Rabbis to propose Jewish law be considered in Knesset

Rabbinic judges in conference to suggest that every High Court of Justice ruling must relate to Jewish law as well.

By JONAH MANDEL
December 13, 2010 03:11
1 minute read.
Rabbis to propose Jewish law be considered in Knesset

Knesset. (photo credit: DR)

The 20th International Conference on the Laws of the Torah begins in the capital on Monday, with its organizer putting forth a proposal to require an evaluation of every Knesset bill from the perspective of Jewish law, which is “our duty as the Jewish state,” Rabbi Ratzon Arusi said.

Besides serving as Kiryat Ono’s chief rabbi and being a member of the Chief Rabbinic Council, Arusi holds a PhD in law, with his expertise being Jewish law.

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The three-day conference will bring together hundreds of rabbinic judges from around the world for discussions on Jewish jurisprudence in monetary matters.

During the opening session, to be attended by Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger, cabinet ministers and members of the Knesset, Arusi will propose his Jewish law renaissance, which besides the mandatory evaluation of Knesset bills, will determine that every High Court of Justice ruling must relate to Jewish law as well, and that all judges undergo special training in Jewish law.

“We must make up our minds if this is the Jewish state or not,” Arusi said ahead of the conference in a statement. “I won’t force every person at a court to be checked to see if he keeps kosher or is Shabbat observant, but that state, as a Jewish state, must bring the Jewish law into account to a greater degree.”

Last year, at the same event, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, who will also be attending Monday’s conference, raised a public outcry when he said that “step by step, Torah law will become the binding law in the State of Israel. We have to reinstate the traditions of our forefathers, the teaching of the rabbis of the ages, because these offer a solution to all the issues we are dealing with today.”

The Foundations of Law Act, passed in 1980, says that every question that comes before the court in which there is no existing law or precedent has to be adjudicated in accordance with Jewish tradition.

Matthew Wagner contributed to this report.


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