Critics decry Israeli cabinet vote rejecting measure to ease Jewish conversion

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Jewish Agency chairman and ex-Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky gestures as he speaks during an interview in Jerusalem on February 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Ammar Awad
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CONVERSION-ISRAEL, originally transmitted on July 6, 2015.

Jewish Agency chairman and ex-Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky gestures as he speaks during an interview in Jerusalem on February 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Ammar Awad *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CONVERSION-ISRAEL, originally transmitted on July 6, 2015.

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JERUSALEM (RNS) Israeli rights activists say the decision by Israel's cabinet Sunday to nix the establishment of local conversion courts is a blow to religious freedom.

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  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    I hope and pray that the entire nation of Israel will not allow itself to be represented by the so-called “Ultra Orthodox” rabbinate (who have stated that Israel in its present state is not even a nation!) This being said, I don’t mean that just any type of behavior should be allowed as authentically Jewish, but only those who respect the tenets of mainstream Judaism, the “basics”, in other words.
    Ultra Orthodox Judaism is not true Judaism–they are fanatics whom should have no say in the government that they say should not exist because the Messiah hasn’t come.

  • Be Brave

    How ironic that the very terms “Judaism and Rabbinate” find no place in the Tanakh except perhaps through diaspora. But be that as it may, allow Israeli’s to decide the matter. It’s not difficult to see why some “Jewish” people that take “the Bible” seriously, even very seriously, would want the nature of conversion not be subjected to political correctness.

  • Garson Abuita

    Call it politically correct if you wish, but the chief rabbinate got too big for its britches some time ago. It is fast on its way, with the help of the ultra-religious parties, to turning Israel into the Taliban, something opposed by the vast majority of Israelis. They were never meant to have the stranglehold on Judaism they ended up with. This would have been a step in reining them in.

  • Susan

    The Hebrew bible is based on animal sacrifices and the priesthood. After the destruction of the temple,Judaism became a rabbinic religion.

    Prayer, good deeds and Torah study replaced the sacrifices.

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