Shas' Cynical Use of Conversion Shows Why Israel Needs to Divorce Politics and Religion

The Jewish character of the State of Israel cannot be held hostage by the type of Orthodoxy now represented in the government. We need to re-imagine Jewish life, based on an idea of halakha that is inclusive and enabling, not demeaning and power-hungry.

Shas' cynical campaign ad that was aired last week illustrates – perhaps more graphically than ever – that religious and Jewish values are simply tools that can be used to advance political concerns. This should worry every Jew, both in Israel and the Diaspora.