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Rav Lau Explains Opposition to One Chief Rabbi Law

lauAshkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau explains his opposition to the bill recently passed that limits the post of Chief Rabbi of Israel to one rav serving a ten year term and not an Ashkenazi and Sephardi Chief Rabbi as has been the case to date.

Rabbi Lau explains the two chief rabbis do not result in redundancy as proponents of the bill imply. He explains the chief rabbis divide tasks as one heading the Chief Rabbinate Council and the other serving as Av Beis Din of the Chief Rabbinate Supreme Court, rotating after half a term.

He explains the issue is far more complicated than having an Ashkenazi and Sephardi rabbi as the bill was presented. Rabbi Lau explains that in order to provide religious services the heads of the two different systems must be rabbonim of equal authority and eliminating one of the positions will negatively impact religious services in Israel for all.

The Chief Rabbinate Council is also adamantly opposed to MK Elazar Stern’s bill that would eliminate two rabbis heading cities around Israel too. This bill was approved by the Ministerial Law Committee on Sunday, 28 Kislev 5774.

In response to the wave of anti-religious legislation by the current administration, the chief rabbis are working with the Chief Rabbinate Council to discuss the situation and arrange a meeting with the nation’s leaders. The council is also establishing a steering committee that will try working with legislators towards coordinating bill that address religious matters in an effort to avoid additional legislation that is not in sync with the chief rabbis and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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