Like Moshe Koppel, I too would like to see in Israel a society where adherence to Jewish religious norms is self-generated by the country’s Jewish community, or communities, rather than state-imposed. I also share several of Koppel’s specific policy recommendations. The observance of kashrut, for example, would certainly be enhanced if the state were to remove itself from the business of supervision and enforcement—except for the need, in this area as in all others, to interdict consumer fraud (as when someone falsely affixes an Orthodox Union sticker to a product not supervised by that organization). It works in America, Koppel persuasively shows, so why not in Israel?
What Does the Covenant Require?
There should be no place in Judaism or in the state of Israel for religious coercion of any type. This is not a facile concession to modernity, nor to convenience. It is a position rooted in deep theological reflection.