Knesset bill would eliminate one chief rabbi post
JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Knesset committee advanced a bill that would reduce the number of chief rabbi positions to one from two.
The Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Sunday to approve the legislation, which was proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnua party, and co-sponsored by Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and lawmaker Eli Ben-Dahan of the Jewish Home party.
The bill was moved to the Cabinet, which would send it to the full Knesset for consideration. It would take effect following the expiration of the 10-year terms of the current chief rabbis — Rabbi David Lau (Ashkenazi) and Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef (Sephardi).
“In a state where there is only one president, one Supreme Court president, one prime minister and one chief of general staff, there is no way to justify the doubling of the position of chief rabbi,” Livni said. “We have to rid ourselves of the old-fashioned division of ancestral congregations and start bringing the country together.”
The measure also makes the rabbinical courts independent of the office of the Chief Rabbinate rather than the current situation in which the two chief rabbis alternate serving as the head of the Rabbinate Council and as chief religious court judge of the Higher Rabbinical Court.
Top Hamas commander killed in strike, behind Shalit idnapping
By ANAV SILVERMAN
(Tazpit News Agency) — In a pre-dawn airstrike, three top Hamas commanders were killed by an Israeli strike on a four-story building near Rafah in the southern part of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, August 21. The three senior Hamas leaders are responsible for dozens of deadly …