Agudat Israel Raps Goren

Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren’s recent ruling in the Langer case came under renewed attack this week at a meeting of the Executive of the British Agudat Israel. A report on Rabbi Goren’s ruling, presented by Rabbi J.J. Dunner, who presided at the meeting, and Rabbi B.Rakow, head of the Chaye Olam Yeshiva, denounced the action as “indefensible.”

The report claimed that a single rabbi, whatever his position, should not have issued a verdict “which is in direct conflict with the views of the great rabbis of our time.” It called the Goren ruling “without halachic validity.” A rabbinical court assembled by Rabbi Goren in Tel Aviv last month ruled that Hanoch and Miriam Langer were not mamzerim (illegitimates) and were therefore permitted to marry the partners of their choice.

Rabbi Rakow also expressed “deep concern” over the possibility that Israel would conscript yeshiva students for military service. He criticized Premier Golda Meir for threatening such action after yeshiva students tried to assault Rabbi Goren. “While we deprecate the use of physical force in any circumstances, the Torah will not be silenced by threats from any quarter,” Rabbi Rakow said.

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