The wrong way to do Yom Kip­pur

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY NISSAN TZUR

THIS YEAR’S Yom Kip­pur cer­e­mony in Krakow’s main syn­a­gogue turned out to be a very dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sion to what had been in­tended.

When the Chief Rabbi of Krakow, Eliezer Gur-Ari, turned down a re­quest from a se­nior mem­ber of the con­gre­ga­tion to lead a prayer, an ugly ver­bal brawl erupted.

Fol­low­ing the dis­pute, the com­mu­nity’s lead­ers sent a let­ter to Rabbi Gur-Ari, de­mand­ing that he al­low some se­nior mem­bers to lead the prayers dur­ing the Holy Day.

Rabbi Gur-Ari re­fused to co-op­er­ate and de­cided to lead a sep­a­rate prayer in another syn­a­gogue in Krakow with other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

In re­sponse, a day af­ter Yom Kip­pur, the com­mu­nity lead­ers de­cided to dis­miss him.

Sources say that in their let­ter to Rabbi Gur-Ari, the com­mu­nity lead­ers wrote: “If any­one op­poses the di­rec­tive stat­ing that the com­mu­nity of­fi­cials are al­lowed lead the prayers, we re­serve the right to take him out of the syn­a­gogue, in­clud­ing force.”

Re­cent years have seen a bit­ter con­flict within the Jewish com­mu­nity in Krakow. The lo­cal lead­ers ap­pointed Rabbi Gur-Ari as the town’s chief rabbi, against the wishes of Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schu­drich, who de­cided to ap­point another rabbi, Avi Bau­mol, as his rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the city.

Chabad Rabbi Gur-Ari has lived in Krakow for nine years with his wife and four chil­dren.

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