Monday, March 16, 2009

Tough tasks for Post War Spin-doctors and Rabbinic court judges who rule on splits

Israel's Foreign Ministry has requested 8 million shekels --nearly $2m-- from the Finance Ministry for a Public Relations campaign to improve Israel’s international image after Operation Cast Lead sank the reputation of the Jewish State and the 'most moral army in the world'. The report, published in the Hebrew paper Yediot Aharonot, failed to mention how much money the Foreign Ministry would request for improving Israel’s image after Avigdor Lieberman, arch-right emigre, is formally appointed foreign minister.

In his recent news round-up, blogger Gershom Gorenberg marvels at the intricacies of law: A Jerusalem rabbinic court has ruled that the adopted son of the late, famed Canadian Jewish philosopher, Emil Fackenheim,(pictured left), was not Jewish, and had never been Jewish, even though he had undergone an ultra-Orthodox conversion at age 2 and was married under the auspices of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate in 2001. Ha’aretz reports that the court made the decision when Yossi Fackenheim and his wife went to the court for a religious divorce. You don’t need a divorce, the court told him, because you were never really married under Jewish law, because you are not a Jew, because you do not observe halakhah.

Under halakhah, however, someone who has converted remains Jewish even if he or she ceases to observe halakhah. Therefore, the court was not observing halakhah. Therefore, if one of the judges was actually a convert, he should by his own logic declare himself not Jewish, thereby negating the court’s decision and reinstating Fackenheim! Not exactly crystal clear, for the son of a survivot of Kristalnacht

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