Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky with Bayit Yehudi Education Chairman Naftali Bennett

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky has released the following statement regarding the debate surrounding Rabbi Avi Weiss:

“Rabbi Avi Weiss is a prominent leader of the Modern Orthodox Jewish world. By his teachings and his personal example, he has inspired and raised generations of Jews in the spirit of kol yisra’el arevim zeh la-zeh (the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another) and with a deep commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

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“Rabbi Weiss’s commitment and integrity are beyond reproach, which is why I find the ongoing discussion about his Rabbinic credentials absurd.

“As Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency, I would like to state clearly that our shlichim (emissaries) will continue to honor Rabbi Weiss’s certifications and recommendations, as we have been proud to do up until now.”

Rabbi Weiss complained recently that the Israeli Chief rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) were in cahoots to disqualify “Liberal Orthodox” rabbis by the Rabbinate refusing to honor their recommendation of their congregants as proper Jews.

As we wrote here earlier, this created a situation in which the largely anti-Zionist Rabbinate, comprised of wall-to-wall Haredim, was collaborating with the RCA, catering mostly to Orthodox Jews who are comfortable staying in New Jersey – to block Zionist Orthodox American Jews from making aliyah.

Hopefully, this madness will be corrected now, possibly with some additional help from Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett, who dropped the ball this year on electing a National Religious Chief Rabbi.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The issue here is not whether you agree or disagree with Rabbi Weiss on ordaining women or letting women learn Torah (remember some of our Halacha is based on the views of women who were knowledgeable in Torah) but whether they are knowledge in whether a person is Halachically Jewish or not. Rabbi Weiss, even though I don't agree with all his views, is certainly qualified in this respect. The Chief Rabbinate in Israel continues to drive a wedge between the Haredi, Dati, and Secular world and is pushing many non-religious Jews further away from our religion. The very thing the Chief Rabbinate is trying to prevent, the growth of Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel, they are causing to grow. And… if these factions continue to expand, they threaten the Jewish character of the State of Israel !

  2. Hard to argue with ‘Prisoner of Zion’ Sharansky, but he is so far off base here it is very sad. He should have stayed out of this one because his image as a hero is now irreparably damaged. Avi Weiss has done a terrific job in kiruv, but his shoulders are not big enough (read: he is not a big enough talmid chacham) to have instituted the changes that he has. (Read: http://www.yucommentator.org/2013/12/open-orthodoxy-a-response-to-rabbi-shmuly-yanklowitz/?wpmp_tp=0)

  3. Avi Weiss has no halachic credibility! He lacks the knowledge,certification(Yadin Yadin semicha)and above all Yiras Schmayim. Weiss and his ilk have not one universally Posak! When the RCA the modern Orthodox association disowns Weiss what more is there to say!? As it is, modern Orthodoxy is the weakest link in the Orthodox chain and thw Weisnicks are a missing" link" The secular Israeli and the more radical secularists are against Judaism! Ilk as Dov Lipman(Ner Yisroel Rabbinical College has disowned him),Shai Peron(his private semicha from the late Chief Rabbi Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu would have disown Peron), both belong to the anti-religious Yesh Ahtid! In the Chanukah era these ilk would be Mityavnim and the Macabees executed tens of thousands of these traitors. Watch every Wednesday bcat.tv scroll down to Community Media then click Brooklyn Publick Network, then click on the arrow in channel 2 , 10:P00Am & 6;00Pm New York Time On Thursdays go to mnn.org 12:00NOON click on number 4 Judaism below Watch Now!

  4. Not withstanding much of the critiscism of the Orthodox establishment above (which is true in most cases) Avi Weiss, an excellent crusader for freeing Soviet Jewry in the 60′, 70’s and 80’s, and a passionate and influential religious zionist, and a very sincere Jew – there are some areas that ‘stam’ congregational rabbis (which is all Avi Weiss is) should fear to tread. He is not a major talmid chacham, has no authority as a halachic mechadesh (mandate to institute new variations of Jewish law), and is leading Jews halachikally astray. To bad he has messed up an up-to-now illustrious career.

  5. Any "rabbi: who maligns Rabbi Avi Wiess does so with malice and jealousy since that person lacks any credibility of being a Jew. Even the alleged "rabbi" Friedman. Rabbi Wiess and Rabbi Mier Kahane has done more for Judaism that ANY other rabbi this centure since they practice what they preach instead of "HIDDING" in the warmth of a yeshiva and have students to go out to beg for donations so that friedman and Nuteri Karti, satmar rabbis can fly first class back and forth to Israel or pretend to visit their rebbes in Europe whereas I see them actually visiting their families and spas at our expense. It is time that Jews should determine who is a Rabbi and not this haredi club of counterfeit unemployed Jews who have much real estate, stocks, and wealth are planning their next vacation to Israel or the mountains.. SHAME ON YOU!

    Rabbi Wiess – you do not need these counterfit Jews to determine your position since true Jews in the USA, Russia, Syria, and Israel remember you in bad weather demonstrating for their freedom while these counterfit rabbi's were sleeping around, molesting their students but you lead Jews, setting an example for me and thousands of others how to be a practicing Jew instead of a reading about Judaism and doing nothing that is required!

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