Did you hear about how our Health Minister instructed state hospitals to inspect all visitors for hametz on Passover? Read about it here.
In the spirit of the holiday, we ask ourselves: What would the 4 daughters of the Passover Seder ask?
- WISE DAUGHTER: What is the job of the state?
- WICKED DAUGHTER: Why do we need to worry about hametz at all?
- SIMPLE DAUGHTER: But isn't Israel a Jewish state?
- ONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO ASK: --
At CWJ, we ask the question of the Wise Daughter in all our cases.
Unlike Wicked Daughter, we never ask about the relevancy of any religious practice. We believe all citizens should be free to practice their religion as they see fit.
Unlike Simple Daughter, we don’t just assume that Israel, as a Jewish State, can impose particular religious practices on any of its citizens. We believe a Jewish state must protect the right of all citizens to practice, or not to practice, their faith accordance with their conscience. Moreover, we believe it's the state's job is to protect the civil liberties of all of us—women, men, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze.
So here’s our answers to smart questions:
1. Should the state search for chametz at the entrances to hospitals? No. The state must not do body searches on citizens for any reason, except possibly security. It should not be looking for chametz in the bags of people who visit hospitals. Nor should it be conducting body searches on women who want to pray at the Western Wall in search of Torah Scrolls (a CWJ case). A state protects the privacy of its citizens.
2. Should the state blacklist children who might be mamzerim? No. The state must not blacklist children for having been born in a manner that violates biblical kinship rules and prohibit them from marrying (Mamzer) (CWJ cases). A state protects the right of all persons to marry.
3. Should the state cross examine converts on their religious beliefs and even revoke their conversions? No. The state must not cross examine converts, or any other citizen about their religious beliefs (CWJ cases). A state protects the freedom of conscience of its citizens.
4. Should the state prevent women from getting a divorce except if that is their husbands’ will? No. (Many CWJ cases). The state must figure out modern standards for divorce. This would not prevent the state from awarding damages to women whose husbands abuse their religious privileges to deny their wives a religious divorce (a get) (Many, many CWJ cases). A state protects the freedom, autonomy, and dignity of its citizens.
So this Passover, even if we are all wise, and all learned in Torah, it is still a mitzvah for us to ask the Wise Questions.
Chag Kasher V'Sameach!
Susan, Shoni, Nitzan, Adiya, Rachel and Michelle