Sir, – I would like to cite various inaccuracies in “Whither the Chief
Rabbinate?” (Comment & Features, December 26).
1. There has been no
change concerning marriage, divorce and conversion since the establishment of
the Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook never allowed halachic changes and
was probably the most haredi of all the country’s chief rabbis.
article mentions that “some Ashkenazi incumbents have been non-Zionist rabbis,
who attached little, if any, transcendental meaning or purpose to a Jewish
There are two: former chief rabbi Meir Israel Lau – the epitome
of a rabbi the world over – and the incumbent, Yona Metzger, a graduate of the
first hesder yeshiva, Kerem B’Yavne.
3. As chief rabbi of Dimona for over
30 years I have allowed women to speak at funerals. A few years ago we were
given written instructions by the Chief Rabbinate to allow this.
writers mention “corruption in the kashrut industry.” This is an absolutely
untrue statement. If the writers know of corruption, then surely the
police should be informed.
5. I hate to disappoint many people, but the
next chief rabbi, whether from Tzohar or not, will not change halachic
The basic message of this article is to create a rabbinate
that does not coerce Jewish law. The results of this approach can be found in
the tragic rates of intermarriage all over the world compared to the much lower
rate here in Israel.
As Dr. Ismar Schorsch said about the chief
rabbinate, this approach has “not a scintilla of moral worth.”
The writer is chief rabbi of Dimona
Regarding “Guns, homicide and the current debate in the US” (Think About It,
December 25), there has been much discussion about school security, with some
National Rifle Association supporters calling for the training of teachers to
use guns to increase security in all American schools.
What I have not
seen is the response of major American teachers’ unions to this proposal. Has
anyone asked teachers if they want to be trained to shoot intruders in their
schools? Will teachers be required to accept gun training as part of their
qualification? As a teacher I think we have enough responsibilities without
becoming marksmen. Entrance intercoms, bullet-proof windows, closed-circuit TV,
policemen on the beat and emergency buttons that alert the police are
Arming teachers is less reasonable.
Lack of interest
Sir, – With regard to the letter “Egotistical snobs” (December
25), which complains that English-language election debates in Haifa and
Beersheba had been canceled “due to the lack of sufficient participation of
political parties,” the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI)
is appalled that the major parties appear to be ignoring the concerns of the
periphery – which has a significant number of English-speaking
In preparation for the upcoming election, AACI, in conjunction
with The Jerusalem Post, had planned to host forums in English around the
country where the major political parties could voice their platforms and answer
questions. Only one month before the election, we were notified that the forums
planned for Haifa and Beersheba would need to be canceled.
English-speaking citizens need to travel to the center of the country to find
out the truth, or is it already apparent by the political parties’ lack of
The writer is national president of AACI