Only months after an Israeli teen was murdered by an ultra-Orthodox man during the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade, the city’s chief rabbi Shlomo Amar has lashed out at the LGBT community, saying “I believe that this phenomenon will wane and disappear, because most of the public is disgusted by it and detest it.”
The race for chief rabbi of Israel has been getting ugly since the collapse of a proposed deal between Shas and Jewish Home to elect their respective favorites. The deal would have amended the Chief Rabbinate laws to permit a second term for the incumbent Sephardic chief rabbi, a Shas favorite, and eliminated the age limit to permit the election of a favorite of the hardline, pro-settler of Jewish Home. The deal collapsed over liberal support for a more moderate Ashkenazi contender, as well as opposition to anything that benefits Shas.
That fight over the post of Israeli chief rabbi is more than meets the eye. It will affect marriage and conversion. And it even has powerful implications for the peace process.
David Stav’s candidacy for chief rabbi is based on his promise to be inclusive, accommodating and liberal. Unfortunately, it is just an illusion.
It’s interesting seeing the spiritual guidance of Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi regarding how and when we should make emergency requests from God. According to Shlomo Amar, Israelis should be praying that a state decision to fund some Reform and Conservative rabbis isn’t implemented in the same way that they pray when “rockets are fired at Israel.” In short, this state-salaried national religious leader is saying that people should be relating to this political funding decision with the same seriousness as when potentially lethal terrorist rockets are raining down close to Jewish homes.
The Jerusalem Post reports today that Sunday’s torching of a Galilee mosque, believed by authorities to be the work of right-wing Jewish extremists, appears to be the latest sign that Jewish terrorism is “gaining steam” in Israel. The Post’s military correspondent, Yaakov Katz (bio) says the Shin Bet security service is worried that the phenomenon will only grow in the coming months as Palestinian statehood efforts intensify, and that they have “no clear way to stop this violence.”
Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira was laid to rest on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, following his stabbing murder by a visitor to the Yeshiva in Beer Sheva where the rabbi was greeting guests just after midnight Friday morning.