Rabbi David Stav 370.
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
The Rabbinical Council of America, an extensive association of Orthodox rabbis in North America, issued a letter of public support for Rabbi David Stav, a candidate for the position of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, following a harsh denunciation of Stav from Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef Saturday night and an unseemly incident on Sunday at a wedding.
“We shuddered when we heard the terrible things said by Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef about the rabbi [Stav] after last Shabbat and what we heard about the incident in Bnei Brak at the wedding of the Rabbi [Shmuel] Rabinowitz’s daughter,” Rabbis Shmuel Goldin and Arye Matanky, president and vice president respectively of the RCA, wrote in their letter on Monday in reference to events Sunday night when Stav was shoved and verbally abused by several haredi youth.
“This is the Torah and these are who study it?” the rabbis asked of recent events.
“We express our thanks for everything which the rabbi has done for the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and the State of Israel. We expect to work together with the rabbi for many years, to increase and glorify the Torah and to drawn people closer to God,” the rabbis concluded.
Separately, the High Court of Justice has instructed the government to hold the elections for chief rabbi no later than July 24, which is the date on which the already extended terms of the serving chief rabbis expire.
The Ministry of Religious Services said it would do everything possible to fulfil “this tight schedule,” and noted that the oversight committee for the elections would convene twice this week.
Other likely candidates for Ashkenazi chief rabbi include Rabbi David Lau, the chief rabbi of Modiin and possibly Rabbi Yitzhak David Grossman, the renowned and much-respected “Discotheque Rabbi” and head of the Migdal Ohr educational institutions.
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On Monday, chief rabbi of Kiryat Ono Rabbi Ratzon Arusi announced his candidacy for the position of Sephardi Chief Rabbi on haredi radio station Kol Barama. Another possible candidate for the position is Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed. His position is made complicated by the vehement opposition to his activities of several activist groups due to comments made by Eliyahu in the past about Israel’s Arab minority.
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