Religion Magazine

Litzman Threatens to Drop out of Coalition Because of Women Getting Semicha

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Just over a week ago the courts decided that women should be allowed to sit similar exams to the Rabbanut semicha exams, testing their knowledge in halacha but not giving them semicha. It was worked out that these exams for women would not be given by the Rabbanut but through some body in the Education Ministry. Successfully sitting these exams would give the women similar financial and career opportunities to the men who pass the Rabbanut semicha exams.
The Chief Rabbi, Rav Yitzchak Yosef, already said he doesn't like this and will put all the Rabbanut testing on hold if he is forced to let women sit the exams.
I am still not sure how that protest works, because the women won't be tested through the Rabbanut, but that's the line they continue to push in opposition to the testing.
After a meeting about this with Rav Yosef, Minister of Housing Yaakov Litzman has now threatened, or warned, PM Netanyahu that if women will be allowed to take the Rabbanut exams for semicha he will leave the coalition government.
The only thing I can suggest is that they are worried that the idea of doing it through the Ministry of Education, or of Higher Education, will not be accepted and pushed through and int he end it will be forced on the Rabbanut, so they are gearing up now to pressure against that happening.
I am not sure what Netanyahu can do. This was not a political or executive decision, but a legal one.
Either way, with all the chaos and fighting, there have been plenty of issues already in the air that someone might think would cause the collapse of the government. I don't think women testing for semicha was the one anyone thought would be it, but it might just come to that...
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