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What do mamzerim have to face in Israel?

CM 21/08/2021 2


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In honor of Parashat Ki Tetze, which talks about mamzerim (people born as the result of certain forbidden relationships or incest), congregants gathered in ten Orthodox synagogues on Saturday and held lessons on the topic. But what do those labeled as a mamzer have to face in the State of Israel?
Mamzer is a status given to those born from relationships forbidden by Judaism such as incest or a man’s relationship with the sister of his wife or ex-wife. Also labeled mamzerim are those born to women who are considered the wife of another – meaning this status often affects women who are refused a get (Jewish divorce) by their husband, as any children from another union would be labeled mamzerim. The child of a mamzer is also considered a mamzer.
Currently, those labeled mamzerim by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate or those who are at risk of being labeled mamzerim face numerous challenges in Israel. The most well-known limitation mamzerim face is that they can only marry other mamzerim or converts. Lesser known problems created by the status have to do with who is listed as the father of a child in cases the state believes there is potential to label a child a mamzer.

Israeli law requires that a woman’s legal husband be listed as the father of her child even in cases it is clear he is not; children born within 300 days of a woman’s divorce are also registered as the children of her ex-husband, according to the Tears of the Oppressed Forum, a think tank that is working to find a solution to this issue and to bring this taboo topic to the forefront of conversation to further promote a resolution. If the woman refuses to list her ex-husband or husband as the father, the child will be listed as fatherless.
The issue has been central to discussions on civil marriage, as Israel’s law requires that its citizens marry through their respective religious institutions. There is no civil marriage in the country.
This makes it particularly difficult for some couples to get married in a manner recognized by the state, whether it be due to issues of documentation, missing information or simply lack of identification with the religious system with which they are identified.
Fifth grade students returned today to school at the Alomot elementary school in Efrat, where religious and secular students study together. Children in middle school went back to school today following a few weeks of learning from home. February 21, 2021. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)Fifth grade students returned today to school at the Alomot elementary school in Efrat, where religious and secular students study together. Children in middle school went back to school today following a few weeks of learning from home. February 21, 2021. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)
These regulations are ostensibly in place to protect children from the damaging mamzer status, but in reality, not only do they create an oftentimes dangerous situation for children, but the laws generally do not provide any protection because the rabbinate will still investigate those registering to be married, according to the forum.
The laws lead to situations in which a child’s life is controlled by someone unrelated to them, often a person who is estranged from or has a strained relationship with their mother. This puts them at serious risk of numerous types of abuse. A man listed as the child’s father can influence a number of important factors such as medical treatment and obtaining a passport for the child.
These laws also prevent a child from receiving child support or inheritance from their biological father if he is not legally listed as the child’s father.
Mamzerut is “the most difficult moral issue of Judaism in our day,” said Tears of the Oppressed Forum head, Toenet Rabbanit (Rabbinical Court Advocate) Rivkah Lubitch. Lubitch told the Post that because of the damage that can be caused to them by people knowing of their status, mamzerim have no lobby of their own and cannot fight for their own rights. The forum works to be a mouthpiece for them and to find a solution to the challenges they face.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

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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