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Jul 11, 2022

Back To Utah Overnight

TOI is reporting that the Court in Israel has decided that marriages performed online are valid and couple who try to register their marriages in Israel must be registered by the Interior Ministry as married.

This is specific to the online marriages recognized by the State of Utah in the USA.  With no civil marriage in Israel, couple wanting to marry civilly and not religiously had to travel abroad to wed, and then would register their marriage upon return. Cyprus was a common destination for these civil unions, due to its proximity to Israel and generally cheap or reasonable prices, so it did not become an expensive event to get married. During Covid it became a problem as for long periods of time people could not travel abroad, and in Israel they could not marry civilly. At some point the State of Utah started doing online marriages, and Israelis looking for civil marriages flocked to Utah, digitally at least.

Initially these weddings were approved upon registration in Israel but at some point Aryeh Deri, Minister of Interior at the time, decided to put a stop to this process and ordered a legal review. While the Ministry under Deri published a legal opinion that because these couple were present in Israel at the time of the wedding, the State of Utah had no authority as the laws of Israel applied to them in the borders of Israel, and the marriages were invalid. Eventually Deri was ousted from the Ministry, and while nothing really changed, an eventual appeal to the courts brought about this new decision that a decision in the debate over legality of location is beyond the authority of a clerk in the Ministry of Interior - their authority is simply to determine the validity of the documents presented to them. If the marriage certificate from abroad is determined to be valid, the clerk must register them as married.

The decision has upset religious parties, bringing civil marriage to Israel. Personally I think there should be some form of civil marriage in Israel. Too many people struggle with no solution as they are not officially Jewish but also not Christian or Muslim, and have no method for getting married (among other things). When nobody is willing to present a solution to a problem, the vacuum will be filled by other people, in this case by the State of Utah and creative Israelis who came up with the idea.

.In the meantime, Aryeh Deri has petitioned the Attorney General to put an end to this saying the judge doesnt have the authority to change the Jewish character of the State and it gives every person the ability to circumvent the law in Israel.

This brings new meaning to MBD's song Yerushalayim is not for Sale, when he says "you better run for your life, back to Utah overnight..."

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  1. Corona also changed a lot of things. It used to be nearly impossible for someone in Israel to get a US notarization. Now it's easy on the internet. The exceptions that were set up in 2020 proved to be so convenient they're remaining in place, and will end up changing a lot of established ideas.

  2. Whats the difference between traveling to Cyprus and doing it online? That it's a little easier?

    1. Of course it's easier.

      Also, Cyprus doesn't have gay marriage.

    2. easier and cheaper. it costs money to travel, whether to cyprus or elsewhere, to get married. doing it online is faster, cheaper and easier

  3. But someone who is planning on getting married not through the Rabanut would have had to do that either way. I don't see how this zoom thing changes much.


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