David Bar-Hayim

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David Bar-Hayim
David Mandel

24 February 1960 (1960-02-24) (age 60)
NationalityAustralian / Israeli
Alma materMerkaz Harav Kook Yeshiva
ProfessionAv Beit Din at Beth HaWa'ad Rabbinical Court
OccupationRabbi, Dayan, Posek
Jewish leader
ProfessionAv Beit Din at Beth HaWa'ad Rabbinical Court
PositionFounder and director
OrganisationShilo Institute
ResidenceNeve Daniel, Israel
SemichaRabbi Yosef Kapach

David Hanoch Yitzchak Bar-Hayim (Hebrew: דוד חנוך יצחק ב"ר חיים; born Mandel; born 24 February 1960) is an Israeli Orthodox rabbi who heads the Shilo Institute (Machon Shilo), a Jerusalem-based rabbinical court and institute of Jewish education dedicated to the Torah of Israel.[1]


David Bar-Hayim was born in Sydney, Australia. After moving to Israel in 1977, he initially studied in Yeshivat HaKotel, and subsequently in Merkaz Harav Kook in Jerusalem. He studied under Rabbi Moshe Zuriel, and received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Yosef Kapach.

For a number of years, Bar-Hayim taught Talmud, Halakha, and Jewish philosophy in Yeshivat Nahalath Tzvi.

Bar-Hayim lives in Neve Daniel with his wife and eight children.

Rabbinic career[edit]

Bar Hayim lectures in the greater Jerusalem area, and publishes articles in English and Hebrew on various web sites.[2] Though he is Orthodox, Bar-Hayim prefers the terms "Halakhic" or "Torah" Judaism, explaining that the term "Orthodox Judaism” is flawed by its very definition.[3]

Bar-Hayim has proposed the re-establishment of the customs of Israel, religious observances and practices that reflect those of the pre-exile Jewish communities in Israel, rather than those of Babylon or Europe. For this purpose, he has published a prayer book intended to reflect the original composition of early Israel, based upon the Jerusalem Talmud.[4]

Since 2001, Bar-Hayim has been working along with Machon HaYerushalmi to publish a new and elucidated edition of the Jerusalem Talmud.

In 2006, Bar-Hayim founded the Shilo Institute for the research, elucidation, and dissemination of the Torah of Israel.[5]

Bar-Hayim established the Beth HaWa'ad rabbinical court to focus on actualizing the Torah of Israel and serve as an address for Gentiles, particularly the growing Noahide community.[6]

Halachic rulings and positions[edit]

In light of the fact that Israel is yet again a sovereign Jewish state, with Jerusalem as its capital, Bar-Hayim has argued for increased utilization of the Jerusalem Talmud, which in his opinion, in regard to Torat Eretz Yisrael and Minhagei Eretz Yisrael, contains more lucid rulings[7] than the Babylonian Talmud, which was given supremacy in "exile-mode" Judaism.[3] This has led him to issue a number of highly controversial[8] rulings, some of which are listed below:

  • In a very controversial ruling,[9][8][10] Bar-Hayim has announced that any Jew worldwide, regardless of origin, and despite the practice of their forefathers, may eat kitniyot ("legumes") on Passover,[11][12] as most Sefardi Jews do, for it is a practice rejected as an unnecessary precaution by some Halachic authorities as early as the time of its emergence.[13] This position has been widely rejected by other rabbis, including Ovadia Yosef.[14]
  • When the first day of Sukkot falls on Shabbat, Israeli Jews should follow the Mishna and Jerusalem Talmud's ruling, and perform the lulav ritual.[15]
  • Hallel should be recited on Israeli Independence Day.[16]
  • Stainless steel utensils do not absorb dairy or meat, and may therefore just be washed with soap and water between dairy and meat use.[17]
  • Bar-Hayim claims that the rulings of the Shulchan Aruch were intended as a resource and depiction of common practice in certain areas, and that the author never intended that his rulings become compulsory for Jewry.[18][19]
  • The size of an olive in Jewish law is roughly the size of an olive. Those commentators who over-estimated the size of the olive were unfamiliar with olives, for they had lived in lands which lacked them.[20]
  • The process of conversion to Judaism should be one that welcomes sincere converts and allows them the right to choose a rabbi and community which they identify with.[21]
  • Jewish law requires one to follow the most convincing position which is truest to the sources. One need not uphold a tradition which can be shown to have been conceived in error.[22]
  • The common form of reclining on Passover nowadays does not convey the aristocratic nobility it was intended to, and may often defeat its very purpose.[23]
  • The main purpose of Torah study is to create a holy nation that obeys the law, and not merely withdrawn individuals seeking personal gain.[24]
  • A blessing is to be recited when removing phylacteries.[25]
  • One may eat poultry followed by dairy without a waiting period.[26]
  • Torah sages can err, just as the Sanhedrin could (Leviticus 4:13).[27]
  • Married women should wear a head[28] covering that is not a wig, since a wig is an invalid form of head covering.[29] It is preferable for a married Jewish woman to expose her hair than to don a wig, for the wig actually increases attraction in the public domain and encourages the notion that Halakha is both irrational and intellectually dishonest.[29]
  • One may change his nusach tefillah at any time, because the idea that a Jew should not change his nusach tefillah, and has to continue to pray in the way of his forefathers, is an invented Halacha of the galut (diaspora,[30] "scattering, dispersion").[31][32][33]


