The Council of the Israel Chief Rabbinate has demanded that
Minister of Justice and of Religious Affairs Yossi Beilin
rescind the letters of dismissal he sent a number of weeks
ago to the chief rabbis of 11 cities. The letters were
ostensibly sent because these rabbis do not reside in the
areas of their jurisdiction.
Beilin issued the letters of dismissal a number of weeks
ago, after the rabbis had received notice that they are
required to move to the cities in which they officiate. The
Council of the Chief Rabbinate deliberated on the issue on
26 Shevat. They issued a demand that Beilin rescind the
dismissal letters since, "it is not a politically appointed
minister's duty to dismiss rabbonim." The Council expressed
its outrage over the fact that various elements had helped
Beilin with the dismissal letters.
The Chief Rabbinate had set up an internal committee to deal
with the issue of city rabbis not residing in the area of
their jurisdiction recently. However, instead of
transferring the issue to the Chief Rabbinate, Beilin acted
on his own accord and decided to dismiss the rabbonim. In
the letter sent to him by the Council of the Chief Rabbinate
-- a letter drafted by HaRav Simcha Kook and HaRav Moshe
Rauchberger of the Council -- Beilin is requested to rescind
the letters of dismissal.
The members of the Council stressed that it is best for the
rav of a city to live where he officiates; however, the
Council of the Chief Rabbinate is the only party authorized
to rule and act on this issue.