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Religious services minister backs marriage alternative outside of rabbinate

CM 06/10/2021


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Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana has said that he supports an alternative form of marriage to religious marriage through the Chief Rabbinate for those who cannot currently get married in Israel, opening up yet another front in the current fight over the place of religion in the Jewish state. 
Although the minister said he believed the current government was uniquely able to bring about such change and that “I think we’ll find ways to do it,” a spokesman for Kahana said that he does not have immediate plans to implement such a framework.
Kahana’s comments immediately drew condemnation from ultra-Orthodox MKs. 

Kahana said on Wednesday that although he believes marriage itself is a religious construct he believes that there should be legal alternatives for those who cannot marry in Israel’s religious institutions, currently the only avenue for marriage in Israel. 
“I believe that every citizen of Israel needs to be able to actualize their partnership in a legal manner,” the minister told Ynet. 
“I think that marriage is a religious term which should remain ‘according to the religion of Moses and Israel.’ There are enough rabbis, much wiser than me in Judaism and Jewish law, who have outlines [for legal, non-religious partnerships],” he continued. 
Kahana referenced as one example the Gavison-Medan proposals on religion and state of 2003, which calls for a civil marriage option for heterosexuals, albeit on condition of a declaration that Jewish spouses are single from the Chief Rabbinate.
“I think that specifically this coalition can do this… I don’t think that if we [try to] force someone to marry in the rabbinate it will make him get married in the rabbinate, and so I am convinced that in the State of Israel people need to be able to actualize their relationship even if they don’t want to do so through the rabbinate,” he said. 
“How, I think we’ll find ways to do it,” Kahana concluded. 
During the last election, the mostly religious Yamina party to which Kahana, who is himself religious-Zionist, had virtually no concrete policy proposals on religion and state matters. 
One proposal advanced by moderate religious-Zionist rabbis, some of whom Kahana is close with, is known as the “civil partnership” option which would have the same legal status as marriage in Israel, but affords the term “marriage” specifically for religious ceremonies.
Although Kahana’s spokesman said hat the minister was not specifically referring to civil partnerships, it is possible that this is the kind of direction he could take. 
MK Yoav Ben Tzur of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party condemned the minister’s comments, saying that “Since Matan Kahana took office he has worked to undermine the principles of Judaism through dangerous reforms on kashrut, conversion, marriage, and Jewish identity.”
Added Ben Tzur “Kahana is not the minister of religious services he is the minister of destroying religion and the destruction of Judaism.”
The liberal religious-Zionist lobbying group Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah welcomed Kahana’s comments however, saying that the current situation is untenable, and that solutions commensurate with Jewish law are available.
“We call for the advancement of an appropriate solution for all couples which would strengthen the institution of religious marriage,” the organization said. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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