As you read this, remember that Metzger has a long history of fraud, including allegedly extorting money from couples at weddings when he was the officiating rabbi. The Rabbinute found him guilty of this and, after Metzger refused to follow the ruling of the Rabbinute’s judges, and after Metzger threatened to sue the Rabbinute in secular court, an agreement was reached: Metzger would refrain from seeking the position of chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and would make changes in his conduct and practice. In return, he could keep his job as a neighborhood rabbi. Now, Metzger is chief rabbi of Israel because of a political deal made with haredim, including Rabbi Yosef Shaolm Elyashiv. Rabbi Elyashiv knew about Metzger’s checkered past and about other then-current allegations but backed him anyway. Now, those very same haredim are being joined by Mordechai Eliyahu and others in defending Metzger:
Although Attorney General Menachem Mazuz demanded that he resign, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger is no hurry. On Thursday he even met with Israel’s leading rabbis – Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Avraham Shapira, and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, all of whom expressed their support of him.
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv welcomed Metzger in a warmhearted meeting, encouraged him and expressed his astonishment over the resignation demand.
Shas’ spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef told Metzger: “His honor is actively successfully in the Rabbinate. The rabbi must not resign… we will give him the support he deserves”.
Rabbi Shapira told Metzger that God is watching over him and that he should fight over the Rabbinate’s respects.
‘Pure and clear as snow’
“There is a special angel in heaven watching over you,” Shapira said.
Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu told Metzger: “his honor is pure and clear as snow, I rule that you should not resign”.*
Rabbi Metzger aides stated: “The Attorney General ruled that nothing in the Rabbi’s actions constitutes a criminal offense and circumvented his attack toward the public aspect. While the great leaders of Israel stand by the rabbi, the Attorney General’s case about the Rabbinate’s contempt is invalid.”
Mazuz’ unprecedented and scathing report called on Metzger to resign subsequent to three separate incidents, accusing the rabbi of – among other things – accepting illegitimate perks, disrespecting public funds, and not telling the truth.
Notably absent from the list of Metzger supporters is former Sefardic chief rabbi Bakshi-Doron. Rabbi Bakshi-Doron was one of the three rabbinic judges that found Metzger guilty of fraud and extortion.
* Rabbi Eliyahu had a “prophecy” that the Gaza Disengagement would not take place. In his position as the supreme spiritual leader of the National Religious Movement, he ordered his followers not to take compensation from the government and not to leave Gaza. As a result, hundreds of families were left homeless and received far less compensation for their property and businesses than those who disregarded Rabbi Eliyah and followed government requests. The Gaza Settler Refugee Crisis is for the most part a creation of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.