Conservative, Reform Rabbis: Mikvehs discriminate against us

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 |  Sara Fischer
Israel’s Conservative and Reformed movements are petitioning the High Court against the National Authority of Religious Affairs for discrimination against their members using public mikvehs (ritual baths). Converts to Judaism go through the mikveh, reaching the highest level of purity according to Jewish Law. But mikveh employees have only allowed in Orthodox Jews while Conservative and Reform rabbis were denied entrance. “This situation is callous discrimination against the progressive, conservative Jewish public who seek services of immersion while the Jewish Orthodox movement's actions are clearly invalid and unlawful. Preventing conversion candidates from using mikvehs for immersion for the purpose of converting is against the freedom of religion and conscience that is guaranteed to the Israeli citizens,” the petition read. Reform Rabbi Yehoram Mazor notes that the mikvehs don’t belong to religious ancestry, but rather to the State and the people of Israel.

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