The election for the chief rabbis of Israel is to be held before the expiration of the current term on March 24, 2013. Following the decision to dissolve the Knesset and go to general elections on 11 Shevat 5773, there will be logistical issues in holding elections for Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis. Therefore the cabinet in the upcoming meeting will extend the current 10-year term of the chief rabbis for three additional months.
This will permit the election of a new Knesset, prime minister and appointment of cabinet ministers ahead of the chief rabbinate election.
The three month extension may prove more than it appears on the surface for the bill seeking to permit Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita to serve a second term has been held up in the Knesset Law Committee headed by Yisrael Beitenu MK Dudu Rotem. After elections and distribution of committee chair positions, the bill may be pushed along and by the time the election date for chief rabbis arrives, there may be a new legal reality surrounding that election.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)