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Were we Catholics, we would know what to expect. In choosing their spiritual leader, the cardinals rely on a puff of smoke which rises above the Vatican, enabling the masses, eventually, to rejoice and say "Habemus Papam". No such methodology exists for the choosing of a chief rabbi, although the twists and turns in the process suggest that smoke, if not mirrors, is certainly at work.
What we have learned this week indicates that those rabbis who have had encounters with the appointments committee of the United Synagogue - we might dare to call them interviews - may not even have been physically present, enabling a kind of bearded sophistry to hold sway. Irritating as it may be, we are nonetheless still going to be presented with a fait accompli despite endless, clearly meaningless, promises of transparency.