13 July 2017

IN SUPPORT OF RABBI YEHOSHUA FASS


From this incident, perhaps the Rabbanut will examine its procedures of handling issues that come before them. Not their halachic acceptance of conversions, but how they keep a database and how they respond to the various Rabbis who are involved in conversions, with respect and transparency.

I was shocked and very much surprised about this miscarriage of justice from the humble and enobled Rabbi Fass. Thousands and thousands of new olim owe their successful immigration to Eretz Yisrael, and my husband and I being one such couple, in the process of bringing Jews home to Israel and furthering the Redemption. 

Rabbi Yehoshua Fass on Facebook 17 hours ago:
This past week has been professionally and personally disturbingly surreal.
Waking up to read in the news that I was included on a so called “Rabbinic Blacklist” was beyond shocking. 
Never in my lifetime has my Semicha been questioned nor any of the Rabbinic documentation that I have historically provided to the Rabbinate. What added to my astonishment was that I have enjoyed a mutually strong relationship with the Rabbinate and the Chief Rabbis, within my capacity of director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, and have only experienced thorough respect and cooperation from their office. 
Since the publication of the original article, I have been inundated with requests for a response from news agencies and media outlets. I reserved commenting until I contacted the Chief Rabbinate myself for clarification.
I immediately received a sincere apology and a written clarification from the Chief Rabbi's office explaining that my Rabbinic status is not in question, nor ever was. Additionally, in a personal meeting today with Chief Rabbi David Lau, I was reassured that I was thoroughly accepted in the eyes of the Rabbinate and he expressed genuine remorse over this whole incident and that the "list" was never authorized by him. 
While in a certain sense this is behind me, I have been left with a very unsettled feeling. Happy ending? Not sure. 
How do we help the other Rabbis, many of whom don’t have a personal relationship with the Chief Rabbinate and don’t have advocates within Israel, defend their reputations?
How do we erase the unfounded hypotheses floated on social media to explain why specific Rabbis were included on such a "list"? And more importantly why such a list even exists? 
How do we ask forgiveness from the notable deceased Talmidei Chachochim included on the list? 
How do we cleanse the Chilul Hashem of our infighting broadcasted on the world stage? 
What steps can be taken (by all of us) that will help unite us as a people?
Today we started the three-week period of mourning for the destruction of our Temple. With a Jewish world experiencing such fragile unity and ongoing divisiveness amongst our precious people, we should double check, nay triple check our words and actions to prevent any possible harm to individuals and pain to our nation. 
I hope and pray that this matter will be resolved immediately, and that a healing process will begin to develop between the Chief Rabbinate and Rabbinic leaders across the world.


In a Facebook post, Fass said that after publication of the list, he contacted the Chief Rabbinate and “immediately received a sincere apology and a written clarification from the Chief Rabbi’s office explaining that my Rabbinic status is not in question, nor ever was.”

However, despite the apologies, Fass remained concerned about the reputation of other rabbis on the list, and “more importantly, why such a list even exists.”

Fass wrote that, “I hope and pray that this matter will be resolved immediately, and that a healing process will begin to develop between the Chief Rabbinate and Rabbinic leaders across the world.”

Chief Rabbi Lau Professed:

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau met on Tuesday with the co-founder of the Nefesh B’Nefesh immigrant aid group to apologize for the inclusion of his name on an unauthorized list of “blacklisted” rabbis published by the Chief Rabbinate earlier this week.

Lau apologized to Fass, explaining that he was not aware of the existence of this list nor of its publication, and that it was released without his consent.

“I regret that this incident may have called your reputation into question,” Lau said. “The Chief Rabbinate recognizes and appreciates you as a Rabbi and all that you have done for the Jewish people.”

In a letter released on Sunday, Lau ordered Chief Rabbinate Director-General Moshe Dagan to call in Tubul, who kept and released the list, for questioning and a reprimand.

In December, rabbis at the Chief Rabbinate set up a controversial committee to vet conversions, but it is not clear whether the committee approved the published list.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Just a few words, so much harm can be done. When will we ever learn? Let's hope they look deeply into their own midot and motivation with the same critical eye and repent with tears.
~Emunah

Neshama said...

Yes, Emunah, it is a shame. But life is about making lemonade out of lemons. Just maybe there will be a softening (without compromising halacha) of the way procedures are handled.