Jerusalem – Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger spoke out sharply against the trend of rabbis’ letters addressing various social or political causes, which he said causes disparagement in the status of religious leaders.
In an address to members of “Netzach U’Magen,” an religiously-oriented organization that commemorates fallen Israeli soldiers, Metzger slammed the “mode” of letters the Israeli public is recently witness to. “It started in the North, when they decided who to sell [homes] to, and then came the counter letters,” he said of Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu’s directive against letting “non-Jews” own or rent real estate which gained broad rabbinic support, and the ensuing modified version warning against “hostile elements” Rabbi Haim Druckman penned.
“And then about whether the District Court was right or not in convicting former President Moshe Katzav,” he continued to note the recent letter leading national religious rabbis wrote in support of the convicted rapist. “On every letter you have in favor of something, you have a counter letter.”
“But these letters,” he continued, “cause contempt to the rabbinic establishment. Next thing you know, there will be a rabbis’ letter against the raise in gas prices, or one in favor of returning [ousted Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak to power.”