Oct 28, 2014

Proposed Law: Firing a city rabbi

Yesterday the Knesset passed the first reading of a law that will allow a city rabbi to be fired.

According to the law, if it should pass into law, will allow the Minister of Religious Affairs to fire a city rabbi if he is not performing his duties and responsibilities properly. The firing would have to go through a committee that will be made up of dayan appointed by the Minister, a city rabbi appointed by the head of the Rabbanut Religious Council, a legal adviser of a government ministry. If the committee will investigate and deem the suspicions valid, they will be able to recommend to the Minister to fire the suspected rabbi.

Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan says this is necessary because there are such rabbis in the system but the system has no ways or tools to deal with them. This law will increase the level of trust the public has in the rabbis. Ben-Dahan also said this law was prepared in coordination with Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau.

The Haredi parties do not like the law proposal. They don't like the possibility that a rabbi will be fired by a politician. MK Uri Maklev asked if judges have a similar system by which they can be fired. MK Yitzchak Cohen compared Habayit Hayehudi to Titus who destroyed the Beis Hamikdash. MK Aliza Lavie is dissatisfied for another reason - the committee is made up of men and they will protect other members of the club. Lavie wants the committee to include women.

Ben-Dahan responded to the Haredi MKs saying that during the rule of Shas, there was a decrease in rabbis, while he, Ben-Dahan, has appointed 69 new rabbis, to date. As well, Ben-Dahan asked them why they are concerned to protect and defend rabbis who don't fulfill their responsibilities but continue to take payment.

The first reading of the law passed by a vote of 54-11.
source: Kikar and Srugim

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