Judaism: New Elders

For most Orthodox Jews the world over, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is the supreme spiritual authority in religious matters, and for Jews in Israel it also has full, legal jurisdiction over marriage and divorce. The two major divisions of Judaism—the Sephardim and the Ashkenazim—are each represented by a Chief Rabbi of their persuasion, and these two jointly head a council of five Sephardi and five Ashkenazi sages. Since 1959, the chair of the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi has been vacant; last week the 125-man Rabbinical Electoral College chose for the post Dr. Iser Judah Unterman, 77, white-bearded Chief...

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