Shas Cuts a Deal for Chief Rabbinate Post


amarShas may be in opposition but Eli Yishai has not lost his ability to cut a deal that benefits party interests.

Shas will receive the backing of coalition parties for Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon Harav Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita to serve an additional term. In return, Shas will support a dati leumi candidate for the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi post.

Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs (Bayit Yehudi) Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan on Tuesday, 8 Nissan 5773 announced the bill to extend the term of the current chief rabbis until the election, an additional four months. During the four months, the coalition will work to pass the bill to permit the chief rabbis to serve a second 10-year term, the so-called “Amar Bill”.

Bayit Yehudi decided to work with Shas after party members realized there are many Shas loyalists among those who vote for the new chief rabbis. The dati leumi party realized it would be most difficult to get a dati leumi rav without Shas backing. The way things appear at present, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Yechiel Metzger will not seek a second term.

Yesh Atid and The Movement have already announced they will support Tzohar Rabbonim leader Rabbi David Stav for the post. Bayit Yehudi is in a bit of a quandary since leading dati leumi rabbonim announced their candidate is Rabbi Eliezer Igra, a dayan serving on the Chief Rabbinate Supreme Court. Bennett and other party officials appear more aligned with Stav and a decision on who to back will be among the decisions that must be made in the coming weeks.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Shas ought to be firmly punished.

    The ashkenazim have bent over backwards and have had their reputation suffer due to the unscrupulousness of Shas. They accepted it as their lot (as they took it as their responsibility to the religious sephardim).

    If corrupt Shas (which since 2010 is a member of WZO)continues its nepotic Rabbinate alliance with those who care less about halacha than popular faddism, then they should finally be shirked off like the albatross they are.

  2. Makes sense. The people running the government are almost all Ashkenazim, so they are less concerned about who the Sefardi “chief rabbi” is.

    Bayit Yehudi may have alienated many of its core supporters by joining in Lapid’s efforts to break the yeshivos, so this may be a way for him to repair the damage.

  3. The typical corruption of #1
    The charalatan has preached incessantly against the nepotism of Shas.
    However, when it serves his interests…

    This is his comment from 3/04
    ” That is, unfortunately, the worldview of far too many charedi rabbis (though not all). Hence, the failure of so many of them to even attempt to serve their communities in any meaningful way, which is what is behind Rabbi Ben-Dahan’s Sheilta.”

  4. #3 – Harav Amar is both Religious and a Zionist and is highly respected by – you guessed it – Religious Zionists, who are represented by Habayit Hayehudi.

    #5 – I’m flattered. Yes, when Sha”s misbehaves (which they often do) – I call them out on it. When they do the right thing – I commend them.

  5. About time: your horrible approach deserves a harsh response,
    Firstly let’s keep in mind who is behind all of shas’ great desisions, Harav Ovadia shli”ta and I have no doubt he held of this desision.
    Secondly, maybe you are a bigotist towards sefaradim, but even the Ashkenazim of UTJ will agree that to have a person like Harav Amar shli”ta in power (who is a massive talmid chacham, dayan, etc to say the least and HAPPENS to be chief rabbi) who is the posek for the government is far more important than the position of the Ashkenazik Chief Rabbi , only because the halachic juristiction goes to the sefardic rabbi not ashkenazik. THAT’S THE FACTS!

    And Rav Amar is NOT at all zoinistic!
    I understand you are complaining because it looks like Shas is “selling off” the ashkenazim, but you obviously don’t comprehend the duties of the chief rabbis of Israel

  6. Good decision for Shas and Bayit Yehudi.

    Shas are mavens in providing & caring for their people in all positions. Can learn the ‘behind the back’ alliances from them.

  7. #7 – Harav Amar is affiliated with Sha”s which is an openly Zionist party (it is a member of the WZO) and, to the best of my knowledge, he says Hallel on Yom Ha’Atzmaut (albeit, without a bracha, like harav Ovadia). As harav Ovadia says the prayer for the soldiers of the IDF every Shabbat I assume that harav Amar does too, although I don’t know that for a fact. I do know that on several ocassions he has supported the chief rabbi of the IDF, who is a gung-ho Zionist.

    All in all then, harav Amar seems to be pretty Zionist.

  8. Even if the Ashkenazik rabonim sometime differ from Harav Amar, they would rather him there than some dati leumi posek, being that Harav Amar is the Av beis Din not harav Metzger

  9. Zoinflag said “to the best of my knowledge, he says Hallel on Yom Ha’Atzmaut (albeit, without a bracha, like harav Ovadia). As harav Ovadia says the prayer for the soldiers of the IDF every Shabbat I assume that harav Amar does too, although I don’t know that for a fact.”

    Actually to the WORST of your knowledge because Harav ovadia and Harav Amar NEVER said and never will say Hallel on yom Ha’azmaut

  10. And in regards to saying a prayer on shabbos for the soldiers; many congergations do, nothing is wrong with it , its for our jewish brothers in danger! Zionist or not! Even rav shach davened for the siolders(privately)

  11. BTW Sefardi Tahor, please reread comments before posting yours. The name “Zionflag” gives you an assumption of the post b4 u read it…..(LOL)

    There are many that recite HALLEL without a bracha on Israel’s miraculous days since it is the same as reciting Tehillim with kavanah. So let’s now lose our caps over that!!!

  12. Who is “many”? Maybe dati leumi/mizrachi but not gedolim like Harav Ovadia and Harav Amar shlit”a.

    saying hallel on Yom Ha’azmaut is recognizing “Reishit Smichat ge’ulateinu” which is Kfira…

  13. Excuse me, Reb Sefardi Tahor. Rav Ovadia Yosef rules that one SHOULD recite Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut. (Yabia Omer O.C. 6:41) In that very teshuva he discusses “aschalta d’geula” as a possible reason to do so. He concludes that “even though almost all the gedolei hador referred to it (the founding of the State) as aschalta d’geula,” we still have a long way to go. For that, and many other reasons, he says one should not say a beracha.