web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi David Stav’

Rabbi’s Chelsea Clinton Jewish Status Quip Stressing Tear with Reform

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Rabbi David Stav is, possibly, the most popular Orthodox rabbi among unobservant Israelis. He has founded and is leading Tzohar, an organization whose main goal is to make Orthodox weddings and other lifecycle events pleasant and uncomplicated for Israelis who would otherwise opt for a secular option. And so, the fact that even this most moderate and open minded scholar could not bring himself to recognize any Jewish validity in the Reform movement (nebech) says a lot.

In a public debate at the Knesset Israel-U.S. lobby on Tuesday, chaired by Labor MK Nachman Shai, Rabbi Stav had this to say about the Reform movement’s demand that their conversions be recognized by the Jewish State:

“The problem of assimilation among American Jews is not only an American problem, it’s our problem, too. There’s an ocean of ceremonies and an ocean of people eager to conduct ceremonies. Chelsea Clinton married a Jewish guy. I’m not arguing the legitimacy of it, you’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew? You want me to recognize the rabbi who officiated at her wedding as a rabbi? Are you trying to push intermarriage through my back door?”

Rabbi Stav spoke after the visiting head of the Reform movement, Reform Rabbi (nebech) Rick Jacobs told the Knesset forum that Reform and Conservative Jews outnumber and outweigh the Orthodox (my translation was done from the Hebrew transcript in Srugim – YY).

“The members, the contributors and the leaders of AIPAC and the federations are Reform and Conservative,” Jacobs stated, adding that his people share an unconditional commitment to support the state of Israel and its citizens (on the proper side of the green line, of course – YY).

He pointed out that after Senator Joe Lieberman’s retirement, all the Jewish members of the Senate and the House will be either Reform or Conservative.

“The Reform and Conservative are the leaders in every segment of American society,” Jacobs stressed. “Therefore the fact that Israel remains the last democracy in the world that discriminates against Jewish denominations representing the majority of Jews in the world and in the United States – is pushing away Jews, puzzles many Americans and erodes Israel’s image as a democratic home that permits freedom of religion. We are not equals in the Jewish State. We believe there’s more than one, authentic way to be Jewish.”

In his response, Rabbi David Stav argued that the law in the state of Israel says we must insure the continuity of Israeli society. “I must guard the existing framework,” he vowed.

Tzohar Founder Attacking Rabbinate Proposal to Revoke his Ordination

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Chairman of the alternative Orthodox rabbinical organization Tzohar and the rabbi of the town of Shoham Rabbi David Stav told Galay Israel Radio that the proposal to revoke his rabbinical ordination was sad.

On Monday, during the first meeting of the newly elected Chief Rabbinate Council, in a discussion of renewing the ordination of some 100 rabbinical judges (dayanim) who do not actively serve on judicial panels, there was an objection to the renewal of number 74 on the list, Rabbi David Stav.

It just so happens that Rabbi Stav had also been the Jewish Home candidate for the office of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, and that he would have one by a hefty margin if not for a maneuver engineered by Shas and the Haredi Zionist rabbis. It also just so happens that Rabbi Stav’s organization, Tzhoar, is the most popular Orthodox outfit bar none among non-religious Israelis, mostly because its rabbis treat them like human beings, a concept which is on occasion foreign to the Haredi rabbis controlling the chief rabbinate.

And so it wouldn’t be so surprising to find out that the chief rabbinate council member who advocated kicking Rabbi Stav down the stairs and to the street was the exulted Rabbi Avraham Yosef, son of the late Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef ZTKL, as exposed by Army Radio reporter Yair Sherki on his Facebook page.

The late Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef ZTKL had a special warm corner for Rabbi Stav, whom he nicknamed “wicked,” suggested he “didn’t qualify to be anything” and even alerted folks that “NRP people come to me saying ‘Be careful, this man is dangerous to Judaism.’”

