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Rav Ovadia’s Son Prohibits Vote for Parties Pushing 2-State Solution

In recent weeks, "Pikuach Nefesh" rabbis have sent pledges to every party leader, asking for their signatures.
Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, eldest son of the Rishon Lezion, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, eldest son of the Rishon Lezion, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

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A group of 350 rabbis is calling on all the parties to submit pledges to resist returning any part of Eretz Israel.

An announcement currently being distributed by 350 Israeli rabbis, calling on all parties to commit to never giving up any portion of Eretz Israel could be influencing the future of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition maneuvers, should he end up, as predicted, at the role of Israel’s next prime minister.

Members of the Rabbinical Congress “Pikuach Nefesh” (a principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides almost all other considerations) have called on all the political parties taking part in the January 22 elections to sign a clear statement in which they pledge to oppose in the Knesset and in government any proposal that includes withdrawal from the territories of Eretz Israel, and to refuse to sit in the government and the coalition should they be leading such moves.

In recent weeks, the rabbis have sent the text of these pledges to every party leader, asking for their signatures.

Pikuach Nefesh has announced that next week they plan to publish huge ads with a psak (rabbinic decision) signed by hundreds of rabbis, and a list of the parties who signed the pledge, with a declaration that, by law, Torah observant Jews may only vote for one of those.

Any party which will not sign this statement until Thursday, the 28th of Tevet (January 10), will not be included in the list for fear it might endanger the lives of Israeli Jews, as has happened in the past with the Oslo Accords and the Gush Katif disengagement.

The NRP, the historic precursor of Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, supported the Camp David accords which established the principle of giving away territory in exchange for peace.

Israel’s largest Haredi party, Shas, supported the Oslo accords which established the principle of a two-state solution. Likud

Israel’s largest right-wing party, Likud, supported the uprooting of 10 thousand Jews from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip.

In this context it is interesting to note that Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, eldest son of Rishon Lezion, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of Shas, has signed on to the call for anti-withdrawal party pledges, adding that the obligation to sign such a commitment applies especially to Torah observant political parties and individual MKs, based on the Shulchan Aruch, rabbinical Judaism’s essential legal text.

Rabbi Yosef cited the Shulchan Aruch as saying it is a serious danger to even discuss the possibility of withdrawal from any part of Eretz Israel.

“There is neither a point nor a reason to oppose the word of God, this is the law,” explained Rabbi Yosef. “Even a party that cares for the poor, for yeshivas, or for keeping the Sabbath – if there is reasonable suspicion that it would end up supporting withdrawal from parts of the Land of Israel – do not vote for them. Preservation of life overrides the entire Torah, plain and simple.”

The Rabbinic Congress chairman, Rabbi Yosef Gerlitzki, explained that the rabbis have no connection to any particular party. “We present to the people of Israel the halachic position only. The law requires us as rabbis do so. The law says about endangering lives, the principle of ‘the very asking is obscene’ – meaning that one must immediately prioritize saving lives over other concerns.”

Rabbi Gerlitzki added: “If there are five parties sign the pledge, we will announce that according to halacha one may choose among all these parties.”

“People who in the past gave their vote to parties that are considered ‘religious / Orthodox / right wing’ have become—against their will—collaborators in plots to give away Israeli territory, causing terrible danger to residents of Israel,” said Rabbi Avraham Levine, “The role of the rabbis is to prevent such obstacles in the future. We hope that as many parties as possible will give us their commitment to preserve the integrity of the Land of Israel.”

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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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24 Responses to “Rav Ovadia’s Son Prohibits Vote for Parties Pushing 2-State Solution”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here you see the wisdom of the American founding fathers in requiring the separation of church and state, which is one of the bedrocks of American democracy. When religious leaders are permitted to introduce their religious beliefs into the political system as in Iran or as in Israel the result is a theocratic government which eventually tips over and collapses.

  2. Yehuda Cohen says:

    It was “Pikuach Nefesh” that the NRP supported the Camp David accords which established the principle of giving away territory in exchange for peace. It was “Pikuach Nefesh” that Shas, supported the Oslo accords which established the principle of a two-state solution. Now, it is “Pikuach Nefesh” to not give away Israel lands and “Pikuach Nefesh” to not support a two-state solution?

