Meretz Proposes A Bill For Patralineal Descent

That’s right. After years of haredi stonewalling and subterfuge, hilonim are fighting back. If Yosi Beilin’s bill passes a Jew will be defined this way:

…The proposal states that "for the purposes of the Population Registry Law and all registration or legal certificate," an individual will be considered Jewish if at least one of his or her parents is Jewish or he or she joined the Jewish religion in a religious process or has joined the Jewish people in a non-religious process and has linked his or her fate with the Jewish people, and is not a member of another religion."

Beilin says the amendment will mean that 300,000 Jews from the CIS who at present are not considered Jewish will be able to register as Jews is they so desire. "In a world of DNA, it is so old-fashioned to talk about a chain of motherhood," says Beilin. If people see themselves as Jewish, and certainly if one of the parents was Jewish, he adds, why should the state define them as not Jewish?"…

Israel needs to create a wall of separation between Synagogue and State. This bill, flawed and unworkable as it is, is a start toward creating a state free from religious coercion.

If Beilin can get this bill passed, he’ll be viewed as a hero by
much of Israeli society, even by parts of that society that would have
opposed this bill a few years ago. If he can dismantle the Rabbinute,
he’ll be elected prime minister – and will be able to keep that job as
long as he wants it.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Meretz Proposes A Bill For Patralineal Descent

  1. Garnel Ironheart

    This is actually an incredibly stupid idea. On one hand, Yossie Beilin is on the front of the movement to remove as much Yiddishkeit from Israel as possible and redefine it as “A state of all its citizens”. That’s not enough for him so now he has to redefine Judaism? If, as an Israeli, he wants to redefine who qualifies under the Law of Return, fine. But Judaism is not defined by the Israeli government but by Jewish authorities. With this move he will cause a major problem. It doesn’t matter how “enlightened” he is, religious Jews (and we’re not all sadistic hypocritical pedophiles) will never recognize these converts leading to bitterness and schism within Judaism (don’t we have enough already?). What’s more, has he asked these Russians (because that’s what it’s all about) if they want to be Jewish? If they do, why are they building churches at a frenetic pace all over Israel? Beilin’s move will just further the split between the religious and the non-religious and not accomplish anything positive.

  2. I have to say that patrilenial descent is where I draw the line as far as my Halachic flexibility.

  3. Garnel Ironheart

    But as I wrote above, this has nothing to do with halachah. On one hand, Beilin does not want Israel to have any connection between synagogue and state, on the other hand he seems intent on creating as many Jews as possible?

  4. Lawrence M. Reisman

    The secular Zionist definition of a Jew has become anyone who won’t vote to turn Israel into an Arab state. That is the bottom line.

  5. Yochanan Lavie

    PAtrilinear descent was accepted in Tanach times (I know the mepharshim say otherwise, but they’re apologists, not historians). The reason I would oppose it today is that matrilinear is too ingrained and the Beilin/reform defintion is therefore too divisive. But I see nothing inherently wrong with it.

  6. Anonymous

    It’s idiotic to claim that only matriarchal descent defines a Jew. If that’s the case, there aren’t any Jews because not one of the 12 sons of Jacob married a Jew. Every bit of priestly and royal lineage in the Tanakh is given by the father’s name and family – mothers and daughters are so beneath notice as to hardly be mentioned – “and he begat sons and daughters.” Well, well. Nice to know they weren’t all gay. The fact is that GOD didn’t make this rule – men added it to the Torah with no authorization from God to do so. In this day and age, Jewishness can be proved or disproved with a simple DNA test – God put His stamp on Jews and the “Jewish leaders” have no authority to say otherwise.

  7. Neo-Conservaguy

    “In this day and age, Jewishness can be proved or disproved with a simple DNA test – God put His stamp on Jews and the “Jewish leaders” have no authority to say otherwise.”

    Ignorance is a scary thing.

  8. Anonymous

    The Cohen Gene is a proven fact, and is passed from father to son directly on the y-chromosome – the nationality of the mother is completely irrelevant. God’s priesthood is preserved 100% genetically traceable from father to son from now all the way back to Aaharon. If you don’t have that gene, you aren’t really a Cohen, pure and simple. And it was recently announced that there are four female mitochondrial lines (again, passed from mother to daughter only – sons do not inherit it in any way) that are proven to be associated with Ashkenaz heritage. It’s clear that Jewish heritage cannot be just from the mother – the cohen gene proves that. God selected his priesthood by nothing but male descent. It’s a proven fact. You aren’t a levite unless your FATHER was a levite – your mother could be anyone at all and you would still have the cohen gene. Science proves the ultra-orthodox halacha of matriarchial descent is wrong and not God’s paradigm at all. God, as I said, puts his stamp on people and the Rabbis have no authority to change that. They fear science only because it takes away their power, not because it isn’t true. Science proves they are wrong, and not just about genetics.