Speaking to Galay Israel Radio, Rabbi Stav said that “it should be noted to the merit of the Chief Rabbinate Council, that it rejected that proposal immediately and renewed my credentials. But it brings up a very sad problem. That council is comprised of ten rabbis, none of whom is qualified to be a dayan. None of them have passed the exams. And they’re the ones deciding to revoke or extend the credentials of people who have studied for years and have been tested. It looks grotesque and pitiful to me.”

Focusing on Rabbi Yosef, son of the great man, Rabbi Stav continued: “But this is not an issue of the council, but of one man. There’s no need to include in this the entire rabbinate or all the Haredim. He did what he did. Nevertheless, I think the authority to deal with the ordination of rabbinical judges should be removed from the chief rabbinate council, which has no understanding of rabbinical judging and includes no one with a judge’s ordination.”

Regarding the “Tzohar Law” that passed last week, enabling prospective couples to pick and choose the Orthodox rabbi and the location they prefer for their wedding, and regarding the Conversions Law which has received the preliminary approval of the government and the Knesset, adding some 30 Orthodox conversion panels throughout Israel, Rabbi Stav said: “Had I been elected Chief Rabbi and the marriage law were to pass, my life would have been miserable, I would have been attacked ceaselessly. But we continue, because that’s our obligation… [We'll do] anything that can make it easier for Israeli society to obey the halacha, with an awareness of service, without politics…”

Rabbi Stav pointed out that all the reforms he would have attempted as chief rabbi, are being pushed through political legislation anyway. He promised to attempt to do more.

But he explicitly objected to the proposed civil marriage law, which he described as being “a knife in the back of the Tzohar law and the conversions law. The whole idea behind our laws, after all, has been to be friendlier and so the public would be willing to wed and verify their Jewish status at the rabbinate. But if you enact the civil marriage law, then the young people are going to say they no longer need the rabbinate, and they won’t come to verify their Jewish status and they won’t register to marry halachically. I very much hope the bill will not pass, and if it does, we’ll have to be even better at what we do, so they’ll still come to us.”

Tzohar Rabbis Group Says New Law to Help Stop Assimilation

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

The new law that the Knesset passed Monday night to allow couples to register for marriages wherever they want will help prevent civil marriages abroad and stop a wave of assimilation, according to the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization

“Local rabbinates functioned as mini-monopolies, causing widespread resentment among both religious and secular couples,” the Tzohar group said. “In addition to severe bureaucratic obstacles, many ultra-orthodox local rabbis prohibit Zionist rabbis from performing weddings and do not recognize the rabbinic authority of most North American community rabbis.”

It added that the result of the system has been that secular couples traveled to Cyprus and Prague for civil marriages, creating a situation in which “their children will find it almost impossible to prove their Jewish roots in the future.”

Rabbi David Stav, founder and president of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, said, “Many people are unaware that Israel is suffering from a wave of mass assimilation and intermarriage. This is mostly due to bureaucratic factors rather than halachic challenges.”

Naftali Bennett’s Blackest Day

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

It’s official: to be a chief rabbi in Israel you have to be Haredi. Mind you, the group in Israel that most openly and brazenly ignores the chief rabbinate (other than the Arabs) are the Haredim, who rely exclusively on their own religious court system and their own kosher supervision.

The only interest Haredim have in the chief rabbinate are the jobs.

So it turns out that the National Religious public, who actually abide by the chief rabbinate’s ruling and eat their hechsherim – is not good enough to run the thing. And secular Israelis, who barely tolerate the rabbinate and have zero interaction with Haredim – they, too, must obey Haredi rulers.

This complete defeat of the National Religious took place while Jewish Home was not only a senior member in the coalition government, but they had possession of the Ministry of Religious Services. How do you lose the vote—both votes, really—when it’s your office in charge of it?

This was an outright failure of Jewish Home and its chairman, Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett.

The Sephardi National Religious favorite, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, was not my personal choice. But his loss, 49 votes to Rabbi Yosef’s 68, is a major disappointment to many on the right. I could live with it, there was a huge leftist campaign against Rabbi Eliyahu, I could understand his loss.

