Itongadol.- Three papers discuss yesterday\’s election of Rabbi David Lau and Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef as Israel\’s next Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis, respectively:
Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press – July 25th, 2013
Ma\’ariv contends that the decline of the chief rabbinate as an institution over the years "is deeply related to the strengthening of the ultra-orthodox parties and the erosion in the strength of religious Zionism," but adds that the latter is also to blame given its focus on settlements and the ultra-orthodox leanings of its more conservative wing.
Yediot Aharonot suggests that yesterday\’s results represent a slap-in-the-face for Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and a victory for Shas leader Aryeh Deri. The author notes that while Rabbi David Stav lost to Rabbi Lau in the race for Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, "The differences between the two are not as great as might appear," and adds that Rabbi Lau "was a major in the IDF reserves and is loved and esteemed in Modi\’in," where he serves as the city\’s chief rabbi.
Yisrael Hayom says "It should not be difficult for the elected rabbis to rehabilitate the image of the chief rabbinate for the simple reason that it does not seem that it can sink any lower. They will need to think about how not to lose more young couples that go abroad to marry, to clean up the divorce process, clarify Judaism and the conversion process and mainly think about how to turn the chief rabbinate into an institution that links the people to Jewish tradition instead of pushing them further away."
The Jerusalem Post discusses the intent to release Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for acts of terrorism as a goodwill gesture prior to peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, and asserts: “There is no PA appreciation for these releases. Each Israeli goodwill measure is greeted with ill-will and fiery rhetoric about how insufficient the concession is.” The editor asks: “What is the value of compromise without acceptance of the fundamental prohibition against attacking civilians?” and declares: “Each release is likely to do little more than erode what remains of already-diminished Israeli deterrence.”
Haaretz notes that “This week was the sixth incident so far this year in which people were killed by off-duty security personnel using their personal weapons,” and asserts: “Israel needs fewer guns, more enforcement.”
[Prof. Asher Cohen, Sima Kadmon and Yehuda Slazinger wrote today’s articles in Ma\’ariv, Yediot Aharonot and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]