As a secular Jew living here, I can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed the experience of rubbing up against a representative of the Chief Rabbinate.

Like the time that I, a blue-eyed immigrant, wanted to get married. In order to bypass the reams of paperwork and rabbinic sleuthing that might take ages, I was reduced to asking a nice man with a kippa, tzitzit and luxuriant beard to undertake a multi-hour trip through the desert. He had known me since I was a little boy and could attest that, yes, my mother was Jewish by birth and that she and my father had raised me in a good Jewish home.

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