But for Rabbi David Stav, head of Tzohar, an organization whose mission is to make religious services more available and palatable to the public at large in Israel, for him to have lost by 55 to 68 votes, means there were 68 voters in the body that includes 150 mayors, city rabbis, rabbinic judges and a handful of women, that the Haredi establishment was able to secure.

Now, I have no doubt in the wisdom and scholarship of both winners. I also think they would work hard to open up the rabbinate to the needs of secular Israelis, who have been greatly alienated by the public image of corruption and bureaucracy associated with the rabbinate. I’m a huge fan of Rabbi Lau’s father, former Chief Rabbi Israel Lau, and I admire the scholarship (but not the shenanigans) of Rabbi Yosef’s father, Rav Ovadia Yosef.

So, I for one, could live nicely with these two choices, although many of my National Religious friends are grimacing tonight.

But as a test of the political skills of Naftali Bennett and his Knesset team – it’s a big, fat F. And at a time when we’re going to need them the most, as the dark clouds of a Palestinian state are starting to gather above our heads – this was not fun to watch. At this point my personal confidence in Minister Naftali Bennett’s ability to throw his political weight around, twist arms, issue quiet threats, intimidate and punish the enemy, all the stuff a political representative I send to the Knesset must do – not great.

Bennett was supposed to win this one. He had the power base. How did MK Aryeh Deri and his band of merry Haredim take his lunch money so skillfully?

Rabbi Stav: Get ‘Corrupt Politicians’ Out of the Rabbinate

Friday, June 28th, 2013

National religious Rabbi David Stav has based his campaign to become Israel’s next Ashkenazi chief rabbi on a message of inclusion, friendliness and tolerance. But in an exclusive interview with JTA, he had harsh words for those who have attacked him in recent weeks.

The attacks began two Saturday nights ago, when Rabbi Ovadia Yosef used his weekly speech to call Stav “evil.” Rabbi Yosef, Israel’s chief Sephardi spiritual and legal authority, said that Rabbi Stav, who has painted himself as a reformer,  is “dangerous to Judaism, dangerous to the rabbinate and dangerous to Torah.”

One day later, some Haredi Orthodox youth took the rabbi’s words to heart and literally pushed Rabbi Stav around as he danced at a wedding.

And then last Thursday, the man whom Stav hopes to replace, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, was questioned for fraud and money laundering and placed under house arrest for five days, preventing him from being in communication with other suspects and from leaving the country.

No indictments have been charged, but in Israel, public figures, especially those who are right wing or religious, are considered guilty until proven innocent.

Rabbi Stav wouldn’t comment directly on Metzger’s arrest, but said earlier in the interview that Israel “needs a rabbinate not ruled by corrupt politicians but by God-fearing people. The people of Israel want a Judaism that speaks not in threats and curses but in a pleasant language and ways of peace.”

He insisted that he only wants to make the rabbinate more user-friendly, not to change Jewish law. He’s against instituting civil marriage in Israel and won’t recognize non-Orthodox conversions. But the Haredi orthodox leadership in Israel doesn’t seem to believe him.

Rabbi Stav told JTA that if elected, he wants to strengthen the chief rabbinate’s relationships with Jewish communities outside Israel. One of his goals would be to push for a unified international standard of kashrut.

“The Israeli rabbinate is not just the top institution in the Jewish state but is also a formal authority for Jewish people worldwide,” he said. “We want a permanent dialogue with the different organizations and rabbinates in the United States and different places in the world.”

Ex-Mossad Chief Backs Move to ID Soviet Jews

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Ephraim HaLevy, former chief of the Mossad, has committed himself to a program which will help certify the Jewish identities of thousands of immigrants, primarily from the former Soviet Union, who need certifications that they are Jewish in order to marry under official Israeli law. The announcement came at the annual meeting of the Shorashim (Roots) program, an initiative of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization. HaLevy was officially announced as the program’s Incoming chairman. Shorashim is backed by the Harry Triguboff Foundation based in Sydney, Australia, together with the Friedberg Charitable Foundation of Toronto, Canada and with funding from the government of Israel. The program operates out of offices in Moscow and Kiev, and the first center in Israel to assist couples with the identification process was opened last week in the presence of Triguboff.

