Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A lot of politics this week. Yesterday was the second meeting of vaadat chukah in the Knesset on religion and state. Predictably, the discussion bogged down on marriage and divorce. The proposal, which I mentioned in my previous post, was that a person cannot marry unless they are currently unmarried according to both civil and religious law. (It refers to "religious law" rather than halachah, to include other religions.)

The unstated background is that there would be two marriage tracks: a religious one and a civil one. There is great pressure for a civil track due to the large number of people ineligible for religious marriage as well as the many people who simply don't want anything to do with rabbanim. In halachic terms, the civil track would simply be pilagshus, a topic on which I have blogged earlier, here and here. (They're calling it brit zugiyut; the term pilagshus doesn't sound too good to the modern ear.) A crucial assumption of this idea is that pilagshus would not require a get. Whether this is the case or not is an interesting halachic question that I hope to get back to soon.

The Reform gang made a big stink about including the "right to marry" in the constitution because they are afraid that without such a right, this plan leaves them out in the cold. (Their marriages are neither civil nor religious in the intended sense.) A very natural question to ask is why we should go along with this. The answer is that the current situation is untenable and if we don't come to an agreed solution we will end up with something way worse. In particular, we need to prevent
1. a brit zugiyut that creates safek kidushin
2. heterodox marriages that create safek kidushin
3. single-sex civil unions

[The next ten paragraphs were just eaten by the computer gremlins and I'm now tearing my hair out. I'm going to give the short version this time around.]

The Mafdal (Mizrachi) MKs and their braintrust (a term I use loosely) met today to consider getting involved, at long last, in the constitution process. All four speakers, including me, tried to persuade them that they have a lot to lose if they don't. Unfortunately, most of them are old guys who don't want to learn new tricks. As for the rabbanim, one of the young ones said about the older ones, "they'll let the whole country fall apart rather than compromise; all that is important to them is the right to say yadenu lo shafchu et hadam hazeh."

11 Comments:

Blogger DJR said...

Thanks for your continually interesting posts. I hope you'll have a chance to post the long version.

I'll close with the same advice I gave my mother when she started posting to the internet: if you're writing anything longer than a paragraph, you're better off writing it in a word processor and the pasting it in. Unfortunately, all of these web-based systems are notoriously unreliable. It took me MUCH frustration before I came to that conclusion.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's not too hard to figure out Ben Chorin is......

http://www.knesset.gov.il/huka/media.asp?starttime=2004%2D11%2D22+12%3A10%3A7&endtime=2004%2D11%2D22+12%3A19%3A22

11:03 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

DJR,
Good advice.

Anon,
Your method is good but I'm not in that scene. Honest.

Ben

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it's already been established that you're Dr. Klein who is associated with manhigut yehudit and has that think tank and is listed in the minutes as a participant in the va'adat chuka chok umishpat meetings.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! he is not doctor klein. it is very easy to figure out who he is for those who read the right listservs....

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're not in that scene, then it's a problem with the listing on the knesset site or you are lying about which sessions you attend. Perhaps you just watch the sessions on the internet and suggest to us that you are there.

Benchorin is Dr. Yitzcak Klein of the Israel Policy Center http://merkazmedini.org/who_we_are.php

If he isn't then he is lying about which Constitution Com. sessions he attens and/or speaks at and probably just watches them on the internet live. (unless he is the Arab from Neveh Shalom, Dr. Karyani and is doing a VERY good job on us...........)

Now the question is why Does Dr. Klein have to hide behind this pseudonym:

1) is it because he's afraid Mr. Feiglin (the fascist) will throw him out of manhigut b/c Benchorin is against siruv pekuda?

or

2) He doesn't want to upset his charedi friends with his "apikorsus"?

now I have a question for Dr. Klein - you are so proud of your achievement in getting Judge Adiel appointed provisionally to the court http://merkazmedini.org/In%20the%20Knesset%201%20net.htm. Yet, when there was the chance to have the first Rav (Rav Duchovski, the Head Dayan of the Rabbanut Batei Din) appointed to the court since Rav Ascher on the first Supreme Court in 1948, you all defered to the judgement of Mr. Rosenblum's head guru rabbi, Rav Eliashiv and passed up on it. Something tells me that a full appointment of someone like Rav Duchovski would have accomplished more than all the years of shtadlanus to get a provisional appointment like Adiel. Couldn't ya' all have said as much to Eliahiv?

11:33 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Unlike Ben Chorin, Yitzhak Klein is not a Met fan.

Rav Daichovsky removed his own candidacy after consulting with Rav Elyashiv of his own volition. Neither Ben Chorin nor Yitzhak Klein had anything to do with any of that.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be that as it may, when the April 5th metting protocol is finally posted on the knesset site, we will have the DEFINITIVE answer as to Ben Chorin's identity.

Even if the Rav removed his own candidacy, it still begs the question as to why Rosenblum & Co. (one of whom is Ben Chorin) didn't do any shtadlanut with the Rav? What kind of system is it that we constantly criticize the system and try and influence Barak's decision, so as to present better candidates, more reflective of society, and when a gift horse looks us in the mouth, there is no shtadlanut at all? I fail to see why Aron Barak & Co. are worthy of memos and meetings, while we just accept Rav Dukovski (and by extension) Rav Eliashiv's decision without comment.

It was a bad decision by Rav Eliashiv and a bad decision not to try and reverse this decision, and calls into question any further claims a charedi such as Rosenblum has to make in trying to influence the make-up of the court or who the judges should be.

9:43 AM  
Blogger D.C. said...

I agree that Ben Chorin's actual identity is only very thinly veiled.

I'm quite certain who he is, and he is not Dr. Klein.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, you are all correct - it's not Dr. Klein. It's Moshe Koppel - the third man in the Israel Policy Center triumvirate. A more careful reading of the blog and the knesset protocols would have confirmed that sooner. I was careless. Apologies to Dr. Klein.

All my notes concerning the IPC and the lack of credibility concerning judicial appointments (a topic very dear to me and on which I agree with the thrust of IPC's position) are still valid. It was important to explain to Eliashiv that Horaat Shaa required that Rav Duchovski end up on the court. Instead we got Arbel & Co. So IPC and Co. have lost some credibilty when they looked a gift horse in the mouth and refused to send Yoynasan to do some shtadlanus at the rabbi instead of at the poritz, where they usually do most of their shtadlanus.

Ben Chorin's "My Little Town" is Efrat and is not so little any more. I would know...........

PS the April 5th protocol hasn't been posted yet. In general it seems that Dr. Klein does more of the speaking at the sessions than does Dr. Koppel.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Geviha ben Pesisa said...

OK Guys. Time tov do the right thing and FORGET ABOUT THE SO-CALLED GEDOLIM.

8:39 PM  

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