Chairman of the Tzohar national-religious grouping of rabbis, Rabbi David Stav, sent a letter to all Members of Knesset on Wednesday, accusing Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger of trying to deceive them regarding Metzger’s opposition to the so-called “Tzohar bill.”
The bill proposes to loosen laws which allow engaged couples to register for marriage only in their place of residence.
Metzger wrote to all 120 MKs last week telling them that the Tzohar bill will damage the credibility of rabbinate marriages and cause the Jewish people to become divided into “many small tributaries.”
Stav said in his response on Wednesday that the law “clearly allows marriage registration with the rabbinate alone” and that its dignity and status would not be harmed in anyway. Claims to the contrary are simply an attempt to “throw sand in the eyes of the legislature,” he added.
Stav argued that the rabbinate has “alienated many Jews” in the past decade, especially with regards to marrying under its auspices, due to a small number of activists within it who act in accordance with the “poisonous” attitudes of the haredi press and not the laws of the state.