Daily Israel Report

Yesh Atid No. 2 Attempts Peace with Chief Rabbis

Yesh Atid minister steps in to pacify Chief Rabbis after party head Yair Lapid called to fire them both.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/14/2014, 6:04 PM

Rabbis David Lau (right) and Shai Piron
Rabbis David Lau (right) and Shai Piron
Arutz Sheva

Education Minister Shai Piron of the Yesh Atid party met Tuesday with the Chief Rabbis of Israel in an apparent attempt to make peace following a call from Finance Minister Yair Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid, to fire them.

Lapid issued a public call to fire both chief rabbis after they published a statement saying Jewish law (halakha) prohibits women from enlisting in the IDF.

Piron, who is a rabbi, met with Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau following a special celebratory prayer marking the anniversary of the establishment of the Knesset. Sources involved in the meeting said it ended on a friendly note.

Piron clarified Lapid’s stance on the issue, they said. Lapid had called the rabbis’ statement “insolent and a national scandal” and had declared that the two “no longer deserve to serve as Chief Rabbis in Israel.”

Following Lapid’s proclamation it was revealed that Piron, who holds his party’s number-two seat, had made similar statements against female enlistment in the past.

The issue of female IDF enlistment and Jewish law has been in the spotlight following recently published figures showing an increase in the number of religious female recruits. Several well-known rabbis have come out with public statements strongly discouraging female enlistment.

While female IDF enlistment is universally discouraged in the hareidi-religious community, among religious-Zionist rabbis there is a wider variety of views, with some rabbis permitting or even encouraging female enlistment.