Religion: Israel's Blacklist

When Israelis want to get married, they are well advised to check with the rabbinical registrar before hiring a caterer or ordering silver. For civil marriage does not exist in Israel, and all Jews—religious and nonreligious alike —must get approval for weddings from the strict Orthodox rabbinate. In many cases the result has been the dismaying discovery that they are considered psulai hitun—"unmarriageable." Under halakhah, the traditional religious law:

¶ A Jew can marry neither a non-Jew nor a convert who does not meet halakhic standards (thus, according to the Orthodox, excluding those...

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