Exposed: Deri's attempt to seize Chief Rabbinate

Arutz Sheva has learned Shas head Deri is trying to pick next Chief Rabbinate director, against position of Chief Rabbi Lau and protocol.

Hezki Baruch ,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Arutz Sheva has learned that Shas chairperson and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is trying to determine the next director of the Chief Rabbinate himself, against the position of Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau - and in breach of longstanding protocol.

Deri is trying to advance the candidacy of Moshe Dagan, the senior deputy director of the Religious Services Ministry which currently is under Shas control.

Rabbi Lau reasons that the new Chief Rabbinate director needs to be decided on with the agreement of the chief rabbis, namely himself and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, and should not be determined by the Shas party.

For many years it has been standard practice for the Chief Rabbinate director to be determined by the chief rabbis, but in the case of Dagan it turns out that Deri and those close to him are trying to force him through as the new director without the agreement of Rabbi Lau.

Involved sources said that Deri is also furious at how Rabbi Lau has been firm in opposing the establishment of a new Reform prayer space at the Western Wall (Kotel).

In addition to breaching the status quo by which the rabbinate determines what happens at religious holy sites, the government decision to allocate the Reform prayer space also is to harm the site's cultural heritage according to archaeologists. 

Neither Rabbi Lau's office nor Deri's office issued a response to the report.