Justice Minister Calls For Israel to Adopt Torah Law As The Governing Rules for the Nation

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.

For the full story, click here and here.

10 thoughts on “Justice Minister Calls For Israel to Adopt Torah Law As The Governing Rules for the Nation”

  1. Elaine M. largely had it right.

    I’ve often told people of this kind that if they truly wanted to be intellectually honest, they should just live at the level of technology that existed when their creed was affirmed.

    Since most of these ultra-Orthodox people can date their establishment to the 1700s they should live without electricity and without modern public health.

    In “those days” half of all babies didn’t live to their first birthday and most older children didn’t survive to adulthood; this said then they wouldn’t have such large families.

    However such people don’t do this and it’s otherwise reflected in an attitude that permits them to receive donated organs, with an over-weening sense of entitlement, mind you, but would never contribute one.

    The other ultimate idiocy of what Mr. Neeman is advocating is that even within Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewry there are differences as big as the different Protestant Reformational Sects.

    For example during Passover Sephardic Jewry will eat boiled rice and beans; Ashkenazi Jewry will not.

    Does this mean that there will not be rice and/or beans sold in Israel that will be “Kosher for Passover” for the Sephardim? Who will hold sway this way?

    Indeed, my own personal solution for this, of course, is to fall back upon Republicanism so each sect of Judaism can practice what they see fit, provided, of course, (to use a metaphor) that women aren’t forced to ride in the back of the bus.

  2. On the theocratic front, I note the passing of Oral Roberts at the ripe old age of 91. Apparently, God took his sweet time in “calling him home” after the old fraud threatened his death in 1987 unless the public donated 8 million to bail out his City of Faith Medical Center. Christopher Hitchens eloquently summarizes my thoughts about these “frauds of the cloth” in his remarks about the passing of another religious businessman, Jerry Falwell:

  3. Look, let’s be fair to the Jews/Israelis.

    There are other religions that are still locked into the distant past, religions full of people who run their lives by theological gibberish written on ancient parchments.

    How about all the flat earthers and god-bothers go and live together on one place, say the U.S. There, they could compare their superstitions to their heart’s content and fight each other if they want to.

    That would leave the rest of the world free for those of us who want to live in 2008, who want to live in peace, who want to live in reality.

  4. This trend is quickly becoming universal. Current examples in this country include a California proposal to compel the singing of Christmas carols in public schools and a nascent push in Minnesota to criminalize extra-marital sexual behavior. These are, after all, simply backhanded efforts to incorporate bits and pieces of Christian religious doctrine into secular legal codes. I would also add to Dredd’s comment that the militarism he refers to is viewed by its proponents as necessary to advance the cause of the conservative Christian god. It is a form of imperial evangelicalism.

  5. To quote BIL’s favorite Frank Zappa song yet again: “You can’t run a country by a book of religion, not by a heap or a lump or a smidgen.”

  6. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdEnxNog56E&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    I think Noel was a little narrow in scope, rc. You, however, may be on to something.

  7. What a great freakin’ idea. Relying on theocracies and putting holy books ahead of secular laws is working so well for the folks Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia….. That would bring Israel into closer alignment with some of it’s Middle Eastern neighbors who are awaiting the return of the 12th century. Is it the heat?

  8. Wow and to think that they start out with over 600 commands/laws etc. I wonder, just wonder would they provide a safe place for one who commits murder? I wonder if a rabbi was murdered by a female, would they still feel the same? Nah, the bible did not say it was lawful…..

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