web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Election Of Chief Rabbis A Tumultuous Process

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.

Other well-known rabbis still interested in running for the Ashkenazi chief rabbi’s post include Modiin Chief Rabbi David Lau, former chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau’s son, and Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, head of the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Election Of Chief Rabbis A Tumultuous Process”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF map of Gaza City launcher sites centered among high schools.
Israeli Cabinet Cowed Back Into ‘Tit-for-Tat’ by Obama?
Latest News Stories
IDF soldiers on the Gaza front received cell phone power banks as part of a Tzohar initiative in time to call their families before Shabbat.

Tzohar enabled IDF soldiers on the Gaza front to charge their cell phones in time to call home and say ‘Shabbat Shalom.’

IDF map of Gaza City launcher sites centered among high schools.

Is the Obama White House strong-arming Israel’s cabinet back into the ‘tit-for-tat’ defense policy of the past two years?

Eight vehicles in the southern Israeli community of Lehavim are painted with swastikas.

IDF soldier wounded during a firefight in Beit Hanoun this morning that took place during an unofficial ‘humanitarian cease fire’ requested by the US.

9:58pm The IDF has adopted the “quiet will be met with quiet” operational directive and is only reacting to pinpoint Hamas rocket fire. When Hamas fired a few rockets earlier today the IDF fired at the area the rocket were launched from (Bet Lahiya, Gaza) The government security cabinet is meeting to decide whether to […]

The Obama administration casts Hamas in the light of a legitimate organization, not the terror group it is listed as by the US itself.

MK Ze’ev Elkin had harsh words for the US’s push for negotiations with Hamas.

Yeshoron Tzoran is the officer who stopped the Arab terrorist near Beitar Ilit who was driving a massive car bomb to his target. Tzoran’s quick thinking and action saved hundreds of lives.

The IDF blew up two more tunnels in the course of the last 24 hours. “The longer we stay on the ground, the more we learn about the extent of the tunnels and the route they were built in.”

The IDF retaliated Monday morning for rocket fire aimed at Ashkelon after hours of quiet on the front.

Calling for a global recitation of the Shema at 12:00 noon EST, 7:00 a.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. in Israel.

The UN Security Council wants a cease fire now. The focus is on the safety of Gaza civilians, but not Israel’s security.

The IDF claims from their investigation and released video of the shell that hit the UNRWA school that they did not kill the 16 people.

If anti-Israel doesn’t necessarily mean anti-Israel-Semitic, why do anti-Israel protests always seem to be so violent?

Make up your mind: PA Chairman can’t decide whether Palestinians are sovereign state or feeble protectorate

Thinking her microphone’s been turned off, UN translator speaks her mind about world body’s anti-Israel obsession.

More Articles from Steve K. Walz

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

Some residents of the town of Nitzan in southern Israel sit and pray together inside a street shelter.

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.

Netanyahu brushed aside Lapid’s political threats, saying that he was either too politically inexperienced or unaware of the true nature of the peace negotiations with Abbas.

Nearly 20 teams from around the world are currently engaged in competing for Google Lunar X’s $20 million prize.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu excoriated the European political establishment for turning a blind eye to the growing number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks across the EU.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: