In response to Rabbi Avraham Yosef’s attempt to have Rabbi David Stav stripped of his certification to sit as a dayan (religious judge) on state bet dins (religious courts), Stav points out that none of the rabbis who were asked to judge him are certified religious court judges. Even Yosef, a scion of Israel’s most prominent Sefardi haredi rabbinic family, does not hold this special ordination – but Stav does.
Moderate Zionist Orthodox Rabbi Lashes Out At Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s Son– And Proposed Civil Marriage Bill
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi David Stav, a former candidate for Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel and the head of the liberal Zionist Orthodox Tzohar organization that works to make secular Israelis' state-mandated interactions with Orthodxy as smooth and pain-free as possible, reacted to Rabbi Avraham Yosef's attempt to have Stav decertified as a dayan (rabbinic judge) – a proposal the Council of the Chief Rabbinate rejected earlier this week.
Yosef, the Chief Rabbi of Holon, is a son of the late Sefardi haredi leader and Shas Party founder Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the brother of the new Seardi haredi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Yosef.
Speaking to Galei Israel Radio, Stav was reportedly blunt.
“It should be noted that in the merit of the Chief Rabbinate Council it rejected that proposal immediately and renewed my credentials. But it [still] brings up a very sad problem – that council is made up of ten rabbis, none of whom is qualified to be a dayan [rabbinic court judge]. None of them have passed the exams. And they’re the ones deciding to revoke or extend the credentials of people who have studied for years and have been tested. It looks grotesque and pitiful to me.…But this is not an issue of the council [itself], but of one man. There’s no need to include in this the entire rabbinate or all haredim. He did what he did. Nevertheless, I think the authority to deal with the ordination of rabbinical judges should be removed from the Chief Rabbinate Council, which has no understanding of what a religious court judge does and includes no one with a judge’s ordination.”
Ironically, despite being the chief rabbi of a major Israeli city, Rabbi Avraham Yosef reportedly lacks dayanut, the special level of ordination that allows a rabbi to serve as a dayan (rabbinic judge) on a sitting beirt din (rabbinic court) recognized by the state and the Chief Rabbinate.
But he also lashed out at a proposed law that would legalize civil marriage and completely free secular Israelis from the shackles of the Orthodox and haredi rabbinate, calling it a "knife in the back" of the just passed "Tzohar law and the conversions law."
“The whole idea behind our laws, after all, has been to be friendlier and so the public would be willing to wed and verify their Jewish status at the rabbinate. But if you enact the civil marriage law, then the young people are going to say they no longer need the rabbinate, and they won’t come to verify their Jewish status and they won’t register to marry halakhicly. I very much hope the bill will not pass – but if it does, wl [i.e., Tzohar] will have to be even better at what we do, so they’ll still come to us,” Stav reportedly said.