Israel Religious Council Asks Toledano to Reject Cabinet Post
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Israel Religious Council Asks Toledano to Reject Cabinet Post

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The Supreme Religion Council of Israel, after spending an entire day in debate, adopted a resolution tonight calling on Tel Aviv’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Jacob M, Toledano to reject the post of Minister for Religions in the Ben Gurion Cabinet. Rabbi Toledano participated in the discussion preceding the vote. The Council’s reasoning will be made public tomorrow together with the text of the resolution.

Earlier, Rabbi Toledano, who has been subjected to what may well be the heaviest Orthodox pressure at home and abroad yet brought to bear on a public figure in Israel’s ten-year history, declared that he would quit the Cabinet if and when it adopted decisions in contradiction to Jewish religious law.

The decision on Rabbi Toledano’s appointment will come to a vote in Knesset tomorrow, when the current debate comes to a close and the government faces a vote of confidence on its filling of the Ministry for Religions. Today, Pinchas Saphir, General Zionist leader, announced his party would not vote against the appointment to a void any possible thought that it opposes Rabbi Toledano on personal grounds. Other opponents are also expected to abstain.


It was learned today that Premier David Ben Gurion’s announcement at last Sunday’s Cabinet meeting on cancellation of registration instructions for the time being referred only to cases involving children of mixed parentage. The registration of adults will continue, with the individual having the right to declare whether he or she is a Jew or not.

Meanwhile, the office of Premier David Ben Gurion released a list of 15 Israeli rabbis and personalities and 30 rabbis and Jewish figures abroad who have been asked by a Cabinet committee studying the question for their opinion on how to register a child of mixed parentage whose mother refuses to accept conversion to Judaism, though she and the father request that the child be considered Jewish.

Among the Americans are: Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter of the United States Supreme Court; Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland; Prof. Saul Lieberman, Dr. Abraham Heschel, Dr. Mordecai Kaplan and Louis Finkelstein all of the Theological Seminary of America; Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, honorary president of the Religious Zionist Organization of America; Rabbis Aaron Kotler and Chaim Heller, Orthodox rabbis; Menahem M. Schneerson, the Lubaviteher Rebbe; Rabbi Solomon Freehof of Pittsburg; Prof. Harry Wolfsohn of Harvard University; former Judge Simon Rifkind; and Aaron Zeitlin and H. Leivick, writers.

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