Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun, a veteran figure in the Gush Emunim movement, appears to be the leading candidate to replace Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita as head of the government’s conversion program.
Bin-Nun is known as a moderate among moderates, leaning more towards the left-wing, both in matters of politics as well as halacha. His controversial statements regarding Yesha issues resulted in his stepping down as rav of the Shomron community of Ofrah, where he was a pioneering member, leading to his leaving the Shomron, relocating to a more suitable location.
Rav Druckman was at the center of controversy after an Ashdod beis din ruled a woman converted by him many years ago was retroactively a non-Jew, ruling her children are non-Jews and therefore, she does not require a get (divorce according to halacha). The case was taken to the Supreme Rabbinical Court which not only supported the lower beis din ruling, but issued a scathing widespread condemnation of Rabbi Druckman’s conversions, ruling them invalid. Rav Druckman has since been dismissed, with the explanation that his age, 75, compels him to step down in accordance to civil service law.
According to the report appearing in the weekly Hebrew Mishpacha Magazine, Rav Bin-Nun is the leading candidate of Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander, who heads the search committee seeking a new conversion chief to replace Rav Druckman.
It is also reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar Shlita that he may bypass the committee and pick his own candidate, but following Olmert’s decision to step down, the chief rabbi may not merit cashing in on the promise.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)