May 25, 2017

rabbinate and politics should not mix

Behadrei has an interview with Deputy Defense Minister Rav Eli Ben Dahan about the upcoming elections for chief rabbis of a number of cities, including Bet Shemesh and Tel Aviv, among others.

Ben Dahan is running the campaign on behalf of Habayit Hayehudi to position religious zionist rabbis in [some of] the relevant cities.

The interview focuses on the possibility of deals to be made with Shas to divide up the cities and grant a religious zionist rabbi the position in Tel Aviv while granting a Shas-affiliated rabbi the position in Bet Shemesh (and other cities would be considered as well for discussion).

Regardless of who gets what, who grants who what, which city gets which rabbi, and what, if any, agreement, the two political parties arrive at, in my opinion this is, once again,, a sad situation. And I have said it before.

Instead of the best candidate being chosen or elected; the rabbi with the best qualifications, the best match for the city residents, the most dynamic or knowledgeable or capable... the positions will be filled by political considerations, with or without a deal (i.e. shas would appoint shas-affiliated rabbis and habayit hayehudi would appoint DL-affiliated rabbis, or they'll make a deal to do that with agreement), and itt does not make a difference to them if the rabbi is good for the city and its residents. They would each elect the rabbi they wan to advance based on foreign considerations.

The rabbinate appointments are good for the politicians. If they happen to be good for the residents, that is a side issue. This is because there is too much politics in the rabbinate, and why the rabbinate must be removed and separated from the politics.



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6 comments:

  1. The idea that the government chooses the rabbis is absurd - his Kehillah should pick him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. The government is us - the democracy that voted for it.
      The kehilla is the whole city since the rabbis do not serve only the synagogues but rather all residents. Since there is no separate elections for city rabbi position, the logic is that the decision / vote is made by a committee of city hall representatives (a ratio from the leading party and opposition), some representatives of the larger synagogues, and some representatives from the national rabanut.

      Delete
  2. I'm shocked. Rabbonim are chosen based on outside influences

    And in highly political Israel, they are chosen based on politics.

    (sarcasm). That's how the game is played in chu"l, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. in the USA there arent really chief rabbis. each community hires its own rabbi. maybe in eastern europe, russia, and the like where they have official chief rabbis it is similar

      Delete
    2. Russian and most other chief rabbis are self appointed (or chosen by committee of their own.). Ukraine, for example, has four or five chief rabbis.

      US and western chief rabbis if they exist, a are basically rav of the local (main) shul. Rabbi sacks and his predecessors were officially rabbi of five or so synagogues. Not of the whole country, or the empire (but influential in British, and rest of you world Jewry by nature of how they conducted their position.)

      Delete
  3. Question to all: Would it be better or worse if the position of city rabbi was an elected position added to the ballot at the time of municipal elections?

    ReplyDelete

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