Litzman Challenges Rabbinate’s Control Over Hospital Rabbis Nomination


litzmanKnesset Member Yakov Litzman of United Torah Judaism intends on appointing a number of rabbis and mashgichim for hospitals across Israel due to problems with halacha and kosher impairments he asserts exist in the facilities. Litzman is set on choosing on his own the various functionaries, an authority usually held by the Chief Rabbinate, and has recently been engaged in a dispute with Chief Rabbis Rav Yona Metzger and Rav Shlomo Amar on that account, according to Ynet.The deputy health minister informed Rav Nissim Karelitz of the matter in a conversation reported by the ‘Haredim’ website.

Ynet learned that Litzman met last week with the chief rabbis and presented them with the issue. He requested the rabbinate to approve additional posts for rabbis and mashgichim and said he’d appoint the candidates himself. Rav Amar and Rav Metzger have yet to approve the request.

Thursday night, Litzman paid a visit to several rabbonim and informed them of his plans. During the visit to Rav Karelitz’s house, one visitor said, “There’s a problem of non-kosher food at hospitals as well as problems regarding Shabbos and [kohanim].”

The deputy minister replied, “I’m going to bring that up, the rabbinate called and asked me. Rav Amar and Rav Metzger wanted to appoint their own rabbis. I said – No! Rabbis I appoint – not them. I’ll provide them with rabbis and supervisors. No problem.”

On the issue of kashrus, he said hospitals will have food approved by the rabbinate, but not mehadrin food.

Litzman also referred to the issue of organ donation and said, “Kidneys are simple and do not cause problems, heart (donation) I won’t allow since there is a problem as long as the heart is beating.”

{Ynet/Yair Israel}