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October 4, 2015 / 21 Tishri, 5776
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Supreme Court Decision Causes Collapse of High Rabbinic Court

The High Rabbinic Court faces a virtual shutdown

The High Rabbinic Court faces a virtual shutdown
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash 90

A recent Israeli Supreme Court decision to suspend the appointment of new rabbinic judges until women are appointed to the selection committee responsible for said appointments, is causing the collapse and virtual shutdown of the High Rabbinic Court, according to Israel Hayom.

A few months ago, two judges retired from the high court, which is the rabbinic equivalent of the secular Supreme Court. Since then, absent replacements, the high court has been functioning with a single judiciary forum comprised of two judges and one of Israel’s two chief rabbis. This week, one of the two judges required an urgent operation and the court was, for all intents and purposes, shut down.

The Rabbinate’s Attorney General Shimon Ya’akovi then permitted an unprecedented forum to sit in judgment at the High Court for now, comprised of both chief rabbis and the remaining judge.

“It’s madness,” complained a source inside the rabbinic courts system, “imagine if the Supreme Court was left with only one judge and a temporary appointment. We have here tens of heart-wrenching cases of agunot and children of divorces, and no one seems to care.”

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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