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Lorincz Excommunicated for Calling Goren Idi Amin

July 31, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Chief Rabbinate Council today excommunicated Shlomo Lorincz, an outspoken Knesset member of the Aguda bloc for insulting Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren in the course of a Knesset debate this week, Lorincz likened Goren, who was chief chaplain of Israel’s armed forces before he was elevated to the Chief Rabbinate three years ago, to President Idi Amin of Uganda, a one-time friend but now a vitriolic for of Israel, (See earlier story in Wednesday’s Bulletin.)

The decision rendered by the Chief Rabbinate Council–which according to some critics of Goren is completely controlled by the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi–read: “This is an unprecedented scandal…Lorincz publicly denounced the Chief Rabbi of Israel in the Knesset and compared him to an enemy of Israel, a shock for every Jew in Israel and the diaspora. The Council, therefore, relied on the Rambam (the 15th Century Jewish theologian and philosopher Maimonides) saying that whoever humiliates the sages has no part in the olam haba (the next world). If there were witnesses to the humiliation, he must be excommunicated and charged with a penalty.”

Lorincz, frequently a voice of the ultra-Orthodox in the Knesset, said he would disregard the Chief Rabbinate Council’s dictum. He cited, in his defense, another directive which says that where there is a desecration of God, one does not respect the rabbi. “The respect of a rabbi is measured by exposing the wrong he does and not by covering for it.” Lorincz said. He demanded that Goren resign “for the honor of the rabbinate and the Torah,” (By Gil Sedan)

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