Aug 17, 2014

The politicization of the Rabbinate

This was the funniest thing I read over Shabbos.

Mishpacha newspaper was describing the latest updates in the never-ending fight over the elections for new Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem. UTJ was trying to appeal for a delay in the elections, and the court rejected the appeal.

The latest attempt to delay was based on something Bennet did, seemingly changing some of the balance in electoral power in favor of the Dati Leumi.

NOTE: before I continue I feel compelled to say this is but a small part of the fight. I happen to not be interested in most of it. It is a classic power struggle. What is happening now, happened previously in the other direction.The identity of none of the rabbis involved actually interests me. I am sure they are all  capable leaders and tremendous talmidei chachomim and poskim.

Now to continue...

The UTJ representative claimed that the appeal is due to the politicization of the election of the new rabbis, and such political interference has never happened before.

Now, that was the funniest thing I read over Shabbos. And probably in a decent amount of time.

the problem is that Bennet has unprecedentedly politicized the election of rabbis?

This is a competing politician talking while looking for a way to help his own preferred candidate get elected, let's not forget. It is politicians fighting back and forth about which candidate should be given the edge in this election.

Let's not forget about the chief rabbinate of Israel in which the election is completely political - the only voters are politicians and the only campaigning is done among the politicians.

It is funny for one of them to now be upset at the politicization of the election, when he feels it is working against him.

And this is probably a large part of the problem with the rabbinate, as it is today.

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