In iEngage: The Tribes of Israel , we learned that marriage is a contentious issue Israeli society. The question of permitting civil marriage is an ongoing debate on the Israeli political agenda and constantly surfaces, with academics and scholars approaching the issue from various perspectives. Here is a collection of articles and videos from Shalom Hartman Institute research fellows and guest lecturers relating to the subject of marriage in Israel.
Shraga argues that the State of Israel must make changes to its policy that will reflect the current state of the Jewish people. Shraga notices that the Law of Return invites new citizens to the State, but then does not consider them Jews in matters of marriage and divorce. The recent Stern Bill , Shraga offers, is not sufficient: Conversions made by different denominations should be recognized, and couples who would like to convert should have the option of civil marriage.
In this in-depth analysis, Zvi Zohar says that only by easing the conversion process in Judaism can we respond to concerns about Jewish continuity, which he defines as "the number of Jews relinquishing Judaism and Jewish identification in favor of other options." The implications of Zvi’s suggestions will influence civil marriage as well; if conversion is recognized, and more people may be considered Jewish, the onus of getting married in Israel will be eased.
Many of the disagreements about civil marriage in Israel stem from a more fundamental question of how we view Israel itself. Rabbi Prof. David Hartman, in contrast to Rav Kook, offers an "alternative perspective from which to religiously embrace the secular Zionist revolution." Israel has created a new covenant, and for David Hartman, this covenant enables new opportunities for moral behavior within the reality of the State.