Israeli Town Rabbonim: 12 Over 90, 40 Over 80


Twelve of Israel’s town rabbonim are over ninety-years-old and forty have passed eighty.

In response to complaints of the Ne’emanei Torah Va’avodah organization that the rabbinate is atrophying and needs new blood, an official of the Religious Affairs Ministry argued, “We recently parted from President Shimon Peres, who functioned until his last day at the age of ninety. Each one of knows people above ninety who are clear minded and functioning.

“A rov does not need physical fitness but particularly cognitive ability,” the official added. “Not for nothing do the sources compare the old to the wise. In these contexts, age is an advantage. The initiative to base the rabbinate on a democratic communal model is a spin. Rav Elyashiv, Rav Ovadiah, and in contrast, Rav Steinman and others, served and serve as pillars of spiritual strength to people even in old age.”

The names in the rabbinate list include Rav Yaakov Edelstein who is 92 and served as rov of Ramat Hasharon for the past 65 years, as well as 86-year-old Rav Simchah Hakohein Kook of Rechovot. Former Chief Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau (79), who presently serves as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, is expected to retire soon.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Yeshivos in the USA are now making good, solidd Rebbeim resign as they become 65 or 70 years old. It is a travesty! It is against the Torah.

    Chutzpah Yasgi! No respect for Seiva and Ziknah anymore. A true Shandeh!

      • No, they did not. The Torah does not levy an age limit for Jewish leaders. Moshe Rabbeinu ruled from age 80 to age 120. Rabbi Akiva was the gadol hador until his death at 120.

        • First of all Moshe Rabeinu had Nevueh that right away changes the equation. and on a side note a Rabbi should be respected past 70. the question is if they should hold a government/powerful position which has the law behind it.

  2. i wonder why members of the sanhedrin retired at 70? When RSZA ztl dealt with a complex sheailah from a young couple, he sent them to younger rav who could better relate to the sheailah. kach hi darka shel torah

    • HaGaon Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach had the wisdom to know whether the sheailah called for youth or not, A younger Rav may not have the wisdom to deal with many of the complex sheailos in the first place. An older person who forgot about tzaar gidul banim does not have the mercy of a younger person. That is irrelevant outside the Sanhedrin where none of the halachic decisions are capital judgments.In a capital case, the Sanhedrin does not delegate situations. Once you have a Rav with the requisite wisdom, he will know whether a particular situation requires “relating to” or not. Keep the Gadol in charge and let him decide whether to delegate an issue or not.


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