A Chief Rabbi Attends the Coronation in a Church?

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    If he doesn’t go then there could be a risk of danger to Jews in that the news will say that the Jews are disrespectful of the culture


    Haha all these yidden probably using unfiltered browsers the ask if a Rabbi has a heter to be in a church for a coronation. Where’s your heter to use the internet?


    “leading to the king being good to Yidden for the remaining 46 years of his monarchy… Do you really think such shailos should go to the most esteemed litvishe poskim who dealt with Russian kings and comissars or to London beisdin who are boke in Anglican kings marriage minhagim from the time of Henry the 8th?”

    He’s not a real king. He could be a neo-Nazi and it wouldn’t matter because he can’t actually do anything to us. I’m not taking a position on whether or not there’s a valid heter, but if there is, it’s definitely not to appease the monarchy that’s purely symbolic.

    Since you bring up Henry the 8th, presumably because he started the Anglican Church, you probably know that he made the reigning monarch the head of the church as a replacement for the pope. Now that the monarchy has no political relevance, being head of the church is the primary significance of the monarch. Thus, people need to understand that this ceremony is a lot more comparable to anointing a new pope than it is to inaugurating a new president.

    Chasid Ben Torah

    R. Mirvis clearly said that he received a psak from the London Bais Din. The dayanim on the bais din are well known and they are lead by Harav Gelley. Furthermore, Rabbi Brodie Z”L attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and at that time Harav Hagaon R. Yechezkiel Abramsky ztz”l (mechaber of the Chazon Yechezkiel on the Tosefta) was the Rosh Bais Din.
    The reason a Teshuva is not written or publicized should be obvious.

    Reb Eliezer

    There is such thing as darkei shalom. The RMA in SA O’CH 334, 26, is matir to put out a fire on Shabbos.


    You can do avoda zora for darkei shalom?! You have to die rather than do avoda zora!


    “The reason a Teshuva is not written or publicized should be obvious.”
    Umm, doesn’t seem obvious to me. Without them publicly explaining their reasoning, it leaves many people (as you can see on this forum) assuming they have no real reasoning.

    “There is such thing as darkei shalom.”
    You surely realize this doesn’t apply. When the Greeks told us to bow to idols, should we have done so for darkei shalom? Why not just make a huge kiddish Hashem and mass convert to Christianity for darkei shalom? Making the goyim happy by any means necessary is not a real thing outside of the delusional pipe dreams of Coffeeroom posters. The fact that we exist and keep the Torah inherently makes them unhappy, so if we start worrying about what does and doesn’t please the goyim then there can be no Torah or mitzvos.

    Reb Eliezer

    Tosfas in Meseches Avodah Zara 2 beginning assur, does not consider it an a’z as מנהג אבותיהם בידיהם and the RMA O”CH 156.

    Reb Eliezer

    Nevill what you are saying is incorrect. The Rabonon were given the right to dispense with their gezeros to protect us from greater dangers that can occur because of them.


    “You can do avoda zora for darkei shalom?! You have to die rather than do avoda zora!”

    who did Avoda Zarah?

    thats awful! though maybe start a new thread about that?


    What we will remember is that this gypsy king has been disrespectful toward the jewish community worldwide, by asking (commanding) the chieff rabbi to go to church on shabbos. Period.


    For those of you who think that Aiva is not a real basis for a heter, ask anyone in Hatzala if they will answer a call on shabbos to help a non-Jew I think most would agree that chilul shabbos is a bigger issue than entering a church not for the purpose of A”Z


    Neville, you are taking it too far. It goes on a case by case basis.


    “The Rabonon were given the right to dispense with their gezeros to protect us from greater dangers that can occur because of them.”
    Are we talking about a gezeiras d’rabbonon here? Real question because I’m not actually 100% sure either way.

    “Neville, you are taking it too far. It goes on a case by case basis.”
    You guys see to want to say that the only time it’s ever mutar for a Jew to go to the Christian church service is in the exact case where he’s the Chief Rabbi of England attending something for a fake monarchy. This isn’t how halacha works. If there’s room to be meikel, there’s room to be meikel. The reason you guys are uncomfortable with me extending it to other cases is because deep down you all know this was wrong. If anything, a random office worker’s boss, for example, has much more authority over him than the king of England has over anyone.

    Is the heter because he would lose his job and incur a monetary loss by not going? Is it that he doesn’t want to upset the goyim? Anything you can say would apply to other cases as well. How are people supposed to explain to non-Jewish acquaintances that we aren’t allowed to even attend a secular function within a church sanctuary, but for the Rabbi of England it’s magically okay?

