The 11.5-year drought for Yerushalayim without chief rabbis is over
. Rav Shelomo Moshe Amar Shlit"a and Rav Aryeh Stern Shlit"a have been appointed as the new Chief Rabbis of Yerushalayim. Mazal Tov to them!
The previous Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim was Rav Shalom Messas ZT"L
. He passed away in 5763.
I was hoping for Rav Amar to win. He has traveled to Chicago several times - both as Chief Rabbi of Israel and afterwards - speaking to our community. He spent 3 weeks here last Tevet, during one of the polar vortexes (vortices?). He is a Ga'on Atzum and a person who knows how to speak to the people, similar to Rav Ovadia ZT"L. He knows when to be Matir and when to be Osser. He is not afraid to do either when appropriate. I personally saw how he conducts himself, and one can see the humble royalty oozing from his persona. He is more than qualified for the position.
Rav Shemuel Eliyahu Shlit"a was also a worthy candidate, who would have made a good chief rabbi. Of course, he is a son of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L. He had the support of Rav Shteinman Shlit"a, which boosted his campaign. I felt bad for him for being derided by the leftists so much in the final days of this race. He has been quoted by this blog many times. I wish him well as he continues as Chief Rabbi of Tzefat.
On the Ashkenazi side, Rav Aryeh Stern Shlit"a is said to be a Ga'on Atzum as well. He had the backing of Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Shlit"a
, Rav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron Shlit"a
, and the Erloi Rebbe Shlit"a
, as well of that of many Religious Zionist rabbis.
Rav Moshe Chaim Lau Shlit"a was also a worthy candidate, who would have made a good chief rabbi. The son of the former Chief Rabbi of Israel and brother of the current Chief Rabbi of Israel is unlikely to have disappointed. He had the support of all the Haredi parties, but not enough to come up on top. May he succeed in all his future endeavors.
May the chief rabbis serve the residents of the city well until the heart of Yerushalayim is rebuilt, speedily in our days, Amen.