Rav Avraham Yosef: Don’t Include Judges in a Minyan


rav-avraham-yosefSenior figures in the Israeli government or in the judicial system cannot join a minyan, according to Cholon’s Chief Rabbi Rav Avraham Yosef, who is also a representative on the Chief Rabbinate Council and son of Shas spiritual leader Rav Ovadia Yosef.

“It is forbidden to allow them to participate or to integrate them in any shul liturgy,” Yosef said. “We must ignore their existence, as if they were just air.”

During the program on halachic issues he presents each morning on ultraradio station Kol Chai, Rav Yosef addressed the question of who is worthy of serving as a chazzan on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Whoever sends his children to learn in secular schools, he said, or brings his companions before courts which do not rule in accordance with the Torah, cannot take this role.

He also detailed what the judges in such courts should face: “The judge himself, even if he knows how to pray very well, even if he knows how to do everything excellently – from the moment he was appointed judge he made himself unworthy of joining a minyan,” the rabbi said. “Even if he promises that all his rulings will be in keeping with the Shulchan Aruch, he has still lifted his hand against the Toras Moshe¬†and is not worthy of joining anything holy.”

Later, in response to a question from a visitor to the Moreshet website, Rav Yosef clarified that his ruling includes anyone working in the State Prosecutor’s Office or police investigation branch.

“Recently… some religious judges have been appointed with yarmulkes on their heads which makes it seem as if the court is ruling according to our holy Torah,” he said, adding that this was a gross distortion.

“According to our holy Torah, a single judge can never be appointed, and according to our holy Torah it is forbidden to sit in a court appointed by the State of Israel,” he continued. “The State of Israel rules and judges according to the laws of the nations… A man who fears God will keep away from a person like this – and not include him in any holy act or in any prayer.”

{Ynet/Matzav.com Israel}


  1. That’s fine! Many of us feel that belonging to the Zionist rabonus or being one of the
    ra-bonim on the Chief Rabbinate Council posuls one from being counted as well. Hat and beard aside this is “the pot calling the kettle black”.

  2. Question to Rabbi Rav Avraham Yosef shlit’a: Doesn’t the liturgy of Kohl Nidrei open with: Ahl daas haMakom, v’ahl daas hakahal, bi’yeshivah shel maalah, uv’yeshiva shel matah, anu mattirin l’hispalel ihm ha’avarianim. We are actually commanded to allow them to daven with a kosher minyan. Are the judges and prosecuters of Eretz Yisroel’s secular courts, and its policemen worse than ha’avarianim?

  3. Nevertheless, namy erhliche rabbonim did join.
    For instance; Rav Elyashiv shlitoh – until he left it.
    According to what I have seen, there have been rabbonim of the Eidah that did encourage rabbonim who they considered ehrlich etc. to takeh join, because, they said, that the Eidoh would rather see choshuvah rabbonim in the rabbonut than otherwise.

  4. Does that include the judge that ruled in the Emanuel case?
    Maybe we should ask all those eirlicha Yidden that were incarserated. You can’t have it both ways! Sorry.

  5. Whoa! there is a big difference between allowing one to join a minyan and pray along with them vs. COUNTING them for a minyan and allowing them to lead or take kibbudim.