Jerusalem – Under Pressure From Ultra-Orthodox, MDA Sets Up In-House Rabbinical Panel

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    Jerusalem – Israel’s Magen David Adom has succumbed to pressure by ultra-Orthodox groups and decided to set up a rabbinical committee to dictate religious guidelines – including gender relations – for volunteers in the rescue service.

    The committee, which was established under pressure from the Haredi community, as well as growing criticism from the religious Zionist movement, will be headed by Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Safed, as well as by a posek (a Jewish legal scholar) from the religious Zionists.

    Most of the pressure is in the Jerusalem district, where there are many ultra-Orthodox workers, as well as many female volunteers in national service. More than 2,500 ultra-Orthodox people volunteer in MDA and other rescue services.

    The committee, which began functioning several weeks ago, provides MDA with instructions regarding relations between sexes, information on science-related matters as well as other relevant issues.


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