web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Eliezer Waldman’

Rabbinic Rebellion: NRP Rabbis Back Pick Nixed by AG

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Dozens of National Religious rabbis on Wednesday signed a letter supporting the candidacy of Tsfat Chief Rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, to the post of chief Sephardi rabbi.

On Monday, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed Rabbi Eliyahu that he would not be allowed to present his nomination, due to controversial remarks he had made in the past regarding Jewish-Arab relations. AG Weinstein said in a letter to Rabbi Eliyahu that his candidacy for chief rabbi would be “unsuitable.”

This does not mean that the AG is able to prevent Rabbi Eliyahu’s nomination, but the letter could be seen as a shot across the bow, signaling that, should the rabbi win the post, the AG would petition the High Court to annul the vote.

The statements in question, which have long been dubbed by Israel’s anti-religious media as “racist,” had to do, among other things, with whether or not Jews in Eretz Israel were permitted to sell or rent homes to gentiles. In a specific, individual, ruling—which was misquoted and taken completely out of context by the media—Rabbi Eliyahu prohibited the sale or rental of apartments to Arab students at the Tsfat college.

When interviewed this week by several outlets, it turned out that Rabbi Eliyahu’s opinion has either been modified following the attacks on him, or—which I suspect—has always remained grounded in normative halacha, which offers a righteous gentile living among Jews many protections, unless he is suspected of constituting a danger.

In other words, an Arab would not be prohibited to live in Tsfat because he is “impure” racially, but because he or she, as specific individuals, are behaving in a way that can be perceived as dangerous.

While I, personally, continue to believe Rabbi Eliyahu would be a terrible choice for chief rabbi, because of his inability so far to absorb the notion what an enormous effort is required in order for a faithful Jew to communicate in positive terms with secular Israelis and with a hostile media—I can’t help admiring the heartfelt support for the embattled rabbi from his peers.

The letter supporting Rabbi Eliyahu’s candidacy was signed, among others, by Rabbi Avichai Ronski, Rabbi Avraham Zuckerman, Rabbi Eitan Eizman, Religious Services Deputy Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, Rabbi Eliakim Levanon, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, Rabbi Elisha Vishlitzky, Rabbi Amnon Sugarman, Rabbi Ben Zion Elgazi, Rabbi Benny Kalmanson, Rabbi Haim Druckman, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, Rabbi Haggai Lundin, Rabbi Israel Rosen, Rabbi Shabtai Sabato, and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner.

The letter called on Rabbi Eliyahu to continue in the tradition of service of his late, righteous father, Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, and announce his own candidacy. The rabbis described Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu as “a scholar and a renaissance man who devotes his life to to the people of Israel, through great sacrifices, with love and a bright countenance to every person, whomever they may be.”

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, dean of Yeshivat Hesder Petah Tikva, said the AG’s disqualifying of Rabbi Eliyahu “crossed some serious red lines.”

Noting that he and Rabbi Eliyahu have had great disagreements on several issues, and despite the fact that the same rabbi had written “ugly, public things” about him, and even though Rabbi Cherlow absolutely disagrees with everything Rabbi Eliyahu had to say about the controversial issues on which he ruled, it was still a very grave error on the part of AG Weinstein to involve himself in the democratic process over what is distinctly a candidate’s views, rather than his conduct.

Had there been any accusation of corruption against the candidate, the AG would have been well within his rights, even his duties, to disqualify him. But “using the force of the law against views that are unpopular with the powers that be” is alarming, according to Rabbi Cherlow, who went on to call on AG Weinstein to rescind his statement regarding the candidacy.

Itamar: A Painful And Powerful Wake-Up Call

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Early this past Shabbat morning we heard from military sources that a family had been brutally slaughtered in Itamar, a settlement near Shechem. Since my niece lives there with six children, we were extremely worried even though we realized there were many families that fit the description.

It was a Shabbat filled with anxiety as people quietly asked each other about the victims and whether there were any more details. At the end of Shabbat we learned it wasn’t our niece and felt a surge of relief – but we were immediately overcome with deep pain on hearing the sickening details of how a Jewish family was gruesomely butchered in their sleep.

This was Shabbat Parshat Vayikra – the section of the Torah dealing with sacrifices which opens with the words “adam ki yakriv mikem korban“- “if a man brings a sacrifice of himself.” The message here is that if necessary, Am Yisrael is willing to sacrifice its own life for its ideals. On this Shabbat, the Fogel family – parents Udi and Ruth and three of their six children, 11-year-old Yoav, 4-year-old Elad, and newborn Hadas – became the most recent sacrifices.

This was not the first family to be slaughtered. We remember the horrifying murders of the Shabo, Dickstein, Gavish, Aymos, Unger and countless other families destroyed by Arab terror. In case we had forgotten, this Shabbat offered a brutal reminder of the nature of our enemies. They have no problem slitting the throat of an infant or thrusting a knife into the heart of a toddler. They are not fit to be called human, certainly not fit to live in Eretz Yisrael and obviously not fit to be peace partners.

This cruel event finally awakened the Israeli government into realizing that indoctrination against Jews in the Palestinian schools, streets and mosques has received the blessing of Mahmoud Abbas, who splendidly fills Yasir Arafat’s shoes as a depraved leader. Under Abbas, terrorists have been elevated to role models with streets and squares in Palestinian villages named after them.

Prime Minister Netanyahu went so far as to say he could not take seriously Abbas’s initial vague and ambiguous condemnation of the senseless slaughter. He said it was not enough to mumble an apology; Abbas must take immediate steps to stop the murder of innocent citizens.

I only hope this barbaric act of terror serves as a wake-up call to our leaders. They must recognize that our conflict is not merely territorial; we are fighting for our very lives and national existence in our homeland.

Our leaders must understand their basic responsibility is to secure Jewish lives by destroying the hotbeds of terror and developing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Our leaders must end the embarrassing displays of national weakness inherent in destroying Israeli outposts, announcing a readiness to engage in painful compromises like awarding military and administrative powers to the Palestinian Authority, and begging Abbas to negotiate with promises of maintaining the building freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

The Fogel family’s grief has become the nation’s grief. We are reminded of Queen Esther’s appeal as she feared for her people: “Go and gather all the Jews.” Relief and support would come only if the Jews acted as a community. The unity of the Jewish people was expressed this past weekend, not only by the tens of thousands who participated in the funeral but by live broadcast of the funeral and eulogies on all national television and radio channels.

As at the funerals of slain Golani officer Eliraz Peretz and the eight murdered Mercaz HaRav students, Israelis had the elevating experience of hearing from the parents and siblings of the victims. Their painful yet confident words of faith and determination served to strengthen our devotion to the development of Jewish life and ideals in all of Eretz Yisrael and especially in Judea and Samaria.

The moving words revealed again the intrinsic essence of the Jewish soul and the divine inspiration that is the dynamic spirit embodied in this generation of bold pioneers, educators and defenders of the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael. They called on the Israeli government to continue unlimited building in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. Only this expression of strength will deter terrorists from daring to strike again. Only multitudes of Jews in villages, towns and cities – men and women of faith, determined and ready to sacrifice – will insure the continuation of the Zionist process.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/itamar-a-painful-and-powerful-wake-up-call/2011/03/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: