The leadership vacuum facing ultra-Orthodox Jewry

13.01.2012                      18.Tewet. 5772

Judentum:

The leadership vacuum facing ultra-Orthodox Jewry

As the last of the generation of rabbis born in the early 20th century close their eyes, an age of rabbinical hegemony is coming to an end.

On the top floor of a Jerusalem hospital lays a very old man. He is slowly dying, but he won't be left in peace. A small circle of courtiers around him continue to issue in his name edicts and rulings, ensure that his signature still appears on letters and when his medical situation improves temporarily, they will remove him from hospital and seat him in his chair at the synagogue, where everyone can see him. The hospital staff grumbles that all this just prolongs the old man's agony, but there is nothing they can do as the retinue controls all the old man's moves.
Only a tiny handful of relatives and trustees are allowed to talk with him, and they jealously guard his real mental situation while everyone is told that he is fully lucid and talking with his family and doctors, praying and studying as normal….