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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rav Amar’

Shas Continues Petty Attacks Against Rav Amar for Control Over Sephardim

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

It was a first for Shas, when the spiritual leader of the Sephardic-Haredi party was chosen by the politicians, rather than the politicians being chosen by the spiritual leaders, Shas’s Council of Torah Sages.

Until now, Rav Ovadia Yosef ruled the Shas party with an iron fist and making all the major decisions, but since his death, and even a little before, the party has been effectively ruled by the Shas party chief, Aryeh Deri.

On the face of it, the current battle Shas is fighting is over who will be considered the spiritual heir of Rav Ovadia, and they hope by default, the spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardic community.

It’s that last part which guarantees Shas votes for the Knesset.

On one side there is former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, an acknowledged Torah giant and until Aryeh Deri’s political coup, the heir-apparent of Rav Ovadia as spiritual leader of the Sephardic community. But to his political disadvantage (and to his credit), Rav Amar is not part of the Shas party’s inner circle.

On the other side is Aryeh Deri, who is empowering rabbis he believes are aligned with him politically, further entrenching his position as the party’s leader to whom everyone answers.

Kikar Shabbat, a Haredi news website controlled in part by a member of the Yosef family, has been reporting what they describe as the political fight between Rav Amar and members of the Yosef family. The latest is over which politician visited whom during Pesach and for the Mimouna.

For Shas, these political visits provide much needed legitimacy to their rabbis and their party, and are thus very important. It is just as important for them that political leaders don’t visit Rav Amar, as they see those visits as undermining the legitimacy of their politically chosen spiritual heirs.

Kikar Shabbat even discusses which official robes Rav Amar wears as former chief rabbi and how that is an attempt to undermine their spiritual leaders. And during the most heated period before Rav Ovadia’s death, Kikar Shabbat even stopped using the honorific titles they grant senior rabbis they approve of.

But the Kikar Shabbat article that really shows how petty the Shas blood-feud really is, is the babyish article that attempts to denigrate Rav Amar as contradicting his own halachic rulings, entitled, “In contradiction to his own past rulings, Rav Amar will light the bonfire after Shabbat”.

Previously, Rav Amar gave a ruling that on Lag B’Omer, the traditional bonfires should not be lit right after Shabbat when it falls out then, but instead, anytime throughout the next day. This is to avoid any possible desecration of the Shabbat.

This year Lag B’Omer falls out right after Shabbat.

Kikar Shabbat reports out that Rav Amar sent out invitations to his bonfire which will take place on Saturday night at the graveside of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai.

The Shas controlled website “innocently” asks, why is Rav Amar contradicting his own rulings, and running his bonfire on Saturday night.

Sources close to Rav Amar pointed out to Kikar Shabbat that Rav Amar is running the bonfire on Sunday morning at 3 AM, and that doesn’t contradict the previous ruling, which explicitly permits bonfires “any time throughout the next day,” which includes 3 AM Sunday morning.

All Kinds of Kissing

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Today: hand kissing, why, when, where, who, and, most important: what the heck?

Former minister of Social Affairs and former Minister of Communications Moshe Kachlon (on the right, kissing) was the Sephardi poster child of the former Likud government. He was a star, who introduced real competition among cell phone providers that brought down rates in a significant way. Now he’s no longer a star, in fact, he’s been a bit on the forgotten side.

Rabbi Zion Boaron (being kissed) is candidate for the position for chief Sephardi rabbi, in a crowded field. He has the backing of the current chief rabbi, Rav Amar, for the position. It’s understandable that he would also want on his side someone as popular as Kachlon. In short, looks like a match made in heaven. So what’s the problem?

The problem is that Rabbi Boaron is not the kind of modern, moderate, open minded rabbi one would expect someone like Moshe Kachlon to back. I’m not saying he shouldn’t back him, I’m just saying there’s a whiff of political posturing here, in fact, more than a whiff, almost an odor.

