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Israeli Chief Rabbi Candidate Supports Ascending Temple Mount

The leading candidate for Israeli chief rabbi is notorious for his provocative and divisive remarks and for his call to resume Passover sacrifice on the Temple Mount.
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The elections for the position of Israel’s chief rabbi are drawing near, and the country is in an uproar. Well, actually, the country is totally indifferent, but the politicians and the religious wheeler-dealers are beside themselves. For months this imbroglio has been keeping every officeholder in the religious parties and the rabbinical establishment busy, leaving the rest of the public yawning and uninterested. It would be only natural for elections at an organization such as the chief rabbinate, which in any case excels mainly at creating jobs for politicos and the well-connected, to interest those who stand to gain something from them. Nevertheless, the indifferent and the secular among us in the Israeli public would be well advised to take an interest in events taking place in this arena.

Take, for example, the town of Safed's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who is running for the position of chief Sephardi rabbi. Last week, the website "61," which is identified with the left-wing, compiled a one-page list of choice remarks made over the years by Rabbi Eliyahu. It’s a fascinating document, exposing the dark, racist persona of the man who enjoys sweeping support from HaBayit HaYehudi, the party headed by Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, which since the January 2013 general elections has been exposed as less the home of moderate Knesset member Uri Orbach and more as the home of radical Knesset member Uri Ariel.

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