Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has instructed the Jewish Law Department in the Justice Ministry to give her its opinion on every relevant bill which comes to the Knesset Law Committee, in order to further entrench Jewish law in the State of Israel.
The Jewish Law Department currently holds 3 positions and is today headed by Dr. Michael Vigoda.
Shaked plans to make an announcement of these developments at a conference on Jewish law to be held today in Jerusalem by the Israel Bar Association. “Just as the Committee gets the opinion of the Attorney General, there’s no reason that it should not also get the opinion of the Jewish Law Department,” Shaked will say to those present at the conference.
Two years ago, upon taking the position of Justice Minister, Shaked had spoken similarly at a conference on civil law. “Jewish law, the crown jewel of Jewish creativity for 2,000 years, still has not found its rightful place in our legal system, apparently mainly due to a lack of knowledge about it,” she had said.
“As is known, in general the courts ignore, practically speaking, the intent of the lawmaker and the spirit of the law, and seldom take inspiration from Jewish law,” she had said. “They prefer different, foreign legal methods over Jewish law - the work of the best minds of our nation from Rabbi Akiva to the Rambam, Rabbi Yosef Karo to Rabbi Kook and those who came afterward. We need to be sorry about this and work to change this distortion.”
“In my opinion, Jewish law can and needs to be one of the threads connecting the values of the past and the values and needs of the present, and not just on a nominal level. This connection seems to me to be vital for the State of Israel as a Jewish State,” she added.