A petition against Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef was rejected due to his upcoming retirement

The High Court rejected (13.3.24) a petition that sought to prosecute the chief rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, solely because he is finishing his post next month. Two weeks ago, the high court rejected for the same reason a similar petition against the chief rabbi of Jerusalem and the previous chief rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Amar

The two petitions were submitted by the Reform movement and followed statements by Rabbi Yosef and Rabbi Amar, among other things, against the Reformers, the former Soviet Union veterans, and against the decisions of the political echelon in matters of religion and state. He has extensive freedom of expression to express religious and halachic positions. Rabbi Amar was supposed to retire last December, and Rabbi Yosef was supposed to finish his post this April. The retirement of both was postponed until the end of May, after the Knesset postponed the elections for the position of Chief Rabbi of Israel until the following month (even before the war , due to political differences of opinion).

Judge Yitzhak Amit rejected (26.2.24) the petition in Rabbi Amar’s case, while criticizing the state’s dragging its feet since 2016 in handling the complaints against him, emphasizing: “In light of the approaching date of Rabbi Amar’s retirement from his position as city rabbi, and only For this reason, we found the bottom line to reject the petition.”

In light of this ruling, judges Yael Wilner, Yehiel Kosher (who also discussed the petition against Rabbi Amar) and Ruth Ronen suggested to the Reform movement to agree to the rejection of the current petition as well. They say that the proposal comes “without making light of the inappropriate statements attributed” to Rabbi Yosef, since in view of his upcoming retirement – “the remedies requested in the petition are no longer effective.” The movement agreed and the judges concluded: “Due to the expected retirement date of respondent 5, And for that reason only – We decided to reject the petition.”

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