Oct 11, 2010

14 year old Sues the Rabbanut

A few months ago, in July, a 14 year old genius boy took the semicha test of the Rabbanut. he wasn't supposed to, as it is against the rules for such a young man to take the test, but he requested special permission, and it was granted, on condition that the test would not be graded.

The boy, Moshe-Raziel Sharifi, is now suing the Rabbanut to have his test graded and to be granted semicha (assuming he passed the exam). The case will be heard by the Supreme Court.

In Sharifi's claim he says that many gedolei yisroel, among them Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu and the Chafetz Chaim received semicha at very young ages. He also mentions a 17 year old boy who was permitted to take the same exam that he was disqualified from, and that boy, lo and behold, is the son of one of the senior testers in the Rabbanut.

Sharifi demands equality and fairness and equal opportunity, and just like allowing the 17 year old to take the exam, an exception should be made for him as well.

Rav Amar has now responded, and says that the reason why he does not allow the young man Sharifi to receive semicha is because it is against th rules, and he should not even been allowed to take the exam. The exam is only given to those who have spent 4 years, above the age of 18, studying in a recognized yeshiva. Allowing any exceptions to this rule, Rav Amar said, is creating a slippery slope that will lead to the Rabbanut being forced to grant semicha against its will to women and Reform Jews.

As an aside, I wonder why they are suing in civil court and not settling the dispute in beis din...

5 comments:

  1. why does Rav Amar not respond to the case of the 17 yr old and clear that up. I'm ok with R Amar setting minimum ages, but if they aren't in place yet, he can't pick and choose the rules now.

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  2. The Chofetz Chaim took his semicha test at a very senior age - 80+, when he needed some official document that he was a rabbi, for the purpose of tzorchei harabbim, and not as a young boy like this Sharifi is suggesting.
    I'm sure the Chofetz Chaim passed :)

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  3. I would have hoped that Smicha involves more than passing a test, although this doesn't seem to be teh case.

    Surely granting someone Smicha should also attest to the midot and Yirat Shamayim of the new Rabbi, not just that he successfully crammed for an exam...

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  4. according to the article linked on INN, that had already been attested to by Rav SHmuel Eliyahu and other rabbonim

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  5. The fact that he is suing the Rabanut in a secular court is enough of a reason NOT to grant him smicha. Does he follow what he learns or is it just as subject thats there for intelectual stimulation?

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