The danger inherent in the plan presented by Minister Herzog, which would allow gay couples to adopt children who are not the biological offspring of one of the partners, has to do with its negative side-effect that would reshape the Jewish family. For that reason, I am upset and see fit to harshly condemn this dangerous plan.
One of the famous Talmudic legends has to do with the Jewish exile in Egypt and the story of salvation that resulted from the Jews keeping their names, dress, and language. The safeguarding of the name, dress, and language is not a technical matter. Rather, it symbolizes the desire to maintain the Jewish spark in exile as well, and reflects the understanding that the Jewish identity is unique.
In the meeting between Miriam, Moses’ sister, and the daughter of Pharaoh on the Nile, with Moses the baby lying in the ark, Miriam suggested that she find a “nursing mother” for the daughter of Pharaoh, the leader of a global power, who was interested in adopting the child.
Pharaoh’s daughter possessed the social understanding needed to realize that if this was a Hebrew baby, it would be proper for him to grow in the kind of familiar environment he is used to, rather than being forced to deal with an environment that is unlike his home.
I find did difficult to grasp why Pharaoh’s daughter was able to understand this simple psychological line of thought, while the Welfare Ministry officials who submitted their recommendations to Minister Herzog fail to understand it. For children, the familiar environment is the best one; a protective environment that has been in existence for thousands of years.
The danger in the Welfare Ministry’s plan is twofold: The danger on the micro level has been addressed above, yet the other danger is on the macro level: The Welfare Ministry seeks to create a public breach that would undermine the nature of the Jewish people: Indirectly, the Ministry seeks to redefine the meaning of a Jewish family. What would be next? Would the Justice Ministry seek to redefine who’s a Jew?
I am certain that at this time there are elements that seek to redefine Jewish marriage and create a new marriage system that would be recognized by the State. I am also certain that most Jews in Israel are not interested in seeing the character of the Jewish family change or marriage redefined. My colleagues and I are here for those people. We serve the people of Israel regardless of origin, status, profession, or political affiliation. Our mission is to safeguard our Jewish spinal cord and that is what we shall do.
Minister Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) is in charge of religious services