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Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wilf?

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wilf?

Forget the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Turns out a Knesset member merits her own special boycott — not because she’s Israeli, but because she’s intermarried.

I’ve written about Einat Wilf before. She’s believed to be the only intermarried MK, and she is one of several Labor Party members who recently broke away (garnering criticism for being opportunistic) to form the Independence Faction.

Last week she invoked the wrath of Rabbi Yisrael Rozen.

Interestingly, Rabbi Rozen is not one of the Jewish state’s numerous haredi rabbis who so frequently grace us with enlightening pronouncements blaming forest fires on various people’s insufficient religious observance, or instructing Jews to discriminate economically against Arabs.

Rather, he is the head of the nonprofit Zomet Institute, a research institute that, according to its website, is “dedicated to seamlessly merging Halachic Judaism with Modern Life.”

Zomet’s accomplishments include developing technologies that enable products such as metal detectors, security jeeps, elevators, electric wheelchairs, and coffee machines to be used on Shabbat.

Anyway, Ynet reports that the rabbi, angered by Wilf’s appointment to chair the Knesset’s education committee, recently issued a statement, published in a Shabbat leaflet, that says: “I hereby call for a boycott of all of her public activities in these fields, as a clear negative character, being married to a German who is not Jewish (and I believe hasn’t acquired citizenship either).”

While noting that his call is not religious (“there are more serious offenses”), social or nationalistic, Rabbi Rozen goes on to say, “I just can’t comprehend having an MK with a mixed marriage.”

Wilf, to her credit, told Ynet: “I was happy to read in Rabbi Rozen’s letter than he himself recognizes the fact that there are worse offenses than marrying a gentile and that there are greater national traitors than me.”

According to Wikipedia, Wilf, who is 40, met husband Richard Gutjahr, a German journalist and TV personality while on an (apparently successful) program “designed to build bridges between third generation Germans and Israelis, the grandchildren of Germans and Jews who had been through World War II.”

The couple married atop the Empire State Building in 2007, and their son Jonathan was born just a few months ago.

I suppose Rabbi Rozen wasn’t invited to the bris.

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