Close this search box.

New Deal Brewing in Chief Rabbi Elections

It appears that Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita is not just in a pivotal decision-making position regarding the Jerusalem Chief Rabbis election, but also regarding the upcoming election for new chief rabbis.

As a result of efforts to amend the law to permit chief rabbis to run for a second 10-year term, stemming from Rav Ovadia’s desire to have Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita to remain in office, there are now efforts to redefine the chief rabbi’s position. The bill dubbed the Amar Bill that would amend the law remains in committee, waiting for a second and third reading in Knesset.

The latest plan, reported on Kol Chai Radio calls for permitting the Amar Bill to remain in committee. In return, a new position would be created. Rav Amar would be appointed as president of the Chief Rabbinate Supreme Court and another person would be tapped for the nation’s Sephardi chief rabbi. The person mentioned is HaGaon HaRav Avraham Yosef Shlita, a son of Rav Ovadia, who has been serving as the Chief Rabbi of Cholon for many years.

According to Kol Chai’s Noam Zigman’s report, there are behind the scenes efforts in Shas and other parties among supporters of the plan. adds that according to some, the plan simply calls to place Rav Amar in the court presidency position and only have one chief rabbi elected. Whatever the case such a move would require Knesset approval as the creation of a new post must be voted upon, not to mention the budgetary needs of such a position which may in place of or addition to the Sephardi chief rabbi post.

Shas is not having an easy time drumming up support for any plan, and it is clear that in Knesset nothing happens without a price. The other parties are likely to use Shas’ desire to have Rav Amar appointed to the new senior position as a bargaining tool to obtain support in other areas, areas that Shas is willing to show flexibility.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts