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One of the Nine Rabbis in the Langer Case Identified

The name of one of the nine rabbis who decided that Hanoch and Miriam Langer, the brother and sister who were known as the “mamzerim,” could be married to their sweethearts was revealed yesterday. When the decision was originally announced last year it was decided not to disclose the names of the rabbis for fear of reprisals.

Yesterday the appointments committee of the Chief Rabbinate discussed the candidacy of Rabbi Shalom Mizrahi to the Supreme Rabbinical Court. During the discussion Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef praised Rabbi Mizrahi as an eminent scholar and author.

When Ashkenazi Chief Rubbi Shlomo Goren discussed Rabbi Mizrahi’s qualifications he mentioned his spiritual courage. Rabbi Goren noted that Rabbi Mizrahi had been the first to sign the halacha verdict which removed the taint of bastardy from the Langers and which permitted them to get married.

One of the members of the appointments committee was Rabbi Eliezer Goldsmith, one of the extreme opponents to the verdict concerning the Langers. When he heard Rabbi Goren’s remark he expressed his reservations about Rabbi Mizrahi. Until then Rabbi Goldsmith was one of Rabbi Mizrahi’s enthusiastic supporters in the appointments committee. Rabbi Mizrahi was finally approved to be a new member of the Supreme Rabbinical Court.

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