katzin, Head of the Shaarei Mishpat College's Beit Midrash, and Rabbanit Dr. Leah Vizel, Educational Director of Shaarei Mishpat College's Tzfia Goren (late head of World Emunah, wife of the late Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren and daughter of the Nazir Hayerushalmi) Women's Midrasha.

The evening was organized by the Tzfia Goren Women's Midrasha and was held in Petach Tikva.