A wedding organized by the Reform Movement in Israel was conducted for a young
couple by rabbis from the movement outside the Knesset Monday morning, ahead of
the induction of the new government, to highlight the lack of recognition for
non-Orthodox Jewish denominations in Israel.
The happy couple, Lin Dror
and Alon Marcus, were joined by five members of Knesset, including MKs Hilik
Bar, Merav Michaeli, Miki Rosenthal, Moshe Mizrahi and Stav Shaffir from Labor
and Nitzan Horowitz from Meretz.
Concerns have been raised by pluralist
and secularist activists this week that the new government will ignore demands
for changes to the status quo on matters of religion and state, despite the
promises of Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid during the election that he would work
toward instituting civil marriage in Israel and achieving equal recognition for
all Jewish denominations in the state.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post
Dror, 27, said that as an Israeli citizen who works, pays taxes and is a full
member of society, she has the right to choose how to get married, along with
other people who wished to get married according to their beliefs, including
Only marriage conducted according to Orthodox Jewish
tradition is recognized by the State of Israel, and civil marriage is not
available inside the country. Civil ceremonies conducted abroad are subsequently
recognized by the state.
Dror and Marcus, who are Labor party activists,
will not marry in a civil service abroad, in protest at the lack of freedom of
choice in marriage in Israel. They will therefore not get state recognition as a
married couple but will, however, be entitled to roughly the same rights as
married couples, since the state recognizes common law
Horowitz said in a statement to the media that it was “clear
that the new government will prevent freedom of choice” on the issue of
He added that comments made by new Deputy Minister for
Religious Services Eli Ben- Dahan during the election campaign that he would not
permit civil marriage proved that Lapid had abandoned his constituents in favor
of his party’s alliance with Bayit Yehudi.
MKs Shaffir and Bar acted as
witnesses for the couple, something not permitted in Orthodox weddings, since
women cannot, for the most part, serve as witnesses according to Jewish
Writing on her Facebook page, Shaffir said that the wedding had
presented the government with its first test: “the test of religious
“Will this government free our religion from the monopolistic
forces which dominate it?” Shaffir asked. “Will it loosen the grasp that these
forces have on our daily lives, on the relationship between us and the
regulation of our social and political status? Or the subjugation of a wide
variety of elements of our lives – from the most intimate places and up to the
control of the public space itself?”
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