Code of Ethics Requires Rabbis of Israel


Nearly a century after the founding of the Chief Rabbinate, it first published an ethical code requiring Israeli rabbis. The rabbinical council recently approved a document detailing “ways of leadership and conduct” for rabbis in the public service, to perform their duties properly while maintaining respect for the rabbinate, will be “an example and exemplary to many” and will cause “sanctification of the heavens.” Among other things, they undertake not to engage in political activity, to avoid conflicts of interest in their work and not to cover up offenders against the law authorities.

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In recent years, attempts have been made to formulate rules of ethics for rabbis, but this has caused almost automatic opposition on their part, for one reason: their difficulty as Torah and spiritualists, recognizing the authority of subject matter experts who work outside the religious world and are not obligated to determine what is morally permissible and forbidden. The second reason is the rabbis’ claim that their occupations as spiritual shepherds in cities and communities are very broad, well beyond the definition of the job, when the activity is largely voluntary, and such supervision cannot be imposed anyway.

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A few months ago, the Chief Rabbinate’s Attorney, Advocate Harel Goldberg, initiated a decision by the Rabbinate Council to draft the Code of Ethics. Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef joined the initiative and was authorized by the Council under his presidency to advance the matter. He set up a special rabbinic committee to draft the rules, Thinking that if the sensitive task is carried out by rabbis – it will soften the resistance to the move.


Attorney Goldberg accompanied the work of the committee, and after submitting its conclusions, the council adopted its historic ethical code at its last monthly meeting. The new document is expected to form the basis for the work of the Chief Rabbinate Disciplinary Committee.

Under the heading “And you have done right and good” (according to the verse a number of things, which require every person to practice morality), some “fundamental values” were written for the rabbis, such as loyalty to mission, responsibility and devotion, ways of peace, cleanliness, personal example and humility – most of them ” That’s obvious”.

Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem (Photo: Roy Zahuri)Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. Warns of conflicts of interest(Photo: Roy Zahuri)

Later, the code defines more detailed norms, stating, among other things, that “the rabbi does not make the Kardom excavate” (that is, does not abuse his position), but uses the powers assigned to him “in a reasonable and reasonable manner.” The rabbis are also instructed not to act in areas that are not proficient in them, but to contact themselves and refer the public to appropriate professional bodies in cases where their intervention is needed. It also reads: “The rabbi does not engage in any other occupations that harm the scope of the rabbinical office appointed to her, according to her characteristics, unless he has received permission from the parties concerned.”

The rabbis are cautioned not to be suspicious of improper behavior, and are emphasized that they must “be twice as careful” of conflicts of interest, such as employing relatives in a responsible kosher system, or awarding kosher certificates to businesses whose relatives have “significant status”. Moreover, the rabbis will refrain from accepting favors for themselves or their relatives from causes to which their authority is exercised – including donations to institutions that the rabbis have affinity for. “A rabbi works while respecting the law and for the sake of maintaining good general rules,” it was determined.

Another section instructs the rabbis to “efficiently and efficiently” save resources for their needs, and not to use them except within the rules under which they were given. It was further stated that “the rabbi does not use a prohibited way in the information he has obtained by virtue of his duties and which is not public,” and that “the rabbi is careful to maintain confidentiality.” />

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