Ynet has reported on a new ad campaign from the Masorti (Conservative) movement advertising alternatives for Jewish weddings in Israel beyond the fairly strict ultra-Orthodox monopoly. Needless to say, the ultra-Orthodox authorities are unhappy:
The Chairman of Shas in the Knesset, Yaakov Margi, petitioned the Israel Broadcasting Authority to ban the Masorti campaign from the airwaves. In a letter to Mordechai Sklar, IBA’s general director, MK Yaakov Margi charged that the Masorti movement “knowingly misleads and perpetrates a campaign of fraud.” He further claimed to be writing on behalf of “those who are spiritually lost and would not want to find themselves ending up in unseemly places.”
Personally, I applaud the move. I think anything that undercuts or diminishes the unnecessary authority of that specific branch of Orthodoxy over what is and isn’t legally Jewish in the country is a good thing for all concerned, as Jewish history teaches us in some cases that combining the priesthood and government led to disastrous results.