It appears a bit of sanity is returning to the Knesset. And, best of all, this moment of sanity is a direct slap in the face to a rabbi who truly deserves it, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.
Matthew Wagner of the Jerusalem Post reports:
A legislative amendment expected to be passed at the last minute will keep Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger from serving as head of the rabbinic courts, a position for which he lacks formal training.
The Knesset Interior Affairs and Environment Committee ratified an amendment to the Chief Rabbinate Law Monday that allows the two chief rabbis to refrain from rotating.
The law will come up for vote in the Knesset this week before spring break. The two rabbis were to rotate next week.
Presently the law obligates the two chief rabbis, who serve for 10 years, to rotate mid-term. Each is expected to serve two five-year terms, one as president of the rabbinic courts, which is responsible for conversions and divorces, and another as chairman of the rabbinate's rabbinic council, which is responsible for kosher supervision and weddings.
However, Metzger has no training as a rabbinic judge.…
MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz) said he opposed the amendment because it was being passed specifically for Metzger, who was the first chief rabbi chosen who lacked the necessary credentials to serve all the functions expected of a chief rabbi.…
Metzger, who was educated in religious Zionist institutions, was elected to the rabbinate with the backing of haredi rabbis. Sources close to the rabbinate told The Jerusalem Post in the past that Metzger received haredi backing after agreeing to acquiesce to haredi rabbinic authority on various halachic matters.
Of course, having a man, Metzger, who was found to have acted inappropriately as chief rabbi of North Tel Aviv, a man who extorted money from couple and their families under the huppa (wedding canopy), and who has many other ethical and moral issues, should not be the head of anything – especially the rabbinic council that is in charge of kosher
supervision and weddings.
Still, that is preferable to having Metzger in charge of the rabbinic courts, a position he is truly not competent to fill.
Best of all, this bill is an über bitch slap to the man who pimps Metzger like a cheap street whore, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.
When Metzger was elected, I asked haredi spokesperson Rabbi Jonathan Rosenbloom if Rabbi Elyashiv knew about the senior judicial panel of the chief rabbinate that had found Metzger culpable for committing various immoral and unethical acts. If Rabbi Elyashiv did know, I asked Rosenbloom, did he know before backing Metzger and brokering Metzger's election as chief rabbi or only after? If he knew before, I asked, why back Metzger?
After checking with Rabbi Efrati, Rosenbloom told me Rabbi Elyashiv knew before backing Metzger, before the election took place.
Why did Rabbi Elyashiv say he backed Metzger for a job Metzger is morally, ethically and by training unfit to fill?
Rosenbloom had received an answer to that question as well, from the office of Rabbi Elyashiv:
To restore the grandeur to the chief rabbinate.
I don't think much of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. I think he is an evil man, a person for whom the ends most always justify the means.
Keeping Meztger out of the religious courts is not as good as impeaching him. But it is still action taken to right a tremendous wrong done to Israeli society by that evil old man in Jerusalem.