Haredi Community Outraged Over New Police Rabbi Rahamim Brachiyahu

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.

2 replies
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    גורמים בציבור החרדי מוטרדים ממינויו של הרב רחמים ברכיהו, איש הציונות הדתית, לרב המשטרה, וזאת לאחר שהשר לבטחון פנים, גלעד ארדן, אישר את המלצתו של מפכ”ל המשטרה רנ”צ רוני אלשיך.

    מי שקבל על המינוי ואף כינה אותו כמהלך המוכיח שהחרדים אינם רצויים במשטרה, הוא איש הרדיו הרדיו החרדי, משה גלסנר, שכינה את מינויו של הרב ברכיהו כחוצפה: “חוצפה! המפכ”ל אלשיך הדיח את רב המשטרה המכהן והמוערך (החרדי) הרב גפני, והצניח במקומו מועמד סרוג מחוץ למשטרה. המסר שלו לחרדים: אתם לא רצויים”, צייץ גלסנר בחשבון הטוויטר שלו.

    לאחר שנאמר לו על ידי גולשים כי הרב גפני לא הודח אלא סיים קדנציה כממלא מקום, כתב גלסנר: “הרב גפני היה מ”מ בתקן, אבל בפועל היה הרב בחמש השנים האחרונות. מוערך מאוד בידי כל סגל הפיקוד”. על הרב ברכיהו הוא כתב: “ברכיהו מועמד מקורב מבחוץ, במכרז תפור”.

    כזכור, לפני מספר חודשים שדבר מועמדותו של הרב ברכיהו עלה על הפרק, גורם בכיר המעורה בנושא אמר לאתר החרדי ‘כיכר השבת’ כי מדובר למעשה בצעד שעשוי לחסל את שיתוף הפעולה בין המשטרה לחרדים ואת תכניות שילוב החרדים במשטרה. “הרב גפני ידע לשלב בין כל הגורמים והביא את החרדים למשטרה, משמעות עזיבתו של גפני היא למעשה חיסול כל הערוצים שנפתחו עם החרדים”.

    הגורם הדגיש כי “שינוי נהלים כפי שככל הנראה יבוצעו, מהווה בגידה בחרדים שגויסו למשטרה עם הבטחות לפיקוח על תנאים רוחניים מתאימים לחרדים”, הגורם מוסיף כי “מדובר למעשה בהפקרה של החרדים, כל ההתקדמות של המשטרה מול החרדים תלך לפח” הוא הזהיר.

  2. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    Rabbi Rami Brachyahu, who came under fire after a July Ynet report revealed that Brachyahu had issued a ruling in a weekly pamphlet that it was prohibited for anyone in the settlement to let an apartment to homosexuals, has been appointed as chief rabbi of the Israeli Police.

    Brachyahu, until now municipal chief rabbi of the Talmon settlement, has also served as the head of the “Believing in the Police” program which is designed to integrate religious men into the Police Force and provide police personnel with training in matters pertaining to Jewish law as they arise during police work.

    In response to the outcry over the ruling, Brachyahu said that “we cannot a couple to live among the community who are incompatible with the law of nature and the values of Torah and Jewish law.”

    Brachyahu also signed a letter earlier this year in support of Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, head of the pre-military academy in Eli who described gays as “perverts,” and is also opposed to female service in the IDF.

    His appointment was strongly criticized by Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova for comments the rabbi has made in the past regarding homosexuals. In light of these positions, Svetlova called for the cancellation of his appointment, saying that there were many moderate rabbis more deserving of the position.

    “Time after time we see that the most extreme and least fitting candidate getting [public] appointments,” said Svetlova.

    “I call on Erdan to annul Brachyahu’s appointment. It is not commensurate with the values of the police and it is not commensurate with the values of the State of Israel.”

    The rabbi was selected by an appointment committee set up in May, due to his educational credentials and “ability in decision making on Jewish law.”

    Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich subsequently recommended Brachyahu for the position to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan who approved the appointment on Monday.

    Brachyahu’s appointment was welcomed by the religious-Zionist rabbinical association Tzohar, of which Brachyahu is a member, who said that the rabbi had always acted with “sensitivity and understanding” toward the various issues he has dealt with in a professional capacity.

    “With our many years of familiarity with his work and his approach, we feel confident that the Israel Police have selected a candidate who will be open to the interests of all and his strengths as a spiritual and personal leader will significantly benefit the advancement of the police as a national force proudly defending its citizens.”

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