File for divorce - to receive a daycare subsidy? A haredi rabbi's surprising response

Rabbi Yitzhak Zilberstein is asked if couples may file for divorce in order to continue receiving daycare subsidy - and his response is surprising.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Yitzhak Zilberstein
Rabbi Yitzhak Zilberstein
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Following the announcement that eligibility for daycare subsidies would depend on both parents working at least 24 hours weekly, various ideas on how to get around the law have been put forward.

The new policy will go into effect in November.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Yitzhak Zilberstein, who serves as rabbi of Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood of Bnei Brak, and the dean of Kollel Beit David in Holon, was asked whether "a couple where the husband learns Torah can register for divorce - without divorcing - with the Chief Rabbinate and go through the process of mediation, arguments, and claims and pushing off hearings by mutual agreement and not by mutual agreement, and manage the process as if they were officially separated for several years, until this evil government falls."

"From a halakhic (pertaining to Jewish law - ed.) perspective, there is no significance to beginning the process," the questioners said. "From a legal perspective, the mother becomes a single mother, separated. She is eligible for many more benefits than she has received until now."

According to Kikar Hashabbat, the questioners emphasized that for separated, divorced, or single-by-choice mothers, the father's employment status is not a factor in determining the mother's eligibility for daycare subsidies. Immediately following the fall of the current government, they said, all of the files would be closed and the families would reunite.

"Instead of holding protests, let's act in a smarter fashion: There is no legal prohibition against deciding to separate and reunite, or even to live together," they said.

In his response, Rabbi Zilberstein said: "We must view this question as very problematic, and not just because it involves taking money by lying, and playing with the foundation of the holiness of the home; it is also [problematic] because 'do not give a voice to the devil,' but it also it shows an incorrect perspective of the whole issue."

"Recently," he continued, "there has been a decree by the government of religious persecution, and the decrees right now are mainly economic, and we are crying out, 'Oy! They are harming married yeshiva students!!! They want to harm what is most precious in our eyes - the beloved yeshiva students, who uphold the world!!' This is true, but the cry is not only out of place, but it is a desecration of G-d's Name."

"The cry heard now, as if they are going to harm the livelihood of married yeshiva students' families, is very severe. It must not be spoken by one who observes the Torah and its commandments. If we believe that married yeshiva students uphold the world, and that they are the most precious in G-d's eyes, then no sane person would think that these evil people can harm their livelihoods.

"The livelihood of married yeshiva students will not be harmed, because that is exactly what it is. The question is who will merit to support these yeshiva students.

"Until today - and we do not exactly understand why - they had the merit to help a bit....and this protected them. Now they are losing this merit, by their own hands, and the money that is intended for married yeshiva students they are transferring to the sons of Ishmael. This is their choice, and if this is what's good for them - so be it."

The students and their families, Rabbi Zilberstein promised, "will manage, with G-d's help, without them. We don't need this money, we will now receive different money, which is more kosher, directly from G-d."



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