Lieberman Sends Threatening Letter To Rav Lau, Accuses Him Of “Blackmail”

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HaRav Dovid Lau; Avigdor Lieberman (Knesset spokesperson)

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Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday sent a letter to Chief Rabbi Rav Dovid Lau threatening to remove him from his position following reports of the letter Rav Lau sent to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett telling him he will freeze all giyur processes if the head of the Giyur Authority is dismissed from his position.

In his letter, Lieberman defended the decision of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana to dismiss the head of the Giyur Authority due to his refusal to carry out the giyur reform and slammed Rav Lau for his letter: “Conditioning the signing of the giyur certificates on the continuation of the term of office of the head of the Giyur Authority is an implicit threat, not to mention blackmail.”

“If the threat is realized and the Chief Rabbi refrains from signing the certificates and thus delays the continuation of giyur proceedings, it may lead to the implementation of steps to end his term of office,” Lieberman threatened.

“Therefore the Chief Rabbi is requested to fulfill his duties…without any connection to the extension of the term of office or the dismissal of the head of the Giyur Authority. Otherwise, there will be no choice but to take the necessary steps for behavior that is inappropriate for the position of Chief Rabbi of Israel,” Lieberman brazenly wrote.

Mercaz Liba, an organization founded to strengthen the Jewish identity of the state of Israel, responded to Lieberman’s letter by excoriating the Bennett government. “Its ministers act brazenly and with chutzpah to the Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Dovid Lau and threaten everyone who refuses to harm the Jewish character of the state. Bennett and Kahana are dividing the Am for the sake of political survival.”

HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen, Nasi of the Motetzet Chachmei Torah, called Rav Lau on Wednesday and offered words of encouragement and support in the wake of the attacks against him by coalition members.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

19 COMMENTS

  1. If Harav hagoan Chief Rabbi Lau Shlita needs to be dismissed for withholding giyur certificates, the more so does Lieberman YM”S needs to be dismissed for withholding payment to Kollel Families.

    “…is an implicit threat, not to mention blackmail..” To sack a the head of the Giyur Authority is not just a threat – it’s an ATTACK! And not an ATTACK against one or a number of individuals, but an ATTACK AGAINST AM YISROEL!

  2. Lieberman is exactly what we believed a chazer a pig. Only an animal would be so disrespectful. To those who voted for this gang May you all be punished

  3. To refer to Lieberman as a goy or erav rav means his frum children are not Jewish. I would not demean myself to ask such wise people their source of information.

  4. Menachem Begin challenged regarding making revisions to Geirus e g Ethiopians
    . His strong response was geirus is for the leading rabbanim And it’s too important and
    is above the Medina of Israel

  5. The Ribnitzer was Lieberman’s מוהל. He is NOT a good, nor a חזיר. He is certainly acting, behaving like such. His behavior is repulsive and reprehensible.

  6. The Chazon Ish Paskened 100 years ago, that non frum people have the status of tinok sh’nishbah.
    If they want to recognize Reform and Conservative conversions for right of return that is the Zionist governments prerogative.
    When Rav Yoshe Dov Soleveitchik turned down multiple pleas to become Chief Rabbi in 1960 after the passing Rav Yitzchok HaLeivi Herzog.
    Upon withdrawing himself he wrote the following:
    “I think of the Rabbinate in terms of Rebbe/teacher who is not above his talmidim but with them, similar to a familial relationship. In functional situation there is no tension in such a relationship like there is with a Rabbi and his kehilah. The official position is secondary to the relationship.
    My ancestors saw the Rabbinate as a holy service of teaching Torah. They began as Roshei Yeshiva, giving shiurim, and continued to do so when they became Rabbanim of large communities.
    My grandfather Rav Chaim Brisker to walk out of a meeting of the eminent members of Brisk to comfort a poor nervous woman and patiently listen to her relate…
    As Rabban Gamliel stated in Horayos 10A “Do not think I am giving you a position of authority, but rather one of servitude”.
    As far as my decision the connection between the Rabbinate and the Religious ministry which I believe are two positions connected that should be interdependent.
    Secondly ongoing debate in the Knesset regarding rulings of previous holders of the position tremendously unappealing.
    I see the close relationship of the Rabbanut to politicians as a form of spiritual shatnez
    The Israeli Rabbinate have no connection to Jewish educational institutions in Israel, and they are not consulted for Chinuch.
    The Rav references two halachik issues that became politicized and lead to a compromise of the walls of Halacha. (This was in reference to the Bnei’ Israel of India, and crossed the leniency boundary in terms of geirus. And other rulings that blatantly violated Halacha, recognition of conversions by Conservative Ordained individuals. A non Jewish woman already married to a man in a civil ceremony can convert and continue to live together. The last issue involved the son of an Israeli general who was also a Kohein).

  7. While I commend Rabbi Lau for attempting to stick up for the Torah, it’s sad that people don’t realize plain reality.

    The Zionist State is not Jewish. The position of Chief Rabbi is a Zionist government job. That job requires first and foremost being a Zionist and secondarily being a Rabbi.

    So, this is not about Lieberman being a “pig”, which he may well be. That’s besides the point. This is about Lieberman simply being a Zionist. Your anger should be at the Zionist identity theft and impersonation of Judaism, not this particular “pig”.

  8. Its funny how so many posters are oblivious to the political realities of elections having consequences. Lieberman is the same guy today he was a year ago and fiver years ago. He was very clear in broadcasting his intentions to loosen the rules imposed by the Rabbanut if he was elected and became part of the coalition. For all of those who disagree with his viewpoint, get involved politically and either run for the Knesset or support those who do with your values. UTJ/Agudah overplayed their hands with Bibi and now are reaping the whirlwind.

  9. @Hakatan
    “Zionist identity theft and impersonation of Judaism, not this particular “pig”.”

    Lieberman is not a pig. You know people can disagree with you without them being a “pig”. With regard to Zionism, here’s what Pew published last May:

    “A large majority of U.S. Jews (82%) say caring about Israel is either “essential” or “important” to what being Jewish means to them”

    Funny how the Satmar/Brisk minority accuses the rest of the majority of Jews of identity theft.