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Jun 13, 2012

Most Influential Rabbis In Israel

Does wealth indicate level of influence? It seems not.

The other day, Forbes Israel published a list of the top 13 wealthiest rabbis in Israel. The list was packed with Sephardic rabbis, many from the Abuchatzeira family. There was one female on the list - I guess she qualified as a rebbetzin and would probably object to being thought of as a rabbi, and there were two Ashkenazi rabbis (the Admors of Gur and Belz).

Today, Forbes Israel has published a list the top 20 most influential rabbis in Israel.

Interestingly, only two of the 20 influential rabbis were on the list of wealthiest rabbis. That would be, the Admors of Gur and Belz. And even they pulled in on the influence-meter at much lower levels than they did on the wealth-meter. Nobody else. not the Sephardi rabbis worth in the range of 70 million NIS, and not the Sephardi rabbis worth in the range of 750 million NIS.

Another point I noticed, while on the list of wealth the Ashkenazi rabbis were an extreme minority, on the list of influential rabbis they take 13 of the 20 spots, holding a clear majority of influence.

Pulling in at #1 most influential Rabbi in Israel is Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas, with Ravs Elyashiv, Shteinman and Kanievsky following closely behind. The Admors of Gur and Belz pull in at spots #9 and #10, respectively.

Spot #7 is held by Rav Motti Elon, despite being embroiled in an ongoing trial fighting accusations of sexual abuse of students.

Another interesting point is that Forbes included dead rabbis on the list. Spot #5 is shared by Rabbi Nachman of Breslav and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. There is no doubt that their memory remains influential to this day, seeing as to how both of those movements continue to grow rapidly.

It seems that as far as chief rabbis go Rabbi Amar is far more influential than Rabbi Metzger. Rabbi Amar holds spot #13, while Rabbi Metzger shares spot #18 with former Chief Rabbi Lau.

(source: Forbes Israel)

Interesting difference between the two lists...

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  2. Rafi, almost all of the wealthiest rabbis are also on the most influential list- only the various Abuhatzeiras and Ben-Artzi don't make it on. They're grouped at 14 and 16.

  3. I'm honestly surprised that R. Aviner wasn't listed, considering his SMS teshuva program.

    1. He is number 8 on the list, even before all the "living Admorim".

      BTW, what is most surprising about de DL Rabbis is not that Rav Aviner and Rav Elon are 7th and 8th, but that Rav Yuval Sherlow got the 15th !


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