Accommodating Religious Law with a Civil Legal System: Lessons from the Jewish Law Experience in Financial Family Matters
36 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018
Date Written: August 24, 2017
The discussion of legal pluralism focuses on the coexistence of several legal systems, mainly religious and civil ones. But what happens when a process of assimilation – whether imposed or voluntary – characterizes the relationships between the systems?
This paper analyzes the fascinating process of assimilation of civil principles into religious law in the context of Jewish law and Israeli civil family law. Assimilation, as the paper shows, is not the whole picture. The paper reveals a corresponding (both open and implicit) struggle for the preservation of religious law principles despite the continuing efforts of civil law for their curtailment, or sometimes, elimination. The result, which is somewhat internally contradictory, leads the paper to suggest a normative pluralistic framework that enables both regimes – the civil and the religious – to preserve their core principles in family law matters.
Keywords: jewish law, family law, divorce, property, distribution, equality
JEL Classification: K36, Z12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation