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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Mossad Now Under Rabbinic Supervision

Back in Febuary 2010, the newspapers were packed with descriptions of an alleged assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai attributed to the Israeli Mossad. Dubai Police said he was murdered by an 11 member hit squad carrying foreign passports. Now we know that the operation, if it were, indeed, run by Mossad, probably also received rabbinic approval.

Back in Febuary 2010, the newspapers were packed with descriptions of an alleged assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai attributed to the Israeli Mossad. Dubai Police said he was murdered by an 11 member hit squad carrying foreign passports. Now we know that the operation, if it were, indeed, run by Mossad, probably also received rabbinic approval.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

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As the number of observant Jews increases within Israel’s renowned spy agency, Mossad, halachic questions have been coming up more and more frequently in the daily interaction among agents, Maariv reports today. And so, it now can be told, an agency posek, a rabbinic arbiter on Jewish law, was hired some years ago, and he has been ruling on complex halachic questions, including regarding secret operations overseas.

A source in the agency told Maariv that there are numerous observant Jews in different capacities at Mossad, and so, while in the past the inevitable halachic questions associated with the special work carried out were turned to the IDF chief rabbi, now the agency’s own rabbi provides the answers.

“It’s not just on issues of Kashrut,” said the source. “Sometimes, when you’re far away from here, questions come up over what is allowed and what isn’t, and operational activities that require a halachic response.”

Among other things, the Mossad rabbi has to deal with complicated scenarios involving agents staying in enemy states. What food are they permitted to eat, and what activities may they carry out on Shabbat. According to the source, these questions often presented the military rabbinate with complex dilemmas, and so, as can be surmised, an in house halachic authority would be more familiar with the background for each inquiry and be able to provide more specific and useful responses.

The name of the Mossad rabbi is being kept secret, but according to Maariv he has come up through the ranks in Military Intelligence as well as the IDF Rabbinate. Apparently he first rejected the offer, but after consulting with his own spiritual guides changed his mind.

The source speaking to Maariv that “Behind every inquiry stands a man’s faith, and in order to provide answers, the context must be well understood, in order to decide the issue. That’s why it was so important that someone on the inside be following these issues.”

According to Maariv, the Mossad rabbi meets once a week with a senior officer in the Chief Rabbinate for consultations.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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6 Responses to “Mossad Now Under Rabbinic Supervision”

  1. Shoshanna Huisman says:

    I don't understand why you give so much information , that is better to keep on "not knowing

  2. I am not Jewish, but I thank my God for the Mossad and the Rabbi who counsels them. The world is safer for them. May they always travel with the blessings of Israel, and should they walk on in her service, be known as heroes in the service of all of us who cherish freedom to worship as we choose. God bless Israel.

  3. In order to save Jewish lives almost everything is allowed! Pikuach Nefesh! Watch Every Wednesday 10:00Am & 6:00PM bccat.tv scroll all the way down to Community media then scroll further to Brooklyn Publick network then click on arrow in Channel 2. In addition Every Thursday mnn.org 12:00NOON go to number 4 Judaism click Watch now ALL AIRINGS NEW YORK TIME!

  4. Carlos Font says:

    The first sentence of Rabbi Friedman says it all for me. I totally agree with the comments of both Jackie and Shoshannah. God bless Israel; there is no other nation like it!

  5. Arie Arazi says:

    I'm not happy with this normally talented reporter. He put two titles to the report "If the mossad wants to kill someone first ask the Rabbi" and " Mossad now is under Rabbinic supervision" both titles are inflammatory.
    The explanation in the body of the article is more of a balanced report. Presidents too consult with their spiritual leaders. Please stop this ugly marathon of putting down as many events as possible and making light of a serious issue like a commander consulting a spiritual figure.

  6. Donn Gross says:

    I agree with those who believe this article trivializes such serious issues pertaining to the value of life…anyone's life. If a decision is made to "remove" an operative, it is deadly serious. Moreover, writing that it is Rabbinically authorized or sanctioned makes it sound like a Fatwa..and we don't want to go down that road.

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