ISRAEL: Perquisites for Polygamists

There is no civil law against polygamy in Israel. The Law of the Prophet permits the Moslem Arab minority the privilege of plural wives. The Law of the Rabbis binds Ashkenazi Jews (mostly of Central European origin) to monogamy but does not affect Sephardic Jews (of Spanish, Portuguese and North African origin) or Yemenite Jews (of Arabian origin).

The Yemenite Jews, now 45,000 in number, take their name from the corner of Arabia where they were cut off for centuries from the rest of Jewry. In their isolation they were not touched by...

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