Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne has succeeded in getting the Irving City Council to vote its support of a bill by Texas state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, that would forbid judges from using foreign law in their rulings. The reason, according to the mayor, and apparently Rep. Leach was to block the actions of religious courts.
So I went looking for religious courts in the DFW Area and the first thing I found was the Beth Din of the Magen David Congregation, http://www.magendaviddallas.org/beth-din.html. This Jewish congregation offer the following: “A Beth Din is a religious rabbinical court for Din Torah [Torah court]” and goes to say “The Beth Din serves the community by arranging for a “Gett” [divorce by Jewish law], orthodox conversions, assisting with financial agreements, halachic questions, marriage counseling, dream interpretation, business counseling, arbitrations [according to Jewish law] and other agreements, documents and decrees. If you have need for a Gett or assistance of the Beth Din, contact Rabbi Moyal today!”
Well I say if it calls itself a court, and does what courts do, its a court. So surely this is exactly what Mayor Van Duyne is after, keeping Orthodox Jews from having their religious courts.
And of course Rep. Leach wants to do the same thing state-wide, so I assume that these Jewish courts must be virtually everywhere there are Jews.
Now I know that Texas hasn’t exactly been friendly to the Jewish people. 60 or 70 years ago Jewish doctors couldn’t practice in most Texas hospitals, Jews couldn’t join country clubs and civic association, and private schools were totally closed to Jews. But I had really hoped we had gotten beyond this kind of anti-semitism and were prepared to allow Jews to be accepted fully in our society, despite their unusual clothing (not just kipahs, but of course Orthodox women wearing only black and covering their natural hair with wigs or headscarves, and Jewish men with their black hats and talit hand from their shirts.) I thought we were willing, here in Texas, to recognize that Jews should have full religious freedom.
But no. The Irving City Council openly debated a statement [I add in deference to those who believe I misunderstood: appears to me to be] aimed clearly at Orthodox Jews, and the Texas State Legislature will hold hearings on [what appears to me] an open attempt to attack the Orthodox Jewish Community and its faith. So apparently we might as welcome back the KKK and wait for the next round of synagogue burnings. Thank you Rep. Leach. Thank you Mayor Van Duyne. You may not have intended to attack Jews, but appears that you did.
I do wonder, of course, where all those evangelical Christians are who put Israel’s national flag next to the US flag in their sanctuaries. Are you all just going to let public figures advance legislation that attacks Jewish Interest? Pastor Hagee down in San Antonio. Shout out. Have you heard these folks are attacking your buddies? But I haven’t heard from the Jewish community either, although I’ll grant most aren’t Orthodox. Still, AJC, ADL AIPAC. Just going to let this happen?
I guess we’ll see.