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Growing frictions between religion and state in Israel

Growing frictions between religion and state in Israel

Israel's Supreme Court has handed down two decisions that demonstrate the critical importance of an independent civil judiciary, but the Government Coalition continues to capitulate to the ultra-Orthodox political parties.


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For first time, Orthodox NGO campaigns for civil marriage in Israel

For first time, Orthodox NGO campaigns for civil marriage in Israel

Civil marriage is one of the most encumbered issues in the Jewish state, but the Modern Orthodox organization Ne’emenei Torah Va’Avodah began a campaign Sunday advocating for the introduction of such a possibility in Israel.

Theocratic rejection of Israel's civil judiciary

Theocratic rejection of Israel's civil judiciary

The theocratic forces among Israel's political and religious leadership have been increasingly aggressive of late, pushing to expand the jurisdiction of Israel's rabbinical courts, at the expanse of Israel's civil courts. A key element of this theocratic outlook is the rejection of the legitimacy of Israel’s laws and civil judiciary.

US Reform leadership meets with PM Netanyahu

US Reform leadership meets with PM Netanyahu

The Prime Minister must either stop the incitement against non-Orthodox Judaism from within his own government or sever his political alliance with those who wage war against world Jewry and block Netanyhu's own public commitment to ensure that all Jews feel at home in Israel.

Bill would anchor Orthodox practice in law at the Western Wall

Bill would anchor Orthodox practice in law at the Western Wall

Lawmakers from Shas and United Torah Judaism, as well as Likud’s Oren Hazan, David Amsalem and Miki Zohar and Jewish Home’s Betzalel Smotrich, Moti Yogev, and Nissan Slomianksy, have endorsed the proposed legislation, officially lodged on Sunday, that would anchor Orthodox practice in law throughout the entire Western Wall vicinity.

Committee to determine criteria for recognizing Orthodox Diaspora rabbis

Committee to determine criteria for recognizing Orthodox Diaspora rabbis

The Council of the Chief Rabbinate and the rabbinical judges of the Supreme Rabbinical Court convened Wednesday and established a joint committee to draft criteria for recognizing the weddings, divorces and conversions of rabbis in the Diaspora.

Death threats left in Raanana against Reform Jewish leadership

Death threats left in Raanana against Reform Jewish leadership

The Reform synagogue in Ra'anana was vandalized last night in conjunction with the Western Wall controversy.

Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chair stoops even lower!

Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chair stoops even lower!

The Jewish Federations of North America convened their General Assembly earlier this week, and impressed upon Prime Minister Netanyahu how strongly they feel about implementing the Western Wall Agreement that his Government reached with Women of the Wall, and the Reform and Conservative movements. While the Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to the agreement, but pleaded to them for patience & silence, MK David Amsalem, a senior member of Netanyahu's Likud party, in his official capacity as Chairman of the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee, attempted to sabotage the agreement because it offends his religious sentiments. In doing so he had no compunction acknowledging that this would offend American Jewry.

Israeli religious leaders' theological responses to the US elections

Israeli religious leaders' theological responses to the US elections

Some days out after the US elections, we can now take a look and share with you an angle that has not been covered by the US media, including the Jewish media. Namely, the Israeli religious "angle," both prior to and immediately after the elections. Needless to say, Hiddush, which focuses solely on issues of religion and state in Israel, is not taking a stand on the merits of the campaigns, the desirability of the candidates, the election results, nor the plethora of political post-election reactions in Israel, mostly from settlers and right-wing political party leaders.

Sukkot 2016: Batya Kahana Dror, Esq.

Sukkot 2016: Batya Kahana Dror, Esq.

Batya Kahana Dror, Esq. writes, "Getting married via the Rabbinate is not fitting for all couples. Sometimes this clashes with their worldviews, and sometimes it creates bureaucratic difficulties in simply obtaining the Rabbinate's permission to marry at all. Divorcing through the Rabbinate is also more difficult."

Sukkot 2016: Rabbi Meir Azari

Sukkot 2016: Rabbi Meir Azari

Rabbi Meir Azari writes, "The recent years have seen a blossoming of Reform communities, Conservative, secular and the like, situated between what an Israeli would refer to as Orthodox and secular. Many are seeking a Jewish voice for good and equality."

Sukkot 2016: Tehila Friedman-Nachalon

Sukkot 2016: Tehila Friedman-Nachalon

Tehila Friedman-Nachalon writes, "The battles that Hiddush sees as battles for "religious freedom," I perceive as battles over the substance and understanding of the 'Jewish' in 'Jewish and democratic.'"

Sukkot 2016: Prof. Pinchas Shiffman

Sukkot 2016: Prof. Pinchas Shiffman

Professor Pinchas Shiffman writes, "The problem facing stringent religious Judaism is whether to accept a person who lives among us and truly wants to be a Jew, but does intend to be religious. This person's rejection reinforces the split between Jews according to religion and Jews according to nationality."

Sukkot 2016: Smadar Dekel Naim, Esq.

Sukkot 2016: Smadar Dekel Naim, Esq.

Smadar Dekel Naim, Esq. writes, "There is no reason whatsoever to be party to this religious coercion, especially at this most precious, family-oriented moment, and in the most personal of matters. Why should we hold non-egalitarian ceremonies, with rabbis who don't identify with our ways of life? Many of whom actually despise us?"

Sukkot 2016: Shira Ben Sasson-Furstenberg

Sukkot 2016: Shira Ben Sasson-Furstenberg

Shira Ben Sasson-Furstenberg writes, "I don't want to be a Torah observant woman that is a guest in Israel's Jewish arena because she is not a man. It is expected that she will not participate, that she will remain behind the mehitza, at the back of the bus."

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