Yesh Atid backs Rabbi Stav for chief rabbi

Tzohar chairman gets important political endorsement after Yisrael Beytenu announced support for his candidacy last week.

Rabbi David Stav 370 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
Rabbi David Stav 370
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
The campaign by Tzohar chairman Rabbi David Stav for the position of Ashkenazi chief rabbi gained another important endorsement on Sunday with the Yesh Atid party declaring its support for his candidacy.
MK Rabbi Shai Piron, who was No. 2 on the Yesh Atid electoral list, issued a statement declaring his party’s support for Stav, saying that it was important that the incoming chief rabbi should be “someone who has served in the IDF, whose children have served in the IDF and is a model for Torah scholarship and involvement in Israeli society.”
On Thursday, Yisrael Beytenu also announced that it would support Stav’s candidacy.
Tzohar, a national religious association of rabbis led by Stav, has sought in recent years to provide an alternative to the Chief Rabbinate in the provision of marriage services and other religious functions.
The organization has frequently claimed that the Chief Rabbinate’s approach to religious services has not been appropriate for the needs of the general public, a stance that has upset the generally haredi religious establishment that has controlled the rabbinate and the Religious Services Ministry (and its predecessor the Religious Affairs Ministry) in recent years.
The election for the new Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis is slated for June.
A 150-member panel including municipal chief rabbis, city mayors, MKs and government ministers will vote in a secret ballot to elect the two new chief rabbis.
The national-religious Bayit Yehudi party has set up an internal panel to decide which of the main nationalreligious candidates for the Chief Rabbinate it will support, although it is not expected to make the decision until after the formation of a new government.
Two other national-religious figures, Rabbi Eliezer Igra, a rabbinical judge on the Supreme Rabbinical Court, and Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, dean of the prestigious Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, are both considering running for the position.