Yeshiva World News
About 150 Rabbanim, including municipal Rabbanim and dayanim, gathered on Wednesday with the Moetzet HaRabbanut and Chief Rabbanim HaRav Yitzchak Yosef and HaRav Dovid Lau for an emergency meeting about the kashrus and giyur reforms being formulated by Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana.
Harsh and unprecedented words were said against Kahana at the conference [the harshest statements were not publicized]. “The Moetzes HaRabbanut is united against the reforms of Matan Kahana. The reforms endanger the yahadus of the state of Israel. Kahana doesn’t meet with Rabbanim, doesn’t discuss his reforms with them. Apparently, he’s satisfied with the kashrus seal of the Shura Council [a reference to the Muslim religious body advising the Islamist Ra’am Party.]”
“Rabbani Yisrael will inform their followers not to rely on kashrus according to this plan, as it poses many obstacles to the public.”
Regarding the giyur reforms Kahana is planning, the Rabbanim said: “Giyur cannot be carried out out of civil, social or cultural interests, but only out of a sincere desire to be part of Am Yisrael and its Torah and the acceptance of the ol Torah v’mitzvos.”
“Whoever sees mass giyur of non-Jews as a ‘national’ mission, with the goal of preventing assimilation through giyur that is contrary to halacha will achieve the opposite goal and introduce non-Jews into Am Yisrael through the ‘framework’ of giyur.”
“The question is if Am Yisrael will continue to exist as an Am Yehudi. Giyurim performed outside the Rabbanut will not be recognized by Rabbanei Yisrael.”
HaGaon HaRav Yosef said: “It’s not shayach that the government and the Knesset will ignore this historic Knesset. We’re calling from here: Do teshuvah, it’s now Chodesh Elul, do teshuvah. If chas v’chalilah your giyur reforms are accepted, we’ll have to discuss opening sifrei yuchasin. They’re splitting Am Yisrael.”
“I discussed this with my colleague HaRav Dovid Lau – under no circumstance will we recognize giyur by city Rabbanim. How can we recognize the Reform? How many millions of Jews have we lost due to them? Now they come and want recognition for giyur, by the Kosel. I call to the government, to all the bodies involved in this – do teshuvah. Don’t destroy yahadus in Eretz Yisrael.”
Tzfas Rav HaRav Shmuel Eliyahu addressed Kahana: “You’re coming to destroy everything in one moment? By what authority? By virtue of being a politician? We’re the professional body in this sense and we’re telling you explicitly – you’re making a mistake. Just like a doctor can’t listen to a politician regarding how to perform surgery and what medication to dispense. That’s why we’re here – to say clearly to the government: we won’t cooperate with you.”
“To take marriage out of the hands of the Rabbanut means that any three Rabbanim will decide on a get, who’s an agunah and who’s not, who can be megayer. We won’t cooperate.”
The Rav of Be’er Sheva, HaGaon Rav Yehuda Deri, said: “I’m a member of the Moetzes HaRabbanut for already 22 years and it was never so united with Rabbanim from all eidos as it is now. The key of all the ikarei emunah, of all the ikarei Yahadus is the kashrus of foods.”
“There are those who aren’t embarrassed to say: ‘It’s a mitzvah to love the Reform.’ Which mitzvah? To love the one who destroys? How many millions of Jews have we lost to assimilation due to the Reform? We should love them?
A leading Dati Leumi Rav, Rosh Yeshivas Har Hamor, HaRav Tzvi Tau, quoted the words of his Rav, HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, z’tl, in the name of his father, HaGaon HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, z’tl, that “one must be willing to be moiser nefesh to fight against the reforms – yeharog v’al yaavor.”
HaGaon HaRav Yosef Efrati also spoke, saying in the name of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky: “Chadash is assur min haTorah.”