    Finally, let’s assume there is a valid heter the logic of which is kept a carefully guarded secret by the London Beis Din. You don’t go around boasting about a heter to break the normative halacha. If I was starving and had to eat chazir, I wouldn’t go out of my way making public videos about how excited I am and how great it is.


    The “London Beth Din” is under the UOS, which means it is under the Chief Rabbi.

    There is zero heter to enter a Church sanctuary. His predecessor claimed he did so “mipnei aivah”. As others noted, why not permit everything else “mipnei aivah”, too?

    If there were any serious halachic permit to do this, then a teshuva should have been published, especially because the Chief Rabbi studied in Religious Zionist institutions and that faith is idolatry according to Rav Elchonon Wasserman HY”D and the rest.

    Ironically, assimilating with the gentiles is, of course, a generator of aivah, as we have seen throughout history, R”L L”A. So, if the goal was to prevent aivah, then the most prominent Jew in the UK attending the most prominent church in the UK was certainly not the way to accomplish that goal.

    So, the working assumption by anyone who at least wants to be G-d-fearing, is that this was a tremendous chilul Hashem.

    That’s all in addition to Neville’s post here that the videos and publicity is certainly a slap in the face to G-d even if there were some real heter – and there obviously was no heter.


    I would like to ask a different question concerning the excitement of Rabbi Mirvis. How can a Rabbi show excitement at the coronation of a man who publicly, in an interview, admitted he committed adultery with a married woman, when he was still married? That is an issur that should not be ignored by a Rabbi. The fact that the goyisher government ignores it, and crowns someone “defender of the faith ” when he blatantly isn’t; when Edward 8th was forced to abdicate , just because he wanted to marry a divorcee, which isn’t recognized by their religion ; when Charles’s remarriage was only a civil one, because the church would
    only have a ceremony that was not an actual wedding; just because the goyim have caved in to the predominant apikorsas culture, a Rabbi should stay firm. He shouldn’t say these things, but just explain he cannot attend for religious reasons of a church service. He shouldn’t be so happy about the coronation.


    Interesting example of how loshon hara works: I think OP and supporting him Avira were satisfoed when it turned out there is an actual beis din in the far away England that issues psakim, but others were inspired by their ideas and continue arguing the case despite the evidence.


    Hilchos L”H require that if someone intentionally and publicly profanes Hashem’s name that such an abomination be condemned.

    Established halacha is that it is absolutely forbidden to enter a church sanctuary. You’re not even allowed to enter the sanctuary of a Conservative Synagogue – yet the UK Chief Rabbinate claims that their Chief Rabbi (and his predecessors) are perfectly fine entering a church sanctuary for a church ceremony (and proud to make videos of it and disseminate those afterwards)?

    The argument that it was permitted by the “London Beth Din”, of which he is the head, and which is therefore nogeia baDavar, is not an argument.

    As well, the United Synagogue (the umbrella organization of that “Beth Din”, headed by the Chief Rabbi), on their web site, states that they are “a Zionist organization”. So, there goes that “heter”.

    There are world-renowned Torah greats who have guided us over the past century. Why wasn’t this asked to, and answered by, someone like Rav Moshe Feinstein, for example?



    > So, the working assumption by anyone who at least wants to be G-d-fearing, is that this was a tremendous chilul Hashem.

    So, maybe it is healthy that Yidden are naturally appalled by what they think is hillul Hashem. There are mashalim about a peasant visiting a king and not understanding what is going on there (and not even tihnking of a shidduch with the princess). So, it is not surprising that a normal Yid from Brooklyn can’t relate to dilemmas of a Rav at the king’s table. It is worse in the circles where the reaction is “great, let’s go party with the king and marry his princesses”. Still, in older times, a Yid from the shtetl will not have a chance to disparage a shtadlan who represents him, he would simply not know about him. In our days, facebook is in every shtetl. So, somehow, our educational system need to prepare Yidden to either learn halochos of malchus or at least halochos of kavod haRa, even if the Rav is not from his shtetl. Otherwise, we increase machlokes in Israel.


    HaKatan, so it is ossur to enter a Mizrachi yeshivah because it is a beis avodah zorah? Stop saying ridiculous things. And you know the sugyos enough to know that there was no heter for the Chief Rabbi to do what he did? Maybe, go learn some more first.


