Goren Clears Mamzerim: Hanoch and Miriam Langer Wed Their Fiances

Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren set up a court today of nine dayanim which ruled that Hanoch and Miriam Langer, a brother and sister branded mamzerim (illegitimates) by the rabbinate and forbidden to marry the partners of their choice, were free from the taint of bastardy. Immediately after the ruling was announced the brother and sister married their fiances.

Rabbi Goren told a press conference that the nine dayanim had included heads of rabbinical courts and one dayan who had been a member of a court which had previously ruled against them. He said he would not publish the names of the nine for fear of reprisals against them by religious extremists. After the decision Goren as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv ordered the local rabbinate to register Hanoch and Miriam Langer as marriageable under halacha. Hanoch, 27, married his fiance Yehudit Kinspon, and Miriam, 25, married Danny Levin. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was among the guests.

Rabbi Goren called on his colleague, Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef – in the Negev town of Netivot for the day – and on all other rabbis and dayanim in the country to make peace with him. Members of the Supreme Rabbinical Court said in reaction to the quickie court that they thought it undermined the Judicial process. They wondered if the court appointed by Rabbi Goren had time to examine the evidence and hear witnesses.

Gideon Hausner, head of the Independent Liberal Party and a member of the Knesset, said Rabbi Goren and the dayanim had shown courage and that now the country has been rid of the “monster of mamzerut.” Hausner said Rabbi Goren’s act would certainly influence his party to consider the Chief Rabbi’s request to hold up Hausner’s civil marriage bill for one year.

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