Ashdod’s Chief Rabbi Targeted in Contempt of Court Case


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ch2.jpgAs if the removal of Yeshivat Har Bracha from the hesder network was not enough to remind us of the battle between Torah and Hellenists on Chanukah, the nation’s High Court of Justice is now targeting Ashdod Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sheinen Shlita.

The case stems from a High Court ruling compelling the Ashdod Religious Council to give a hechsher to a bakery owned by a Jew for “J”. The rabbi explained that the religious council was willing to grant a hechsher, but only with a fulltime mashgiach as halacha dictates in such a situation, but the court accepted the owner’s contention that she cannot afford it and she is being discriminated against because of her religious choices. In the court’s ruling, the justices decided the state kosher law is not a religious law and therefore, the court is within its jurisdiction to rule, overriding the Ashdod Rabbanut.

Backed by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and State Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, Mazuz called for another hearing before an expanded panel of High Court justices, a request that sat on the desk of Chief Justice Dorit Beinish for three months before she rejected it.

On the other hand, the owner of the bakery, Penina Comforti, has turned to the High Court again, seeking to find the rabbi guilty of contempt of court since she still has not been given a hechsher. Rabbi Sheinen is quoted by the daily HaMevaser as explaining that he cannot be part of a process that will deceive the tzibur and he cannot grant a hechsher without a fulltime mashgiach, despite the ruling of the court.

The contempt hearing was set for the end of March 2010, but this was not immediate enough for Comforti, who asked the court to move up the date. Of course the court complied and the hearing is set for December 21st.

The rav questioned the court, which rules in accordance to the law of non-Jews, seeking to compel him in a matter of ‘isur v’heter’ as per the Shulchan Aruch. “Once I act against the Shulchan Aruch” stated Rav Sheinen, “I cannot continue in my role as a rav”.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. The goyim have a literary motif of a man who “sells his soul” to the devil, getting an immediate material reward in return the loss of what really matters.

    Those Orthodox Jews who “sold their souls” to the zionists got lots of money, kavod, perqs, etc., but in the end, as the goyim would say, “the devil gets his due”.

    If a rabbinical function is carried out by the state, and the state doesn not allow discrimination, there is an inherent problem since halacha discriminates in favor of observance of Torah and Mitsvos. If a rav wants the benefits of being a government employee, he will have to realize it comes with some very thick strings attached.

  2. #1 & 2 — Don’t criticize the Rav, he clearly stated he will NOT go against halacha, and if necessary, will resign. Kol HaKavod to him!

  3. Rav Avigdor Miller, ZT”L, once said (on tape) that there would come a day when Hareidi Jews would be beaten on the streets of Israel.

    But, first, they have to be demonized and dehumanized, as they were in Nazi Germany.

  4. “Most of the Hareidi Jews beaten on the streets of Israel are beaten by Hareidi Jews.”–Yoisher (sic) no.5:

    I guess you never ran into the black-shirted Yassam goons, who are brought in specially to deal with Hareidi and DAti-Leumi people.

    My son was brutally beaten on the streets of Jerusalem for merely standing around and observing a Hareidi demonstration. When asked why they were beating him for nothing, the Yassam goons replied: “Because we hate Hareidim.”

  5. We now see that the rabbonim were correct. The zionist are nothing more then amalek. Their only desire is to look for ways to make us fall. We sadly see that the mizrachi movement which is moving to the left and siding with many issue together with the secular zionist. This is a sad time for torah jewry, when we have people wearing kippas doing everything to harm the charedim.

  6. #1, No, the answer is to stand strong against the state, and make it realise – one way or another – that when it hires a rov it cannot dictate to him how to pasken, just as no community can do so. Let the court understand that a rov has a specific mitzvah of “lo soguru”, which it has given him the opportunity to fulfill.

  7. #1 & 2 – I couldn’t agree more.

    #3 – Posts 1 and 2 aren’t (at least how I read them) criticizing the rov – they’re criticizing the system of religion run by the state.