    So by your way of thinking
    Every rabbi/frum Askan should refuse to shake the hand of politicians who are immoral?
    Because that pretty much excludes all of them


    We know hatzaloh takes calls on shabbos for goyim Bc of aivah
    So if a Jewish doctor walks by a church (he’s got his lab coat on/ stethoscope over his neck, doctors bag in hand etc)
    Suddenly someone runs out and says “someone inside is having a heart attack you need to come!”
    The proper response is “sorry, can’t do it”?


    Let’s say a yid gets trapped in a foreign country. Maybe he is facing jail or even a death sentence. You are friends with the king and can pick up the phone and beg him to intercede. The king has influence especially in former UK countries and agrees to do you a favor.
    In the eyes of the naysayers (Ujm /Neville) is that good enough for you to justify what you perceive as a wrongdoing ? Bc that isn’t an unlikely scenario. Some unsavory politicians have saved the lives of Jews .

    Reb Eliezer

    Entering a conservative synagogue, no but entering a church under certain circumstances, yes.

    Ray Kaufman

    Check the haftorah of parshas Metzora. The last couple of pesukim


    If that question is relevant, then one should certainly ask.
    Read Kovetz Maamarim and the rest. It’s Black-and-White; “Religious Zionism” is idolatry. Period.

    Regardless, that question has zero to do with a church, which is absolutely forbidden to enter (certainly its sanctuary, and even more so when a religious ceremony is being conducted there).


    A shtadlan doesn’t have his own Torah. For example, a shtadlan can’t get baptized and live as a Christian in order to better help Jews in a royal court.

    (When Shabsai Tzvi SR”Y converted to Islam to save his life, the rabbis that he fooled finally realized that he was indeed wrong. That was despite all the kiruv he did. According to you, they should not have changed their minds about him. Who cares that he converted to Islam?)

    It’s sad that this even has to be stated: Hashem runs the world, and “lev melachim viSarim biYad Hashem”. Hashem obviously does not need any pompous “Chief Rabbi” to enter a Church.

    LiHavdil elef havdalos, when a kohein must attend a levaya, the funeral homes have a video hook-up to a separate room right outside the funeral home so that the kohein can participate and not become tamei laMeis. The UK Palace could have (and likely would have) easily done something similar for their Chief Rabbi to help him.

    Remember Rav Chaim Brisker’s line: if the Jews don’t make kiddush (as in separate from the goyim) then the goyim will make havdala. Think of the Kiddush Hashem that could and would have made, and the aivah that it would have removed! “Chief Rabbi attends coronation in a special tent put up specifically for him to accommodate his religious laws that forbid him from entering a church”. Afterwards, at the palace, or anywhere else outside the church, he could have blessed the king just like the “other faith leaders”.

    In fact, we know that their king himself was willing to break protocol to have the Chief Rabbi leave before the king so the Chief Rabbi could go home for Shabbos.

    This was and is a disgrace and an abomination.


    The King respects the (religion of the) Chief Rabbi, as we know. There is neither a need nor a gain by that Chief Rabbi entering a church, against the Torah.

    Reb Eliezer

    At Kol Nidrei the Shatz says that we are matir to daven with the violators. This was instituted in order to able to daven with the maranos who they attested to that they only disguised themselves to protect themselves from the Spanish Inquisition.


    Hakatan, i don’t know about their website, but the london beis din has normal rabbis. Rav gelley is a yekkishe rov, another is on the beis din of bais havaad in Lakewood… they’re not mizrachisten.

    In kashrus, KLBD has a similar reputation to the OU in America. There are definitely modern people among the UK rabbinate, but if rav jakobovitz, who himself was quite respected in halacha, and the beis din had a heter… I’m not going to fight it. I do believe that r..mirvis would be required to distinguish himself as a non participant, as per what rav jakobovitz wrote.


    Reb Eliezer:
    That has absolutely nothing to do with their Chief Rabbi attending a church ceremony in a church sanctuary.


    It doesn’t matter who is on their Beis Din now.

    It matters who, and on what basis, initially gave this alleged heter for a Chief Rabbi to attend a church ceremony in a church sanctuary when nobody in history has ever permitted that.

    It also matters that the parent organization of that B”D is idolatrous, which makes the above all the more problematic.



    From your hypothetical questions you seem to agree that the heter should extend to all comparable circumstances. If the heter is legitimate, then I agree. What’s insane is that other posters on here seem to be acting like this one narrow occasion is the only time this action would ever be mutar. I say, if you can do it to please a symbolic king, kal v’chomer you could do it to please people who actually matter.

