At 6 AM, Conservative Rabbi Dubi Haiyun posted on his Facebook page:
“Iran is already here !!! I start my morning with knocking on the door at 5:30 AM and two policemen summon me for questioning. It turns out that the Orthodox Rabbinical Court in Haifa has filed a complaint against me for holding Chupas. Currently at the Haifa police station.”
The 19th Knesset, the one with the Haredi parties sitting in the opposition, legislated against conducting halachic Jewish weddings without reporting them to the proper authorities, with a punishment of two years in prison for the couple and the rabbi who break the law. The Attorney General recently published an opinion that criminal proceedings under this law should be avoided, but the chief rabbinate has insisted on employing the full power of the law against disobedient rabbis, who, incidentally, are mostly Orthodox.
The Rabbinical Courts’ administration issued a statement Thursday (later than 5:30 AM) saying:
“This is a person who wedded Me’ukvei Khitun (D.I.: individuals who are not permitted to marry each other, such as a Cohen and a divorced woman, or a Mamzer). He is the first to be arrested for his criminal act which is prohibited by the law. He also did not take care to record his act as required by law.”
Of all the vile things that could be read and heard on Israel’s news media Thursday, the one thing that should be supported by any reasonable person, Jewish or otherwise, is the fact that the Israeli police went out of its way to harass, should we say bully, Haiyun.
They could have waited until 8 AM. Nothing good was served by this show of force. In fact, as a result, much of the talk Thursday was not about what Haiyun is being accused of, but instead it was mostly about the brutish police.
But Haiyun did violate the law, and should be prosecuted for it.
In our Jewish and Democratic State, we cannot, as a Jewish community, allow ourselves to be exposed to halachically illegal marriages; we can’t permit non-Orthodox weddings which have not been approved by the Rabbinate to take place, not because the Chief Rabbinate are such a warm and cuddly bunch, but because they are the only ones capable of saving us from becoming infected as a society with imported “Jewish” intermarriages.
Warm and cuddly or not, the Rabbinate is keeping the Jewish community in Israel, from the Haredim to the Secular, from splitting apart. We don’t want Israel to follow in the footsteps of the Jewish-American community, where if you are not a practicing Orthodox individual, you’ll disappear into the gentile world because, sooner or later, you’ll intermarry.
Haiyun is not a sweet and non-judgmental rabbi who only wants to help people who, for whatever reason, want to be married under a chupa, but want nothing to do with the Chief Rabbinate. He is a messenger of destruction.
Bezalel Smotrich on Thursday issued a statement he titled, “Hypocrisy that cries out to heaven!” I agree with his entire statement.
“Where are you, all those politicians who are crying out morning and night against violations of the rule of law? Where are you, the sanctimonious ones who explain to us that we must not attack the police? What happened?
“The arrest today is contrary to your agenda, so it’s permitted to attack the police, [Labor Chairman] Avi Gabbay? So the rule of law is not important [Yesh Atid Chairman] Yair Lapid? There is no limit to the posing? Hypocrites.
On its merit, plucking a person out of bed early in the morning is indeed an unnecessary and harmful police practice. However, and this is a big however, the law is the law, and anyone who breaks must stand trial.
“I strengthen the hands of the Rabbinate and the Israel Police.
“Leaving the area of marriage and divorce in the hands of the Chief Rabbinate in accordance with Torah law is important, even critical, to insure that we remain here as one nation and continue to marry each other a few generations from now without fear of mamzerut (halachic illegitimacy) and without having to manage genealogical lists.
“The shortsighted demand to change this is irresponsible, and we will do everything to prevent it.”
Words to live by.