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Min. Orbach: Rabbinate Fuss Proves Need for Change

Accuses hareidi leaders of “verbal hooliganism” that “quickly becomes physical."
By Ernie Singer & Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/17/2013, 10:40 AM

Min. Orbach
Min. Orbach
Hezki Ezra

Minister for Senior Citizens' Affairs Uri Orbach (Bayit Yehudi) weighed in on the discord surrounding the appointment of the next chief rabis, and said – "All the fuss surrounding the selection of the Chief Rabbi only reinforces what many Jews have known for a while: a new spirit is needed in the Chief Rabbinate."

Writing on his Facebook page, the minister said, "We want a Chief Rabbinate that takes care of converts to Judaism and those who observe kashrut and shmita [the agricultural sabbatical year -ed.], rabbis who see the country as 'the beginning of our redemption,' who act out of grace and mercy for the honor of the Sabbath and the love of Torah. It is all so simple and elementary that one needs to be a true fanatic not to understand it."

Reacting to a report on an attack against Rabbi David Stav, who is running for Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, Orbach wrote, "The atmosphere of verbal hooliganism that hareidi rabbis, politicians and media outlets cultivate becomes physical quickly."

He added, "The Israeli public, religious and secular, has had enough of this rough and repulsive style and wants rabbis like Rabbi Stav, who are offended yet do not offend."