Chareidi Chief Rabbis to be Appointed to Many Cities Throughout Israel


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bennThe Bayit Yehudi tried in earnest to continue maintaining control of the Ministry of Religious Services but Shas succeeded in usurping that control in elections for the 20th Knesset and resumed its control over the party which it maintained in the 18th Knesset.

Minister of Religious Services (Shas) David Azoulai has already begun setting up elections in cities around Israel towards appointing new civil service rabbis in over 20 cities nationwide.

Azoulai’s staff has been instructed to begin laying the groundwork to appoint rabbis in the cities and municipalities that do not have civil service rabbonim today. Major cities included in the list are Ashkelon, Rishon L’Tzion, Beit Shemesh, Sderot, Rehovot, Haifa, Hadera, Tiveria, Akko, and Kiryat Malachi. In a best case scenario, this process will continue for several months. If the minister’s actions are challenged in courts, which is likely to occur, the process may drag on for quite some time as it can be expected his list of candidates will not find favor in all cases.

During the coming months many rabbonim will be visiting the minister’s office seeking his backing. This will include persuading the minister a candidate will remain loyal to his party and agenda, and not necessarily involve determining the suitability of a rabbi for a particular city or municipality. This is why court challenges are likely.

Handling the process for Azoulai is David Amar, who is an advisor to the minister and a relative of Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Having politicians pick the local rabbi is an amazingly dumb idea. Throughout the world, there is an inverse correlations between how “religious” people are, and how much the government is involved in supporting and controlling religious institutions. It is no accident that the growth in Yiddishkeit in Eretz Yisrael over the last 65 years has occured among the groups who are politically out of power, and the official government approved version of Yiddishkeit (zionist but not too fanatical, observants – somewhat, patriotic and not making trouble) has not prospered, whereas the fanatics (hareidi and hardal) have.

  2. Communities should choose Rabbanim of their likely who must be required to live in the area among the people. NOT visiting salaried Rabbanim who are relatives of MKs of parties.

  3. If Shas continues it’s tradition of nepotism and cronyism,the revulsion against religious institutions will descend to new lows

    But if the rabbonim chosen are distinguished men of stature they will be honored by the public

  4. Religious communities of different perspectives have thrived in Israel, whether they be Chareidi, Chardal or Dati. Rabbi’s chosen should meet the needs and perspectives of the communities they are to serve. Otherwise it will create machlokes and make matters far worse.

    For example; You don’t appoint an Ashkenazi Rov to serve a Sfardi community. Their minhagim are different. The same goes for appointing a Chareidi Rov to serve a Dati community.

    Communities themselves should choose their Rov, not some bureaucrat, irrespective of their religious affiliation.

  5. #2 — We don’t consider goyim to be Jews, and frankly, we don’t care about what the government things. If you wanted Israel to be a state limited to Jews as defined by halacha you blew that one years ago since the statge always including goyim, descendants of Jews, and non-religious Jews.

    Torah thrives in Eretz Yisrael in spite of the government, not because of it. If the government were to truely become frum it would scare people away from Torah. Governments are like that. The joke is that if the government were in charge of the air, we’ld all suffocate.