Rabbinate bashes ads for liberal wedding ceremonies

August 2, 2016  

The Rabbinate has come out in criticism of a new campaign circulating on “Voice of Israel” radio, which advertises wedding ceremonies not in line with traditional Jewish law that are presented as an alternative to the ceremonies officiated by the Chief Rabbinate, according to a report by Ynet.

The “equal wedding” radio campaign, put out by the Reform and Conservative movements, features parents and relatives showing support for the new wedding ceremonies.

According to the report, the organizers of the campaign emphasize that the new ceremonies do not effect any change in personal details recorded with the Ministry of Interior, but according to them, this doesn’t matter. “With love, that’s not what’s important,” declares the grandfather of a groom in one of the ads.

The Rabbinate is not impressed with the campaign, claiming that it nevertheless misleads people into thinking that the new ceremonies have legal status. Harel Goldberg, the lawyer for the Rabbinate, called on the broadcasting authority to cancel the ads in their current form.

“It’s not enough to emphasize that the ceremonies do not change personal status recorded at the Ministry of the Interior,” he emphasized. “They must also emphasize that the ceremonies have no legal bearing whatsoever for anything.”

According to Goldberg, the fact that the ads claim that the ceremonies are in “accordance with tradition,” people may still think the ceremonies have legal bearing, understanding the ad’s disclaimer as applying to minor procedural details only.

In response, the organizers of the campaign dismissed the Rabbinate’s “monopoly” on weddings, claiming that one is free to get married “according to his own way and faith.”

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