I am officiating at the wedding of a young couple in the near future. In preparing the ketubah [marriage contract], I learned that the groom’s father was born Jewish, but the groom converted at age four, along with his mother. The groom would like his name to appear in the marriage contract as “X the son of the names of his two parents,” since they are all Jewish now; but his father would like it to appear as “X the son of Abraham and Sarah,” since that is how his son was named at his conversion. What is the halakhah in this case?
Of the festivals and special days that we mark during the year, the 15th of Av has, in recent years, become known as the Holiday of Love. This Hebrew date belongs to lovers. Many a bride and groom seek to hold their wedding on this date, and married couples celebrate it with romance. What is the source of Tu B’av as a holiday of love, and what is its connection to the Song of Songs?
Israel is both a Jewish State and a democracy. It is governed by civil and religious law (especially Jewish and Muslim Law, that govern areas pertaining to family law).
Although there is no constitution, eleven basic laws with constitutional status have been passed over the years. The Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, was passed in 1992. Among other things it establishes that a person’s physical and moral wellbeing, as well as the integrity of his or her property, are protected by law.
In this month’s Israel Insight, I would like to take a break from the Intifada and related controversies (I wish that Israel could do so too!) and relate to one of Israel’s long-term problems: conversion, intermarriage and “who is a Jew?” I relate to this issue not as an objective observer, but as someone who has been actively involved for three years in trying to solve this problem. This problem has two different aspects, which sometimes lead in opposite directions.