Friday, June 07, 2013

Parashath Korah: Time For A Real Chief Rabbinate

ערב שבת קודש פר' קרח תשע"ג

Rabbi David Lau, Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel, Rabbi David Stav
Chief Rabbi "Candidates"
The elections for Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel are imminent.

Elections? In other words, whoever garners the mote votes will be the new Chief Rabbi for the next 10 years.

Will this individual be the rabbi who knows the most Torah? An halakhic (Jewish legal) expert in contract disputes? Kashruth? How to deal with enemy combatants or Shabbath desecraters?

Perhaps. Or perhaps popularity, charisma, and political savvy will be the attributes which get him elected.

Rabbi David Stav is campaigning hard for the position...hard. Or, now it seems that Rabbi David Stav was campaigning hard for the position?

I have not been keeping track of the latest Chief Rabbi election news, so I do not have a clue what this means about how he was campaigning. And now he's not?

Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel then entered the frey, needing a legal change to the maximum age a Chief Rabbi can be.

Doesn't that sound like the Vatican's restriction of voting rights on elderly cardinals? (להבדיל)

I am not sure what the point is anyway. ten years ago, Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel was the favored candidate. Then some outside force (who will remain nameless) stepped in, and decided that Rabbi Yonah Metzgar would be the Chief Rabbi, and that was that.

So much for democracy.

And now, I hear that the leading candidate is Rabbi David Lau. Who's that? I have no clue. Although when I searched for his image, a photo of his milu'im (IDF reserve duty) card came up. So, even though he wears traditional Lithuanian (ie. non-Jewish) clothing, he's a tzi'eini??? How 'bout that? He is even an officer. But, would Rabbi David Lau encourage the full implementation of the halakhoth related to running a truly Jewish military, as well as the halakhoth related to fighting a war?

Yep! Such things exist, but were you ever know it, if you depended solely on the Jewish education of Israeli government schools?

I think not.

Anyway, I'm confused.

What does a popular vote have anything to do with being leading dayan and poseq, even an election by rabbis who were appointed by a self-perpetuating committee??

Absolutely nothing.

Rafi at Life In Israel stated this quite well in his piece The Desecration of the Chief Rabbinate, criticizing the wheeling and dealing, as it were, and suggesting that the rabbi most deserving of the position would be the one who does not participate in the dirty and ruthless process.

It is said that Korah was a hakham, very learned in Torah. But, that unlike Moshe Rabbeinu, who learned Torah lishmah, for the sake of learning Torah, for the sake of the misswah, and for the sake of understanding HaShem's Will, Korah learned Torah in order to receive kavod (honor).

I will assume that the above pictured candidates all have only the best of intentions for Am Yisra'el and Eretz Yisra'el, and the utmost respect for Torath Yisra'el, and are not in the least bit interested in the honor which comes with the position.

But, how will the winner be able to function at his utmost, if he will be stopped at every possible politically-incorrect corner by the Israeli government? In particular, the Israeli Supreme Court has already overruled the Chief Rabbinate's decisions on the kashruth certification of a Christian bakery in Ashdod and a meat company.

It also intervened in the dispute between Rabbis Sherman and Rabbi Drukman over the proper approach to conversions. Why was this dispute not resolved by the Rabbinical Courts by Rabbinical judges knowledgeable in these halakhoth? And, why did Rabbi Drukman accept the Court's ruling. Because it ruled in his favor? Or because he's a Mamlakhti?

Why is the Israeli Supreme Court sticking its nose. Soon, it will undoubtedly do the same regarding marriage and divorce, resulting in countless mamzerim running around, not to mention the increased violation of halakhoth related to gilu'i arawoth.

Then not much later, look for it to declare brith milah (ritual circumcision) "sexual mutilation."

So, what it the point of a Chief Rabbinate anyway, if the Israeli Supreme Court has the final say on everything, anyway??