  1. ^ "Rabbi David Bar-Hayim". jewishpress.com/author/. JewishPress.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Rabbi David Bar-Hayim's Articles – OpEds". Israel national news. Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b Zellman, Ariel (17 October 2010). "Interview with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim". Blog.
  4. ^ Ezra (19 March 2007). "Kotel is the Place to be Tuesday". Kumah. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Torah for Those Who Dare to Think". Machon shilo. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Machon Shilo".
  7. ^ Bar-Hayim, HaRav David. "Is the Halacha Based Exclusively on the Talmud Bavli? The Chafetz Chayim Did Not Think So". Machon Shilo. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Jerusalem - The Israeli Controversial 'Gaon' That Is Raising Eyebrows in the Torah World, Exclusive 2 Hour Interview With VIN News". www.vosizneias.com.
  9. ^ "Head of Shilo Institute attacked for permitting 'kitniyot' on Pessah". jpost.com.
  10. ^ "Kitniyos – A False Attribution: A Response to Rabbi David Bar-Hayim". theyeshivaworld.com. 1 April 2015.
  11. ^ Jeffay, Nathan (1 April 2009). "Pesach Kitniyot Rebels Roil Rabbis As Some Ashkenazim Follow New, Permissive Ruling" (News, Community News). The Forward Association, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  12. ^ Ahren, Raphael (15 April 2011). "Efrat rabbi tilts against Passover food restrictions for Ashkenazi Jews" (Home – Weekend – Anglo File). Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  13. ^ Tur, Orach Chaim 453
  14. ^ "Pesach Kitniyot Rebels Roil Rabbis As Some Ashkenazim Follow New, Permissive Ruling". forward.com.
  15. ^ "The Misswa of Lulav on Shabbat"., (pdf)
  16. ^ Bar-Hayim, David. "Judaism: The Rebbe's Hallel – The Halachic basis for Hallel on Independence Day". israelnationalnews.com. Arutz Sheva – 23 April 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  17. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (8 February 2014), Are All Pots Created Equal? Stainless Steel & Kashrut- Interview with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, retrieved 21 March 2017
  18. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (15 January 2017), Did the Beit Yosef Claim that His Halachic Decisions Were Binding?, retrieved 22 March 2017
  19. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (23 October 2014), Did the Jewish People Accept the Shulchan Aruch?- Interview with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, retrieved 22 March 2017
  20. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (18 March 2013), Does A K'zayit Equal An Olive?-Interview with Machon Shilo's Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, retrieved 22 March 2017
  21. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (16 June 2013), The Lonely Convert, The Lonely Jew- Interview with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, retrieved 22 March 2017
  22. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (27 December 2015), Halacha, Minhag, & How Torah Works-Shiur at the Jerusalem Salon with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, retrieved 22 March 2017
  23. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (10 April 2014), To Recline Or Not To Recline-That Is The Question- Interview with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, retrieved 22 March 2017
  24. ^ Tora Nation Machon Shilo (16 October 2014), Is the Haredi Understanding of the Purpose of Torah Study Flawed? Interview with R' David Bar-Hayim-, retrieved 22 March 2017
  25. ^ "Jerusalem - The Israeli Controversial 'Gaon' That Is Raising Eyebrows in the Torah World, Exclusive 2 Hour Interview With VIN News". VosIzNeias. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  26. ^ "Rambam's Response to the Inclusion of Chicken, Duck and Quail in Qaraite Cuisine". The Seforim Blog. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  27. ^ "Rabbis: 'Kitniyot rebellion' continues". Ynetnews. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  28. ^ Numbers 5:18
  29. ^ a b Tora Nation Machon Shilo (6 February 2016), Are Wigs Kosher? Interview with Machon Shilo's Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, retrieved 23 March 2017
  30. ^ διασπορά. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  31. ^ Bar-Hayim, David. "Not Changing Nusach Tefillah - An Invented Halacha". Machon Shilo. Machon Shilo. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  32. ^ Bar-Hayim, David. "What is the Proper Nusach Tefillah?". Machon Shilo. Machon Shilo. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  33. ^ "Not Changing Nusach Tefillah - An Invented Halacha- Interview with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim". supermp3song.net. mp3xyz.co. Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.

Further reading[edit]

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