Meir Panim delivers warmth, special care to families in need.
JERUSALEM – Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel’s current Sephardi chief rabbi whose 10-year term is set to expire in the coming months, and Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, a leading Ashkenazi rabbi, announced their intention to force a legal change in the chief rabbinate selection process.
The proposed alteration, which has the support of Shas spiritual head and former Sephardi chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Chaim Druckman, the Bnei Akiva Youth Movement head and influential force in the HaBayit HaYehudi faction, would extend Rabbi Amar’s tenure and permit Rabbi Ariel to run for the position of Ashkenazi chief rabbi. He would succeed current Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who has also served for 10 years. The plan, if successful, would derail the candidacies of Shoham Chief Rabbi David Stav (Ashkenazi) and Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu (Sephardi).
This new development comes as the election process for chief rabbis seemed to be nearing a conclusion after HaBayit HaYehudi head Naftali Bennett and MK Rabbi Shai Piron of Yesh Atid agreed to back the candidacies of Rabbi Stav and Rabbi Eliyahu.
During the past two months, Bennett and Rabbi Piron have waged behind-the-scenes battles with haredi political factions, including Shas, and even within HaBayit HaYehudi itself. Their goal is to promote moderate religious Zionist candidates for the positions of chief rabbi.
After HaBayit HaYehudi received the Religious Services Ministry portfolio in the new coalition government, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, a Sephardic graduate of Jerusalem’s Mercaz HaRav yeshiva who was forced out less than three years ago as director general of the chief rabbinate-influenced Rabbinical Court System, became the deputy minister of religious affairs. Rabbi Ben-Dahan, fourth on HaBayit HaYehudi’s faction list, promised in the campaign to overhaul the fossilized Rabbinical Court System and the ministry, which was controlled by the haredi United Torah Judaism and Shas parties for years. He also vowed to promote a balance of religious Zionist, haredi and Sephardic dayanim within the courts, and help Bennett find qualified religious Zionist candidates for the chief rabbi’s post.
While Rabbi Stav has actively promoted himself for the chief rabbi’s position, many leading rabbinical luminaries in Litvish and chassidic circles have campaigned against his election, claiming that his religious policies are too liberal. Rabbi Stav is one of the founding members and current chairman of the Tzohar Modern Orthodox rabbinical faction, which has challenged some of the incumbent chief rabbis’ requirements for religious and non-religious Jews who wish to marry in Israel, along with parts of the conversion process.
On the latter issue, Rabbi Stav previously told The Jewish Press, “A huge number of converts would absolutely adhere to religious tradition over the long term if they did not have to deal with the current before, during and after process that the Rabbinical Court System has placed in front of them. The idea is to convert the ger – not to torture them.”
Because of the controversy surrounding Rabbi Stav’s alleged liberal halachic positions, a faction within HaBayit HaYehudi tried to promote Rabbi Ariel, who is accepted by most of the haredi establishment, as an alternative candidate. But at 76, Rabbi Ariel is currently barred from serving as chief rabbi due to the law that only those under the age of 70 at the outset of the 10-year term may serve.
According to Israel Hayom and The Jerusalem Post, Bennett was pressured by some in his party to change the law in order to accommodate Rabbi Ariel’s candidacy. But he could not convince Rabbi Yosef to support the new bill in exchange for extending Rabbi Amar’s tenure. Rabbi Yosef is reportedly angry with Bennett due to his alliance with Yesh Atid, which prevented Shas from joining the coalition.
The 150-person Special Election Committee, which includes municipal rabbis, religious judges, mayors, council heads, the IDF chief rabbi, and several Knesset members, is believed to be under the Shas Party’s influence. Thus, Bennett and Rabbi Piron are trying to write and sponsor a bill that would add at least another 50 members to the committee. The additional members would include a more diverse group of people, and could tilt the balance in Rabbi Stav and Rabbi Eliyahu’s favor.
For his part, Rabbi Eliyahu has been criticized by liberal groups for his support of so-called state-sanctioned revenge against Arabs and his support for some Safed residents’ refusal to rent apartments to local Arabs.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Don’t expect Iran to sign anything before the last minute, if not afterwards, and if at all.
With “congratulations” like these, who needs a punch in the stomach?
The Iranian-backed rebels also threaten suicide bombing attacks as they approach the Saudi border.
Who is Horowitz? He’s Netanyahu’s eyes and ears. He’s very close to him, literally his personal representative everywhere…
“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with
other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”
Saudi Arabia withdraws personnel from Aden. Iran calls Saudi strike a “strategic mistake.”
“The tone of #US officials’ background comments on #Iran talks is getting progressively more dreary, like the weather in #Lausanne,” Associate Press reporter Matt Lee tweeted Saturday night. Lee is a veteran journalist who has a keen eye and ear that cuts through the double talk and dishonest smiling faces of American diplomats. If he […]
It is a long tradition in the Muslim world never to agree to anything at an agreed time.
Hamas test fired a rocket on Saturday, the rocket landed within the Gaza Strip.
Gere is a guest of Shimon Peres.
Israel was aware of the report’s impending release and did not object.
The PA hasn’t changed anything on their end, so why did Netanyahu suddenly change his policy?
Obama’s “two-state” phobia shows how much he and his experts do not understand the Middle East.
As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.
“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.
Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”
If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/religious-secular-in-israel-israel/election-of-chief-rabbis-a-tumultuous-process/2013/05/14/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: