Haredis detest appointment of national religious rabbi for police service
Only days after Rabbi Rahamim Brachiyahu was appointed as Israel Police Chaplain, officials from the haredi community voiced their criticism. They claim that the appointment is an attempt to stifle haredi voices and belittle the influence that haredim have upon national bodies in the state.Well gee, some of that influence happens to be quite negative and unproductive, I'm afraid. Their attack on the new chaplain just demonstrates how hostile they are to a non-Haredi rabbi's right to take up this kind of job.
The haredi newspaper Hamevaser claimed on Wednesday that the police commissioner decided to ignore the great service of the former chief rabbi of Israel Police, Rabbi Gafni, and to recommend the appointed Rabbi Birchiyahu.
“His appointment seems like a step towards rejecting the influence of the haredi community upon governmental bodies," Hamevaser reported.
Members of the haredi press claimed that the appointment was designed to sideline haredi influence over governmental bodies.
However, as unjust as their objections are, I still found some more news about Berachyahu that leaves me dumbfounded:
Last February, Berachyahu gave an interview to journalist Netanel Leifer from the religious Zionist website Kipa in which he expressed misgivings about male and female police officers patrolling together in a police car.This is very sad. He's de facto taking up a gender-segregationist belief not all that different from the Haredis, so you could reasonably argue it's weird they'd have a beef against somebody who may not differ by that much. And why might I ask does he think ladies and gents shouldn't be in the same car together? Does he actually think pros don't know why it's better not to mix business with pleasure while on the job? They usually trained to refrain, so why's he making such a petty issue? Because of that, he nullifies the following:
Berachyahu was a signatory to a public letter of support for Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, one of the heads of the pre-army preparatory program in the Samaria settlement of Eli, who sparked a storm when he referred to homosexuals as "perverts."If he disagrees with homosexuality, that's fine. But that's why it's bewildering he'd have a problem with male/female officers riding in the same vehicle together. And if homosexuals should be treated with humanity, shouldn't the opposite sex be too? I think he'd qualify better for the job if he'd apologize for what he told Kipa. Levenstein also may have taken a similar stance on men/women relations, and if he has such a position, what's the point of objecting to homosexuality? All they're doing is taking this abstinence idea way too far.
When asked if he would allow homosexual couples to live in Talmon, Berachyahu said that homosexuals must be treated "humanely, with warmth," but added that "we in the community will not allow couples that do not meet with the values of the Torah and Jewish law."