L’Chaim! It’s nearly time to celebrate for the 60,000 Israelis who, until now, were unable to marry in their own country because they are not Jewish according to Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law.
And thousands of Jewish couples will be extremely jealous.
A new marriage registrar, expected to be approved by the Israeli government within days, will pave the way for civil marriage, which, until now, has been non-existent. Right now, valid marriages are only those performed by an official representative of the religious community to which the couple is affiliated — Jewish, Muslim, Druze or Christian.
These days, we’re hearing about more ultra-Orthodox men who are turning to increasingly hateful tactics to prevent women from praying as they wish on their side of the Western Wall’s mechitza. Recently, they hurled chairs over the divider, even before the women had a chance to begin their davening. Once the police were called, the chair-throwing stopped; two men were arrested.
But there are some things to follow up on:
1). How many women have to be physically hurt before the Ministry of Religion and the Chief Rabbinate say, unequivocally, that this is unacceptable? The Prime Minister needs to take an unambiguous stand against this violence.
2). It seems to me from the video that there were more than two men involved. What should happen to the men who participate in such incidents? They shouldn’t be allowed back.