MOSHE RAZIEL SHARIFY 311.
(photo credit: Rhonda Spivak)
At the tender age of 14, Moshe Raziel Sharify has managed to stir up a righteous
controversy inside the Chief Rabbinate.
Sharify, considered by many to be
a child prodigy, desperately wants to become a rabbi and doesn’t see the need to
wait another eight years to reach the minimum age set by the Chief Rabbinate for
a man to take the ordination exam.
In an exclusive article to be
published in Friday’s Magazine, Jerusalem Post
contributor Rhonda Spivak brings
the story of a truly gifted Netanya teenager who has the backing of some dozen
serious rabbinical figures for his bid to become Israel’s – and possibly the
world’s – youngest rabbi.
Over the past year, Sharify has undergone 10
thorough examinations, all of which were given by well-respected rabbis who were
unanimously impressed by Sharify’s intellectual capabilities. Even Ashkenazi
Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger initially supported Sharify’s bid to take the
ordination exam, but Metzger was overruled by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo
The Post has learned that several years ago, the rabbinate, in an
informal and unofficial internal ruling, decided to set 22 as the minimum age
for a candidate to take the ordination exam.
This, however, did not stop
the rabbinate from inviting the 14-year-old Sharify to take the exam in
Jerusalem after receiving the boy’s application, which included his date of
Last month, Sharify arrived at the city’s International Convention
Center early and took the test. He’s convinced he aced it.
rabbinate refuses to mark his examination, saying his taking the test “was a
mistake” in the first place. Now Sharify’s father is threatening to take the
Chief Rabbinate to court if his son’s exam is not marked like all other rabbinic
At age 10, Sharify entered and won the Netanya Bible Quiz.
The following year, he entered and won first place in the Central Region Bible
Until the turmoil surrounding Sharify is resolved, he will continue
to study in the Yishuv Hadassah Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, and play soccer with his