web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Chief Rabbi’

Poland’s Chief Rabbi Threatens to Quit over Kosher Slaughter Ban

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Poland’s chief rabbi said he will resign if a definitive ban on kosher slaughter is imposed in the country.

“I cannot imagine serving as chief rabbi in a country in which the rights of the Jewish religion are curtailed, as I would not be able then to serve properly my coreligionists,” Rabbi Michael Schudrich wrote on his Facebook page. “This obviously is not a threat, for whom would I threaten, but a statement of an obvious fact. If the legality of ritual slaughter will not be reinstituted in a legitimate way, I will be obliged to resign from my function.”

The American-born Schudrich, who has worked in Poland for more than two decades, has served as Poland’s chief rabbi since 2004. Before that he was rabbi to the Warsaw Jewish community and director of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland.

The lower house of Poland’s parliament last Friday rejected a government-sponsored draft law that would have legalized Jewish ritual slaughter, or shechitah, in Poland, by a 222-178 vote.

Poland had allowed shechitah until earlier this year, making about $650 million annually by exporting kosher and halal meat to Israel and Muslim-majority countries. But in January, acting on a petition filed by animal rights groups, a constitutional court ruled that the country has no right to allow religious slaughter.

Shas Finally Selects Chief Rabbi Candidate

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

After much jockeying and infighting, it appears that Shas has finally chosen its candidate for Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel. Among the candidates were former Chief Rabbi, Rav Ovadia Yosef’s two sons, as well as Shas leader Arieh Deri’s brother, and the brother of Shas MK Ariel Attias.

In the end Shas chose Rav Ovadiah’s younger son, Rav Yitzchak Yosef to be their candidate. Rav Yitzchak is considered to be a scholar. He is also the son-in-law of the current Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar.

Rav Amar has been pushing for the appointment of his long time study partner Rav Boaron. Rabbi Boaron is a judge on the Rabbinical Supreme Court in Jerusalem.

What may have helped Rav Ovadia in his decision to select Rav Yitzchak and not his older son, Rav Avraham Yosef, was the investigation that was just opened against him,.

 

 

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Recovering from Back Surgery

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Shas party’s spiritual leader and former Chief Sephardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is recovering from major back surgery at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem following the procedure on his spine the previous day.

Yosef, 93, was scheduled to be transferred out of the intensive care unit on Tuesday. He was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for the third time in recent weeks suffering from intense pain due to a fall in his home early last month. He also had a minor stroke in January.

Can This be True?

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Oh No! Not again! Please… not again… not with this man. I have to presume innocence. Not only because of western democratic principles of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.  And not only because of the major Chilul HaShem this would be – if true. But because of an impeccable record of service to the nation as Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel and because of his service as a soldier for the IDF.

Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yonah Metzger has been placed under house arrest in Israel after ten hours of interrogation by the police about corruption allegations. From the Jerusalem Post:

Police from the National Fraud Squad raided the home and offices of Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger on Thursday, and questioned him under caution for hours, as part of a bribery, fraud, money-laundering and breach-of-trust case. Metzger was released to five days house arrest on Thursday night following some ten hours of questioning.

Metzger is forbidden to enter his offices, leave the country or make contact with any of the other suspects in the case.

Metzger and three other men are suspected of being involved in the pilfering of hundreds of thousands of shekels from a number of charities.

Following an undercover investigation, officers went public on Thursday, arresting the three suspects and seizing documents, computers and other materials from Metzger’s home and office they believe may be linked to the allegations.

The suspects include Haim Nissan Eisenshtat, who worked for years as Metzger’s driver and personal assistant.

Eisenshtat is accused of taking bribes, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering.

Rabbi Metzger denies everything. I hope that’s true. But after so many high profile people have been arrested and convicted of crimes like this in the not so distant past, I have to admit that my confidence in his innocence is a bit tenuous at this point.  Especially as he is now under strict house arrest after an undercover investigation and  a 10 hour interrogation.

