'Leniencies only within halakhic guidelines'

Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef told new rabbis and rabbinical judges to be lenient only within the guidelines of halakha.

Chezky Baruch ,

הרב יצחק יוסף
הרב יצחק יוסף
צילום: שלומי כהן

Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef who took part today (Wednesday) in a ceremony granting certificates to new candidates for rabbinical and judicial office called on the rabbis to be lenient where possible and to maintain the rule "the force of leniency is preferable."

"Talmud (study) is great because it leads to actions," Rav Yosef told the rabbis. "It is heartening to see 150 scholars receiving their rabbinical and rabbinical judge ordinations. It demonstrates that there is a great desire to learn practical halakha.

"Fifty years ago this was not the case. I had the opportunity to visit the examinations and witness them. Today you see Jews of all types - Sephardim and Ashkenazim, haredi and national religious Jews studying halakha. There is today more awareness of the need for halakhic study."

Rav Yosef criticized the organization Mavoi Satum- which helps abandoned women (agunot) obtain divorces and at the same time called on rabbinical judges to be lenient when possible. "The concept of the "force of leniency" is wrongly interpreted by those who do not understand it. Lawyers from Mavoi Satum came to me. They succeed in holding up every case."

"They showed me a letter by my father who permitted [divorce in] a certain case but I showed them that this was not a similar case. If we can permit [remarriage] then we will do so, especially agunot. I call on the new rabbis and judges - aim for the "force of leniency" only within the parameters of halakha. Even when you prohibit something it must be done with finesse and not with harshness. It is important to bring people closer to the Torah."