Restrictions on rabbis from conducting weddings removed

September 21, 2011

I’m not sure what the details of this are. Can a Reform, Conservative, or even a Reconstructionist rabbi perform a wedding? How would this apply to say a Gay Marriage?

(JPost) Tzohar rabbis authorized as long as they supply proof of rabbinic ordination, know laws of marriage, currently serve as rabbi, teacher.

The religious-Zionist rabbinical group Tzohar, which provides rabbis free of charge to perform weddings, announced on Tuesday that it has succeeded in gaining approval from the Council of the Chief Rabbinate to conduct wedding ceremonies.
Executive Vice-President of Tzohar, Nachman Rosenberg, said that Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in particular was critical to advancing the necessary changes for this reform.
“Tzohar praises this decision and especially the work of Rabbi Amar in succeeding to bring about this dramatic change, despite the opposition of some of the extremists on the Council of the Chief Rabbinate who oppose us,” Rosenberg told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“Rabbi Amar’s efforts will help many young people and allow them to marry in a Jewish wedding and not run away to get married in civil ceremony in Cyprus,” he added.
Tzohar established a project in 1996 to reach out to secular Israelis who had negative experiences with the Chief Rabbinate and provide them with the opportunity to have a rabbi more sympathetic to their level of religious observance marry them without charge or expectation of any other kind of remuneration.
According to Rosenberg, this led the rabbinate to enact a series of restrictions making it virtually impossible for a rabbi to marry a couple who registered for marriage in a particular city without the permission of the rabbinate of that specific city or a rabbi on the Chief Rabbinate’s payroll.
Opponents of Tzohar claim that the group is too lenient regarding the numerous Jewish laws surrounding marriage ceremonies, and so rabbis from the organization would invariably be refused a license to perform weddings.
On Sunday, the Council of the Chief Rabbinate decided to remove its restrictions and will now instruct local rabbinates and rabbis to permit Tzohar rabbis to perform wedding ceremonies as long as they supply proof of their rabbinic ordination, demonstrate knowledge of the laws of marriage, and currently serve as a rabbi or teacher.
Due to a number of exceptions and ongoing pressure, Tzohar has nevertheless managed to perform 3,000 weddings a year, approximately 20% of all secular weddings.
“There’s no reason why Zionist rabbis in Israel should have to fight so hard to help secular couples interested in a Jewish wedding to get married,” Rosenberg said.
“We hope that this victory will help thousands of secular Jews to get married according to Jewish law and allow many other rabbis to volunteer for Tzohar to further this goal.”

I’d appreciate if someone could leave me a comment and inform me what is going on here.


Israel Matzav: European rabbis up in arms over body scanners

January 7, 2010

I’m not orthodox, but I agree. It isn’t too much to ask for gender specific observers. this shouldn’t be just for the religious. are we going to deny that sexuality exists?

Several European rabbis are up in arms over the prospect of full body scanners being used on passengers at airports. The rabbis, from Milan, London, Paris and Antwerp, have issued a press release in which they suggest a solution that would satisfy the sensitivities of Orthodox Jews while meeting the need for increased security in airline travel.

“We would recommend that men are scanned by men, and women by women, like body frisks,” they wrote.

One of the European rabbis agreed to weigh in on the halachic aspects of using the scanner.

“I do not intend to give a halachic opinion and I do not know what actually is shown on the screen, but if it shows the female body then it could be against the laws of modesty,” said Rabbi Ya’akov Schmahl, a member of Antwerp’s rabbinical court.

The rabbi explained that according to Jewish law it is permitted for a male doctor to treat female patients even if he touches them and sees parts of their body that are normally covered because presumably a doctor is focused on his work and is not inclined to prurience.

“But if women are not happy – and there are religious women who prefer not to go to male doctors – they should be allowed to be monitored by women. And men might also might not want to show themselves before women.”

I don’t know about the rest of you, and I don’t know what these scanners show, but I’m not real comfortable with the idea either. If I meet up with one (which is possible because they’re using them in London and I tend to fly through there a lot when I go to Boston), I’m going to ask for a manual search instead.

UPDATE 5:35 PM

Reader Danny F sent me images taken from the full body scanner in the Salt Lake City, Utah airport. This is exactly what the technician sees. Note that the faces are blurred.
Hmmm. I doubt this would qualify for Rule 5.

Posted via web from noahdavidsimon’s posterous


European rabbis up in arms over body scanners

January 7, 2010

I’m not orthodox, but I agree. It isn’t too much to ask for gender specific observers. this shouldn’t be just for the religious. are we going to deny that sexuality exists?

Several European rabbis are up in arms over the prospect of full body scanners being used on passengers at airports. The rabbis, from Milan, London, Paris and Antwerp, have issued a press release in which they suggest a solution that would satisfy the sensitivities of Orthodox Jews while meeting the need for increased security in airline travel.

“We would recommend that men are scanned by men, and women by women, like body frisks,” they wrote.

One of the European rabbis agreed to weigh in on the halachic aspects of using the scanner.

“I do not intend to give a halachic opinion and I do not know what actually is shown on the screen, but if it shows the female body then it could be against the laws of modesty,” said Rabbi Ya’akov Schmahl, a member of Antwerp’s rabbinical court.

The rabbi explained that according to Jewish law it is permitted for a male doctor to treat female patients even if he touches them and sees parts of their body that are normally covered because presumably a doctor is focused on his work and is not inclined to prurience.

“But if women are not happy – and there are religious women who prefer not to go to male doctors – they should be allowed to be monitored by women. And men might also might not want to show themselves before women.”

I don’t know about the rest of you, and I don’t know what these scanners show, but I’m not real comfortable with the idea either. If I meet up with one (which is possible because they’re using them in London and I tend to fly through there a lot when I go to Boston), I’m going to ask for a manual search instead.

UPDATE 5:35 PM

Reader Danny F sent me images taken from the full body scanner in the Salt Lake City, Utah airport. This is exactly what the technician sees. Note that the faces are blurred.
Hmmm. I doubt this would qualify for Rule 5.