"Doctors' strike - illegitimate"

Rabbi Ido Rachnitz questions the religious legitimacy of the ongoing doctors' strike.

Hezki Baruch,

Doctors (Illustration)
Doctors (Illustration)
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Rabbi Ido Rachnitz of the "Mishpatei Aretz" Center, which researches applications of traditional Jewish law to modern Israeli society, came out strongly against the doctors' strike ongoing in Israel.

"The whole issue of striking in Jewish law is questionable. A worker has the right to leave his job, but he is forbidden from striking. There are [even] legal authorities who rule that striking is permitted if it is local custom."

However, he emphasized that "even those who agreed to accept striking as a legitimate means ruled that, when dealing with professions that save life, striking is not legitimate. The alternative is "obligatory arbitration," an institute that arbitrates which certain professions one is obligated to turn to in the event of an employment disagreement."

Rabbi Rachnitz emphasizes that he's not getting involved in the details of the disagreement between the doctors and the Finance Ministry. "We need to maintain a high standard for medicine and enough man-power in the medical profession. But just as policemen don't strike and still manage to maintain their rights, so there are [other] life-saving professions that need to be counted in this same category."




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