MK Moshe Feiglin
MK Moshe FeiglinIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin says he plans to propose a bill that would transform Israel’s rabbinic leadership, consolidating it from two chief rabbis into a single position.

Feiglin, head of the Manhigut Yehudi (Jewish Leadership) faction within the Likud, said his proposed law would mandate a single chief rabbi to represent all of the ethnic streams of Jewry in Israel.

For decades, two chief rabbis have led the Jews of the state -- a Sephardic Chief Rabbi, and an Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi. 

The duality is in deference to significant differences in customs held by European and Eastern ethnic streams in life cycle issues such as marriage, Passover observance and family purity.

Feiglin’s proposal would appoint the “runner-up” to become the President of the Rabbinical Court.

“I am certain all Israelis look forward to this uniting change,” Feiglin contended.

Rabbi Haim Druckman, winner of the 2012 Israel Prize, head of the Bnei Akiva movement and a leading figure in the National Religious sector, has commented that while he supported the idea in principle, he wondered if current Israeli society is ready for such a precedent.