Chief Rabbinate to Become More Involved in Parliamentary Process


In light of the spate of anti-religious legislation coming from the government coalition, the chief rabbinate has announced plans for a multi-level lobbying effort to preserve the Jewish character of Israeli society.

At the initiative of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, members of the Knesset Interior Committee — where most laws on religious issues are debated — will be invited to sit in on discussions at the rabbinate, and regular contacts will be maintained with MK’s. Position papers will be circulated among Knesset members on all pending bills affecting religious observance.

“The Knesset consults with the Finance Ministry on budgetary matters, with the Justice Ministry on judicial matters — it is unthinkable that for legislation touching on issues of religion and the state that the Rabbinate should not be consulted,” said Rabbi Lau.

At the top of the agenda is the need to strengthen resistance to legislation pushed by anti-religious and Reform and Conservative activists abroad, such as issues relating to conversion and marriage, which threaten the Jewish nature of the state of Israel.

Another issue that took on increased urgency is the governmental nod on Sunday to a proposal that doctor-assisted mercy killing be legalized.