And even when the Israeli Court system was not so outspoken on religious matters, where were the Chief Rabbis? Where were the Chief Rabbis when women began entering male combat units, and the amount of promiscuity in the IDF sharply started to rise? Where were the Chief Rabbis when the safety of IDF soldiers has been compromised for the sake of "innocent civilians," ie. human shields for terrorists? And where were the Chief Rabbis whenalmost 10,000 Jews were thrown out of their homes and off of their lands in Azza (Gaza) in תשס"ה/2005, and the land handed over to hostile Yishma'elim (Arabs)?

One hakham, who brought these issues into the forefront, Rabbi Elitzur HaLewi Sege"l was recently "convicted" of making "anti-disengagement" statements, disengagement being the preferred euphemism for expulsion. In other word, Rabbi Sege"l was convicted of exercising his freedom of speech," which demonstrates that such a concept does not actually exist in Israel, unless, of course, the Erev Rav-controlled government approves, or can at least tolerate your statements.

Gee. Do you think that the fact that their salaries came from the government instead of from some secured, independent fund, may have influenced them?
דברים טז,יט לֹא-תַטֶּה מִשְׁפָּט, לֹא תַכִּיר פָּנִים; וְלֹא-תִקַּח שֹׁחַד--כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר עֵינֵי חֲכָמִים, וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִם. 

Deuteronomy 16:19 You will not wrest judgment; you will not respect persons [over others]; nor should you take a gift; for should a gift blinds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous. 
Democratic process touching the selection of rabbis sounds too much like the supposedly Jewish "civil religion" of the supposedly Jewish movement of "Reconstructionism." "The past has a vote, not a veto," is one of its dicta, and the "voting process" carries a heavy roll in congregational life,...sometimes even to the dismay of the congregation's spiritual leader, to whom they refer as "rabbi".

MK Moshe Feiglin's unifying idea of having only one Chief Rabbi, serving all Jews, regardless their ethic backgrounds, seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Although I certainly like the idea of unity, what good is one, two, or twelve Chief Rabbis, if they're just going to be puppets?

One friend suggested that this would eliminate some bureaucracy. Maybe. But the Israeli government, whether Left-wing or Right of center has always been proud to display its expertise in increasing bureaucracy, so I would hold my breath. 

A real Chief Rabbinate is chosen through the consensus of hakhamim on a single hakham, who becomes the first samukh, and semikha who then grants [real]  to then next Jews who are also hakhamim. Or at least that is an oversimplification of the process brought down by the Ramba"m. Not everyone is qualified to sit on this court, not women, nor anyone else pasul for eiduth.

A real Chief Rabbinate is not chosen through democratic (קל וחומר pseudo-democratic) selection committees, with women OR men.

What we need is a truly Jewish, Chief Rabbinate, for the sake of Jewish Unity, for the sake of returning to the path of living authentically Jewish lives, and for the sake of the misswah.

What we need is the return of the court begun by Moshe Rabbeinu, the leadership which stood up to the challenge of Korah, Korah, who at the will of the The Almighty was then swallowed up by the mouth of the earth.

We do not need any harmful Korahes, whether they be in the forefront, sitting as Chief Rabbi, or behind the scenes in the backrooms of the K'nesseth and Israeli Supreme Court, pulling the strings. 

What we need is a Sanhedrin.


Ariel ben Yochanan said...

B"H - We are living in deceptive times. Evidently Hashem calls upon us to distinguish between Moshe and Korah, between good and evil, individually. To this end maybe it is useful to mention that the so called chief rabbinate with its chief rabbis is a government ministry, a mock organization put together by the Zionists in their effort to secularize the Jewish people, to separate them from Hashem, our G-d, much like the communist Chinese regime recreated mock xtian and buddhist hierarchies in that country. “Chief rabbinate” sounds and looks Jewish, but in effect it is not. It is there to deceive. So, the short answer is: Who cares!

Esser Agaroth said...

Well, I care, because, like you, I want to wake Jews up to the facts which you so eloquently stated.


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