Monday, November 28, 2005

Princess Camilla and Sir Jonathan

Historian claims Princess Camilla will pose major problem for Chief Rabbi

Manchester University researcher Yaakov Wise, who specialises in the history of Jewish orthodoxy, claimed that the marriage of the Prince of Wales to Mrs Camilla Parker-Bowles has created a difficult problem for the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks. Traditionally the inclusion of a new, senior member of the house of Windsor automatically results in a corresponding change in the prayer for the royal family that is said during the Shabbat morning service in most British modern orthodox synagogues. However on this occasion Prince Charles 'married', in a civil ceremony, a woman with whom he had committed adultery whilst he was still married to Princess Diana and she was married to Brigadier Andrew Parker-Bowles. In addition, the current rules of the Church of England forbid the religious marriage of a divorcee whilst her first husband is still alive.

“If the Chief Rabbi sanctioned a change in the prayer for the royal family to include Camilla he would have beeen accused of weakening the Biblical prohibition against adultery, the seventh of the Ten Commandments,” says Mr Wise. “In addition there is a specific Talmudic lifelong ban on the marriage of a woman to the man with whom she committed adultery, subsequent to her divorce from her first husband. This is exactly the case of Charles and Camilla. The Chief Rabbi did not change the prayer, excluded Camilla, and thus, in effect, has spurned the future king and his consort. This has destroyed the whole reason for having the prayer said at all – to publicly declare the Anglo-Jewish establishment’s uncritical devotion to the royal family and the state.”

The prayer goes back several hundred years to the early days of the house of Hanover. It is not said in most strictly orthodox synagogues. A practice that the Chief Rabbi might now wish had been adopted by his United Synagogue before the gradual erosion of the sanctity of marriage within the royal family led to this latest problem.


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