The Shaarei Mishpat (Gates of Justice) Law School in Hod HaSharon is opening its doors to Torah study - and will provide financial incentives to those who wish to take part. The goal is to increase the proportion of Torah-observant lawyers into Israel's legal system.
The 11-year-old Shaarei Mishpat law school has decided to integrate high-level Torah studies into its law curriculum, and has charged Rabbi Avichai Katzin of Raanana with heading the new program. Shaarei Mishpat announced that it wishes to "jump a level" and integrate "top level lawyers into Israel's justice system who are also Torah Jews specializing in Jewish Law."
Those who study in the new program five hours a week will receive financial credit for other course in the college, and those who study at least ten weekly hours will receive credit for additional courses. The Torah program will include study of Talmud (Gmara), Shulchan Arukh (Jewish Law), Jewish philosophy, Emunah (faith), and Mussar (ethics).
Rabbi Katzin, the rabbi of the Lechu Neranena community in Raanana, formerly headed the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva High School there, and established the Reishit communal Beit Midrash program, designed for both religious and secular Jews.
"In Light of the Challenges Facing the Jewish Nation"
Dr. Aviad Cohen, Dean of the College, explained, "Having invested much thought and discussions regarding the challenges facing the Jewish Nation and the State of Israel, we have decided that the time is ripe to climb up to the next level and found a Beit Medrash (Torah study hall) within the college. The integration of people with values, whose strengths are nourished from Jewish sources and the eternal values of the Jewish people, can and should have an influence on the character of the State of Israel for many years to come."
"Given this recognition," Cohen continued, "we wish to raise a generation of jurists for whom the Torah and the values of Jewish tradition are the center of their lives, and who excel academically, and who will be the front line of the jurists in Israel."
The college wishes to attract more religious youths into Israeli law, in light of the perceived loss of rabbinical court authority over the past several years. The absence of religious and hareid-religious faces on the Supreme Court is also an impetus for the new program.