MK Orlev
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Orlev: Religious legislation has exhausted itself

National Religious Party chairman believes religious laws must be used to form State's Jewish identity only in rare cases. 'Attempt to impose values through verbal violence or coalitional aggression will lead to opposite result,' he says

Forming the State's Jewish identity through Knesset legislation appears to have exhausted itself and must be used only in rare and special cases which have no other solution, National Religious Party Chairman Zevulun Orlev said in a recent publication.


According to the Knesset member, "The main road we must focus on at this time is the way of education, information, dialogue and conviction."


His message to the religious public is that "we won't be able to bestow the values of Judaism through verbal violence, coalitional aggression, and definitely not through physical violence. This way we may, God forbid, achieve the opposite result."


In an article published in the Sukkot holiday edition of the "Shabbat Beshivto" synagogue bulletin, Orlev admits that the road he is suggesting is longer, but he believes that "this is the default option we have left."


The NRP chairman discussed the question "legislation or education?", ruling that the first option, as a key tool in forming the Jewish identity, is no longer right.


"Facts show that most of the Jewish people show a positive link to the Jewish heritage," he explains. "On the other hand, unfortunately, facts point to an expansion and a deepening of the alienation and rift between religious and secular."


'High Court interprets law incorrectly'

Orlev also points to technical difficulties in the old method, writing that "it appears that instead of having a completely clear legislation, there are problems in implementing the law.


"In certain cases there is simply no enforcement – the Working and Rest Hours Act on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, for example. And in other instances, the High Court interprets the law in a way which is not in line with the legislator's intention, like allowing same-sex couples to adopt a child.


"All the components of the Sukkot holiday are aimed at this matter – one bundle of the four species, with each having a different taste and smell," MK Orlev concludes.


"Shaking the palm branch to the four points of the compass, sacrificing 70 bulls for the 70 nations of the world – all these point to patience and tolerance, pleasantness, truth and peace which should be taken to bring Judaism closer and make the public fond of it."


פרסום ראשון: 10.19.08, 07:35
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