I don’t know what it is about so many high profile people who have spent their lives doing good things ending up as criminals. Perhaps the old adage about people who attain a certain level of power is true in far more cases than we would admit: Power corrupts – Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Maybe the temptation for even good people to cheat the system when opportunities are thrust at them constantly by unscrupulous people – overwhelms their ethical sensibilities.  Added to that is their erroneous belief that having so much power and influence makes them invincible.

Perhaps if all of us were tested that way (most of us never are) many of us would fail. Even those of us who believe we have inviolable ethical standards. I don’t know. I hope that I would never succumb to that kind of temptation but haven’t been tested that way. I hope that I never am!

In any case, I will say no more about this case until more of the truth about it is made public. I will give the Chief Rabbi the benefit of the doubt. I hope he will somehow be exonerated of these accusations. But I’m afraid that after so many other cases like this – where undercover police investigations were involved and people went to jail – that I may once again be disappointed. We shall see.
Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

Rabbi David Stav: I’m Torn Up by the Divisive Atmosphere

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Rabbi David Stav, who on Saturday night was attacked viciously by Rav Ovadia Yosef, who said Rabbi Stav was a wicked man, on Sunday night responded to the attack via his Facebook page, saying he is “torn up by the divisive atmosphere.”

Rabbi Stav’s complete message was:

I want to personally thank the thousands of emails, texts and phone calls I received today from rabbis, community leaders and many of you, to strengthen me and my family in light of the personal attacks against me. I do not take this hug for granted, and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

I’m torn by the divisive atmosphere that has been craeted around the Chief Rabbinate election, but when I chose to go on that path, I did not seek to promote myself, rather I was thinking of the path of the Torah and the mission of returning to the Chief Rabbinate the path of Rav Abraham Isaac Kook zt”l.

These are not easy times for me and my family, so I thank you for the strength and the support. I will continue to do everything in order to connect the nation of Israel with its heritage and its Torah, and to ensure bringing together the hearts of religious, secular, Haredi Ashkenazim, Sephardim and the entire house of Israel.

Rav Ovadia Yosef attacked Rabbi Stav’s nomination for Israel’s Chief Rabbi and said: “He has no piety at all, he has no fear of Heaven. They say he is learned—what is it worth? Doeg the Edomite was a great Torah sage in King Saul’s time, and yet our sages said he had no part in the world to come.”

“His friends, from his own party,” Rav Ovadia continued, “testified to me that this man is dangerous to Judaism, dangerous to the Rabbinate, dangerous to the Torah. And I should keep silent? Therefore I had to do, and did, and everything I did was for the sake of Heaven.”

On May 25, a conference of Religious Zionist rabbis that was held at the home of Rabbi Chaim Druckman, demanded that Rabbi Stav withdraw his candidacy to allow the selection of Rabbi Yaakov Ariel—although the latter is too old for the job, and his election would have required special Knesset legislation.

During the campaign between the two rabbis, Rabbi Stav’s PR team was accused of threatened to discredit Rabbi Druckman if he acted against Rabbi Stav’s candidacy. Rabbi Stav denied the charge.

Rabbi Stav is considerably more liberal in his views than any of Israel’s chief rabbis, with the exception of the Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who ran into much the same opposition as Rabbi Stav is experiencing today. According to online sources, Rabbi Stav is less demanding than some on conversions, has a broad cultural background—as opposed to the prevalent Haredi cultural “bunker”—and employs a benign approach to many halachic issues—hence Rav Ovadia’s cursing rampage.

Rabbi Stav’s organization, Tzohar, has done a lot to repair the damage caused by a chief rabbinate that has been alienating Israelis, both secular and religious, in crucial areas, such as marriages and divorces.

In Defense of Rabbi Druckman

Monday, June 10th, 2013

A thousand words is not enough for a response to the withering attack being mounted against Haredi Zionist rabbis on the matter of selecting a chief rabbi.  The not-so-personal case of Rabbi Chaim Druckman, though, is representative. Since I know Rabbi Druckman as a man who takes things to heart in more ways than one, I gave him a call.  I consoled him, noting that in my estimation the “threatening” letter to Rabbi David Stav was not published by those who had attended the meeting at his home, but rather by opponents who disseminated the letter in order to get a boost in the media.

