A new law has been passed by a Knesset legislative committee, which means that in the future there will be only one Chief Rabbi.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Minister of Economy and Religious Affairs, Naftali Bennett and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan presented the bill which is to cancel the duplication of the Chief Rabbis of Israel, and mandate that Israel will have one Chief Rabbi, regardless of which community he comes from (Sephardi or Ashkenazi).

In addition, the new law will separate between the Rabbinate and the Batei Din (religious court) system which is an independent judicial body. The President of the Rabbinical Court and Vice-President shall be appointed from among the Dayanim (judges) of the Supreme Rabbinical Court, similar to the position of President of the Supreme Court and Vice-President.

It should be emphasized that, the serving Chief Rabbis of Israel, will continue to serve until the end of their tenure.

 Minister Livni: “In a country where there is one President, one President of the Supreme Court, one Prime Minister and one Chief of Staff, there is no justification for duplicating the role of the Chief Rabbi. Israel deserves a single Rabbi who will unite the various sections of society and lead the Rabbinate who provide a service to all Jewish citizens, from all communities. “

 Bennett: “This is an important step that symbolizes the unity of the people. The appointment of one Chief Rabbi raises only one question: why it has not happened before. This is a move which would symbolize national unity. Nowadays, when Ashkenazim marry with Sephardim, with Teimanim and all communities, it is clear there is no reason for two Chief Rabbis. Just like there is one Chief Rabbi of the IDF, where there are no separate roles for Ashkenazim and Sephardim in any field, there is no reason the role of Chief Rabbi should be different.”

© 2020 World Mizrachi

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