Yesh Atid leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid is on the war path, determined to unseat Chief Rabbis Yitzchak Yosef and David Lau. It would appear that Lapid is angered over a decision by the Chief Rabbinate, but interestingly, that decision was made over 65 years ago.
Lapid used his Facebook page on erev Shabbos 9 Shevat 5774 to cry out, stating how the Chief Rabbis of Israel must go and that he and his party backed Rabbi David Stav in that election. “The chief rabbis have announced that it is prohibited for women to serve in the IDF. This is a chutzpah of the highest order, a national disgrace. I will work in Knesset, the cabinet and via legal means if need be to have them fired.”
Lapid is not done. “We are talking about state employees with very good salaries, who sit in comfortable offices, have state vehicles and they now announce they do not approve of women serving in the mud, as combatants in the cold, in pilots training course, as border police and in the navy.”
“Does the female commander of the Eitam unit now have to resign? What about [Chief of Personnel Branch] Major-General Orna Barvibai? Or what about all the IDF female instructors? What about female soldiers in the intelligence corps with whom I met in Northern Command two weeks ago, those watching monitors to prevent infiltrations via the border. They are not permitted to serve?”
“David Lau and Yitzchak Yosef and not fit to serve as Chief Rabbis of Israel” concluded the senior cabinet minister.
It appears that no one bothered to explain to Mr. Lapid that the chief rabbis since the founding of the state in 1948 opposed women serving in the IDF and the current chief rabbis just decided to give their backing to the long-standing Halachic ruling. Since it does not fit within the hashkafic parameters of Lapid’s secular far-from-Torah life, their words are pasul and the rabbonim are therefore unsuited for their post in his eyes.
It was just last erev Pesach that Lapid refused to sell the state’s chametz to the chief rabbis, deciding to sent an assistant. Now he has taken a step forward, demanding they step down, vowing to oust them from their positions. It would appear the derech eretz for rabbonim is not a component of Lapid’s mantra.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)