The Chief Rabbinate of Israel decided to strip rabbis who incorporate song and musical performances into the marriage ceremony of their authority to officiate at weddings claiming that it "cheapens the Rabbinate."
In a meeting held on Wednesday, the Council of the Chief Rabbinate ratified a similar decision made on the matter nearly a year ago, and emphasized that it would also enforce the decision vigilantly from here on in.
The discussion of the matter was held after complaints against the phenomenon were filed with the marriage board claiming that degraded themselves during marriage ceremonies, and thus trampled on the dignity of the entire institute of the Rabbinate. Following the decision, the Chief Rabbinate will notify all rabbis in Israel that if they do not fall in line with the stipulations, their authority to officiate at weddings will be revoked.
"Matrimony has always been enshrouded in an atmosphere of holiness," explained Chairman of the Rabbinate's Marriage Committee Rabbi Ratzon Arusi.
"We are aware of the fact that a younger generation has arisen that is far from the tradition and is interested in such a chuppah so that it is more accepted by those attending. However, everything must be in accordance with halacha (religious law). If the rabbi is genteel and cordial, we have no opposition. On the contrary, he sanctifies the Heavens. But when he sings and plays music, this is problematic."
Another decision was passed that forbids rabbis from advertising themselves in any way as wedding officiators. "This creates a very commercialized reality, and here, too, it cheapens the Rabbinate," said Rabbi Arusi. Another official in the Chief Rabbinate deemed the two phenomena as "transgression of rabbis' code of ethics."
Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger told Ynet, "We were brought to the subject following repeated complaints that this hurts both the public and the rabbis acting as wedding officiators. In the first stage, we will gently address those about whom complaints were received. We will not start aggressive enforcement before explaining to them the essence of the damage caused to the Rabbinate by them."