Report: Rabbis Conduct Sham Weddings

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According to an investigation by Israel’s Channel 2, Israeli couples who marry overseas, which generally happens when one spouse is not Jewish, often hire rabbis to conduct sham unofficial Jewish weddings for them after their return to Israel for social reasons.

Channel 2 spoke to S., a man who got married overseas last year and had a fake Jewish wedding two months later.

“The rabbinate refused to marry us because my wife’s mother is not Jewish,” he said. “So we had to pay a rabbi to make a show wedding for us. We reached a rabbi who does this… and made a fake wedding after we saw that the ritual looks the same and that someone unaware of what was happening would not notice any difference. When we spoke to the rabbi before our wedding, he said that he wanted 3,000 shekels to conduct such a chupah, a ritual of twenty minutes, but it would look absolutely genuine.”

Channel 2 contacted such a rabbi, pretending to seek his services. He admitted to conducting such weddings even though it incurred the risk of losing his job. Another such rabbi told Channel 2 that most weddings he conducted were of this kind.

Apprised of the report, a Religious Affairs Ministry representative said the matter “sounds very serious and will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with.”

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

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