Sunday, May 04, 2008

Emes me-eretz Titzmach

Maariv just published an across the boards denial that Rav Druckman's conversions had been invalidated. The Rabbanut spokemen claim that that was never the upshot of the decision by R. Attiyah of Ashdod, or of R. Sherman of the Bet Din Ha-Rabbani ha-Gadol.

However, now it appears that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar is trying to overturn the verdict of R. Sherman.

Failed Messiah has linked to another of R. Sherman's projects: Cancelling a Conference for the Amelioration of the Plight of Agunot, a year and a half agoi. According to Haaretz (taken grano cum salis):

Rabbis cancel conference on 'chained women'
By Amiram Barkat

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar last week canceled the conference on women whose husbands refuse to grant them a divorce (agunot), which was due to take place in Jerusalem on Tuesday, at the order of ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Amar had obtained Elyashiv's approval for the holding the Chief Rabbinate's first conference on this issue. However, ultra-Orthodox figures in the Rabbinic Courts persuaded Elyashiv to withdraw his approval.

Dozens of chief rabbis, rabbinic court heads and rabbinic judges from the Diaspora had been invited to the conference, and some have already arrived in Israel. Rabbi Amar had initiated the project to find ways of helping women whose husbands refuse to divorce them, and women who cannot divorce because their husbands are missing and not proven dead. Conference participants were to debate whether to impose economic and social sanctions on divorce objectors without infringing on halakhic principles.

Three months ago, Amar persuaded the Haredi sage Elyashiv to approve the conference. Elyashiv conditioned his consent on banning women from the conference. Professor Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, head of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women's Status in the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University, was shocked by the decision to cancel the conference, she told Haaretz, although she doubted it would be a turning point in the rabbinical courts' treatment of women. "The conference's importance was in its existence - and canceling it indicates more than anything else the sorry state of Orthodox Judaism, which cannot deal with such a basic and humane issue," she said. Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, the director general of Israel's rabbinical courts, who coordinated the preparations for the conference, was also displeased by the conference's cancelation. "

It was a blessed initiative. It's sad that months of efforts will be lost," Ben-Dahan said. He said he did not know who caused the conference's cancelation and why. However, Haaretz has learned that it was dictated by rabbinic court figures, who object to the efforts to improve the circumstances of women who cannot get a divorce. Supreme Rabbinical Court judges Rabbi Hagai Izirer and Rabbi Avraham Sherman both advocate strengthening the husband's and rabbinical court's status in divorce cases. Izirer even supports authorizing the rabbinical court to cancel a divorce. Thus children born to a woman after she has divorced could turn, retroactively, into bastards. Izirer and Sherman spearheaded a campaign to pressure Diaspora rabbis to refuse the invitation to the conference.

1 comment:

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