Moshe Raziel Sharify
Photo: Ido Erez
Shlomo Amar. Disqualified Sharify
Photo: Gil Yohanan

14-year old fights to become rabbi

Boy petitions High Court against Chief Rabbinate, demanding his ordination exam be checked

A 14-year old boy has petitioned the High Court of Justice against Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar with a demand to obligate the Chief Rabbinate to check his ordination exam. If the court rules in his favor, the boy will be in line to become the world's youngest rabbi.


Moshe Raziel Sharify claims in the petition that he is gifted and that his teachers for Torah studies and Judaism recommended that he take the rabbi ordination exam. For this reason, Sharify says, he studied day and night in preparation for the test.  

Moshe 'studied day and night for test' (Photo: Ido Erez)


Sharify's parents, the attorneys who filed the petition, say the boy was seated in the examination room when Rabbi Amar entered to wish the candidates luck. However, when he saw Moshe, he asked his age and then ordered that his exam be disqualified.


The Chief Rabbinate responded to the petition Sunday by explaining that according to its guidelines, only those who studied in a yeshiva for four years after the age of 18 can take the ordination exam.


A rabbinate official told Ynet that any divergence from the guidelines would be a slippery slope that could eventually lead to applications by women and reformists.


'Sharify begged us to let his son be tested'

Sharify's parents say the boy received the approval of senior rabbis and that he had paid the exam fee, afterwards receiving an official letter summoning their son to take the test. Amar disqualified Moshe "contrary to reason and in the absence of minimal logic or due to outside considerations", the petition says.


After Amar gave his orders, examiners convinced him to allow the boy to be tested and he agreed, on the condition that his exam would not be checked.


Rabbi Rafael Mizrahi, who heads the rabbinate's examination department, says the rabbinate never approved Sharify's request to take the exam, and saw his application as a "curiosity".


In a letter to Moshe's father, Nisan Sharify, Mizrahi wrote that his son's participation in the exam was a "technical failure" and that his exam would not be checked.


Other rabbinate officials chuckled at the petition, explaining that the High Court would not get involved. "Attorney Sharify begged us to allow his son to take the exam in order to encourage the boy," one official told Ynet.


"He was told ahead of time that this would be the only aim and that the exam would not be checked. We are therefore assuming that the High Court petition is only aimed at encouraging his gifted son, and hope that the judges will treat it the same way the rabbinate is treating the exam."


Despite the responses writing Moshe off, senior members of the Chief Rabbinate discussed his request. A number of rabbis, including Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, were leaning towards allowing his to take the exam, but officials say Amar's uncompromising rejection led the organization to respond negatively.


Kobi Nahshoni contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 10.11.10, 15:00
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