The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Sunday a bill allowing residents to register for marriage
in any municipality, marking a victory for
Israel Beiteinu and religious-Zionist rabbinical group Tzohar.
every couple wishing to get married must register in their town, limiting their
choice of rabbi. In addition, the rabbinates of some municipalities are stricter
than others, causing problems for converts and children of converts, as well as
those born Jewish whose parents were married abroad.
RELATED:Chief rabbis deny bias against Tzohar, begin probe Closure of Tzohar wedding project prompts outrage
Kirschenbaum (Israel Beiteinu) explained that she proposed the “Tzohar Bill” in
order to create competition between the rabbinates, which receive NIS 600 from
every couple registering to get married. She expressed hope that the initiative,
which will be brought to a preliminary Knesset vote on Wednesday, would
encourage stricter rabbinates to be more flexible.
Tzohar, which performs
approximately 2,000 marriages every year through the rabbinate of Shoham, where
the organization’s chairman, Rabbi David Stav, is chief rabbi, faced closure
earlier this year when Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi (Shas) decided
to enforce the law stipulating that couples must married by a rabbi from their
city of residence.
Last week, the committee rejected the legislation
proposed by Kirschenbaum due to opposition from Shas.
Beiteinu threatened to try to pass the bill regardless of the ministers’
decision, with Kirschenbaum presenting it to the Knesset plenum on Wednesday,
before announcing that the vote would be postponed so the ministers can discuss
the bill again.
After the bill passed its second vote in the Ministerial
Committee for Legislation, Kirschenbaum explained that, once it is approved by
the Knesset, the initiative will bring a “revolution” in marriages that will
solve many problems.
Tzohar expressed its gratitude to Kirschenbaum and
the Ministerial Committee on its Facebook page, saying that the bill will surely
pass, because of the “widespread support we get from the Israeli public that
wants to get married with love and according to Halacha.”