Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Telegram from Cong. Beth Torah in Brooklyn in support of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef for Chief Rabbinate in Israel

Tucked inside a book I recently acquired I came across an interesting telegram sent from Congregation Beth Torah, A Syrian Synagogue in Brooklyn NY to the Office of the Prime Minister in Israel.

The telegram was sent in 1982, shortly before the first term of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Chief Rabbinate was to conclude. There was much debate in Israel at the time if to allow a second term. Eventually a law was passed preventing a Chief Rabbi from officiating for more than one term, thus preventing Rav Ovadia's reelection. The law which was widely viewed as being directed against R. Ovadia specifically was passed in part with support from Moshe Nissim, the secretary of treasury at the time, who was the son of the previous Chief Rabbi, Yitzchak Nissim

This telegram requests that the additional term be approved and is signed by the Rabbi of Beth Torah at the time, Rabbi Zebulun Lieberman. A noble effort, which unfortunately did not succeed.

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