Jan 25, 2017

Proposed Law: bituach leumi exemptions for baalei tshuva

MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) has proposed law that is almost a copy, with slight, but major, changes, of another law proposal on the docket.

MK Miki Levi (Yesh Atid) has a law proposal on the docket that would exempt people leaving the frum community and becoming secular, aka in Israel "chozrim b'shailah", from paying the monthly fee to Bituach Leumi because of the difficult financial situation they experience throughout the process.

According to Eichler, those who are "Chozrim b'tshuva", secular people joining the frum community, also suffer from financial difficulties, and should also be exempt from the Bituach Leumi payments.

Eichler took Levi's proposal and copied it word for word, changing only the words "chozrim b'shailah" to "chozrim b'tshuva", and submitted it.

Eichler explains that baalei tshuva suffer from financial difficulties as they have trouble finding employment and have trouble learning vocations while going through the sharp change in lifestyle, along with the dramatic differential in knowledge and lifestyle acclimation. Exempting them from the Bituach Leumi payments  will help them integrate into their new society and help them overcome their difficulties.
source: Behadrei

Good idea. I like it. If one gets it, the other should as well. Though I dont know why either side should get it. Maybe an arnona discount, or a small tax break, but why Bituach Leumi?

I don't see the exemption, for either side, defined by any limits. Or by definition. What constitutes a baal tshuva that would qualify - someone who goes to a few classes can apply for the exemption? Do you need a note from a rabbi that you have kept shabbat and kashrut for 6 months to get the exemption? Do you need to be registered in a yeshiva? What is considered a baal tshuva? And, can Baalei tshuva who have already been frum for 10 years, or 3 years, or 25 years, or 1 year, qualify for it? and someone who becomes frum the day of the passing of the law - does he or she get the exemption for 1 year, for 10 years or for 25 years?

and the same questions apply for Miki Levi's law - do chozrim bsheilah get the exemption just by saying they are no longer frum? Do they need a letter from a community leader saying they have been witnessed driving on Shabbat and eating shrimp? Do they get the exemptions for 1 year, 10 years or 25 years? etc.

Work out all those details and then it seems like a good idea...

or don't pass either law.

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  1. SB, Beit ShemeshJanuary 25, 2017 5:20 PM

    Even if both pass, I would feel extremely uncomfortable being in a country that provides financial incentives to go off the derech. The fact that baalei teshuva get it as well would not make it ok, just as any mitzva does not offset an aveira. Would much rather have neither pass.

  2. Oh come on. Chozrim b'she'ela often have no secular education, need a lot of time to catch up, and are cut off by their families. These are not problems chozrim b'teshuva face.

    1. chozrim btshuva have expenses of kashering kitchen, buying new pots perhaps, higher tuition in religious schools they'll move their kids to, more expensive food (perhaps), among other things. though, their entertainment budget probably goes down

    2. so do ffb's. so all religious jews should get an exemption?


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