  3. Yehuda Cohen says:

    It is against Judaism to proselytize; so why are Islamists allowed to proselytize on the Jewish Press? Or could this be another distorted “Pikuach Nefesh”?

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    Where in the Shulchan Aruch does it say that?

  5. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    I liked the part where Rav Ovadia said yeshiva boys should leave to avoid being drafted. Win-win?

  6. Eli Neuberger says:

    vote for whichever party continues the drip feed

  7. Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim Hilchos Shabbos 329

  8. Mildred Bilt says:

    All the Palestanians have to do is sit and wait and watch as the Zealots destroy Israel again.

  9. Mark Trencher says:

    Right. This clearly does not affect the amount of money they receive, so they should stay out of this.

  10. Tag Mahir says:

    Hey Charlie- It is prohibited from giving any parts of Eress Yisrael. The Torah says this as does the Rambam clearly. The Shulhan Aruch does have reference but the SA deals with Halachot that have to do with an individual and NOT about the Halachot that have to do with the nation. Soo to your question the SA is not even needed in this case but sources such as the Mishna Torah Hilchot Milachim Umilchamot which deal DIRECTLY with these issues.

  11. Charlie Hall says:

    "Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim Hilchos Shabbos 329"

    Just looked it up. It isn't there. Try again.

  12. Charlie Hall says:

    " The Torah says this "

    Where?

    "as does the Rambam clearly"

    Citation?

  13. Charlie Hall says:

    Many of the greatest poskim of my lifetime did support Land for Peace. R'Lichtenstein still does.

  14. Charlie Hall says:

    "Mishna Torah Hilchot Milachim Umilchamot which deal DIRECTLY with these issues."

    We only pasken by the Rambam when the SA codifies his opinion. Any yeshiva boy can list dozens of cases where the halachah is NOT according to the Rambam.

  15. Charlie Hall says:

    Also remember that there is a biblical precedent for giving away land: 1 Kings 9:10-13.

  16. Charlie Hall says:

    In any case we appear to have shown that either the article is inaccurate, or R'Yaakov Yosef is misrepresenting the Shulchan Aruch.

  17. Charlie Hall says:

    (And Yori Yanover is generally very careful about getting his facts right!)

  18. Yossie Bloch says:

    What is the connection between haredism and halakha? Rav Ovadya may have been a chief rabbi, but his sons follow the black-fedora party line (not the cool headgear their ancestors wore).

  19. Hadar Israel says:

    That's fantastic for America which has the best constitution.
    YET, in Israel we are JEWS. We have and want a JEWISH State.
    We have NO CHURCH and our constitution is the Torah.
    The idea itself of "religion" as Xtians conceive of it is TOTALLY FOREIGN to Torah-true Judaism.
    There is NO SEPARATION in Torah between what you call "religion" (a word that doesn't even exist in the Pentateuch!) and the administration of the State, the Justice System, the Economy, etc.
    The Torah orders a King to go around ALL DAY with a Torah Scroll hanging from his neck.
    It is the hanging acrobat who separated the administration of the state from the rest, when he said "give Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and give to God that which belongs to God".
    A concept that is AGAINST TORAH.

  20. To Charlie Hall – go to pikuachnefesh.net and you will see that it IS in Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim Hilchos Shabbos 329

  21. To Charlie Hall – go to pikuachnefesh.net and you will see that it IS in Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim Hilchos Shabbos 329

  22. MITZVAH MOBILE MADNESS This conspiracy started on the Lower East Side, and is spreading.
    Crazed band of Hasidic Jews are involved in a world-wide plot to create a race of enslaved Shabbos Goys. Advice to the Goyische community – stay away from Katz's Deli, and be afraid, be very afraid………From Shaun Costello's Blog.
    http://shauncostello.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/mitzvah-mobile-madness/

  23. Charlie Hall says:

    That is exactly what I found in my SA and it has absolutely nothing to do with Land for Peace. You are distorting the Torah.

  24. Paul Darling says:

    Hadar, you're absolutely right. People often forget that Israel is a Jewish state, created by Jews for Jews, and (in theory, at least) governed by Jewish law, and that our law defines us as a people.

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