Prof. Ze’ev Khanin, Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, told the meeting that since the fall of the Soviet Union, more than one million people have immigrated to Israel. Accounting for natural demographic patterns compounded with a certain percentage of people who chose to leave Israel of their own initiative, approximately 975,000 people living in Israel today describe themselves as of Russian origin.

“For years we were imploring these Jews to come home to Israel and now we’re going to reject them because they can’t easily prove their Jewish ancestry?” HaLevy asked. “There is an answer and that is what this program offers, but if we don’t commit ourselves to it then we’ll go down as the biggest traitors in Jewish history.”

The process often involves sending emissaries into archives and cemeteries in tiny Russian and Ukrainian villages to obtain the levels of proof necessary to determine that an immigrant to Israel is of certain Jewish ancestry. Once procured, the documentation is then presented to Israeli rabbinical courts before an individual’s proof of Judaism can be confirmed.

Rabbi David Stav, the founder and president of Tzohar and also the national religious candidate for the position of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, told the meeting, “We can’t even begin to comprehend the value of what is being done here and this is truly a historic effort.”

Couples not afforded the assistance offered by Shorashim often will enter marriage without halachic approval, a situation which effectively would define their children as non-Jews under Israeli law. Those who are determined not to be of Jewish descent are provided with support to convert under rabbinic guidance.

Update: Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger under House Arrest

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Police have released Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger on condition of “house arrest” for five says, during which time he is forbidden from leaving the country or making contact with anyone under investigation on charges of bribery and money laundering.

Police questioned Rabbi Metzger for 10 hours before releasing him close to midnight Thursday night.

He vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Police have taken into custody Rabbi Metzger’s aide, Chaim Eizenstein, for eight days. Also being held for six and seven days respectively are officials of two non-profit organizations,  Beit HaTavshil director Simcha Karkovsky  and Ben Zion Tzioni, head of the Tzedaka V’Mishpat.

Israeli fraud squad officers raided Rabbi Metzger’s home and office Thursday morning following an undercover probe the past several months.  Police received authorization from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador to carry out the raid and arrests.

Police confiscated computers and documents and opened bank accounts.

The Chief Rabbi allegedly pocketed hundreds of  thousands of shekels, and possibly more, that were intended for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Also questioned and eventually arrested were one of the rabbi’s aides and two NGO officials.

Other arrests are expected.

The probe is the latest in a lengthening list of investigations of Israeli public figures, including former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was acquitted on two major charges and found guilty on one count, and suspended Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The suspicions against Rabbi Metzger are grave, and if indictments are filed, the case would be a bombshell for an Israeli public that is increasingly distrustful of the police, politicians and judges.

Nevertheless, the  timing of the indictment against Lieberman and the questioning of Lieberman is interesting. Accusations and investigations against Lieberman dragged on for more than 10 years before an indictment was filed late last year, coincidentally around the time new elections were scheduled.

Rabbi Metzger, from the Haredi community, is being questioned days before the election of new chief rabbis. The two leading candidates for the Ashkenazi post are Haredi Rabbi David Lau and national religious Rabbi David Stav.

Rabbi Stav Attacked by Haredi Youths at a Wedding

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Rabbi David Stav, a candidate for the position of Israel’s Chief Rabbi, was attacked by a group of Haredi youths Sunday night, at the wedding of the daughter of the Kotel Rabbi, Rav Shmuel Rabinovitch, which was held in Bnei Brak.

Yediot Ahronot reported that with the arrival of Rabbi Stav at the wedding, a few boys began to push him, trying to make him trip and fall while he was dancing. In addition, when Rabbi Stav joined the circle of mitzvah dancers, Shas MK Ariel Atias walked away.

Finally, after Rabbi Stav was forced to leave the place due to the harassment and violence of the young Haredim, dozens of guests began to shout curses at him, such as Rasha (wicked) and Shikutz (vermin).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rabbi-stav-attacked-by-haredi-youths-at-a-wedding/2013/06/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: