Halachic state

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A Halachic state (Hebrew: מדינת הלכה‎, Medinat ha-Halakha) is the idea of a Jewish state governed by Halakha, Jewish religious law.[1]

Public opinion

An opinion poll released in March 2016 by the Pew Research Center found high support for a Halachic state among religious Israeli Jews. The poll found that 86% of Israeli Haredi Jews and 69% of non-Haredi religious Jews support making Halacha Israel's legal code while 57% of traditional Jews and 90% of secular Jews oppose such a move.[2]

Support of religious political parties

Just a couple of parties like Chayil and Kahanist groups actively promote this (Kahanists such as Kach and Kahane Chai advocate the abolition of secular democracy and the creation of a Halakhic state in its stead). In contrast, United Torah Judaism (UTJ) and Shas believe that a Jewish-run state is halakhically forbidden until the Messianic age. Therefore, the aspiration is essentially messianic, and they are not trying to implement it. Meimad is the only Jewish religious political party in Israel that actively opposes a Halachic state.[citation needed] The Jewish Home party wishes to increase the Jewish religious character of the state incrementally by influencing individuals. Noam, a very conservative Orthodox party founded in July 2019, supports the creation of a Halakhic state.

Support of Jewish religious leaders

The Lubavitcher Rebbe advocated the transformation of Israel into a Halachic state after the Messiah comes.[3] He also pointed out many times that according to Jewish tradition, the arrival of the Moshiach, the Jewish Messiah, would bring the Land of Israel to be under the rule of the Halacha. This state would be a monarchy, with Moshiach at its head.

Support of Knesset members and Israeli justices

In 2009, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman stated that "step by step, Torah law will become the binding law in the State of Israel. We have to reinstate the traditions of our forefathers, the teaching of the rabbis of the ages, because these offer a solution to all the issues we are dealing with today". He later retracted his statement.[1] According to 2002 Israel Prize winner Nahum Rakover, who received the Yakir Yerushalayim prize for his research on the use of Jewish law in the legal system,[4] Neeman's opinion was nothing new. He said that the idea is supported in the Foundations of Law Act, passed in 1980, which encourages judges to use Jewish law in their decisions. Yitzhak Kahan, former president of the Israeli Supreme Court, recommended that Jewish law be implemented even in cases of an existing precedent, although his opinion was not accepted and former justice ministers Shmuel Tamir and Moshe Nissim advocated teaching judges and lawyers Jewish law to provide them with the necessary knowledge to implement the law.[1]

In June 2019, Tkuma leader Bezalel Smotrich campaigned for the Ministry of Justice, saying that he sought the portfolio to "restore the Torah justice system".[5] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distanced himself from the comments and appointed openly gay MK Amir Ohana to the post.[6]

Sanhedrin revival movement

The 2004 attempt to revive the Sanhedrin as an upper house in Israel (with either the resulting bicameral legislature or the lower house inheriting the title Knesset) was also regarded[by whom?] as an attempt to move the Israeli government to a halakhic state of governance and jurisprudence.

National identity bill

In 2014, Israel's cabinet advanced a bill that would define Israel as "the nation-state of the Jewish people" and also said that Jewish law would be a "source of inspiration" for the Knesset. This was seen by non-Orthodox Jews as a step toward enforcing Orthodox halakha as the law of the land.[7] However, the final version of the law did not include this proposed clause.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Wagner, Matthew (10 December 2009). "Religious Affairs: Who's afraid of a halachic state?". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  2. ^ Eichner, Itamar (3 September 2016). "Major poll: About half of Israeli Jews want to expel Arabs". Ynetnews. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  3. ^ "[Otzar770 - Book page view]". Otzar770.com.
  4. ^ Abe Selig (13 May 2010). "Twelve given 'Worthy of Jerusalem' award". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Smotrich says he wants to be justice minister so Israel can follow Torah law". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Netanyahu appoints Amir Ohana justice minister, first openly gay cabinet member". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  7. ^ Ettinger, Yair (25 November 2014). "Ultra-Orthodox and Reform Jews Share Distaste for Nation-state Bill". Haaretz. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
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