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Mrs. Meir Challenges Religious Establishment

Premier Golda Meir delivered an oblique challenge to Israel’s Orthodox religious establishment today to come to terms with the modern world. “The trouble with this generation is that it is lacking a strong, courageous, spiritual rabbinical leader who would take up the challenge of making the necessary adaptations so that Jews–all Jews and any Jew–can live as Jews.” Mrs. Meir told an audience of high school students in a Jezreel Valley settlement.

The matter came up when the Premier was questioned about a case that has stirred most Israelis–the refusal by the rabbinical authorities to issue marriage licenses to a brother and sister who, according to religious law, were born out of wedlock. She said, “A spiritual authority–either single or a group of rabbis–must study the situation of the Jewish people in the last 2,000 years and somehow –I know that takes courage–a way must be found to preserve Judaism and at the same time enable Jews to live in our times as Jews.”

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