Rabbi Melchior parries UK rabbinate candidacy

Potential replacement for Sacks says he is happy working in Israel, but adds, “one must never say never."

January 2, 2012 05:03
1 minute read.
Rabbi Michael Melchior

Rabbi Michael Melchior 521. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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A week after his name was first raised by the press as a potential replacement for UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, on Sunday Rabbi Michael Melchior put the brakes on such an option saying he was perfectly happy staying in Israel.

“I never spoke or thought about it before until it came up in the press,” the Danish-born religious leader said. “There’s a reason I made aliya – this is the center of Jewish people – and I’m happy being here working on what matters to me.”

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At the same time, the former government minister said the one lesson he learned from his political career is “one must never say never.”

Melchior said he was following the search for a successor to Sacks, who is set to step down in September 2013, the same way he follows developments in the Jewish world in general – as an active member of the community and observer of the Jewish people.

Melchior said he was flattered by the hundreds of letters he received from British Jews in response to the rumors that he might lead its religious establishment, but added that at the moment he had no plans to go anywhere.

Other rabbis whose names have come up as potential replacements for Sacks include Rabbi Warren Goldstein, chief rabbi of South Africa, as well as Londoners Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Rabbi Harvey Belovski.

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