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SLEEPOVER: Chief Rabbi To Stay With King Charles To Attend Coronation On Shabbos

UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim  Mirvis and his wife Valerie have been invited to sleep at the royal residence of King Charles and his wife on the Friday night before the coronation, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

The coronation is scheduled to take place on Shabbos, May 6th. Since Clarence House is less than a mile from Westminister Abbey, Rabbi Mirvis and his wife will be able to walk to the coronation from there.

According to the report, Rabbi Mirvis is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler, who 120 years ago walked to the coronation of King Edward VII on Shabbos in 1902.

Rabbi Adler slept at a nearby shul, Western Synagogue, and after leading Shabbos tefillos, walked to Westminster Abbey, escorted by police.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

18 Responses

  1. This is absolutely the right thing to do. It is important to find a comfortable middleground that allows him to both show respect for the monarchyWhile adhering to his religious beliefs. with antisemitism on the rise throughout the world, it is important that the leadership of the tzibur maintain good relations within their respective countries

  2. The coronation will be held in Westminster Abbey, which is a church. The coronation itself takes place in the middle of a “mass,” or goyische avodah zarah ceremony. What heter could there be to attend an avodah zarah?

  3. Gadol you think that matters? Anti semitism is above nature, when its decreed its decreed. In the times of the Beis Hamikdash Jews had a relationship with Roman Emperors whether by force or by will, how did that turn out?

  4. Will he share some of his cholent with the king? Do they have a big kiddush in the church after this coronation of the powerless king?

  5. Ylavon, the heter is shtadlonus. If you look into the halacha on the subject you will find that shtadlonim have a wide range of heterim available to them. They are allowed to wear shatnes, to drink goyishe wine, and yes, they are allowed to enter churches and be present during ceremonies, even if there is avoda zara going on, which is not necessarily the case.

    A Catholic mass is definitely avoda zara, but it’s a complicated question whether an Anglican mass is too; the Anglicans can’t agree among themselves what exactly the mass is or what it supposedly does, which greatly affects its halachic status.

  6. Milhouse, with all due respect you are confusing cases where a community’s lives are threatened with a case of simply wanting to have good feeling. As for the “mass,” I grant that Angllicans don’t know what its central act means, but this detail is insignificant. Many times during the ceremony they proclaim that Yoshke is ח”ו God, and each time it is avodah zarah clear and plain.

  7. So, to avoid chillul Shabbos, a Religious Zionist Rabbi has to sleep near a church so that he can attend a church ceremony at that church on Shabbos – on Shabbos, of all days, the very day that focuses on the unique bond between Hashem and His Jewish people.

    How sad.

  8. @Milhouse – the Religious Zionist Rabbi’s predecessor claimed that the heter was “mipnei aivah” – which seems absurd, of course.

  9. Ylavon, you are right that the kings are not what they used to be. Still, you never know when the community would need a good will or behind the scene help from the powers of the world. So, staying on their good side seems reasonable to me.

  10. I must say, I’m surprised. But then again, I’m surprised the coronation is on Shabbos, thereby making it impossible for religious Jews to participate in celebrations, even on a local level.

    Or maybe not…. one can only think that Rabbi Mirvis asked HIS Rav. One thing is sure…I’m going to have to watch the edited highlights on my laptop after Shabbos. No heter for this Royalist!

  11. Ylavon, the heterim for shtadlonim have nothing to do with anyone’s life being in danger. It is entirely about the Jewish community having friends in high places, in case they ever need help. When Nechemia got a heter to drink Artaxasta’s wine, there was no threat to the community’s lives. Artaxasta was a philosemite, and there was no known threat to the community. But Chazal thought it important to have Nechemia in that position, both to forestall any possible future danger that might arise, and to ensure Artaxasta continued to feel good about Jews.

    As for the avoda-zara status of Xianity, merely believing that Yeshua ben Miriam was the Ribbono Shel Olam is not avoda zara. They don’t think he’s a separate god from the RBShO; they think he was Him. That’s a stupid thing to think, but it’s not the same as worshiping a different god.

    The one thing about Catholicism that is definitely classical AZ is the mass, and the Anglican mass is different. How different depends on whom you ask, because Anglicans are deliberately confused and confusing about it. They have historically had huge arguments among themselves about it. Definitely the very Low Church masses of the Puritan era or of the late 19th century were not AZ, at least in this sense. But some High Church masses could border on AZ. So it’s a confusing topic. Certainly if I were in Mirvis’s position I would try if possible to avoid being present while the mass was celebrated.

  12. If anyone here bothered to do even the slightest bit of research, they would find a long and well documented mesorah of Chief Rabbis attending churches in the UK and Europe for such events.
    The disrespect shown to Rabbi Mirvis in the comments here is absurd. He is a huge talmid chacham and well respected Rav. Good luck getting mechilah for this rechilus.

  13. truth2power:
    Precedent does not equal mesorah. No matter how much he knows, he is a “Religious Zionist”, which means that he is worshiping idols – according to actual mesorah, as in Rav Elchonon Wasserman and all the rest. Therefore, his halachic rulings are invalid and, at best, a point of curiosity.

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