Rabbi Boaron’s positions are complex.

Rabbi Boaron, who serves as a rabbinic judge on the Rabbinic Supreme Court, opposes unisex work places, the Haredi draft, women’s organizations, and Haredi women suing their husbands for divorce in rabbinic courts. Mind you, he has well founded, even logical reasons for each one of his positions, and they all make sense. But moderate and modern they ain’t.

On the other hand, Rabbi Boaron has received open letters of support from women’s organizations such as Yad Laisha and Mavoi Satum for his “tireless effort” in working to help women receive their ‘gets’ (Jewish bills of divorce), as well as his halachic rulings on the matter that have helped women break free of their Agunot status. His actions included flying around to remote corners of the world to personally track down and convince recalcitrant husbands to divorce their wives.

In the area of conversion, he declared the “Bnei Menashe” to be of Jewish descent, which helped them finally immigrate to Israel. His approach to conversion is halachic, but with a moderate approach, in order to try to reduce intermarriage and assimilation.

He will probably also support the Heter Mechira leniency in the upcoming Shmittah year.

And unlike many other Sephardic Rabbis, Rabbi Boaron does not see himself as subordinate to Rav Ovadiah Yosef, and rejected Shas’s request that he drop out of the race.

Like we said, complex.

So, why the sudden shidduch? I believe we’ll find out soon enough.

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.

Chief Rabbi: Stop Ingesting Pesticides to Avoid Bugs

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Rav Shlomo Moshe Amar, is stepping up his campaign against ‘bug-free’ vegetables.

He previously called on the public, in an elaborated ruling, to use leafy vegetables that hadn’t been treated with pesticides and to thoroughly clean them at home “like in the good old days.” Now, the Rabbinate has made public its intention to make the criteria even tougher, and in extraordinary cases even to remove kashrut certification from stores marketing vegetables with high level of pesticides

A letter issued by the Kashrut department of the Chief Rabbinate, describes “serious incidences where some of the supervised, ‘bug-free,’ leafy vegetable growers are using higher levels of pesticides than allowed or alternatively using forms of pesticides that are forbidden by Health Ministry standards because they are harmful to human health.”

“The national Kashrut division has been asked to instruct officials providing kashrut certification to these producers to issue certificates only to companies supervised by the Israeli health ministry on a regular basis – either directly by health ministry laboratories or by laboratories approved by the ministry,” the Rabbinate’s letter continued.

The letter stated emphatically: “Let it be clear to all food services and producers whose kashrut is certified by the local rabbinate, not to purchase, under any circumstances, produce that is not supervised, since it is impossible to check it in the public sector. As of now, there is no change in the instructions that obligate you to use health ministry-supervised produce exclusively.”

A Chief Rabbinate spokesman said that “companies which will not comply with these standards will be disqualified by the issuers of Kashrut certificates, and we will even publicize it, so that it won’t be permissible to use their products in places that are supervised by the local rabbinate.”

In a long, detailed, halachic ruling issued last week, Rav Amar wrote that it is preferable to use vegetables that were not grown by the bug-free method (using the dangerous pesticides) and to clean them at home. According to Rav Amar, the processes used to prevent infestation cause many health risks.

Rav Amar is adamant on correcting the popular misconception among Orthodox Jews that it is impossible to clean vegetables from insects, and that they, therefore, must be purged using special ‘bug-free’ methods which actually cause a lot of health hazards.

Rav Amar further argues that it is inconceivable that the population that wants to be more cautious about kashrut issues should spend more money for produce that is hazardous to their health.

According to Rav Amar’s halachic ruling, “there is no justification that people who are careful regarding the prohibition of eating worms and insects pay good money for it, and that even poor people are driven to reduce their children’s food intake, thinking they are being spared from halachic prohibitions, only to be victims of bigger threats than those halachic prohibitions.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/chief-rabbi-stop-ingesting-pesticides-to-avoid-bugs/2012/11/08/

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