Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Pool
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, March 21, 2022.

The Rabbinical Congress for Peace, founded in 1993 “to alert public attention to the clear position of the Torah concerning territories under Israeli rule,” on Sunday issued a proclamation signed by 420 “leading Torah scholars, religious judges, and local and municipal rabbis across Israel,” announcing that “The very existence of a government that relies on the votes of Arab parties, which themselves support terror, only encourages terrorists more to carry out attacks and murder innocent citizens. This fact is not only clear from the Torah but is obvious to anyone who cares to see the truth; that our enemies are raising their heads and brazenly attacking Jews in every corner of Israel, without fear of repercussion.”

Citing their group’s motto, “Pikuach Nefesh,” the halakhic principle that the preservation of human life overrides any other Torah commandment, the rabbis recently assembled for an emergency meeting “in light of the horrific rise of terrorist attacks around the country, to cry out on behalf of the Jewish people.”

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They decided to send government officials and Knesset MKs their official halakhic ruling according to which, “every day that the current administration continues to operate in its current fashion, it endangers the very existence of the Jewish people,” and resolving that “it is a halachic mandate upon every person to do all that they can to bring the present government down.”

“The very existence of a government that relies on the votes of Arab parties, which themselves support terror, only encourages terrorists more to carry out attacks and murder innocent citizens,” the 420 rabbis stated, arguing that “this fact is not only clear from the Torah but is obvious to anyone who cares to see the truth; that our enemies are raising their heads and brazenly attacking Jews in every corner of Israel, without fear of repercussion.”

The group asserted that “even without the ‘partnership’ of United Arab List, the simple existence of a government whose coalition members support the return of Jewish land to our enemies creates a powerful incentive for Arab terrorism.”

That one is a tad inaccurate: for one thing, there’s no partnership between the Joint Arab List and the Lapid-Bennett government. And as to parties that support handing over Jewish land to the Palestinian Authority – they comprise a huge majority in the Knesset, including Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, who, on June 14, 2009, in Bar Ilan University, expressed his willingness to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel under some conditions.

Rabbi Avraham S. Lewin, Secretary-General of the Rabbinical Congress “Pikuach Nefesh,” pointed out that dozens of new rabbis have recently added their signatures to the famous halachic ruling of the Congress, which forbids all negotiations concerning the relinquishing of Jewish territories.

“This is something unique in the history of Judaism, that so many rabbis, from so many different groups and factions, have unanimously signed on the same halachic ruling. When it comes to saving Jewish lives, there is no disagreement among us. Every person who cares about the safety of Jewish lives in Israel should exert maximum effort to bring about the fall of the current government and the establishment of a government that will act according to the Torah’s principles,” Rabbi Lewin said.

“It is not a question of whether the government is left-wing or right-wing. Rabbis should not be aligned with political parties. Rather, the role of a rabbi is to proclaim God’s word, through the halakha. Thus, when they see that a ruling government is making decisions that endanger Jewish lives, they are obligated to protest. We protested no less emphatically for decisions made during the Netanyahu government. Our people’s lives take precedence over everything, for we uphold the Torah of life, which protects the lives of the Jewish nation,” Rabbi Lewin said.

From his mouth to God’s ear. This reporter, too, would like to see more Israeli political parties adhere to halakhic rulings. Although, as I understand the process, they should probably ask for it first.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.