Many incidents have occurred in
There are more similarities between
One of the great problems that exist in
One of the problems in
The ramifications of this are far reaching in one's personal life as a secular or non-observant Jew. This gives the establishment Orthodox Rabbinate immense powers to influence government decisions as well as one's private lifestyle. Some of the political tools that the establishment rabbinate has are the religious ultra-Orthodox parties in the Knesset that hold political power far beyond their numbers. This is true of the Shas and Torah Judaism Parties who stoop to blackmail to preserve their fundamentalist brand of Judaism.
Now with Pesach (Passover) just around the corner, the secular Jewish community will be forced to eating "Kosher for Pesach" stamped foodstuffs. Any supermarket selling food not kosher for Pesach during the Pesach week will be heavily fined. This does not apply to food stores in the Arab villages where the situation does not apply.
The reason for this legislation is to preserve the Jewish identity of
Because of this religious legislation to prevent ("God Forbid") assimilation, the rabbis have immense powers and many of them have become charismatic religious leaders of the right to extreme right wing persuasion. They are supporters of the occupation and view the occupied territories as part of Greater Israel according to the will of the Almighty and that Palestinians are inferior and are not entitled to basic human rights. Their influence amongst the so-called religious community in
As we have seen over the past few weeks, rabbis with this electrifying charisma are also hiding a rather sinister side that is now beginning to come to the surface as a result of investigations by organizations such as Takana (even they are rather clumsy in their investigations). Suspicions of pedophilic practices and sexual harassment of young women prior to their marriage are becoming known. Many observant religious prenuptial brides seek the advice of charismatic rabbis, who to them are God's messengers, on how they should conduct their new marital relationship. These lecherous rabbis are not averse to giving practical demonstrations in order to satisfy their own sexual desires.
Another example is the sexual harassment of young yeshiva (religious orthodox schools devoted to Torah studies) students by their charismatic rabbinical mentors who hold high positions in the yeshiva hierarchy. Slowly but surely, the dark side of these charismatic rabbis are coming out of the cupboard as more witnesses to these pedophilic acts are revealing what really goes on.
All these incidents occur because of the extreme power that establishment rabbis have because there is no separation of state and synagogue. Here there is a close similarity to pedophilic priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church (and the
Many of these rabbis, because of the immense powers they have to prevent assimilation of the Jewish people, view themselves as God's messengers and are beyond the law thanks to the religious political parties in the Knesset who represent them. This means in practice that they have liberties and powers of religious coercion beyond what they are entitled. There are no checks and balances when it comes to rabbinical exploitation of the secular Jewish community. Secular Jews have to marry in an orthodox religious ceremony which is against their lifestyle and belief (or lack of it). Divorce has to go through rabbinical courts even for the secular Jewish community. Freedom of religion exists in name only in
A country that has no separation of church and state can never be a true democracy. This is applicable to most (if not all) Arab states and