Yeshiva World News
Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana on Tuesday evening announced the appointment of Rabbi Binyahu Brunner, the Nasi of a Hesder Yeshiva in Tzfat and a Tzohar dayan, as the head of the state giyur system.
Rabbi Brunner will replace Rav Moshe Weller, who was appointed by Chief Rabbi Lau, who was dismissed by Kahana due to his refusal to his advance the giyur reform, in line with Rav Lau’s opposition to the reform.
Gedolei Yisrael have spoken out against Rabbi Brunner when his name was suggested for various positions in the past, including as a dayan. HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyahsiv, z’tl, had said that Brunner is not a worthy dayan and termed his possible appointment as a צלם בהיכל (an idol in the heichel).
UTJ chairman Moshe Gafni responded to the announcement by stating: “The dismissal of the head of the Giyur Authority, Rav Moshe Weller, and the appointment of Binyahu Brunner of Tzohar = placing a tzelem in the heichel.”
“Throughout the years, there was an agreement between the Dati Leumi and Chareidim not to appoint him despite the pressure of Tzohar – in order to prevent a rift between Chareidim and the Rabbanut and the Dati Leumi – at the instruction of the Gedolei HaTorah. The goal of Matan Kahana is to divide the nation. The history of Am Yisrael will condemn [Kahana] for his despicable deeds.”
Noam chairman MK Avi Maoz said: “Just a few hours ago, correspondence from Kahana’s office was revealed that raised concerns that his giyur plan will lead to recognition of Reform giyur, and now he’s announced that he will appoint Rabbi Brunner of Tzohar to head the giyur system.”
“After he promised that the giyur reform will be according to halacha and after he promised that it will be subject to the consent of the leading Dati Leumi Rabbanim, we see again and again that Kahana doesn’t keep his promises. HaRav Druckman joined the Rabbanut in opposition to Kahana’s giyur reform. Davka Kahana, who grew up in the Dati Leumi sector, is harming the Rabbanut, which was the legacy of HaRav Kook, z’tl.”
Earlier on Tuesday, internal correspondence from Kahana’s office was revealed by Yisrael Hayom showing that Kahana is aiming to approve Reform conversions as part of the state giyur system. Kahana denied the report, saying that everyone should wait until the final reform outline is published in another nine days.