The Ministry of Religious Services has decided to dismiss 71-year-old HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Ashkenazi Shlita, the mora d’asra of Kfar Chabad and the rav of the Emek Lod Region. The ministry explains being that he is over 70 he is compelled to step down. Despite the ministry’s decision, no rav in the Chabad community in Eretz Yisrael is willing to submit their name for the job.
Rabbi Ashkenazi is continuing in his post and carrying out his duties. As far as residents are concerned, “one does not fire a rav. A rav’s tenure is decided by residents, not the Ministry of Religious Services”. Chabad officials add that even if elections to fill the post are held, no one will run for the slot.
Binyamin Lifshitz, who heads the Kfar Chabad council told Kikar Shabbos “The rav will not be fired. When he was 67 they told him that he cannot run for another term but he was permitted to continue for four years and that he would have to resign.
“He doesn’t have an office from the state as his office is and always was his home. Rabbonim have been serving in Kfar Chabad for 50 years without the ministry. Being rav of Kfar Chabad is a shlichus and not about money. There is no doubt he is the rav of the Kfar. The residents are the ones who appointed the rabbonim of their community.
“When a rav is selected it is not until his term expires under law, but until Moshiach arrives” explained Lifshitz. He adds that the Kfar Chabad Council is not interested in another rav and there will be no other rav.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)