    The only point where I’ll disagree: no the king of England could not ever use political influence to help the Jews because he has no political influence. Al Sharpton has more political influence than the British Royals.


    This is ridiculous. I just read through two pages of ignorant pontifications.

    To be brief, two points will suffice.

    1) The position of Chief Rabbi in England is extraordinarily complex. Many spiritual battles are at stake. This is not a matter of halachic precedent. If I would attend a church service and claim that R’ Mirvis did so, that would make me a fraud.

    2) We all know (or should know) that there will be a dozen blogs this month on the topic with all types of contradictory information. This isn’t a never before phenomenon. It’s hard to pin down exactly why we do not go into churches.

    For those who don’t know, there is a raging war in England for the balance of power among the Jewish factions. They have everything to gain with coming together. Yet, these attempts always get foiled by some fanatics and rabble-rousers. (Some are observant, most are passionately not.) Such is the company this conversation belongs in.


    no mesorah:
    You need a mesorah, or else you have nothing.

    To be brief, two points will suffice:
    1) His position gives him zero permission to violate halacha and enter a church sanctuary, all the more so during a religious ceremony.
    2) It is not at all “hard to pin down exactly why we do not go into churches”. It’s rather simple, as you can see from contemporary poskim and going all the way back.


    I understand your passion and I see that you can come to the conclusions quiet logically – except that I disagree with your premises. As Avira, I also witnessed multiple Rabonim of different flavors, all refer to UK beis din with CRs with appropriate respect. Maybe, you are not aware how legal process work. London Beis Din _is_ the one that determines halocho there. If they have a need to consult someone else, rest assured, they will do that without your and mine advice. If you are in London, you follow their regulations. Just because you see something on the website that you disagree with does not allow you to disrespect a choshuv beis din.


    Dear Hakatan,

    If it comes down to mesorah than I probably outdo you a thousand to one. But it comes down to shimush. You have to know how your own leaders apply their standards to themselves, their peers, other leaders, the laity, the unobservant, etc.

    1) His position is stuck in a lot of tough public conundrums. This is nowhere near the toughest call he had to make. If it is so obvious to you that it is forbidden regardless of context, wouldn’t we be obligated to be convinced of some outrageous explanation to avoid lashon hora?

    2) I never meant to insinuate that it is permitted. Just that it is unclear the reason of the issur. Can you provide the reason from today going all the way back?

    PS What if R’ Murvis went into a church to meet with a priest on a matter of religious freedom?


    HaKatan, please!!… Reb Elchonan meant to say that he had a problem with the hashkofah of the Mizrachi movement, not that it is literally, mamash, avoda zorah ke’pshuto!


    Not what it says in my copy. Maybe you have the Mizrachi Revised Edition.


    R Soloveichik analyzes what interactions with christians are appropriate. He absolutely forbids any interaction about theology – no disputes, discussions, finding common points, etc. When catholics were preparing to renounce their position that Jews are in error and recognize us as “older brother”, he advised against attending: it is their problem, if they want to teshuva gezunte heig, we do not want them to expect any concessions in return! At the same time, we are interested in bettering the world and should absolutely have a dialog related to solving the issues of the society, world peace, etc.


    no mesorah:
    I only noted your screen name.

    1) No, because he is a “Religious Zionist” (idolater) and his organization admits openly that they are Zionist (idolatrous). Therefore, when he does something that nobody in history has ever done and that every posek has written is forbidden, and he has no teshuva written as to why it is permitted for him, then the obvious assumption is that he is making a mockery of G-d.

    2) Links aren’t permitted, unfortunately, but you can use your favorite search engine to pull up as many articles with sources as you’d like.


    It is telling that HaKatan brings R Elchonon here. He was probably one of the most anti-Z gedolei of his generation. There were others who were more accommodating. Weird decision to cancel a Chief Rabbi of a large country because a website of the beis din that approved Rabbi’s decision has a reference to a movement that one of the gedolei disapproved 100 years ago. It is as if it is an impression of “frumkeit” if one finds someone else to denigrate, while there is no down-side of rejecting a large community of Yidden.


    This seems to be a quote or paraphrase of R Elchonon about Z:
    Nothing is asked of a Jew but national feeling. One who carries shekels and sings Hatikva is exempt from all the commandments of the Torah. Clearly, this approach is considered idolatrous in the eyes of Torah.

    This seems to be talking solely about anti-religious Z, not Mizrachi. Maybe, he takes on Mizrachi in some other place.


