Yeshiva World News
The giyur reforms of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana has been widely condemned by almost all Rabbanim but there are members of the coalition who are dissatisfied for the opposite reason – they want the giyur reforms to be even more liberal.
According to Kahana’s plan, the Rabbanut would retain at least some authority over giyur even if minimal – but according to Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the coalition agreements do not allow for the Rabbanut to have any say whatsoever over giyur.
Currently, there is a dispute between Kahana and the chairman of the “Religious” Services Committee Yulia Malinovsky (Yisrael Beiteinu), who wants to advance Yisrael Beiteinu’s version of giyur reform, bypassing the Rabbanut completely. On Sunday the Knesset’s Legislation Committee passed Malinovsky’s more liberal version of the law, which allows any Roshei Yeshivah or municipal Rabbanim to form a Beis Din for giyur without any input from the Rabbanut.
UTJ chairman Moshe Gafni responded to the passing of the law by stating: “According to Malinovsky, giyur isn’t needed at all. Whoever announces that he’s a Jew will be a Jew. Why don’t we continue in this vein and whoever isn’t an Israeli citizen should announce that he’s Israeli and he’ll be an Israeli. Why don’t we continue and allow a Rav or Rosh Yeshivah to issue pilot licenses?”
“In Malinovsky’s view, we can dissolve the Jewish nation and the state of Israel, she doesn’t have a real connection to either one. She and her partners must be stopped before they destroy everything.”
Lieberman and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid both spoke about the giyur reform on Monday, saying that the more liberal version of giyur reform will be passed one way or another, regardless of Kahana’s plans, as it was part of the coalition agreements signed by all parties.
At a Yisrael Beiteinu party meeting on Monday, Lieberman said: “Giyur reform is part of the coalition agreements. We agreed to push off the topic until after the budget is passed. We agreed to wait a few weeks with Yulia’s law and we’re talking with MK Kahana about his plan. Within three weeks we’ll advance Yulia’s law without any connection to Kahana’s plan. It’s part of the coalition commitments.”
Lieberman then went on to complain that “today the ‘establishment’ in charge of giyur – everything it does is how not to be megayer. The entire process has turned into a humiliating ordeal. The question is – what Yahadus do we want -one that draws close or one that distances….the Rabbinical ‘establishment’ makes every effort so that people won’t be megayer.”
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also spoke about the giyur reform at a Yesh Atid party meeting on Monday: “The coalition agreements call for the coalition to pass the giyur reform within 60 days. We agreed to delay it until after the budget and yesterday the Knesset’s Legislation Committee approved Yulia Malinovsky’s law.”
“We spoke with Kahana on the broad outline that he’s formulating and the discourse is on something very specific. We don’t want giyur by municipal Rabbanim to fall in the framework of those battles over the general outline. We’ll advance the bill with or without regard to Kahana’s outline and thus keep our promise and the coalition commitments signed by all the parties.”