Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, President of the Hotam Forum of Torah-based research foundations, issued a call Thursday to lawmakers to pass laws that will stregthen the Jewish family in the face of what he terms a liberal attack upon it.
The rabbi noted that this week's Torah portion tells the tale of Pharaoh's decree to kill every male Jewish child, and said that the decree repeats itself, in different forms, in every generation.
"In our times, the decree comes from outside, through a global atmosphere of a problematic culture that seeks to tear apart the family, and that is a disaster,” Rabbi Ariel said. “This is a global trend that says people should postpone marriage until a late age. People live lives of immorality, infidelity and dissolution."
"A child who grows up in a family that has fallen apart does not grow up normally,” he added. “The Nation of Israel brought the value of the ordered family to the world, and we must strengthen it.”
Most Israelis marry when they are over 30, the rabbi said.
“This is a disaster for the Nation of Israel. People live outside of a family structure, so there are no children, and some do not want children afterwards either, and those that do, want to do so at a late age and often encounter fertility problems," he said.
"The Nation of Israel cannot survive this way. The family is a primary value, and we must find a way to strengthen the family and enable a young family to obtain housing, to enable a young family to obtain education, and to maintain its children's upkeep.
"It is unthinkable that people will put off marriage because they do not have an income and will not be able to raise children. This is a pharaoh's decree," he added.
Tens of thousands of brochures distributed
He renewed his call to strengthen the family through “education, public information and self-conviction, that there is no substitute for the Jewish family. The basis of the Jewish nation is the family. The stronger, purer and more whole the home is, the stronger the Nation of Israel will be.”
The Hotam Foruum distributed tens of thousands of brochures in synagogues last Shabbat, on the subject of anti-family legislation in Israel.
Titled “Family on the Agenda,” the brochure focuses on Jewish family values, which it says are currently under harsh attack by various organizations.
It includes articles enumerating some liberal items of legislation that have been advanced in the Knesset in recent years, including bills regarding surrogate motherhood, recognition of same-sex couples, making family courts the default venue for hearing divorce cases, and even a bill proposed by Meretz to remove any mention of a person's sex in ID cards, which the brochure says is part of an ideology of tearing down the traditional family.