The Appointment Committee for Dayyanim met today and appointed fifteen new judges. Thirteen were hand picked by Rav Elyashiv. There is no question that he is a Godol ba-Torah. He also has a stated agenda, which includes: a) Abolition of the Heter Mekhira for Shemitta b) Emasculation of legitimate halakhic measures to free women whose abusive husbands keep them in thrall (One of his chosen dayyanim recently threatened to cancel a get retroactively, for a woman who's remarried and had children with the second husband. That, actually, causes a nine hundred year old Herem of Rabbenu Tam kick in. Cf. מרדכי סוף גיטין סי' תנ"ה. But then, who was Rabbenu Tam? ) c) To stop conversionin its tracks.
The truth is, I never understood Rav Elyashiv. He (and his community) never accepted the Heter Mekhira anyway. They don't use the Rabbanut courts anyway. They don't recognize Rabbanut conversions, anyway. So, why doesn't he just leave us alone?
Who wins from this? a) The Haredim, who just placed thirteen more people in high paying jobs. b) Reform and Conservative Judaism, who will now find it easier to inveigh against the Torah. c) The radical Hilonim, for the same reason.
Who loses? a) Agunot b) Potential Converts c) The agriculture industry d) Religious Zionism e) Modern Orthodoxy.
What's to be done? בדחילו ורחימו, it's time to set up non-governmental courts for Gittin, Conversion and to facilitate the Heter Mekhira. Create facts on the ground with the Talmide Hakhamim in our own ranks. The Rabbinate is now a branch of the Eda ha-Haredit. That's not the institution that was founded eighty years ago.