Jewish Ideas Daily has been succeeded and re-launched as Mosaic. Read more...

Israeli chief rabbinate

Marking the Day–But Which Day? Marking the Day–But Which Day?
Monday, April 8, 2013 by Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

If it's the 27th of the month, it must be Holocaust Remembrance Day.  But what are we remembering, and why?  Differences in memorializing the Holocaust reflect fundamentally differing perspectives on Jewish history.
Knowing When It’s Time to Go Knowing When It’s Time to Go
Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Talmud states, "The older Torah scholars become, the greater wisdom increases within them."  Yet the Torah imposes an age limit on spiritual leadership.
Opening the Gates of Judaism Opening the Gates of Judaism
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 by Motti Inbari | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Given the demographic and spiritual decline among “biological” Jews in America, if we want to keep Judaism alive, we must do something that we haven't done for 2000 years: proselytize.
Yair Lapid’s Religion Yair Lapid’s Religion
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a speech to haredi students last year, Yair Lapid advocated a shared public sphere in Israel that is neutral on questions of religion.  Does he now have the chance to implement his vision?
Why America Has No Chief Rabbi Why America Has No Chief Rabbi
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Jonathan D. Sarna | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Just as America introduced free-market capitalism into the economy, so it created a free market in religion.
The Brain Death Wars The Brain Death Wars
Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Shlomo Zuckier | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When does a human life end? A 2010 monograph by a rabbinic body, a recent book by an independent scholar, and a forthcoming book by another rabbinic organization are the most recent entries in what is among the most discussed halakhic debates of recent times.
Editors' Picks
An Overdue Marriage Proposal Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post. Reforms to Israel's religious bureaucracy, announced this week, will force rabbis to compete for clients.
Divorcing the Rabbinate from Marriage Israel Drazin, Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Israel's "state-backed Orthodox rabbinic court monopoly must be disbanded and replaced by a rich and vibrant mosaic of voluntary rabbinic courts," argues a new book.
The Rav and the Rabbinate Jeffrey Saks, Jerusalem Post. Asked why he had considered, and rejected, standing to be Israel's chief rabbi, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik explained: "In my great naiveté, I dreamed of being able to democratize the rabbinate in Israel."
How Powerful Are the Chief Rabbis? Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel. Foreign Policy may believe Israel's chief rabbis number among the world's 500 most powerful people, but "there are certainly more influential rabbis in the Jewish world—and even in Israel."
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom. Disagreements in the religious Zionist camp over which candidate to back for chief rabbi are likely to ensure that the post remains in haredi hands.
Secularizing Israel Guy Ben-Porat, Moment. Since the early 1990s, secular Israelis have gained new freedoms from religious authority—even as the country has become more religious.
On Israel's Jewish Future Ruth Gavison, Tikvah Fund. "The real debate in Israel now is not whether to extend the existing religious Orthodox monopoly but whether to keep it at all."
Saving Israel's Chief Rabbinate Dov S. Zakheim, Jewish Ideas and Ideals. After retiring as Israel's Sephardi chief rabbi in 2003, Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron set out a plan to end the chief rabbinate's hegemonic control over marriage.  Now it is time to implement it. 
Learning from the Popes Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Cardozo Academy. In the midst of its troubles, the modern Catholic church has recently produced a series of widely differing but extraordinary popes.  Can Israel’s chief rabbinate learn from their example?
Access Denied Daniel Estrin, Atlantic. Israel's Russian immigrants must prove their Jewish ancestry to obtain marriage licenses from the government.  But Russia is making it increasingly difficult to access the Soviet archives.