Senior rabbis unite in public call to save synagogue

November 11, 2015  

Several senior rabbis from across the political spectrum signed an open letter Wednesday calling for security forces not to destroy the Ayelet HaShachar synagogue in Givat Ze’ev, following a Supreme Court directive to destroy it over a petition from a far-left organization. 

“It is an act prohibited by our holy Torah,” the letter said, noting that even the Torah principle of following the letter of the law in one’s country of residence does not apply in scenarios where Torah law is explicitly broken. “Even the decision of the Kingdom and the rulership does not change this severe Torah prohibition, this is also blasphemy.”

“We call on anyone with a Jewish heart – take pity, take pity on your souls, and do not even come close to doing wrong by this synagogue,” the rabbis said. “All those who disassociate themselves from this horrible offense, will have blessings and good come to him, and succeed in all ways.” 

The rabbis added that the blessing extends to every person who works from within the police force to avoid damage to synagogues – Jewish or not.

The letter was signed by a variety of Sephardic rabbis from across the political spetrum.

Signatories include Rabbi Shalom Cohen, President of the Council of Torah Sages of Shas and the party’s spiritual leader; Rabbi Meir Mazuz, spiritual leader for Shas’s direct competition, former MK and Yachad party chairman Eli Yishai; Chief rabbi of Tzfat and national-religious leader Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu; Rabbi David Basri, Rosh Yeshiva (dean) of the Hashalom yeshiva; and other senior rabbis. 

This marks the second time a variety of religious leaders have called to save the synagogue. A wide spectrum of public officials have rallied behind the synagogue and called to save it, stating that sends the wrong message to Israelis over the character of the Jewish state. 

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