Posts Tagged: Rabbinate Results 9
Three quarters of respondents in a survey about divorce in Israel said they supported taking the procedure out of the rabbinate’s hands and subjecting it to the authority of secular family courts.
The historic Kotel Agreement represents laudable progress in Israel’s stormy sea of religion, state and politics. Credit is due to the many partners who labored hard for three years to bring this about. The details have been widely covered, but it remains to be seen whether it will be fully implemented. Considering Israel’s murky political landscape, it may turn out that it was easier to sign this important document than to implement it. Already we read that Shas’s Minister of Religious Services, David Azoulay is refusing to cover the agreement’s costs. In addition, three other relevant Israeli cabinet ministers have also refused to provide funding from their budgets.
Recent debates about women and the Orthodox rabbinate yielded a range of interesting, impassioned and also banal observations by various Jewish professionals and laypeople. Although sociological and legal arguments abound, a broader philosophical discussion of the nature of gender roles within Judaism is lacking. The assumption in these debates seems to be that the challenge before us is how this issue in Judaism will play out alongside a movement from inequality to equality, from backwardness to progress, in American or Western society. Those who resist this movement and believe that a straightforward march toward gender egalitarianism is neither desirable nor in the spirit of traditional Judaism have yet to articulate what, precisely, a theory of Jewish gender difference could, and should, look like. That is, with the exception of a small coterie of mystically inclined haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, women based in Israel who have been exploring precisely this question for years
“You cannot say Kaddish.” Had those words had been said with sympathy, or at least respect for my loss, I wouldn’t be writing this.
Last month, the Religious Courts Appointments committee met all day and into the night behind closed doors to determine who will be a dayan, a religious court judge in Israel. The good news for women is that 22 new dayanim will unlock the religious courts where the high number of judicial vacancies kept women from obtaining a Jewish divorce. For the past five years the appointment process has been frozen by politics.