NEW YORK (Dec. 11)
The Lubavitcher Rebbe has called on Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren of Israel to resign on grounds that he was “coerced” by the Israeli government to issue his controversial ruling in the Langer case, a spokesman for the Hasidic leader said today. The spokesman said that Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, in a recent address to his followers, advised Rabbi Goren to tell the Israel government “You are trying to influence my rulings and I cannot hold the post of Chief Rabbi under these circumstances.”
The ruling by a rabbinical court assembled by Rabbi Goren last month that Hanoch and Miriam Langer were not “mamzerim” (illegitimates) and therefore free to marry, created an uproar in right-wing Orthodox circles in Israel and the U.S.
The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada announced last week that it associated itself with Orthodox rabbis in Israel who were condemning Rabbi Goren. The group resolved to send Premier Golda Meir a “strong protest” against the alleged “pressure” the Israel government brought to bear on Israeli rabbis “demanding from them” decisions to “legitimize matters which will meet the State’s desires.”
The resolution said the rabbinical group was “against any terror by whomever it may be, but is also against irresponsible threats aimed at religious Jewry.” The UOR announced plans for a mass meeting at Manhattan Center Dec. 17 at which it said “eminent rabbis and Torah scholars will express their deep sorrow and worry over this deplorable breach in the Torah fortress.”