    I was not questioning those Rabbanim on that Beis Din who are genuine unadulterated shomrei Torah and mitzvos.

    But the Beis Din’s parent organization openly states that it is Zionist. This is not merely “something with which you disagree”. As well, its Av Beis Din, the Chief Rabbi, studied in “Religious Zionist” institutions, etc.

    Their Chief Rabbi claimed that, in attending that religious service in a church sanctuary on Shabbos, he was following in the footsteps of this predecessors, not that he asked the London Beth Din for permission.

    So, the number of unadulterated G-d-fearing Rabbanim on that Beth Din is all irrelevant to the massive chilul Hashem of their chief rabbi attending a church ceremony in a church sanctuary on, liHavdil, Shabbos, and then producing and disseminating a video about that.

    Again, given that this was universally forbidden before, where is the teshuva/responsum on this, if there really was a heter (from a century ago or more recently)?


    It is telling that you ignore all the other gedolim who also condemned Zionism in the harshest terms and imply that others were “more accommodating” as if they permitted Zionism and as if they allowed anyone to be Zionist CH”V.

    Your quote from Rav Elchonon is a fraction of what he wrote on the topic (including to Mizrachi, by the way, whom he also condemned in no uncertain terms).

    “Weird decision to cancel a Chief Rabbi of a large country because a website of the beis din that approved Rabbi’s decision has a reference to a movement that one of the gedolei disapproved 100 years ago.”

    This is a disgusting sheker and a mockery of the Torah. Agudath Israel was founded to fight Zionism. It’s not “one of the gedolim”; it’s all of them. There was a difference of opinion how to deal with the Zionist State once it was founded, but none approved of Zionism – not before and not after.


    Why are you unwilling to question of heter of the London Beis Din, but will happily argue against the Brooklyn eruv matirim?

    Both cases are similar: respectable rabbis are being matir something that is seemingly totally assur with no obvious heter and not doing a good job of explaining their reasoning. You have three main choices:
    1) The left-wing approach: never question a heter. Only haters question heters.
    2) The right-wing approach: conclude that the otherwise respectable rabbis have chosen to ignore halacha completely with no basis and are apparently closet Zionists or something.
    3) The approach that will still make people accuse you of being a crazy right-winger: have the seemingly reasonable expectation that when rabbis make a massive chiddush publicly with far-reaching consequences, that they explain their reasoning so as to not cause confusion and halachic mishaps ch”v. And, yes, even be willing to criticize them when they don’t do so. Suddenly all these posters who usually accuse us of “gadolatry” passionately believe that all rabbis are above criticism (assuming what they’re saying is b’tzad heter).


    HaKatan, we re not talking about Z word. We are talking about basic halocho – there is a shomer-mitzvos community in a large country; they have shuls, shoichets, cheders, gemora classes … they have a duly constituted beis din and Chief Rabbi (which US does not have, btw). They have a chazoko to deal with their king, they are not ignorami, they know how to ask shailos when they need to. That is all. You may disagree with them on any issue you want, but you have no right to dismiss them from the Jewish community. Torah is marashas kehilas Yaakov. You are worse than Yannai who made fun of an ignoramus, you are ignoring people who are more learnt than you are.


    HaKatan, as mentioned above, previous UK CRs attending similar ceremonies. On your other point, if you have a T’Ch, you interpret his actions l tzad zchus as much as possible. In this case, this is more than one, and heads of the whole shomer-mitzvos community. It looks like you are triggered by the Z word for political reasons. Please review halochos of how Jews are supposed to live with each other from pre-Z times and then apply them, rationally, to our times.


    1) So you fall back on your uncompromising position that you failed to coherently defend numerous times.

    2) And you seem to be unaware of the two simple statements of why it is forbidden to enter a church.


    There is no “chazaka” and this has zero to do with politics.

    1. The organization is “Religious Zionist” which means it has zero chezkas kashrus, to begin with. The Av Beis Din is this Chief Rabbi, as mentioned above.

    2. Where is the original teshuva permitting the first Chief Rabbi to enter that church? Which gadol applied that alleged heter, if it did exist, to any future time?

    3. There could be 1,000 fully frum and non-Zionist talmidei chachamim on that beis din but that would be totally irrelevant given the above. The question is not on them; they are irrelevant.

    This whole church thing is obviously a mockery of G-d but, just for argument’s sake, even if there was a heter back then – which nobody has produced – in that specific time and for that specific king, who said that heter still applies? Where is the teshuva showing how/why that would be?

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