Skip to comments.Orthodox rabbi seeks Israeli religious revolution
Posted on 02/13/2013 6:44:43 PM PST by Former Fetus
When Rabbi David Stav launched his official campaign last month to wrest control of Israel's top religious institution from its longtime hardline leadership, it was a long shot.
Stav, a 53-year-old father of nine, heads a private network of modern Orthodox rabbis that is virtually an alternative organization to Israel's state-sanctioned rabbinical bureaucracy. It seeks to put a friendly face on Jewish traditions for secular Israeli Jews alienated by the ultra-Orthodox functionaries that regulate religious services. The organization, called Tzohar, has gained popularity among secular Israelis with its program that sends rabbis free of charge to officiate at weddings.
Now Stav is waging a highly visible public campaign to change Israel's rabbinate from the inside. He is being featured frequently in media interviews, is running a Facebook campaign, and appears in large color newspaper ads placed by a group of secular Israelis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the leading Likud party needs partners to help him build a stable governing coalition, and two contenders he is courting the centrist Yesh Atid and the pro-settler Jewish Home have made it clear that they do not want the Chief Rabbinate to be dominated by ultra-Orthodox rabbis.
"We certainly support a more moderate and openly Zionistic rabbinate," said Dov Lippman, a rabbi on the Yesh Atid list.
"One of our main goals is for a Zionist, national religious rabbi to be elected to be chief rabbi," Ayelet Shaked, a Jewish Home lawmaker, told Israel Radio.
Unlike many ultra-Orthodox rabbis, Stav served in combat as a soldier and reservist, and his eldest son is a paratrooper commander.
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Interesting. Question: is this guy trying to somehow water down Judaism as has been done to Christianity here, or is he just trying to bring the orthodox and non-orthodox Jews together?
Modern orthodox are orthodox Jews grounded in both the secular and religious worlds. I am one of them, but they are less rare in Israel. The ultra orthodox, don’t work, and don’t join the army. They feel they are helping the state by studying Torah. In the beginning of the state of Israel they set it up that people who would study would be exempt from army service. There were less than 6,000 at the time, now they number in the hundreds of thousands. They take more from the state than they contribute. Its unsustainable at its current pace and they are zealots who want to conform their way of life upon the whole country. I understand one would string together religious people and conservative values, but some of these people are lazy and are opposed to the way things run there.
It reminds me of liberals who are there taking out handouts, criticize the people who give it to them and want to make everyone live under their terms. Sorry, the monopoly has to be broken. Kudos to this rabbi. Its about damn time.
It is great to see love and truth shine. A new bottle for new wine. We are indeed tin end times.
It is great to see love and truth shine. A new bottle for new wine. We are indeed in end times.
Thanks for the info.
I’m unclear how the Modern Orthodox group differs from the Mizrachi/Religious Zionists. Rav Kook himself was very warm to the non-religious. Maybe just Yahoo News pushing ‘reform’ like they do on the Catholic Church?
It should be pointed out that a lot of haredim are non-Zionist and are ambivalent about the secular State of Israel. They see themselves as living in the Land of Israel and would attempt do so even if there were no measure of Jewish sovereignty over the land.
I understand that some haredim are actually against the State of Israel, believing that they have to wait for Moshiach to come and establish it.