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Jun 29, 2014

one chief rabbi supported by...

hmmm.. it seems that Rav Avoadia Yosef, and Rav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron, and MK Moshe Gafni, have in the past been in favor of stopping the double chief rabbi situation and moving to one chief rabbi, for basically the same reasons as those who are today promoting it. And I notice Rav Ovadia is not quoted as saying as long as the one chief rabbi is sefardi so we can keep the rishon letzion position...
source: Kikar

And, from reading the biography of Rav Ovadia, I have discovered that he was appointed Rishon Letzion 14 years prior to becoming Chief Rabbi.

It seems the two are not necessarily connected.

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  1. As I said elsewhere on your blog, the statement by Rav Ovadia was done solely due to Rav Goren's harrassing him. Notice he hasn't repeated this request in the past 35 years. It wouldn't fit his philosophy either.

    Rav Ovadia's secret becoming Rishon Letzion earlier was in no way official. I could get a bunch of my friends to crown me Rishon Letzion too if I wanted.

  2. FWIW, and to correct a misunderstanding, the title 'Rishon LeTzion' is not only for the reigning chief rabbi, and the title is kept even after leaving the position. Some say that Rav Ovadia ztkl was the first to keep using it and wearing the robe, but all the Sefaradi rabbis after him also kept the title and wore the robes.

  3. The Rishon LeTzion was the Haham Bashi, or Chief Rabbi, of the Ottoman Empire (which included Israel), in Istanbul. When the Sephardic population of Jerusalem became more and more prominent, passing Istanbul in importance if not in size, the title was transferred over to the Chief Rabbi in Jerusalem- I think in the early to mid-1800's. As happened with the Ashkenazim (R' Kook), the Chief Rabbinate of Israel basically passed on from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, and with it the Rishon LeTzion title.

    In short, it's very hard to believe that R' Ovadiah had the title, considering he was Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, not even Jerusalem. In 1959 he was a dayan in Jerusalem,


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