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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777
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Bills in the Works for Homosexual Marriages and Buses on Shabbat

The warped “Jewish and democratic” equation is about to be bent out of shape again with Yesh Atid bills to allow homosexual “unions” and public bus transportation on the Sabbath.

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Israel's gay pride parade passes in front of the Knesset. But Israeli gays are not "kosher" enough for some West Coast LGBT.

Israel's homosexual "pride" parade passes in front of the Knesset.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90

Yesh Atid Knesset Members are drafting bills that would carry out the party platform’s election promises to give legal blessings to homosexual marriages and public bus transportation on the Sabbath, both actions forbidden under Jewish law but with two important differences.

Homosexuality is explicitly prohibited by the Torah, no matter how one does somersaults to conclude otherwise.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination’ (Lev. 18:22) is open to interpretation only to the point of defining the word “lie.”

Riding on a public bus on the Sabbath, if the driver is not Jewish, is a prohibition based on Torah law but not explicitly forbidden by the Torah.

The second difference is that homosexuality, unlike riding on the Sabbath, is more of an emotional issue because of its contradiction of the family unit, a foundation of a long-lasting democratic state that does not dissolve into social anarchy, and of the Torah commandment to be “fruitful and multiply.”

However, a law providing public transportation on the Sabbath would dramatically affect a change that would make Israel more secular with less recognition of Shabbat as a holy day.

This is of no interest to those in Israel, such as Yesh Atid and a large number of other political parties, who take the liberty to define a “Jewish” state based on their own views. After all, that is the modern Western thing to do these days. Everyone can be a rabbi.

Anyone who disagrees with them is not “liberal,” “progressive” or “democratic” and therefore not fit for this world.

Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid, has begun discussions on the bills with the initiative of MKs Aliza Lavie and Ruth Calderon. They reportedly are trying to soften the language to gain support of the entire party.

Four unnamed Yesh Atid MKs reportedly have said they will object.

American-born Rabbi/MK Dov Lipman, told The Jewish Press Tuesday, “We are currently working on the precise details of these laws but I can say that they are being crafted with the utmost respect to the religious population and to Halacha,” he said.

Asked if he will support or oppose the bills, MK Lipman replied by e-mail, “We are formulating laws that we all agree to.  That is the beauty of working together instead of fighting against one another.”

He also stated in response to other questions, “Yesh Atid is a party which was founded with the guiding principle that the time has come for religious and Jews to respect one another and work together instead of continuing to combat each other.

“Israel is both a Jewish and democratic country and we are working as a team to navigate through challenging issues. There is no desire for anyone religious to be less religious and we actually believe that removing some of the religious coercion will actually attract people to re-engage with their Judaism.”

The probable language of homosexual “unions” and not “marriages” is semantic trickery. The difference between the two is mainly in the field of rights, but the Supreme Court in Israel already has ruled must be granted to same-sex couples.

If public opinion were to decide the issues, homosexual marriages and bus transportation on the Sabbath probably would pass, according to most opinion polls.

Lapid, whose popularity has been sinking, enthusiastically backed both upcoming bills last week, saying, “A law in favor of homosexual unions will allow every couple in the country to declare the love for each other and be recognized.”

As for public transportation on the Day of Rest, he said he is not trying to irritate the religious community. He said the bill would provide that buses not travel through religious neighborhoods but will allow “poor grandfathers to visit their grandchildren in the hospital on Shabbat” instead of having to take an expensive taxi.”

The fallacy in his thinking is that it presumes Israel is divided into “religious” and “secular” camps. That is not true. There is a large, perhaps plurality, which is “traditional” and would prefer the Sabbath to remain a public Day of rest to remain as such, even if they personally violate it.

Once the Knesset puts its official stamp to recognize homosexuality marriages – excuse me, unions – and transportation on the Sabbath, it is encouraging the practice. It would not be “coercion” because no one would be required to ride on the Sabbath, but it would increase social pressure on those who might violate it at home but not in public as a matter of respect.

Lapid is crouching to pounce on his secular prey and boost his sinking popularity, and the slogans of “a Jewish democratic state” are about to be heard ad nauseum.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

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Imported and Older Comments:

  1. Matt McLaughlin says:

    OREN: …… unlike Great Britain that has a national church, Israel doesn't have an official religion.


  2. Dan Silagi says:

    I am no fan of homosexuality. But one's sexuality is really none of my business.

    If heterosexual Jews can get married on Shabbat, so can gay Jews.

  3. Gili Halfteck says:

    Irreparable damage to the state. It is either boom or bust

  4. Gili Halfteck says:

    Matt: Israel doesn't have a centralized religious authority
    Israel exists solely by virtue of Judaism. abandon Judaism
    And there is no Jewish state. It's either boom or bust
    Norman. Atlit. Israel

  5. It really does not matter what homosexuals are doing in their privacy, it is mostly their problems but their "marriage" would be a public recognition and approval of this mentally, sick perverted relation between two (or more) same sex individual. Israel does not have a national church but it has a several thousand year well tried tradition that maybe many Jews disregard. The champions of democracy refer to that all the times, if homosexual marriage were put up for a plebecite where everybody can vote what would be the result?

  6. "open to interpretation only to the point of defining the word “lie.”

    here's a clarification…1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

    “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

  7. The morally Left will use your silence to interpret support and then will attempt to squeeze a mile out of the inch you just gave them.

    It's about the tactics involved in getting people to accept perversion…gays are forcing people to accept it over religious convictions and personal freedoms.

    The fact that Christians are being bullied through legal intimidation and personal insults from gay fascists says that it's all about silencing ANY opposition.

    it's not about "tolerance"…

  8. So mufh hate you have for gays.

  9. Gays have the same right to marry who they love as everyone else.

  10. Doreen Kraatz says:

    thats nonsense
    judaism is just a religion, not a state. some people just take it to fanatic. israel claims to be a democratic state. if its a religious state, then its not a democracy – its a dictatorship with brainwashed pple

  11. sure they do , its called devil worship..israel needs to be destroyed post haste

  12. Israel would cease to be Israel, if it departs from the laws which were given to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai by G-d to Moses, How then would Israel stand apart if they start following the gods of other nations? Isnt this why they were driven out of the land of Israel in the first place? those who know their G-d will stand, those who do not, will throw Israel to the lions and the wolves.

  13. Israel would cease to be Israel, if it departs from the laws which were given to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai by G-d to Moses, How then would Israel stand apart if they start following the gods of other nations? Isnt this why they were driven out of the land of Israel in the first place? those who know their G-d will stand, those who do not, will throw Israel to the lions and the wolves.

  14. Jerome: it is not love but lust for strange flesh, Remember Sodom and Gomorroh?

  15. Jerome McCollom not hate but love for Israel and its people.

  16. Doreen Kraatz if its a secular state, then it is brainwashed by atheists, those who have no love for Israel. As it G-d who has promised them the land of Israel, and to forsake their G-d and disobey His voice "Thou shalt have no other G-ds' before me, would be a detriment to Israel and its people.

  17. you are not a real Jew, as the commandment is Honour the sabbath day to keep it Holy. And since G-d has forbidden gay perverted sex, you are courting disaster for the people.

  18. Lets hope the people of Israel know their G-d and stand firm, remember when they wandered in the wilderness and they did disobey the voice of the lord G-d, how many were consumed by the anger of the Lord. so lets hope Israel will remember and not fall for worshipping strange gods. like voting for gay marriages or not honouring the sabbath day.

  19. Terry Beals says:

    Anyone who disagrees with them is wrong…thus, they declare that God is wrong! What a terrible state to be in to think that you are wiser than God!

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