Thursday, February 17, 2005

Rabbinic will

Out of Step Jew, a consistently good blog, links to an article in the Jerusalem Post about Rav Elyashiv's opposition to the use of prenuptual agreements. As a result, there is almost no chance that they will be adopted by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar or the Rabbinate, and more women will suffer as agunot.
Rav Elyashiv is, of course, entitled to his halachic opinion. What is infuriating here is a system which, for political reasons, appoints Chief Rabbis who don't have enough clout or backbone to make their own decisions. Either appoint Rav Elyashiv to the job (the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi ain't all that either), or stop wasting a salary.
Individual dayanim, the article points out, can still choose to honor prenups which are drawn up; they have on occasion honored them in the past and the director general of the Rabbinical Courts, Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan, is on public record supporting them. But as OOSJ says, it is also infuriating that the national religious camp, large parts of which have already agreed to urge couples getting married to sign a prenup, is hardly represented in the courts, affecting a whole gamut of decisions. The dayanim are appointed by a committee headed by the religious affairs minister and composed of the chief rabbis, representatives of the dayanim currently on the bench, and representatives of the Knesset, the government authorities and the Israel Bar Association. Perhaps one avenue in the future to fight for agunot is to pressure this committee into appointing a more religiously diverse court (Meaning, under current conditions, more diverse Orthodox).

No comments: