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Bayit Yehudi’s New Plan in Rabbinate Race

Bayit Yehudi debates again on support for Chief Rabbi candidates.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/2/2013, 4:45 PM

Ketzaleh with Rabbi Eliyahu
Ketzaleh with Rabbi Eliyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party continues to debate the issue of the Chief Rabbi race. The party was previously split over whether to support Rabbi David Stav or Rabbi Yaakov Ariel for the position of Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi.

Now the party has come to a new decision, following the Knesset’s decision not to raise the maximum age for the Chief Rabbi, which would have allowed Rabbi Ariel to run.

Sources told Arutz Sheva that Bayit Yehudi will support Rabbi David Stav for the position of Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi, and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu for the post of Chief Sephardi Rabbi.

MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli had already announced her support for the two rabbis over the weekend. “Since it became clear that Rabbi Ariel will not be chosen as Chief Rabbi, the time has come for a clear, unequivocal decision from the party,” she declared.

“I am standing before the public and expressing support for Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi David Stav. Both are worthy of the position and worthy to lead in matters involving the Rabbinate and state and religion,” she wrote.

At the same time, the Bayit Yehudi faction has supported a bill dubbed the “Amar Law” which would allow Chief Rabbis to serve back-to-back terms. The law would allow current Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, to run for a second term.