Police Detain Conservative Clergy Member for Unauthorized Weddings

YERUSHALAYIM -

A Conservative clergyman was taken in for questioning by police after the Haifa Rabbinical Court filed a complaint against him for conducting weddings without authorization from the Chief Rabbinate.

Dubi Haiyun was reportedly roused from sleep at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday and taken to the police station for questioning. He had failed to respond to a summons.

Haiyun released after a short time but instructed to appear before police again on Monday.

Hayun has performed weddings for many years outside Orthodox supervision, but this was apparently the first time that he or anyone else has been detained by police for doing so.

An amendment to the Law for Marriage and Divorce passed in 2013 makes it a crime punishable by up to two years in prison for holding a wedding ceremony without registering it with the Chief Rabbinate.

“Iran is already here,” Hayun complained on Thursday, saying that the rabbinical court “filed a complaint against me for performing weddings.”

“The morning began with banging on the door at 5:30 and two policemen summoned me for questioning,” he said.

The Attorney General’s office issued a statement noting that the rude awakening came only after he had failed to answer several requests from police to meet with them about the weddings.