Increasingly Israelis are growing tired of their failed institution of the Chief Rabbi. The Times reports on the chief rabbi selection process -- regarding David Stav "currently the rabbi of Shoham" -- "Promising ‘Real Revolution,’ Israeli Jolts Race for Chief Rabbi" that the nuclear option is on the table - namely the dissolution of the institution of chief rabbi.
...All of which has made many here question the very need for the chief rabbinate, an institution with roots in the 17th-century Ottoman era that was formalized by the British in 1921. Once revered as a platform for intellectual and spiritual leadership, the $5.6 million operation, whose chiefs are paid $100,000 a year, has lately been dismissed as an anachronistic patronage farm rife with corruption.We concur and observe that the crooked cannot be made straight -- the Israeli chief rabbinate is not kosher -- it should be dissolved.
Judaism is famously nonhierarchical, with individual rabbis worldwide having authority to interpret Jewish law for their congregations or communities, but the rabbinate and its religious courts are the only legal authorities here on family law and kosher food.
As many as one-third of Israeli couples marry abroad or live together without marrying rather than follow the rabbinate’s strictures. Jewish law requires that the husband agree to divorce, and about 3,400 women a year are denied dissolution of their marriages. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis, mostly Russian immigrants and their children, are barred from marriage and adoption because they cannot adequately prove their Jew identity; only conversions conducted by rabbinate-authorized rabbis are accepted.
“This institution has to be abolished for the sake of religion, and for the sake of the state,” said Moshe Halbertal, a professor of Jewish philosophy at Hebrew University. “Israel’s identity as a Jewish state has other much more essential components than legislating Judaism.”