A Conservative rabbi who was taken in by Haifa police for questioning over performing a marriage outside the auspices of the state-run Chief Rabbinate is running in the city’s municipal elections.
Rabbi Dov Haiyun will head the left-wing Meretz party’s electoral list in October, party leader Tamar Zandberg announced Wednesday. Meretz currently does not have any seats on the City Council.
Haiyun previously ran for the council on the list of the Equal Haifa coalition, which also did not win any seats in the last election.
In a Facebook post, the rabbi said Meretz was “a natural home for me and together we will make a true difference.”
כרב, ובכלל כאדם, הרואה את הקב"ה מתגלה לנו בצלם אלוהים בו נבראנו. בצלם אלוהים באדם באשר הוא ללא הבדל דת, גזע ומין, מרצ הינה בית טבעי עבורי ויחד נעשה כאן שינוי אמיתי.
Last month, Haiyun was taken to a local police station by two officers at 5:30 a.m. for questioning after the Haifa Rabbinical Court filed a complaint against him for conducting a marriage ceremony in violation of state and religious law.
According to a largely unenforced 2013 law, it is illegal to perform a marriage ceremony in Israel outside of the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate.
Following his release, Haiyun told The Times of Israel that he does not believe he will be hauled in for further questioning, or that other Israeli rabbis will now face criminal investigation for conducting weddings outside the state-run religious authorities.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.