Moderate Zionist Orthodox Rabbi Wears Long Blonde Women’s Wig For Purim Video, Causing Haredim To Attack Him As “Ungodly”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi David Stav, who heads the moderate Zionist Orthodox Tzohar rabbinical organization, angered haredim by appearing in a humorous Purim video wearing a long blonde women’s wig, Ynet reported.
In the video, Stav is seen standing inside a beit midrash (Orthodox study hall) wearing the blonde wig and holding an open Humash (Five Books of Moses).
"It's unthinkable that the rabbi would dishonor the Holy Scriptures within a house of study," a haredi source told Ynet.
“[The late Sefardi haredi leader] Rabbi Ovadia [Yosef] ruled that a man must not dress up as a woman, but Rabbi Stav doesn't care about that," one person commented on the video’s YouTube page.
In the video, Rabbi Stav also dresses up a haredi, a moderate religious Jew, and a secular resident, all reportedly in a bid to reach out to non-affiliated members of Shoham, the town where Stav serves as chief rabbi and to to show that his theology respects all parts of society.
Stav's associates also noted that moderate Zionist Orthodox high school yeshivas have a years-long tradition of yeshiva rabbis and teachers dressing up during the Hebrew month of Adar that Purim falls in. They also have special classes in which the students and rabbis reverse roles, and stage sports competitions between rabbis and teachers, on one hand, and students on the other.
Supreme haredi leader Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman ruled last week that male infants and toddlers should not be dressed as girls during Purim, despite the fact that the Torah does not prohibit it.
There is a longstanding Ashkenazi custom to wear flamboyant costumes on Purim which specifically include gender reversal, even though cross dressing is forbidden by Torah law during the rest of the year.
Stav was a candidate for Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel in the most recent elections.
He was called ungodly by haredim who opposed his candidacy, and that attack was reiterated when Stav's Purim video was made public.