Feb 7, 2017

Proposed Law: womens shuls arnona exemption

Currently the law grants an exemption to shuls (bet knesset) from paying arnona to the local municipality.

MKs Yoav Ben Tzur (Shas) and Menachem Eliezer Moses (UTJ) already proposed a law, that has passed its initial stages of voting, to extend that exemption to shuls located inside of a "beis medrash" or inside other institutions of learning, along with shuls that have learning programs outside of the regular hours of prayers.

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) requested to make a change to the proposal and also include, explicitly, womens batei midrash, non-Orthodox batei midrash, and secular batei midrash and grant them exemptions as well.

Lavie said that women have had batei midrash, shuls, and learning programs since the 15th century, and without including them explicitly, we will discover after passage of the law that they are not included. We would end up with no clear ruling on what is considered a beit knesset and what is not.

MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) rejected Lavie's proposal saying if it is a shul it is included, so there is no need to mention it explicitly, and it is even already exempt by the existing law. Gafni told Lavie to consult with the legal counsel of the ministerial committee, and if she advances her proposal he will oppose it and it will not pass.
source: Kipa

I find three issues here interesting:
1. the law differentiates between batei knesset and batei medrash. I would like to know how the law defines each - how much learning in a shul turns it into a beit medrash, for example. Does this have an effect on how communities calls their places of worship and study beit medrash or beit knesset?

2. Gafni and Moses, who regularly advance laws to benefit a specific sector, often do so using comparisons to other sectors - e.g. if students get benefit x, yeshiva students should as well, are now rejecting a comparison in the other direction - if orthodox shuls gets y, non orthodox shuls, or womens shuls, should as well. It goes in both directions.

3. I did not even know there was such a thing as a womens shul - a shul just for women. I ama ware of egalitarian in different forms, but a shul just for women? I never heard of that.


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1 comment:

  1. A Haredi/Politician advancing a double-standard?! Say it ain't so!


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