The battle to replace Oded Viner with a new director-general of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has been going on for over two years. To date there is still no director-general.
On Wednesday evening 29 Adar-I, the committee convened and approved the appointment of Moshe Dagan for the post. Dagan is currently the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Religious Services. He has been in the post since 2012, from the tenure of Eli Yishai as Shas leader and Yaakov Margi was the minister.
Dagan’s appointment enjoys the backing of Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita but Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Dovid Lau Shlita is sharply opposed.
Persons close to Rav Lau explain the appointment is in line with the wishes of Shas leader Aryeh Deri, but no one consulted with him. He questions how one can expect to appoint such a high position in the Chief Rabbinate without consulting with both Chief Rabbis. Rav Lau does not question the suitability of the incoming director-general, but the process. He stresses this is not a personnel issue.
Persons close to Deri report that while everyone has the utmost respect for Rav Lau, the committee made the decision.
This being the case, it now appears the battle will shift to the political front with Deri facing off against MK Moshe Gafne, who is reportedly less than pleased with the Shas candidate taking the senior civil post.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)