Religion Magazine

What Happens When the Rabbi Clocks out at the End of the Day?

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Rav Eli Ben Dahan has been working on reforming the system of the local Rabbinate. One of the changes is putting all new local city or town rabbis appointed to be under a system of supervision by the Ministry of Religious Services.
The new system will include that the rabbis will need to clock in and out at the beginning and end of the workday. They will also need to report monthly about vacations days used, and every three months they will have to submit a report about the services they provided during the period.
source: NRG
What happens when the Rabbi clocks out at the end of the day?Obviously the rabbis are not happy about this. Just like in any workplace, the employees don't like changes to the system, especially when it makes things harder for them or possibly indicates a certain lack of trust.
The truth is that i think for most rabbis this will be damaging, if not irrelevant. I think the vast majority of rabbis provide service far more than what a workday might include. Is the rabbinic workday defined as 9 to 5? Maybe it is 7 am until 3 pm? Maybe some other range of hours? Many rabbis start their day early in the morning, with services and maybe a shiur before or after davening, and end in the wee hours of the night responding to questions, consulting and hearing people's problems, giving shiurim, etc.
How will clocking in and out define the workday of a busy rabbi? And if a set of hours is defined, will rabbis employed by the State now stop taking those late night calls because they already clocked out?
Sure, there are probably some rabbis that abuse the freedom the current system provides. And I don't question the need for improving the current system in some ways. And I dont see any problem with having the rabbis submit monthly and quarterly reports on their activities. I just don't know that having them clock in and out will actually improve rabbinic service - I think it might even hinder it.

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