The Cabinet decided at its weekly meeting today (Sunday) that the authority to open disciplinary proceedings against municipal rabbis would be removed from the Justice Minister and returned to the Religious Affairs Minister.
Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana announced after the government decision that he intends to pass legislation that will protect the special freedom of expression of municipal rabbis.
"I intend to put in order legislation in this area, such legislation that will protect the freedom of expression of municipal rabbis," said Minister Kahana. "I believe that a rabbi deserves a very broad freedom of expression, which stems from the fact that the rabbi's role is to be the municipal halakhic authority. The rabbi's freedom of expression is the core of the trust that a hearing audience acquires for their value and spiritual leader."
"It is my duty as Religious Affairs Minister to ensure that the voices of the rabbis are heard in a dignified and fearless manner and that they have the right to have their voices heard by an audience," said Minister Matan Kahana.
Religious Zionism party chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich praised Minister Kahana's announcement and said that his party would support such legislation.
"Minister Kahan's move is correct. "If a good law comes that will indeed fortify the status of the rabbis and their right and duty to express a Torah opinion in the public sphere, we will support it in the Knesset," Smotrich wrote on Twitter.