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Activists Want Sephardic Chief Rabbi Punished For Saying Charedim Will Leave Israel Over Draft

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel has filed a complaint with the ombudsman of the Israeli judiciary, former Supreme Court justice Uri Shoham, calling for the removal of Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef from the Great Rabbinical Court of Appeals. The complaint alleges that Rabbi Yosef has politicized his judicial role and violated ethical rules for judges.

The complaint cites Rabbi Yosef’s recent comments encouraging draft evasion, in which he warned that Charedim would leave Israel en masse if the government ends their exemptions from mandatory military enlistment. The watchdog group argues that these comments constitute “a flagrant violation of the rules of ethics for judges” and are an attempt to influence the outcome of a pending legal proceeding.

The Movement for Quality Government is urging the ombudsman to investigate the complaint urgently and, if justified, to act to end Rabbi Yosef’s tenure as a judge in the Great Rabbinical Court.

This is not the first time Rabbi Yosef has faced criticism for his actions, as he was previously recommended for potential removal by Shoham in November 2023 for organizing a conference against government reforms aimed at breaking up the Charedi monopoly on kosher certification and Geirus.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

20 Responses

  1. What a legal long-shot. He’s not talking about the “judicial” side of it (which can be settled in many different ways), but as a Rabbi, saying what the Torah has to say about it.

  2. When the tribes of Reuven and Gad wished to remain in Transjordan, presumably eluding the battle for the conquest of Israel, Moshe Rabbeinu rebuked them:

    “Shall your brothers go to war, and you shall sit here?” (Bamidbar 32:6).

    Chastened, the tribal leaders responded that of course they would join the battle.

    Notice, though, how they did not tell Moshe that they would be learning Torah full time and thus should be exempt!

    Moshe would not have warmed to that idea – as he himself went to battle, as did Avraham, as did King David, as have many great Roshei Yeshivah and Torah scholars today.

    SOURCE: Haredim and the Living Torah by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky 2024 March 7
    First published the day before in: www dot IsraelNationalNews dot com
    and the blog of Rabbi Steven Pruzansky.

  3. Rashi’s commentary on Devarim, chapter 33, verse 7 (on Shma H’ Kol Yehudah, VeEl Amo Tebiainu, Yadav Rab Lo, VeEzer MiTzarav Tihiyeh) seems to mean that the Tribe of Yehudah received a berachah for success in war.

    Rashi’s commentary on Devarim, chapter 33, verse 20 (on CeLabi Shachen and VeTaraf Zeroa) seems to mean that the Tribe of Gad received berachah for success in war.

    Rashi’s commentary on Devarim, chapter 33, verse 22 (on Dan Gur Aryeh) seems to mean that the Tribe of Dan received berachah for success in war.

    The Rambam explicitly writes that fighting to defend the Jewish people and the Jewish land is a mitzvah that applies even to newlyweds, and the Prophetess Devorah cursed those Jews who shirk that duty (Tanach, Shoftim 5:16, 5:23).

    Tractate Sanhedrin, page 49A teaches:
    “Was it not for David [and his Torah study],
    Yoav could not have been successful in battle,
    and were it not for Yoav [and his military prowess],
    David would not have been able to learn Torah.”

  4. I suspect that it would cost the government much less to buy them a one-way airline ticket to yenavelt or wherever they plan on going than to continue funding their welfare payments and stipends year after year. Sadly, there probably aren’t many countries who would want them.

  5. Seeing some of these posts I’m really not sure if I’m on yeshivaworld news or haskalaworld news. This is a talmid chacham and chashuva rav talking, son of a gadol hador. A little respect please. He’s not exactly neturei karta you know, he’s the chief rabbi of the state of Israel. And, he’s not saying anything different than many great rabbanim before him have said.
    והוי מתחמם כנגד אורן של חכמים, והוי זהיר בגחלתן שלא תכוה, שנשיכתן נשיכת שועל, ועקיצתן עקיצת עקרב, ולחישתן לחישת שרף, וכל דבריהם כגחלי אש.
    And cut the baloney of parotting haters like Lieberman and Lapid. Many “Chareidim” or “Ultra Orthodox” or whatever other silly labels people use, work very hard to earn a living and add much to Israeli society. Some do choose to go to the army. Those who are sitting and learning are bringing much zchus to Klal Yisroel and the yishuv in Eretz Yisroel and are ensuring the continuity of Torah. Yes I know, there are dati l’eumi (another silly label) who do both, and that’s beautiful and they are following the guidance of their rabbanim. I daven every day that all Yidden should be safe, and the IDF soldiers should complete their missions safely and return to their families, and that lomdei Torah should be able to continue learning and bringing zechusim for klal yisroel, and all sonei Yisroel should have a mapala, and there should be shalom al Yisroel.

  6. Just a naive question: doesn’t any of the commentators have and humility and REALLY think that the rabbi and those in UTJ don’t know these Rashi, Rambam, and biblical verses? Rabbi Yosef is a gaon and a real ehrlice yid.

