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Israeli police detain liberal rabbi over ‘illegal’ weddings

July 19, 2018

Liberal Rabbi Dubi Haiyun arrives for a prescheduled event at the President's residence in Jerusalem, Thursday, July 19, 2018. Israeli police briefly detained Haiyun in the city of Haifa early Thursday morning on charges of performing "illegal" Jewish weddings without authorization of the country's chief rabbinate. Jewish weddings in Israel can only legally be performed by the Orthodox rabbinate, which other streams of Judaism consider an impingement on religious freedoms. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police have briefly detained a liberal rabbi in the city of Haifa over performing “illegal” Jewish weddings without authorization of the country’s chief rabbinate.

Rabbi Dubi Haiyun, who belongs to the Conservative Judaism movement, wrote on Facebook on Thursday that police woke him at 5:30 a.m. and took him in for questioning.

He says Haifa’s Orthodox rabbinical court “filed a complaint against me for performing weddings.”

Police said Haiyun was arrested after not heeding a summons. He was later released but the case wasn’t closed and he needs to appear before police on Monday.

Jewish weddings in Israel can only legally be performed by the Orthodox rabbinate, which other streams of Judaism consider an impingement on religious freedoms.

Opposition lawmakers denounced Haiyun’s arrest as a violation of religious freedom.

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