Rabbinical Courts chief against conversion law

Chief Rabbi blasts attempts to revive Jewish practice of polygamy, says his father's words have been quoted selectively.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Contrary to halakhah? The rabbinic court
Contrary to halakhah? The rabbinic court
Flash 90

The annual conference of the Dayanim of Israel opened this morning in Jerusalem, with the participation of judges from the rabbinic courts as well as the heads of the rabbinical courts.

During the conference, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi and the President of the Rabbinical Grand Court, attacked the 'Habayit Hayehudi Hashalem' [the complete Jewish family] movement encouraging religious and haredi men to marry a second wife.

Rabbi Yosef accused the movement of falsely representing the values of the Torah, and are quoting out of context and misinterpreting statements made by his father, the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Rabbi Yosef also called for the expediting of the convening of the committee for the selection of religious judges.

Shortly before the Ministerial Committee on Legislation convened a discussion on the state conversion bill, the head of the Rabbinical Courts, Rabbi Shimon Jacobi, harshly criticized the bill. "The bill is very poor, very damaging and has no significant benefit," he said, adding that "there is no statement that conversion will be done according to Torah law and there is no mention of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel."

Rabbi Jacobi noted that today the conversion system operates only by virtue of the residual authority of the government. According to the High Court of Justice, the authorities have only limited authority, "but now they are granting unlimited formal authority to the government to implement the conversion system according to its decisions, which will make it difficult in the future to attack decisions that do not conform to Torah law."

He added: "Governments come and governments go, and tomorrow the government is liable to employ a wing of the Reform [movement] in the conversion system."

Rabbi Jacobi accused the proponents of the bill of "short-sightedness," and said that it opened the door for the Reform movement to take control of religious matters in Israel and to cause grave damage to the meaning of "marriage and divorce in Israel according to Torah law."

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