Video: 14-Year-Old “Almost Rabbi” Speaks Out


sharifi[Video below.] Bechadrei Chareidim conducted an interview with Moshe-Raziel Sharifi, the 14-year-old genius boy who is suing the Rabbanut to be able to have his semichah test reviewed and graded.

Mr. Sharifi, the father, points out that Moshe already has semicha from many rabbonim, and he lists a number of them, and they simply wanted to make it officially recognized by the Rabbanut, which is why he went to take the Rabbanut test.

Mr. Sharifi also disputes the claim that allowing Moshe’s test would create a slippery slope that would eventually force the Rabbanut to accept Reform and women applicants. He says that he is among the biggest opponents to Reform, and in Netanya he has fought the Reform attempts to build a shul in the city. Rav Amar and the Rabbanut, he says, do nothing to fight against the Reform.

Mr. Sharifi also says he hopes this will not go further, all the way to the Supreme Court. He hopes they will work out an agreement without it going that far.

Many people are wondering why Mr. Sharifi went to the Supreme Court and not to a bais din. (The father is the one filing the case and dealing with it, not the boy.)

Click below to watch:

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{Life in Israel/}


  1. Good interview, just one important question I think was left out: How does a 14-yr-old study in-depth issues which pertain to family life, which is a considerable part of semicha?

    The father is destroying his kid, if he’s really such a genius why doesn’t he have some patience & he can see his son rise to the top when the time is ripe.

  2. To commentator # 1. Moish. I got news for you. We are no longer living in a protected world. Todays teenagers know everything. Anyway, Torah is holy. I have no problem, especially that this boy Ligs In Lernen, there’s nothing to worry about.

  3. When Rav Moshe z”l was young he accidentally walked into a meeting of his father with other gedolei Yisroel who all stood up for the young boy. When Rav Moshe left, his father rebuked the rabbonim and said they were ruining his son by giving him so much kavod at such a young age.

    The father is not setting a good example by forcing his son into the limelight and also by not going to Bais Din rather than to courts.

  4. It seems like the kid may well be truly humble. He barely speaks, and when he does so is barely audible. (Of course, he may just be socially mal-adjusted, which is not abnormal for young people with exceptionally powerful intellects and parents that focus on that element of their child’s personality).

    I would guess, this is being driven by the child’s father, right or wrong. I really dont know enough to make an informed judgement, but numerous halachik issues including dina d’malchusa, beis din kavua, minhag ha’ir, the actual status of a moreh hora’ah, the Rabanut’s prior dealings in similar cases, the status of Israeli courts, the halachik and secular-law nature of the right claimed by the plaintiff, ect. make it clear that judgement in this case is far from simple. We should all be dan l’kaf zechus for all parties since there are so many variables in play.

    On another note, I am eagerly looking forward to the seforim this young man will hopefully produce – such breadth and depth of knowledge without being marred by formalized institutional Torah education is a rare gem!

  5. Moish: Rav Chaim Kanievski was asked about the propriety of children learning those mesechtos and sugyos dealing with family issues. His response: “My last mesechta was [the last mesechta in shas] which I learned right after my bar mitzvah. Divrei torah ainon m’tam’in.” (Kuntres Chanoch Lena’ar)

  6. Moish: Semicha is not about family life but about kashrus.

    Anyway, how do you think any of our great leaders who mastered Shas in their teens did it?