12/14/2007

Local Rabbinic Politics

By an accident of fate, the municipality of Modiin-Maccabim-Reut will be dropping one of its Chief Rabbis. There are currently 3: the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Modiin, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Modiin, and the Chief Rabbi of Maccabim-Reut, who also happens to be Sephardi. A conscientious citizen, affiliated with the anti-religious Shinui party, filed a grievance with the Supreme Court  about 4 years ago, which the court upheld. The contention was that there is no need for three rabbis once the municipality of Modiin was expanded to include Maccabim and Reut. I actually partially (33.3%, to be exact) agree with this decision, but that's an old issue.

Thus, it was decided that the city will drop one of its two Sephardic chiefs. In truth, I have sympathy one of the two. The rabbi of M-R has held that position for upwards of 20 years and is, by reputation, much more in line with the sensibilities of the city's Dati Leumi community, which makes up almost the entirety of its religious community.

Yet, I cannot - and will not - ignore the fact that of these three rabbis, one is the son-in-law of R' Ovadiah Yosef, one is a brother-in-law of former minister and Shas Party chief Aryeh Deri, and the third is the son of former Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.

[I have deleted the line which draws attention away from the main thrust of the post, and which, in hindsight, is inappropriate and gratuitous].

Thus, I could not give a rat's furry tuchus who wins this fight. Hopefully, the winner will have merely won a Pyrrhic victory.

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