Who should choose community rabbis?

The Deputy Defense Minister appeals to stop the change in how community rabbis are selected.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan
Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Deputy Defense Minister, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home), who was Deputy Minister of Religion in the previous government, made an urgent appeal yesterday to the Justice Department to put a stop to the changes in the rules for how local and regional rabbis are chosen.

In recent weeks, Rabbi Dahan learned that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is trying to change the rules in a way that will deprive the local communities of the power to choose their rabbis. The proposed change would increase the size of the selection committee from 3 to 5 and would give the Chief Rabbinate, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the regional council 3 out of the 5 places on that committee.

Sources close to Deputy Minister Ben-Dahan said, “The rules are meant to bring the Jewish people closer to Jewish tradition with a clear understanding that the community members themselves are the ones who should choose the Rabbi who is most suited to them. Every citizen of Israel should be upset by the change in regulations. The choice of community rabbis should not be made by politicians.”

The Tzohar organization also attacked the changes, “This decision, with the support of Shas and their associates will transfer the power to elect local rabbis into the hands of politicians.”