The application of Sharia law in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran has supplied this blog with a steady stream of cases involving stonings and censorship. Now, Israel’s Justice Minister Yaacov Neeman wants the country to adopt its own religious book, the Torah, as the basis for the country’s laws.
Neeman made the proposal at a conference on Halacha (Jewish religious law): “We must reach a point where Torah law is the binding law in the State of Israel.” He heralded the use of “monetary rabbinical courts” as part of the move away from secular laws and courts.
Many in Israel are not ready to join Iran as a religious republic and denounced Neeman. He then tried to backpedal a bit and his supporters insisted that he was only speaking of turning over civil matters to religious courts. However, he also stood firm in the Knesset that “we must bring back the heritage of our fathers to the nation of Israel. The Torah has the complete solution to all the questions we are dealing with.” Top conservative and orthodox rabbis supported the move to religious courts, here.
Of course, even on civil matters, women are generally not qualified to testify under a traditional Torah-based court. A woman cannot even secure a divorce without her husband’s consent through a “get” — resulting in many women left “married” for their entire lives by vengeful husbands. Rabbis are already demanding that the government stay out of their control of food establishments through the granting or withholding of kosher certificates, here.