    Same with this whole idea of people fighting against the rabbis of yesteryear: Rabbi teitelbaum, schneersohn, shach, vosner, etc… They all knew ALL the seforim and pilpul you know. This is one reason I feel YWN should not have comments.

    We can try to understand the rabbis but ultimately in orthodoxy, especially UO, it’s understood that we follow our Gedolim.

    Just the fact that a right wing (more Zionistic even), rabbi to agree with UTJ and give them support, speaks volumes of the issue and in my humble opinion, some people really need to try to understand this. It’s important to find differences between the gad and reuven in the story with Moses and today.

    There are many ideas how to answer for the UO but just like the Gaza war to the world, so the hareidi to the arrogant

  7. BS”D
    The charedim are against joining the army because of the bad influences there; not necessarily because they don’t want to fight. And at a time of war there is no time to make a proper charedi battalion.

  8. the folks in Poland and Lithuania will welcome them with open arms. if they want benefits show up at the US southern border and claim they were being persecuted.

  9. why not negotiate for some positive change in the government.
    I think we could all agree that Israel’s draft of (irreligious) women is terrible. Why doesn’t rav Yosef offer 30k bachurim to replace all women conscripts to the IDF.
    Chances are the government won’t agree to change the law or the women will volunteer anyway. At least we will be asking for positive change.

  10. secularists keep quoting the Torah [when convenient for them] regarding how we should respond . tho we are in self defense, we are not an obligatory war commanded by Hashem as defined in the Torah.
    also, to take a quote from the Torah shel b’ctav without studying the perushim in depth is just political cheap convenience.

  11. I will say that Dorah’s comment clarifies for me what we say in the Hagadah. (It can Google this as well). מה העבודה הזאת לכם. לכם ולא לו. ולפי שהוציא את עצמו מן הכלל, כפר בעיקר. ואף אתה הקהה את שיניו.

  12. Ahhhh the big Gedolim in the comments of a Yeshiva World article are back! We are so happy that with your wisdom you have been able to guide us through such a dark time! We are forever grateful that you know pesukim and rashi’s that I’m sure no one has ever learnt but you! We are truly blessed by your existence…………..not

  13. nishtdayngesheft: Exactly and she also exemplifies one of Chazal’s definitions of an apikorus
    מאי אהני לן רבנן

  14. am i missing something???

    israeli supreme court justices are able to publicly speak out against judicial reform and theirs no problem of politicizing their judicial role???(not at all political nah)
    but when a rav expresses his daas torah its illegal???

  15. If these activists were motivated by other than their dream of an Israel free of Torah, they would be asking “How can we structure national defense so that the percentage of Hareidim directly contributing would be increased?” They also need to distinguish between Hareidim who oppose the concept of zionism, and who are listed as learning only to avoid a confrontation over military service (the solution is to treat them as conscientious objectors and give them the same rights and privileges as Arabs who similarly decline to serve in the IDF), from Bnei Yeshiva (both Hareidi and Zionist) who believe their contribution is at least as important as the military’s but who might be agreeable to more active military service under certain conditions, and those who are frum zionists who are annoyed over the IDF’s limited accommodation of a frum lifestyle (which if the army obeyed its own regulations, wouldn’t be an issue).

  16. מה העבודה הזאת לכם. לכם ולא לו. ולפי שהוציא את עצמו מן הכלל, כפר בעיקר. ואף אתה הקהה את שיניו.

    We read every day about more IDF chayalim being killed in the ongoing combat in Gaza while some mindless Chareidi yungerleit are engaged in demonstrations against the draft. The quote from arbah banim the Hagadah incorrectly equates those who expect a sharing of the physical risks and sacrifice from ALL yiddin to those who would separate themselves from the tzibur. Exactly the opposite. Every poll of Israelis show a clear majority in favor of UNIVERSAL public service. Those who selfishly want to transfer the risk and sacrifice to others are the ones who are the true segment of לכם ולא לו.

  17. Oh wow! Dorah used her favorite word; mindless, she convinced us she’s right!
    What a regurgitation of all her usual apikorsus.

  18. מקטני אמנה which refers to itself as paradoxically as “Gadol” does not disappoint with its response.

    1) An am Haaretz of the first order who has to google what every child knows from when they start learning in yeshiva.

    2) Your comment explicitly stated that you exclude yourself from those who learn, which has been obvious from all comments. And that is exactly what the Ba”al Hahagadah is referring to when describing the rasha.

    3) you are far from honest, both actual and also intellectual with what minor intellect you might have. The people are not protesting chayalim. (Look how much time, effort money they have spent in supporting the efforts of the chayalim and chayalim) They are protesting the attempts to impede Torah learning. Something which you equate with Googling.

    4) What does a majority of anti religious people have to do with Halacha. Further the more the largest volunteer agencies providing services of all sorts in E”Y are run and manned by Chareidim. Including many from Meah Shearim. Clearly they have no issue in providing service The comment about “mandated public service” is just stupid. Not surprising the source.

    It is abundantly clear from your earlier inane post that you are from כופרי בעיקר.

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