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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Israel Police detain Conservative rabbi over 'illegal' weddings

Thursday 19/July/2018 - 09:54 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
The Israel Police detained Conservative Rabbi Dubi Haiyun for questioning on Thursday morning، saying he performed "illegal" weddings without authorization of the Chief Rabbinate. But Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ordered law enforcement not to call him in for further questioning until it becomes clear whether his actions are suspected as criminal، as Ynet said.
Jewish weddings in Israel can only be legally performed by the Orthodox rabbinate، which other streams of Judaism consider an impingement on religious freedoms.
According to a post by Haiyun on Facebook، the police woke him up at 5:30am and brought him in for questioning. "Iran is here. It turns out the Orthodox Rabbinical Court in Haifa filed a complaint against me for performing weddings،" wrote Haiyun، who heads the "Moriya" community in Haifa.
Rabbi Haiyun، like hundreds of Conservative rabbis in Israel who are not recognized by the rabbinate، has been performing weddings for many years—from the day he was ordained by the Conservative movement. He also served in the past as president of the The Rabbinical Assembly in Israel.
Haiyun was scheduled to teach a class on Wednesday at a special event marking the 9th of Av at the President's Residence، an event that has already become a tradition، where male and female rabbis from different streams teach.

The Masorti movement said that "the event was already publicized، in social networks as well. Apparently the motives for arresting the rabbi this morning were to cast a shadow over the event and embarrass the President's Residence."
Mandelblit's senior adviser، Dr. Gil Limon، explained the detainment to Knesset member Yael Cohen Paran (Zionist Union) in a letter، saying، "The police have requested Rabbi Haiyun to arrive at the police station nearest to him. However، he failed to report to the police."
"After not heeding a summons the police had sent Rabbi Haiyun، he was brought in today to the police station in Haifa. Following an initial inquiry into the matter and at the rabbi's request، his questioning was postponed to Monday،" Limon wrote.
Dr. Limon said the attorney general carried out an initial inquiry into the matter and "instructed the police not to summon the rabbi for a criminal investigation on the matter until it becomes clear whether his actions are suspected as criminal."

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