Oct 29, 2013

Law Proposal: banning non-Rabbanut weddings

A lot of people get married with their personal rabbi officiating the wedding. Generally the rabbis know to insist or encourage the couple to register their upcoming marriage with the Rabbanut (or via one of the Badatz organizations). Sometimes they don't. The Rabbanut is coming after them!

The Ministry of Religious Affairs is preparing a law proposal by which it will be illegal for any rabbi to perform a private wedding without having the wedding first reported to the Rabbanut - and any rabbi who does will be at risk of a punishment of up to two years of jail time!

What's so bad about not involving the Rabbanut?

It seems there are many cases in which not reporting ends up causing distress to people involved, at some point or another. For example, if a man refuses to give a get to his wife, he generally cannot get married to another woman. If, however, his marriage is not listed with the Rabbanut, they have no way of preventing that. From the other perspective, an unwitting woman could also get married without reporting, and in some situations it could lead to violations of "eishet ish" - marrying a woman who is already married. Another common situation is when one of the parties is a convert - without proper registration, who is going to check that the entire conversion process was completed properly?

If the marriage is not reported, the proper background checks are not being done. The officiating rabbi could be creating an immediate problem, marrying off someone who should not be getting married, or he might be casing a problem later in which the dissolution of the marriage will also not be recorded which can cause heartache later.
(source: Kikar, NRG)




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14 comments:

  1. Just heard of a case where a man married his ex-wife's sister in a wedding that was never registered.

    No one told the man or the officiant that such a wedding is not allowed.

    The result: 4 children who are Mamzarim

    Having standards is a good thing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you sure that the children of such a marriage are Mamzerim? I know that there's an Issur for them to marry (at least while the first sister is alive), but I'm not sure if the children are Mamzerim. I am not saying they're not - just asking if they are or not.

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    2. Halacha is that if a man has a child with his wife's sister (or ex-wife's sister), the children are mamzeirim.

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  2. wow! that is precisely what it is meant to prevent...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if this couple got married in Cyprus? Would the mamzerim problem go away?

      Delete
  3. We know why people don't want to deal with the Rabbanut. I am curious about the practical ramifications of this law. Registration with the Rabbanut doesn't change the halachic status of a wedding. If a couple marries without the Rabbanut, how do they register their wedding with the Government? In Chul Rabbi's do some level of background check without a master registry. Do the Rabbi's not do this here? Two years in jail for performing a wedding is more then excessive.

    For the record the Jewish Agency has strongly suggested that we get a civil marriage so that they will have enough time to process the paperwork before I come home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. see the case above written by Michael Sedley? that is a good example of a problem that will be solved by this.
      its not just an issue of registration. the registration causes the system to do a background check and find out all these issues. make sure any conversion was done properly. make sure he isnt withholding a get, etc.

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    2. Think how many times similar cases must have happened over the centuries when recordkeeping was poor, people were relocated by force or died young and people didn't know their origins, etc. The preumption is that no one who isn't known to be a mamzer isn't a mamzer, right? (in practice). So why is this change needed now? Are we admitting that mistakes were made in the past? How can we presume any of us are NOT mamzerim?

      I realize this argument is ridiculous, but the whole presumption that there are NOT many mamzerim among the fervently frum is also ridiculous, if we take this to its logical conclusion.

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    3. you are right, but if we have the ability to prevent such situations from happening, we should do what we can....

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    4. My point is that it's too late. For many people, we cannot rule out mamzerus in their lineage. So why go crazy now? Maybe people who can prove that mamzerus has never entered their line should be careful about such things, but for everyone else, why bother.

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    5. You are right that it is possible that it would have factored into Michael's case. How does the Rabbi not find out that he was marrying his ex-SIL? I am flying in early because the Rabbi won't perform the wedding until he meets me. Unless there was a cover up, I would expect that information to be easily uncovered. If the couple did find out would they have broken off the relationship or just found another way to have their marriage recognized here?

      Rachel was from her Mom's first marriage. I have all the originals of the documents from Beit Din in regards to the Get because it is more likely that the Rabbanut here will give my daughter a hard time about it when she gets married then my BIL and SIL from the 2nd marraige who are likely to get married in Chul. So far nobody who has dealt the Rabbunut has said that I am being unreasonable.

      I am open to the idea that perhaps this law would make things better for couples getting married. However the 2 years in jail combined with the Rabbanut's reputation leaves me on the skeptical side.

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  4. The Eidah Chareidus, Brisk and Satmar have issued marriages both before the State and since '48 without registering it with the rabbanut. And they will continue doing so regardless of any law. It will be impractical to enforce anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "For example, if a man refuses to give a get to his wife, he generally cannot get married to another woman. If, however, his marriage is not listed with the Rabbanut, they have no way of preventing that."

    You're mistaken in your logic, Rafi. Either way he can marry another woman. If his first marriage is not listed with the rabbanut, like you said, they cannot stop him from marrying another woman. And if his marriage IS listed with the rabbanut, they still cannot stop him from marrying another woman. He simply can marry the second woman without registering the marriage with the rabbanut.

    So he can do it either way. Simply by EITHER the first or second marriage not being registered. Either one. So he can do it either way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and thats exactly what they are trying to prevent with this law. what was, was- but from now (if the law passes), these situations will be minimized in the future.

      Delete

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