“Of course I know that,” said Rabbi Hayim, “but how do you?”

“Rabbi,” I answered, “I may not know how to study a page of Gemara, but I can give a good  lesson on how to read a newspaper.  The letter doesn’t contain any threat.  It’s very strident, but when push comes to shove, it’s as respectful as possible: a last-ditch call to Rabbi Stav not to run for the position of chief rabbi, despite the opposition of a good portion of the national religious rabbinate.  The assertion that his candidacy would create a rift between him and them wasn’t intended for the media.

The letter, titled “Threatening Letter from Rabbi Druckman against Rabbi Stav,” was released to the media by PR specialists working for Rabbi Stav, who decided to score some points at the expense of Rabbi Druckman and others who attended the meeting.

Rabbi Druckman sighed.  He may have enjoyed my media commentary, but, two months past his eightieth birthday, he has found himself in a war whose rules are not clear to him in the least.

*                              *                              * The proof for my thesis quickly arrived with the media gimmick’s second stage: a letter bearing the signatures of a hundred rabbis and lecturers who came out against the “threatening letter” to Rabbi David Stav.  He suddenly had become the attack-victim to whom everyone must throw his support.  Perhaps they couldn’t gather a hundred signatures in favor of his candidacy, but they could turn the issue on its head: simply gather a hundred signatures against the opposition.  And why waste more money than necessary on huge ads in the secular press?  Just have those other national religious rabbis labeled in the secular press as old-fashioned fanatics and Haredi Zionists, and let the new national religious trend continue to advance.  Secular Knesset members, for their part, including those in the Likud, won’t dare vote for any move to put Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel or anyone else of his sort in the office of the chief rabbi.

I asked a certain friend of mine, a rabbi who had signed the second letter but was not affiliated with Rabbi Stav, why he had put his name to it.  Contrary to my view, he felt that the letter to Rabbi Stav was too aggressive, and therefore signed onto the protest letter.  He really didn’t know, though, that it would be published in the general media in giant, paid ads.

“They used you, Rabbi,” I said.

“True,” he answered, “but that won’t make me excuse myself from my duty to protest”—even though, he granted, he does not think that Rabbi Stav should be the chief rabbi.

My friend is a principled man.  Rabbi Stav’s strategists are a bunch of connivers.

Bennet’s Debt to Rabbi Lior

Rabbi Druckman, who is an example to so many members of the national religious community, thought that since Naftali Bennett and his people had come to him to enlist his support before the elections, they would be faithful to him in the aftermath.  Perhaps not absolutely, but at least on basic ideological and spiritual matters, such as selecting a chief rabbi.

No such luck.  Or, as it was put this week by Colonel Moshe Hager, head of the pre-military academy system and a divisional chief of staff in the IDF: “You can quote me on this: Bennett is playing with the rabbis.  He invited me to meetings with rabbis.  After two meetings, I understood that they were for public consumption: at the end of the day, he does what he wants.  I’m not going to any more of those.”

*                              *                              * Here is a statement of defense against the sophisticated campaign that is playing out in the media, brought to you by one old-fashioned but authentic advocate:

Jewish Home to Support Rav Stav for Chief Rabbi

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

The Jewish Home (HaBayit HaYehudi) party will be meeting Sunday afternoon to officially (and finally) announce their support for Rav Stav as Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi.

The decision was made after it became clear that the law that would allow Rav Ariel to run, was not going to pass. Rav Ariel is the preferred choice for some of the the Rabbis associated with the party.

The party will also announce its support for the Stern Law, which would expand the number of people involved in the election process, according to a report in Arutz-7.

Last week Jewish Home did not support the bill, and in response, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni blocked two Jewish Home bills.

At the meeting, the party will discuss renewing the term of Rav Amar, who has proved to be a very capable and effective Chief Rabbi.

There has been a lot of criticism and  pressure on the Jewish Home party as of late, for what many are calling a lack of leadership, lack of party discipline in voting, as well as the outsourcing of decisions to Rabbis from one of the sub-factions within the party.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-home-to-support-rav-stav-for-chief-rabbi/2013/06/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: