Having failed to win full-fledged recognition from Israel’s two chief rabbis, the Ethiopian Jewish community’s religious leaders have resumed a sit-in demonstration at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The religious leaders, known as kessim, are seeking the authority granted rabbis in Israel to perform marriages and divorces. Their request has met with consistent refusal on the part of Israel’s chief rabbinical council.
Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapiro told the kessim Monday that they were not sufficiently knowledgeable to carry out these duties and at most would be permitted to act as religious guides, pending a review of the matter.
The Ethiopian clerics rejected his offer to set up a committee to study the issue and instead left Hechal Shlomo, the seat of the Chief Rabbinate, for the Rose Garden, opposite the Prime Minister’s Office, to continue their 10-day protest.