Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ashkenazi Rabbi Wins Position Reserved for Ethiopian

When I first read the headline of this story, I was less than impressed.

How could an Ashkenazi Rabbi get the position in the Bat Yam religious council slated for an Ethiopian Rabbi?!

To me, this smacked of the same sort of terrible discrimination that goes on in certain Ashkenazi, chareidi schools, which either do not allow Sephardim to attend at all -- and if they do, they segregate them into different classes, separate entrances and even require different school uniforms. Israel's Supreme Court's even ruled against this sort of segregation in the chareidi independent school system, "Chinuch Atzmai". (Source, JPost)

So what happened here? First of all, who is raging at this decision?

No, its not the Ethiopian community of Bat-Yam.

Its Shas Representatives and MK Yaakov Mergi (also from Shas) who is the Minister of Religious Affairs.
"Its not enough that those [Ashkenazi] clerks fill most of the State's public service jobs," said the minister, " but they [Ashkenazim] lusted after the poor man's lamb [alluding to the story where the propeht Natan chastises Kind David for taking Batsheva, and compares her to a poor man's only lamb] by changing the criteria for the tender for a Ethiopian Rabbi, from being an actual Ethiopian to being a Amharic-speaker [language of the Ethiopian Jews], so that they could win the tender.

An additional Shas person added that it is impossible to appoint a Rabbi who is not from the Ethiopian community because he's not familiar with the Ethiopian people and their customs. "It is impossible to win the battle against discrimination of the Ethiopians..." (Translated from the NRG website)
Sounds rather awful, doesn't it?

Despite their claims that an Ashkenazi Rabbi is simply the wrong person for the job, who in fact did win the appointment?

Rabbi Chananya Blumert, an ordained Rabbi from the Zionist Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Blumert is the only Ashkenazi Rabbi to be also considered a "Qes" -- an Ethiopian Rabbi and teacher. (They call him the "Qes Halavan" -- the White Qes).

He has been to Ethiopia, he's fluent in Amharic, and he's spent the past 20 years educating the Ethiopian community and helping their integration into Israeli society. He has tirelessly volunteered in Israel's immigration absorption centers with Ethiopian Jewry, teaching them about Judaism in Israel today.

Ten years ago, he married an Ethiopian Israeli.

Yet Shas seems to be rather annoyed and claim there's no way any Ashkenazi Rabbi can adequately understand the Ethiopian community and tend to their religious needs.

The NRG article (and even Rafi G at the LifeofIsrael blog) hints that the real reason for their anger is that Rabbi Blumert is not a Shas Rabbi...and to add insult to injury, he's Ashkenazi and a Zionist.

How depressing.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

When was the country of "Palestine" founded and by whom?

Where are this countrys borders, major citys and its Capital?

What was the Anceient language of this country?

What was the prevaliant faith of this so called country?

What was the name of this countrys currency?

Why did the Arabs who are now calling themselves "Palestinians" NEVER try to become independent until AFTER the devastating defeat of invaiding Arab states in the 1967 Six Day War???

Anonymous said...

A Zionist Rabbi in a State funded position!

Oy! The shame of it!

*rolls eyes*

Yellow Boy

Anonymous said...

Israel is called Israel because it belongs to Israel. Quite a simple concept, really. Yahwh in His Torah allows for the residing of foreigners within Israel's borders, but only if they agree to live under Hebrew law, with no land given away to foreign powers. This is the Torah. This is immutable. This is non-negotiable, says the creator of the world. This is the Word of Yahwh. Israel is the bride of Yahwh, and the land is where He resides with His bride. The world is choosing an enemy when it trifles with Israel. His name is jealous, and He will turn the world upside-down if you trifle with Israel, especially Jerusalem. You have been warned. -D.Howell, Oak Park, MI

Anonymous said...
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Keren said...

I know this person,
Even before reading your post I guessed it was Hananiah, as he is the only person it could be.
he and his wife are very fine people and he indeed speaks Amharic and is accepted by their community.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Keren: Everything I've heard about him has been very, very positive.

I'm thinking of calling him up and interviewing him for the blog :-)

chananyah said...

thank you all for the support!
it`s easy to speak to me at:054-2225206
keren, do you know me? from where?
chananyah blumert

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