Tag Archive for Jewish Law

Israel’s Challenge With Jewish Identity

Religious Zionists in Israel recognize the importance of dealing with its Jewish identity, since about 4,000 babies are born into families each year that identify themselves as Jewish, but are not acknowledged as such under Israel’s religious law.

By Prof. Asher Cohen


Sometime over the last decade, while I was conducting research on immigrants to Israel who are not considered Jewish according to religious law, I received an invitation to a circumcision ceremony. It was a standard invitation, the kind that is pre-made by the event hall, with blank spaces that are filled in with personal details. At the top right corner was the Hebrew acronym for “With God’s help,” which commonly appears on religious documents. Continue Reading »

Tiny Israel begins building multi-tiered cemetery towers

After initial hesitations, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox burial societies have embraced the practice now that a rabbinical ruling makes the endeavor kosher.


At first glance, the multi-tiered jungle of concrete off a major central Israeli highway does not appear unusual in this city of bland high-rises. But the burgeoning towers are groundbreaking when you consider its future tenants: They will be homes not for the living but rather the dead.

Vertical part of the Yarkon cemetery

This Oct. 6, 2014, photo shows a new vertical part of the Yarkon cemetery outside of the city of Petah Tikva, Israel. – Photo: AP

With real estate at a premium, Israel is at the forefront of a global movement building vertical cemeteries in densely populated countries.

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American Jews divided if right to bear arms is ‘Kosher’

Gun group & club affirm the`importance of armed self-defense,’ and the Rabbinical Council of America “condones” people learning to use weapons.


A Jewish gun-rights advocate and a gun club, affirming the right of law-abiding citizens to own weapons, have taken argument with the stances of two rabbinical groups, which they said called for greater gun control.

Itamar Gelbman helps Lea Rosenfeld take aim

A shooting class for Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Los Angeles. – Photo: Anthony Weiss/JTA Photo Service

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership said it joined with the Golani Rifle & Pistol Club to oppose the rabbinical groups’ positions and “affirm the importance of armed self-defense by Jews and all Americans.”

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Court criticizes Knesset for neglecting to regulate ritual circumcision

An Ashkelon judge lambastes Israel’s parliament for continually failing to manage this problem in its ruling acquitting 2 men of performing a circumcision without licenses.


An Israeli court slammed the Knesset on Thursday for failing to enact legislation regulating circumcision, saying it should have done so long ago.

 A mohel is surround by other rabbis and relatives as he holds a boy at his circumcision. Photo by AP

A mohel is surround by other rabbis and relatives as he holds a boy at his circumcision. – Photo: AP

Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court Judge Haim Nachmias issued the rare criticism in his verdict acquitting two mohels, or “ritual circumcisers,” on charges of negligence.

“The legislators would be wise to regulate the profession of performing circumcisions, and the supervision of those performing this religious commandment, through legislation,” he wrote.

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Denmark Joins Poland, Holland & Switzerland in Kosher Slaughter Ban

Next week Denmark is to join the growing list of EU countries in banning kosher slaughter. 

By David Lev


Denmark on Thursday joined the growing list of European countries to ban kosher slaughter. The ban is to take effect next week, after Denmark’s Agriculture Minister signed the order Thursday.

The ban is largely symbolic, because there are currently no kosher slaughterhouses in Denmark. Nearly all meat for the country’s small Jewish community is imported. Despite this, the country’s 6,000 Jews inundated government offices with protests over the ban.

Speaking to reporters, Minister Dan Jørgensen said that “animal rights come before religious rights. Continue Reading »

1st Time: US extradited to Israel man who refused to give ‘Get’


In legal precedent for both countries, Israel’s Justice Ministry uses suspected criminal offenses to ask American authorities to extradite man who fled Israel without granting his wife a Jewish divorce.

By Kobi Nachshoni



A man who fled to the United States without granting his wife a divorce has been extradited to Israel by the American authorities.

Woman 'chained' to her marriage - Photo: Shutterstock

Woman ‘chained’ to her marriage – Photo: Shutterstock

This is the first time an Israeli citizen is extradited over denial of a “get” (a religious divorce under Jewish Law), which is not considered a criminal offense – using other offenses he is suspected of. Continue Reading »

High Court overrules Rabbinical Court, man refusing divorce stays jailed

High Court blocks Rabbinate in unprecedented move, to allow wife’s civil damages suit against husband to be heard as he remains jailed.


In an unprecedented move, the High Court of Justice last week intervened in a case being heard by the Supreme Rabbinical Court and blocked the release of a husband who had been jailed for refusing to divorce his wife.

The High Court of Justice

The High Court of Justice – Photo by Michal Fattal


The rabbinical court − the top court of appeals in the state rabbinical court system − was chaired by Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and included Rabbi Tzion Boaron and Rabbi Eliezer Igra, a candidate for the post of chief rabbi. Continue Reading »

The not ‘Jewish enough’ Ms. Margolis

The granddaughter of Holocaust survivor who came to Israel as child and serves as IDF an officer was stunned to find Rabbinate does not deem her ‘Jewish enough’ to marry under religious law.

Reuven Weiss


In less than four months, Rita Margolis, 26, will marry 27-year-old Captain A. Despite the fact that her fiancé serves in a combat unit and Margolis is a combat hummer operator, who repeatedly finds herself in reserve duties, the State of Israel is disallowing the two to marry, “by law.”

Rita Margolis Photo: Shaul Golan

Rita Margolis – Photo: Shaul Golan

Due to the sensitivity of his military position, Captain A. Continue Reading »

Israel’s PM asks Jewish Agency to find resolution on women praying at Western Wall

Israeli police detained 4 women from a liberal Jewish group who approached the holy site in Jerusalem last week, wearing prayer shawls.

“Israel still fails to live up to the ideals upon which it was founded, as a haven for Jews everywhere.”


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the Jewish Agency to find a solution for non-Orthodox Jewish female groups wishing to pray at one of Judaism’s holiest sites.

Women praying during a Selichot service at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Women praying during a Selichot service at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. – Photo: Michal Fattal


An official said Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, to look into the matter. Continue Reading »

Boycotting the Rabbinate, 20,000 Israelis get married abroad annually

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, figures show that 47,855 Israeli couples marry via Orthodox Rabbinical Courts.



Close to 20,000 Israelis tie the knot overseas every year, mainly to avoid the tortuous process of a religious marriage at home.

Tali Haberfeld-Adar, 42, married David, 48, two months ago at a speedy ceremony in Cyprus. For both, it was a second marriage. Having already suffered the rabbinate, they chose another way.

Civil wedding - Archive

A civil wedding in Tel Aviv. – Photo by Archive

Haberfeld-Adar said her first marriage via the rabbinate “dealt mainly with paperwork, forms and fees.” Continue Reading »

Israeli rabbinical courts now must track men who won’t grant gets

By law, if either spouse fails to provide the Jewish bill of divorce by the specified date, the rabbinical court will now be required to reconvene and consider imposing sanctions.


The Knesset passed a law Monday night aimed at encouraging rabbinical courts to impose sanctions on husbands who refuse to give their wives a get, or Jewish bill of divorce.

Officially, there are hundreds of women in Israel who have been denied a get by their husbands. But surveys by women’s rights organizations suggest the actual number runs into the thousands.

By law, marriages and divorces of couples in which both spouses are Jewish are handled only by the rabbinical courts, which are governed by Jewish religious law.

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