Radio rabbi fired over 'heretic' remark

Haredi rabbi fired from radio show for calling national-religious rabbi "a heretic and an idiot."

Car radio 370 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Car radio 370
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Kol Berama haredi radio station announced on Tuesday that a regular guest rabbi on one of its shows who directed an abusive tirade against national-religious rabbis last week will not be returning to the program.
Rabbi Avraham Tamir was answering questions on the new Between Haredi and Nationalist show, broadcast on Tuesdays, and according to the radio station, designed to “heal the rifts and divides in the nation” and dealing specifically with the issue of haredi enlistment in the army.
Tamir spoke out against Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman and Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner, both of whom insist on ultra-Orthodox enlistment in national service. He then directed his comments at prominent national-religious figure Rabbi David Stav, the chairman of the rabbinical association Tzohar who wrote recently in the Yisrael HaYom newspaper that haredim should enlist in the army.
“The thing that angered me the most was that through the media, a reform rabbi from the organization of reform rabbis known as Tzohar, accused the haredi community, no less, of desecrating the name of God.”
Tamir then labeled the Orthodox Stav “a heretic...
perhaps a heretic or perhaps an idiot, but most likely both.”
“How could such a punk rabbi, half the age of [the late leading rabbinic authority] Rabbi [Yosef Shalom] Elyashiv, make a ruling in complete opposition to the generation’s leader?” he asked.
Tamir added that the problem facing the haredi community is not the issue of enlistment to national service, for which “some kind of arrangement” can be achieved, but rather “the cancer in the body of devout Judaism; criminal, punk rabbis who are seeking to undermine the world of Torah Judaism.”
The Srugim national-religious news website first reported Tamir’s comments.
Kol Berama responded to Srugim by saying that Tamir’s comments were “distressing and, needless to say, the station “does not identify with them in any way.
“We regret [the incident] and apologize to Rabbi Stav, as well as to anyone who was offended by these comments.
“Immediately after the broadcast, station managers made contact with Rabbi Stav and apologized in the name of Kol Berama for the unfortunate statement....
Rabbi Tamir will not take part in the station’s broadcasts in the future.”