In a speech unprecedented in its severity, the Chief Rabbi of Israel HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef slammed Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana for the changes in the religious status quo he is planning on implementing.
Speaking at a Rabbinical conference last week, HaRav Yosef related how Kahana came to speak with him and told him: ‘I respect the Chief Rabbis but we have differences of opinion.'”
“Did you hear?” Rav Yosef cried out. “He has differences of opinion with the Chief Rabbis who spend their days immersed in Torah, who author Sefarim, who spread Torah? What is this?”
HaRav Yosef then addressed the issue of kashrus, noting how he ensures that the Rabbanut is not overly machmir but at the same time not everything can be muttar either. “Our Torah is a Toras Chaim,” Rav Yosef said. “But the halacha like Beis Hillel wasn’t determined on the streets, it is determined in the Beis Medrash, everything is determined in the Beis Medrash. Talmidei Chachamim, our poskim are the ones who determine the halacha.”
“If they privatize kashrus [as Kahana says he plans on doing], I don’t know how people will be able to eat at these places,” Rav Yosef cried out. “The Rabbanut will have to gather and announce that it’s not possible to trust all the kashriyot.”
“Furthermore, all the Batei Din of giyur operate according to every heter. Any heter beyond what they do would already be against halacha. How can you be matir more than this? They want to allow municipal rabbis to carry out giyur.”
“When I was elected Chief Rabbi, it was when Bennett was the Religious Affairs Minister and his deputy was Eli Ben-Dahan and they fought with us with all their might [to allow municipal rabbis to carry out giyur]. Ben-Dahan came to us with the proposal for the law and told us that whether we want it or not, the law will be passed so it’s better that it will pass with your approval. Ultimately, it wasn’t passed. Abba, z’tl, [HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef, z’tl] supported us. Hakadosh Baruch Hu helped us.”
“We’re worried about the next generations. What will be in another 50 years? People who want to be chozer b’teshuvah will suddenly find out that the giyur of their Saba or Savta wasn’t according to halacha. What will be then?”
“I’m having trouble falling asleep in the last month,” Rav Yosef lamented. “I think a lot about…what will be with civil marriage? What will be with kashrus?
“If Maran Abba [HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef, z’tl] was here, he would have raised a great and bitter cry on what’s happening here – on giyur, on kashrus and other things they want to do. We must unite.”
Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau also slammed Kahana for the changes he plans on implementing.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)