  9. Shmarya-

    Next time you tell me that you’re observant, I’ll point out this blog post. Instead of working to strengthen our people, you support Meretz’s move to dilute the definition of a Jew. You don’t need to be a Jew to be an Israeli citizen.

  10. avrech

    Alright, failed messiah guy, now you’re just giving way to anger. By supporting Beilin’s position, all you’re doing is indulging in some kind of revenge trip. I’m sorry you were so hurt and disillusioned. I’m sorry that Yossi Beilin is so hostile and angry towards us , too.

  11. Try re-reading the post. I’m not supporting Beilin’s bill at all.

  12. Hman

    “It’s idiotic to claim that only matriarchal descent defines a Jew.”

    The only idiotic claim is that the halachic dialectic, with its mode of analysis, methodology and conceptualized rationale, which I am convinced you nothing about, should be abandoned based upon the dubious ‘logic’ of beilin and his ilk.

    Personally, the only idiotic claim seems to be the new clarion call by those who claim they wish for ‘Jewish’ continuity while simultaneaously doing everything in their power to mindlessly undermine it.

  13. Anonymous

    Hman: Are you denying the scientific fact of the cohen gene? Are you denying that your Jewish mother didn’t give you a bit of your identity, because the mitochondria are only passed to her daughters, not to you? The reason more than half the world’s Jews reject your “halachic dialectic” is that it is so far removed from scientific reality that people can’t believe God could be so stupid – so it must be men who were stupid and are passing it off as God. Science shows us the sun is millions of times bigger than the moon, and any reasonably intelligent person knows the gravity from a moon that size would rip the earth to shreds – yet the Rabbis claim the moon used to be the same size as the sun. Is God that dumb? No. Just men are. There are so many examples of your “halachic dialectic” that have produce complete scientific idiocy that entire books have been written on it. Is God really an idiot who thinks dead flies should be ground up and put on wounds? The Rabbis apparently were. Science is the enemy of the Rabbinate because it exposes how backward and self-serving their “halachic dialectic” really is. God has not need to fear science – God designed science. The Rabbis, on the other hand, have to fear science because scientific truth, like genetics, dilutes their power. In order to keep their power and control, they want to be able to make up their own definition of who is a Jew – so that people who won’t submit to unscientific nonsense don’t get a say. “Look, we’re the REAL Jews, because we said so.” That’s pathetic power-mongering and nothing else, and everybody can see that except people like yourself who benefit from the power structure. How many of those so-called levites and self-appointed priests don’t really have the cohen gene? If they don’t have it, then they have no authority whatsoever to make any rulings about anything. God gave that authority only to cohen, and even gave the world scientific proof of who is a real cohen. The Rabbis supress the truth so they won’t be de-throned. It’s not rocket science, it’s sociology 101.

  14. Hman

    I am not suggesting that Rabbis are infallable. What I am suggesting however is that perhaps the issue of being a Jew is not a matter of genetics. Have you mapped God’s Gene yet?

    The reason why Jews reject halacha may be due to their understanding of the ‘scientific truth’; Which as you know is as completely infallible, as oppossed to the Rabbis. There are many reasons that people reject the Torah and the Rabbinic interplay that has guaranteed the continuity of the Jewish People throughout the ages. However, this call for patrilineal descent is a desparate attempt by certain movements, both religious and political that could benefit from legitimizing such a claim.

    The reason why the Reform, and even some conservative communities are pushing for this is due to the fact that many of their members are faced with a devestating rate of intermarriage. In other words, if they reject large portions of their membership, such Rabbis would find themselves out on the street. Talk about suppressing the truth.

    As far a Beilin is concerned; He is a dolt that opposses anything Jewish because it reminds him of the base animal he has become.

    I appreciate your pursuit of science and can also understand that you may resent the destortion that comes with an honest pursuit. However, I find your views of some Rabbinic cabal to be a bit over the top and without merit when it comes to this subject.

    In any event, I am glad to see that you were able to determine by the power of your own intellect that the author of the Mishna in Kiddushin, the Mishna in Yevamoth ch.2, based on being dorash the verse in Devarim 7, the tosfoth, Rashi, Ri haZaken, Rav Yosef Karo, the Rambam, and Ezra haSofer, are all a bunch of power mongering dummies. Kudos to you.

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