MK Nisan Slomiansky (Jewish Home), who heads the Knesset's Law, Constitution and Justice Committee, addressed members of the Hotam Forum, an umbrella group of Torah-based institutions that deal with the fields of science, technology, law, and medicine, at Hotam's Conference on Jewish Monetary Laws Monday.
He asked them to take an active part in the sessions of the Law, Constitution and Justice Committee in order to inject the spirit of Halacha into the process of legislation.
"We want there to be a Jewish state, we want Torah law to be in force, and there are several ways of advancing this," he explained at the conference, which is held annually in Jerusalem. One way, he said, is to give rabbinical courts legal standing in monetary disputes, as the organizers of the conference would like.
"I must say, the batei din are extraordinarily successful," he noted. "People like to go there, and not just the religious public, but the non-religious public as well. I asked people why they go to the batei din. They answer that instead of going to the court, in a long process with numerous procedures, where you do not get a chance to speak, at the batei din the process is quick, you are allowed to talk and a person understands what is going on, so that even if he loses, he emerges satisfied."
"But there is another way and we do not utilize it," Slomiansky said. "We legislate laws, and I, as chairman of the Constitution Committee, receive laws from all the most basic fields, from fighting terror to financial matters and others, and as committee chairman, I have great power. A law reaches me and I can put it in the drawer and it will not advance. I can pass it, and I can change it around completely and change it.
"We have a great ability to put our mark on the laws that the state of Israel passes, and inject the spirit of Halacha and Judaism. It’s only up to us, but for this to happen, you must become partners."
"How does Judaism treat the subject of terrorism? Of arrests? Of the black market? Of people with disabilities? There is such a great ability to change things, just come and participate," he implored. "I try and push all of the professional bodies to come and sit in the debates regularly – like the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Bar Association, the Trade Bureaus Association, and I want this public, too, to sit there and state what Judaism's approach is."
Slomianksy noted that he, himself, often injects Talmudic concepts into discussions of laws in the committee.