Religion and Religious Communities Lecture 10 What is a Jewish State? • Halachah? • Civil Religion • Division of Church and State? • Minority Religions? Civil Religion • Calendar • Holidays • Education • National Narratives Jerusalem Friday Afternoon and Saturday Status Quo Agreement, 1953 • All Jews under jurisdiction of chief rabbinate for personal status issues • Public observance of Jewish Law – No transporation on the Sabbath – All government institutions have Kosher food Personal Status Laws Marriage Divorce Burial Are they Jewish? Who is a Jew • Law of Return: “a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of grandchild of a Jew, except a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.” • Halachah: Matrilineal Descent or Orthodox Conversion Conversion Is this Kosher? Chief Sephardic Rabbi Eliahu • "Certainly there is religious freedom for Moslems and Christians, but for Jews only the Orthodox way of religious observance is allowed" Control of Holy Sites Other Implications • Funding for Ministry of Religion • Tolerance/Support for Minority Religions – 5.4 million Jews – 1.2 million Muslims – 149,00 Christians – 117,000 Druze Status Quo, 1953 • Any government leader must prescribe for himself priorities, must decide on first things first...(W)here there was agreement on what was urgent to me, I was prepared to make concessions on what was urgent to others...When I wanted to introduce national service conscription, the religious parties said they would of course support it but they insisted that all army kitchens be kosher. Kosher kitchens to them were of paramount importance; to me they were of subsidiary interest. It was a price I was prepared to pay for their full-fledged support on a vital defense measure...In the same way I agreed not to change the status quo on religious authority for matters of personal status. I know it was hard on some individuals. But I felt, again in the national interest, that it was wise to...pay the comparatively small price of religious status quo." Religious Communities in Israel • Secular (Hiloni) • Religious (Dati) – Haredi/Ultra Orthodox • Zionist • Anti-Zionist – Orthodox Zionists – Mizrahi – “Traditional” Anti-Zionist Haredi Hesder Program Ovadia Yosef-Mizrachi Religious Leader Secular Israelis • Secular Israelis versus American Jews • Growing polarization What does the Future Hold?
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