U.S. Rabbinical Parley Hears Report on Religious Life in Israel

The mid-winter conference of the Rabbinical Council of America, attended by about 200 Orthodox rabbis, opened here last night with an address by Rabbi Isar Yehuda Unterman, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, explaining how ancient law is operating in Israel and how it is applied to modern life by the Jewish religious courts.

“The Rabbinic courts in Israel govern marriage, divorce and inheritance, “the Chief Rabbi reported. “The spiritual leader is fully equipped and does bring order out of a veritable chaos. The civil courts could never accomplish the same results in Israel because of the tremendous wave of immigration the country has accepted. Under consideration now is the potentiality of the Rabbinic courts dealing with the problems of crime through a social welfare approach.”

“The religious marriage contract,” Rabbi Unterman continued, “has previously stated a nominal sum for the support of the wife and the family. Currently, inflationary conditions have dictated, however, that a realistic sum be established in coping with present-day economic conditions. This has raised the marriage contract support requirements to an amount which can actually support a wife and family. The Rabbinic courts enforce this marriage contract rigidly.”

Rabbi Unterman strongly criticized the left-wing Hashomer Haizair Party in Israel for publishing a “revised” Bible from which the mention of God is eliminated. He also warned the American rabbis against representatives of the Hashomer Hatzair who arrive from Israel in the United States as Israeli boyscouts to raise funds in synagogues and other Jewish institutions.

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