Freedom of religion

My concern is the guarantee of freedom of religion. The lack of that freedom makes us – ironically – the only nation in the free world in which complete freedom of religion does not exist for Jews.

By RABBI REUVEN HAMMER
August 19, 2018 15:48
An illustration by Pepe Fainberg

An illustration by Pepe Fainberg. (photo credit: PEPE FAINBERG)

 
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One evening not long ago I received phone calls from several of my children asking when they would be able to visit me in prison. The calls – which, I hasten to add, were only semi-serious – came in the wake of reports that a colleague of mine, Rabbi Dov Hayun of Haifa, had been rousted out of bed by the Haifa police and hurried off (illegally) in a closed police van like a criminal because he had been (falsely) accused by the Haifa Rabbinate of violating a law by conducting an unauthorized wedding and not reporting it to the Rabbinate.

Since I had recently conducted such a wedding for my own grandson, might it not be possible that I too would be hauled off for questioning and maybe sent to prison? I assured my children that should that happen, I would really appreciate their visits. In Yiddish this would be called “a bitterer gelechter” – a bitter joke.

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