(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Sir, – I fear that the election results for the Chief Rabbinate (“Yitzhak Yosef
and David Lau elected chief rabbis of Israel,” July 25) are a black day for all
Jews in the Land of Israel.
The outcome was a foregone conclusion because
the haredi bloc was and is determined to discredit not only the role of chief
rabbi, but the influence of the national-religious community.
that those who wear knitted kippot have had in learning Torah, building the Land
of Israel, defending our country and bringing yiddishkeit to far-flung,
disengaged communities is too much for the haredim.
They voted as they
did not only because they’re not in the country’s governing coalition, but
because this has always been their policy.
One has to admire the courage
of Rabbi David Stav, the unsuccessful national-religious candidate for Ashkenazi
chief rabbi, who is concerned for the future of the Jewish people. He presented
a program for the entire nation (no other candidate did) and tried to buck the
It’s a shame that the national-religious community did not
give him the total support he deserved.
It’s a shame for all of us that
he didn’t win.
Sir, – In reaction to his defeat
as a candidate for Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Rabbi David Stav told Army Radio that
“political scheming defeated the spirit of the nation,” something that shows him
to be essentially anti-democratic.
Stav was not stabbed in the back by
sinister manipulators – he simply was not judged the best candidate for the job.
His comment is a pathetic example of sour grapes.
Rabbi Stav’s claim that
the victory as Sephardi chief rabbi by Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, son of Shas
spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, was due to “political forces” seeking to
“ensure the continuation of the family’s kashrut certification scheme” reflects
very badly on him. I would expect a prompt apology for this
Rabbi Yosef is a world-renowned scholar and author of Yalkut
Yosef, a comprehensive, multi-volume halachic work. He was deserving of election
quite apart from his parentage.
Rabbi Stav is happy when things go his
way but objects when the majority is against him. In view of this, his defeat
may be a blessing in disguise.
Sir, – Even
with the best of outcomes, the method of choosing our chief rabbis can hardly be
classifiable as a democratic process representing the vox populi.
voting base of 150 people, of whom over half owe their jobs and allegiance to an
entrenched haredi monopoly, cannot be expected to elect candidates whose
priorities are other than the status quo.
But the latest election turns
farce into outrage as two mediocre princes with virtually nothing to show by way
of qualification are elevated to the throne under their respective daddies’
Back when there were great hassidic masters who were not puppets
of a seedy haredi Cosa Nostra, one of them said: Yichus (pedigree) is like an
umbrella – it protects if there is someone under it.
Sadly, the umbrella
is no umbrella and the hereditary emperors who are beneath are naked. Feh! J.J.
Sir, – I have felt for some time that the increasing trend of a
very strict interpretation of Halacha is a form of the Catholicization of
Judaism. Now, following the election of the country’s newest chief rabbis, we
have the fathers and the sons. Can the holy ghosts be far behind?