Rabbi Haim Amsalem
Rabbi Haim AmsalemHezki Baruch

Rabbi Haim Amsalem, a former Shas member and current member of the Zehut party, stated that he supports the adoption of civil marriage in Israel, outside the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate.

"In a political meeting that took place this week in Safed, most of the residents were haredim," Rabbi Amsalem said in an interview with Galai Tzahal (Army Radio). "They were there because of the closer, moderate Judaism, not religious coercion, but the freedom-loving approach. This is what appeals to broad audiences who are also anxious to join Zehut."

He referred to the 'pig law' that in the 1990s led Shas to leave the government of Yitzhak Rabin. "The 'pig law' was passed in 1962. But the bottom line is not only this law, but similar laws are a dead letter and no one enforces them. There are restaurants in Jerusalem which sell pork. I'm not in favor of [repealing the law], but it failed, and the Chametz law failed and the supermarkets law failed," he said.

According to Rabbi Amsalem, "Even the Civil Marriage Law is a law of Rabbi Bakshi Doron from 22 years ago. What kind of civilized country can actually allow itself not to allow half a million people not to marry in the rabbinate? I am in favor of civil marriage."

"On the one hand you are not willing to convert them. You raise the bar, you do not say, let's adopt the conversion method of the rabbinate fifty years ago. You say. 'I am stringent.' You don't let them convert and you don't let them marry anywhere. It's ridiculous," Rabbi Amsalem concluded.