Constitutional Compromise

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4 Responses

  1. SM says:

    Interesting post. I fear that the conclusion to which you seem to come may be correct – namely that the religious representatives on the committee are too fearful to agree something better than the current position, lest they give way on the bottom line that everything must be al pi halacha.

    Thata pressure seems to be twofold. Firstly that there should be no compromise on matters of Torah. Secondly, that those who agree to compromise would be villified within religious movements and communities who disagreed with a pragmatic approach.

    And yet, and yet. Ultimately such a stance polarises Israeli society even further, and contributes to the non-orthodox (secular of otherwise) saying that the orthodox are intransigent.

    Can I ask you this: what do you conceive to be the Halacha regarding such a compromise, given that the option of a complete victory for the orthodox agenda is impossible (whatever the hopeful may say)?

    Also, why should a religious Zionist – hyphenated or otherwise – not disclaim a state in which halacha applies on the basis that we do not force people to be observant in the absence of a Sanhedrin/(possibly) Beth Din which has the ability to alter halacha. In other words, why is the excuse for failing to comprehensively tackle the aggunot issue (no one of sufficient authority) not also the excuse for a pragmatic settlement on the constitution?

  2. Bob Miller says:

    Do we expect Israeli government under such a constitution to act less arbitrarily that the current one? Based on the prevalent attitudes among the movers and shakers of government, it’s hard to imagine them letting a mere constitution stand in their way.

  3. easterner says:

    one could look at today’s JPost for an critique on rabbi shafran’s claim of non-derision/hatred of the non-orthodox, and the comments [which being not very moderated show what non-O jews think of the haredi love of them…]. the question of the stance to take is tied to how overtly anti- nonorthodox one wants to appear to be….

  4. Binyamin says:

    A constitution does not need to deal with any issues besides for the structure and domain of the government. There is no need to put Shabbos in, and it is better left to the Kneset to legislate relevant laws. The consitution can and should reference the centrality of Judaism and the acceptance of the Torah as a basis for law, since these statements define the basic structure of the country and its government. Spoecific laws do not have this function, and no matter how important they are they should be enacted through the normal method, and not made part of the constitution.
    If all specific laws were left out it should also be easier for the religious memebers to contribute and accept, since fewer mitzvos would be directly relevant.

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