JERUSALEM (Oct. 19)
Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the new Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, is trying to persuade the independent Liberal Party to postpone its showdown vote on a limited civil marriages bill to give him time to find a halachic solution to the problems the bill seeks to alleviate. Rabbi Goren, who asked for a meeting with the ILP leadership in a letter he sent yesterday to Yitzhak Gaulan, leader of the faction, said he intended to ask the bill’s sponsor, Gideon Hausner, to agree to postpone a Knesset vote for one year.
A meeting of ILP leaders with Rabbi Goren is expected to take place at the end of the month when Hausner returns from a lecture tour in the US. But ILP secretary Y. Barkai told a party meeting last night that while he respected Goren he could not see how the Chief Rabbi could possibly solve the problems of all categories of people forbidden to marry under halacha inasmuch as the rabbi has stressed that he has no intention of deviating one iota from the ancient laws.
Barkai said the ILP did not want to precipitate a coalition crisis. He urged, however, that the Labor Party should permit the ILP to act according to its conscience as it has permitted its other coalition partner, the National Religious Party, to do on many occasions. Premier Golda Meir has warned that the ILP would have to leave the coalition if it persists in demanding a vote on the Hausner bill.