The Jewish Week is always here for you.
We need your support now.
Your contribution will help us bring you vital news
and frequent updates about the impact of COVID-19.
Gotta Love Those Israeli Rabbis

Gotta Love Those Israeli Rabbis

I will never again pull an all-nighter, or even half-nighter, if I can help it!

Last night, I was up past 1 a.m. trying to finish writing an article about Israel education and advocacy in the United States. Whenever I write about Israel, my head starts spinning and my own opinions dart all over the ideological spectrum depending on what I’ve read most recently.

This morning, I dragged myself out of bed with a headache that no amount of caffeine can remedy, a complete incapacity for thinking clearly about anything, and the joy of this delightful headline: “Dozens of Israeli rabbis forbid renting to gentiles.”

That was on JTA, the Jewish news service, and Haaretz, not Electronic Intifada or MondoWeiss, in case you think it’s merely some anti-Israel propaganda.

The municipal chief rabbis (their salaries are funded by Israeli taxpayers) who signed on to this religious ruling (which was slammed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and which I hope contradicts Israeli civil law) include the inspiring Rabbi Yosef Scheinen of Ashdod, who told Haaretz: “Racism originated in the Torah. The land of Israel is designated for the people of Israel. This is what the Holy One Blessed Be He intended and that is what the [sage] Rashi interpreted.”

Way to go, rabbis, for your valiant efforts to alienate virtually everyone and destroy any sympathy the world had for Israel in the aftermath of its catastrophic forest fire.

I guess the conversion bill wasn’t effective enough: after all, that only alienated non-Orthodox Jews. (Hmm, I wonder if these rabbis think it is OK to rent to people who identify as Jewish yet are not Jewish according to strict Orthodox definition.)

Oh, and of course one of their other stated justifications for real estate discrimination is that it will help prevent intermarriage. Sigh.

Do you like "In the Mix"? Then like it on Facebook!

read more: