Israel’s State-Funded Haredi Chief Rabbis Declare “War” On Non-Orthodox Rabbis
Israel’s haredi chief rabbis call an emergency meeting to respond to the decision made by the government to recognize a small number of non-Orthodox rabbis and pay them.
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel's haredi state-funded Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger called on the state-funded rabbis of cities, communities and regional councils to come to an “emergency” meeting to held next Tuesday in response to the government’s decision to recognize a small number of Conservative and Reform rabbis and give them the same funding as the primarily haredi orthodox rabbis who are appointed by the chief rabbis, Ynet reported.
The meeting was announced by Sefardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar Sunday night on the haredi radio station Kol Barama.
“With God’s help, a great voice [of protest] will come out against this shameful phenomenon in which they [non-Orthodox rabbis] insist on describing themselves as rabbis at the same time as they uproot the foundations of Judaism,” Amar reportedly said on air. “We have tried to explain the great damage they cause. There is a great danger here to the Jewish people. It is well known that the greatest danger in our times is assimilation and they recklessly enable this phenomenon.”
The decision to recognize and pay a small number of non-Orthodox rabbis to perform roles as leaders of their non-Orthodox communities – but not in kosher food supervision or the Orthodox-haredi rabbinic court system – was made in response to a High Court of Justice petition seeking to force recognition of non-Orthodox rabbis.
The "emergency" meeting will protest against the "grave breach" in Judaism caused by the state’s decision, and will try to find ways to scuttle the un-Orthodox move.
"Rabbi Amar's intention to fight a decision of the state, which was backed by the High Court, proves how much the Chief Rabbinate has lost its state function, and how much it is disconnected from the Israeli public, which has had enough of the Orthodox monopoly. [Sefardi Chief] Rabbi Amar will do well to resign from his position, and then stage his political and public battles just like any other citizen of the State. Until he does so, he should internalize the principles of democracy and refrain from exploiting his official position in order to incite against a public of tens and hundreds of thousands of people that identifies with the ways of Reform Judaism," Israel Reform Movement head Rabbi Gilad Kariv told Ynet.
The government’s decision to recognize and pay non-Orthodox rabbis covers only positions in small municipalities. But non-Orthodox movements have already petitioned the High Court to force the government to expand that and allow non-Orthodox rabbis to be recognized and paid for positions in larger cities, as well.