Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger Shlita has expressed the Chief Rabbinate’s opposition to a Justice Ministry ruling compelling state-appointed rabbis in periphery areas to submit a monthly report of their activities. The rabbis in cities around the country are certain the new regulation is a first step and they will soon be compelled to do the same. They explain their objections are a matter of principle, since they are not “civil service clerks’ and they should not be treated as such.
Rabbonim will be meeting on Monday, taking part in a kenos in Bnei Brak, in a shul located at 18 Yoel Street beginning at 1:00pm to discuss the matter.
Rabbi Asher Zemel, who represents the civil service rabbonim serving in the periphery, including local and municipal councils, explains the new ruling impacts 350 rabbonim.
Justice Ministry officials acknowledge that in the future, all rabbonim, including rabbis of neighborhoods and cities around Israel will be compelled to file a monthly report as well. Those failing to comply with the directive will be dismissed from their post.
Rav Zemel rejects what he perceives as a Justice Ministry effort to control the rabbonim, explaining the Rabbinate must remain an independent entity and if compelled to, the rabbis will quit.
According to a HaMevaser report, based on conversations with rabbonim in cities around Israel, they feel this is part of an ongoing campaign to undermine the status of rabbonim in Israel. They feel this is a continuation of attorney Amnon DaHartuk, [who was known for his anti-religious policies], but he is no longer in the ministry.
Regarding DaHartuk, one may view a July 2009 YWN-Israel article involving his attack against Chinuch Atzmai.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)