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.
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.
Journalist Moshe Glasner wrote on twitter that the appointment was audacious and that the police commissioner’s message to the haredi public is “you are not wanted.”
Another haredi journalist, Shelhavat Hasdiel, wrote on twitter “You swapped an appointed haredi rabbi for a national-religious rabbi,” stating that Alsheikh “thinks about societal divides and not about professionalism. This is another act that hurts the reputation of the police.”
Rabbi Barchiyahu was appointed Israel Police Chaplain by MK GIlad Erdan last Monday. With his role he will receive the rank of police commander.
Deputy Police Commissioner Zohar Dvir, headed the committee which appointed Barchiyahu. The committee sought out suitable candidates according to several criteria including level of personal education and ability to interpret Jewish law, knowledge of the Israeli police force and personal ability to connect with members of the police force.
“Rabbi Barchyahu was chosen above other candidates by high ranking commanders in the police force and passed the necessary security clearances,” the police said in an official statement.
Rabbi Barchiyahu is the chief rabbi of the settlement of Talman and head of “Maaminim Bamishtara” an organization which helps Orthodox individuals serve in the Israel Police.