Religion Magazine

Possible Deal to Elect Ravs Amar and Stav as Chief Rabbis in the Works

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
An interesting development since the elections have passed is a possible deal in the works for the election of the Chief Rabbi of Israel.
According to Israel Hayom, a deal has been made, though it is not [yet] being confirmed by those involved, by which HaBayit HaYehudi would support Rav Shlomo Amar for a second term as Sephardic Chief Rabbi in exchange for the support of Shas, or at least no opposition from them, for the election of Rav Dovid Stav as Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi.
Possible deal to elect Ravs Amar and Stav as Chief Rabbis in the works
What is most interesting to me about this is that despite the bad blood that has recently been spilled between the two parties, they are finding ways to work together, to help each other, and get things they want/need taken care of. Tat's the way it should be, though so much bad blood is really not so necessary in the first place...
That being said, I personally don't care which rabbis are elected to be Chief Rabbis of Israel. To my life it will make no difference, and I do not see it making much of a difference to anybody's life. If the non-religious think that by supporting Rav Stav they are going to have an easier life form a religious perspective, they have got another think coming. Rav Stav is an Orthodox rabbi, and even though he is perhaps (and I dont know that he is) a bit more liberal than the average haredi rabbi, he is not going to do things that are against Orthodox policy and custom. The haredi don't use the chief rabbinate much anyway. The dati leumi also don't really benefit from a change in rabbis. They ate Rabbanut before, and will continue to do so, just as they used rabbanut services for lifecycle events and will continue to do so. So which rabbi is appointed to be chief rabbi really is not going to make a big difference to most people.
The biggest issue on the table might be how the Rabbanut will deal with issues of shmitta. With shmitta approaching in about 18 months from now, the next chief rabbis will experience 2 shmitta years during their coming term.
Really the selection of chief rabbi has become way too political. Instead of the best man being chosen, and I am sure all the candidates are tremendous rabbis and great potential chief rabbis, someone is chosen as a political deal. That almost ensures that the best man is not going to be chosen. The job of rabbi should be as minimally connected to politics as possible.
The best anybody can hope for from a chief rabbi is really that he find a way to lessen and minimize the bureaucracy involved in life cycle events. And that has nothing to do with what kippa he wears on his head.
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