Despite pressure from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Council is not planning to convene ahead of Sukkos. Weinstein called on the rabbinical forum to convene and render an opinion by 18 Tishrei regarding the eligibility of Rabbi Aryeh Stern Shlita. Rabbi Stern is the leading candidate to become the next Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim but a report citing he lacks a written semichah document jeopardizes his candidacy. Weinstein wants the Council to establish if the rabbi is a suitable candidate.
While supporters of Rabbi Stern are pressing for the Council to convene, it does not realistically appear this will occur late Tuesday night or on erev Sukkos. That means the registration process for candidates will close before the forum convenes. The issue is a legal one for if Tzfas Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita or Rabbi Yaakov Shapira Shlita submit their candidacies before the deadline, they will not be able to take part in the meeting surrounding Rav Stern’s candidacy. They are both members of the Chief Rabbinate Council and the obvious conflict of interests would prohibit them from participating in the meeting.
In addition, if Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau Shlita submits his name for the Ashkenazi post, Chief Rabbi David Lau Shlita and Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shlita would be barred from taking part in the meeting due to their relationship to Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau. The same would hold true for another member of the Council, Rabbi Yitzchak Ralbag Shlita.
And making a meeting of the Chief Rabbinate Council even more complicated is the fact the Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and his brother Rabbi Avraham Yosef Shlita could not take part in the meeting about Rav Stern because of the candidacy of Rabbi Mordechai Toledano Shlita, who is there brother-in-law.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)