January 10, 2005

The Gedolim Speak

From Arutz Sheva:

A joint assembly of rabbis from both the hareidi and national-religious sectors declared Sunday night that the entire Land of Israel belongs to G-d and the Jewish People, and not to the government.

"No one in the world has the right to cede the Jewish People's right to any part of the Land," ex-Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu declared, "and such a move must be fought."

The rabbis, meeting in Tel Aviv, sharply condemned the United Torah Judaism party for joining the coalition government. "This act was against the majority of the Torah leaders in Israel," the rabbis resolved, "and leads directly to an endangerment of the entire populace of Israel."

Among the dozens of rabbis in attendance were the Admor of Sadigura, a member of the Council of Torah Sages headed by Rabbi Elyashiv; Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior; Kiryat Motzkin Rabbi David Druckman; and Rabbi Meir Mazuz of Yeshivat Kisei Rachamim in Bnei Brak. Another Council of Torah Sages member, the Bostoner Rebbe, sent a sharp letter of support for their position to be read aloud.

Rabbi Mazuz said, "This disengagement story is our tsunami." He emphasized the "ungrateful" behavior of Sharon towards the nation in general and the Yesha residents in particular, and recalled that the Lubavitcher Rebbe saved Sharon's life by advising him not to travel in a helicopter that crashed. Rabbi Mazuz did not mention that the Rebbe once advised Sharon not to enter politics altogether.

Rabbi Lior said, "This [disengagement] plan is a danger to the very existence of the State. It is unprecedented. The rabbis must exude special spiritual strength to deal with this very difficult situation." He noted that this spiritual strength has been shown by the residents of Yesha, and especially of Gush Katif, "and this is one of today's miracles."

Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook, Chief Rabbi of Rehovot (pictured above; a grand-nephew of the saintly Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook), said that he visited Rabbi Elyashiv on Friday, after his decision to allow the UTJ party to join the coalition. Rabbi Kook said that "wheeler-dealers" misled Rabbi Elyashiv by telling him that Sharon has a majority even without UTJ, which wasn't true. Rabbi Kook added that most of the leading Torah authorities were against the decision.

Among the rabbis' resolutions were:
* We sadly determine that the Prime Minister is causing a terrible civil war, the end of which cannot be foretold.
* We call upon all the leaders of world Jewry, led by the Rabbis of Israel, to express their clear protest, echoing from one end of the world to the other, in light of the evil behavior of the Israeli government and its head.
* We will not refrain from expressing our protest and great astonishment at the strengthening of this wicked government by G-d-fearing Jews against the opinion of the clear majority of the leading rabbis of Israel. * We call upon our brothers and all of the Torah giants to help bodily, monetarily and spiritually the residents of Yesha who face the decree of evacuation.

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