RabbimetzgersideAttorney General Menachem Mazuz has called on Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger to resign. metzger lied to police during a corruption investigation against him, and has a record of fraud and corruption streaching back years. metzger won his office with the backing of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Rabbi Elyashiv – whose spokespeople admit knew about the corruption before endorsing Metzger – endorsed Metzger to stop religious zionist Rabbi Ariel from winning the post. Rabbi Ariel, a posek in his own right, did not need to rely on Rabbi Elyashiv for halakhic decisions. Metzger – who had never served as a religious judge and is not a posek – is dependent on Rabbi Elyashiv in these areas. Rabbi Elyashiv’s publicly-stated motive for endorsing Metzger was "to bring glory back to the Chief Rabbinate."

Reports: Haaretz, Ynet, JPost.  (Note that the Post, which has a high percentage of religious employees, does not mention in its report that Metzger lied to police. )

[Hat tip: Calvin not Hobbes.]

UPDATE 4-4-06: The Jerusalem Post has just gotten around to listing some of Metzger’s lies:

According to Mazuz, police investigators ended up looking into more than just the affair reported by Channel 2. One investigation dealt with allegations that Metzger had stayed over with his family at the Kings Hotel in Jerusalem over Shavuot in 2003, after being invited to speak at the nearby Yeshurun Synagogue. The Chief Rabbinate paid for his room, while the synagogue paid for a room for his children.

The second investigation had to do with the rental contract he negotiated for an apartment in Jerusalem paid for by the Chief Rabbinate. Metzger signed the contract on November 11, 2003 but made it retroactive until August 27, even though he had not lived there during those months. During the retroactive period, Metzger stayed several times at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel. This meant that on these occasions, the Chief Rabbinate was paying twice for his accommodation for the same nights. In his rental contract, Metzger also agreed to move out of the house for Jewish holidays if the owners gave him 45 days advance notice.

Regarding the David Citadel Hotel, police found that Metzger had stayed over for four holidays, not just one. He took rooms during Succot 2003, Pessah 2004, Shavuot 2004 and Succot 2004. On all but the last, he was also paying rent for his Jerusalem home.

Police also investigated the "much reduced rates" that Metzger paid for his David Citadel rooms. Among other things, the police investigated whether or not the hotel rabbi had helped obtain the low rates for Metzger and whether he had received anything in return for his alleged help. The police found that the Chief Rabbinate later put the rabbi in charge of its system of supervising milking by video.…

[Hat Tip: The Big Megillah.]



Filed under Crime, Haredim, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy


  1. Ma. Rabbi

    The story on todays Jpost says that Rav Metger is accused of the ” crime” of accepting a few free nights at the David Citadel hotel.This is ludicrous. If I were giving supervision to a hotel, I would expect free room and board.
    More importantly, who is Mazuz to call the kettle black? He has corrupted his positon as AG.He covered for Olmert and company in the Amona scandal and exempted officers from testifying. The crook here is Mazuz.

  2. Israel has a very well known law forbidding what Metzger did. Past that (and this would involving reading and comprhending the articles and my post) Metzger lied to police. And he has a record of fraud before this, including extorting money at wedding he performed. A panel from the rabbinut found him quilty of that about 10 years ago, and let him off (becuase he threatened to sue in secular court) after he promised not to run for Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. Rabbi Bakshi-Doron, who headed that panel, was shocked when Metzger later ran for Chief Rabbi. He confirmed the charges against metzger and said that Metzger was wholly unsuited to be a rabbi, let alone a chief rabbi. But, hey, you’re Chabad and corruption is your thing – just look a Cunin, Herson, etc.

  3. Ma Rabbi

    You are missing the point here. Both Haaretz and JPost say the issue here is Rav Metger accepting free nights in a hotel. The AG did not mention anything that allegedly happened 10 years ago. My point is that if we look at whats happened in Israel over the past year, Mazuz has been guilty of several cover ups and scandals. He is the one who should get out.

  4. You really don’t read well, do you? Metzger LIED to police. Got that? LIED. In most countries, that is a crime, akin to perjury. What Mazuz is correctly arguing is that the chief rabbi cannot be a perjurer. You see, this is an issue of truth. You remember, truth – something that used to matter waaaaaaay back before you got your smicha.

  5. Now, as for exempting officers from testifying, perhaps you need to learn the history. This is normal, even in many democracies, under these types of circumstances. Further, Amona existed at the MERCY OF THE STATE. This is absolutely clear and absolutely legal. The state had the right to shut down Amona at any time. But your settlers only like the law when it supports them. It didn’t this time, so your boys and girls threw stones and bricks at police, clubbed them with metal bars, and, most importantly, made it be known beforehand that they would attack police. Try that in Chicago or New York. You would have had dead settlers and many more serious injuries, because police do not tolerate people attacking them with deadly force. Israel’s problem is that it is too tolerant of religious thuggery and violence.

  6. Isa

    In Texas, if you hold a club in your hand and if the cop THINKS that he might get clubbed.
    Bang bang you are dead.
    It is not if the cop shoots you it is how many bullets they take out of your body.

  7. Dovid Lerner

    Looks like Bowling for Columbine wasn’t screened in Texas…

  8. Anonymous

    Metzger hasn’t got any following at all, so he’ll probably have to go. It is interesting to speculate what if such charges had been brought against Ovadiya Yosef or Shlomoh Goren when they were Chief Rabbis, what would have happened, given their very many devotees. I doubt the AG would even have dared to think about it!

  9. Avtalion

    : |
    Metzger, not only has no following.
    He has no knowledge of his trade either. So much so, that a question arose upon his appointment on how he is to oversee the work of the battei din, if he does not have the qualification, competence or experience to do so.
    The question was resolved that for the first few years, this job will be left to R’ Ammar who does have the experience and qualifications required.
    R’ Metzger was to take supplementary courses of dayanim to get where he ought to be.
    The whole thing was a sad farce to satisfy a cynical Rov Elyoshiv, who couldn’t care less about the position of chief Rabbi.
    Comparing to the years of tenure of R’s Goren and Yosef, could be somewhat misleading.
    Then R’s Goren z’l and Yosef (yibbadel lechayim arukim), did not have yet the following they have today. R’Goren though, was perceived by many as the Rabbi blowing the Shofar of redemption on the Kotel. Rabbi Yosef was already well established as a scholar with many of his Halakha and shu”t books published during his tenure as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Jaffa.
    At the same time if I am not mistaken these years were the years of Levi Eshkol z’l and Pinchas Sapir z’l or shortly thereafter .
    Levi Eshkol, was known for his remark on those accused of embezzelment of public funds, that little could be done sheneemar: “lo tachssom shor bedisho”.
    This has nothing to do with the impeccable record of honesty of both R’s Goren and Yosef (yibbadel lechayim arukim).
    The whole attitude to well settled east european, landsmanschaft type corruption was different and not a question of the AG, daring or not daring to question a Rabbi.

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