Shuli Muallem on Temple Mount 370.
(photo credit: Shmulik Vilam)
MK Shuli Muallem (Bayit Yehudi) declared her support for Rabbi David Stav on
Thursday for the upcoming Chief Rabbinate elections, becoming the second faction
member of Bayit Yehudi to publicly back a candidate to be the party’s
In addition to backing Stav for Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Muallem
also gave her support for Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu for the Sephardi
Earlier this week, Bayit Yehudi MK Uri Orbach issued a public
statement in support of Stav, the first party member of the Knesset to do
Muallem wrote on her Facebook page Thursday afternoon that she had
been in favor of the “Amar-Ariel” deal – designed to bring about the election of
Rabbi Yaakov Ariel as Ashkenazi chief rabbi, one of the leading spiritual
leaders of the national religious movement – but in light of the collapse of
that proposal, she gave her support to Stav and Eliyahu.
“Both of them
are fitting for the job and are fitting people to lead religion and the
rabbinate in the state,” she wrote.
Referring to the political
machinations of the past few months surrounding the chief rabbi elections,
Muallem said that “recent times have been full of struggles, tensions,
pressures, political spin and unfortunately, there was not much Kiddush Hashem
that came out of these developments.”
Accompanying growing political
support, Stav also received a fillip from ranks of national-religious
An open letter signed by more than 90 rabbis, which is set to be
published today, denounces the tactics of Stav’s opponents – in particular a
letter to Stav calling on him to withdraw his candidacy. The letter was sent in
the name of Rabbi Haim Druckman, a leading rabbinical figure in the community,
but seemingly without his knowledge. It said that if Stav would not comply, it
would lead to “destructive results including a complete disconnection between
you and the rabbinical world.”
The rabbis open letter – which included
yeshiva deans, chief municipal rabbis, and other leading figures in the
community – said, “We wish to vigorously protest the use of threatening
“A group of rabbis dared publish a letter threatening Rabbi
David Stav, a chief municipal rabbi, a qualified rabbinical judge and formerly a
yeshiva dean,” the letter read.
“This is shameful to the Torah world and
to the rabbinate,” the rabbis continued and called for such tactics to be
“We call on anyone for whom the Torah and the rabbinate is
dear, depart from this path, such things are not done in Israel.”
candidacy is fiercely opposed by a group of conservative national-religious
rabbis associated with the more hard line faction within Bayit Yehudi.
is this faction that was the driving force behind efforts to seal a deal between
Bayit Yehudi and Shas to secure mutual support for Rabbi Ariel and incumbent
Sepahrdi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in the coming election.
collapsed earlier this week due to insurmountable legislative obstacles and a
public statement from Shas chairman Arye Deri rejecting the deal.