CALL ON SECURITY OFFICIALS TO INSTRUCT IDF SOLDIERS NOT TO HESITATE IN KILLING TERRORISTS
JERUSALEM – Over 40 leading members of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) convened at an emergency conference in Jerusalem Sunday May 15, 2016 to deliberate the incessant terror wave in Israel and in order to protest the intention to renew negotiations with the Palestinians.
Serving as chairman of the conference was Rabbi Avrohom Shreiber who also served as the Rabbi of Kfar Darom and personally lived through the expulsion from his house in Gush Katif. The conference was opened with the recitation of Psalms by Rabbi Ovadye Yosef, son of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef who was leading member of the RCP.
He was followed by a member of the Supreme Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem Rabbi Zalman Nechemya Goldberg, a contemporary leading Halachic authority. He warned against further withdrawals, “we’ve seen what happened in Gaza and we dare not repeat the same mistake again,” he said.
Rabbi Zev Dov Slonim, a rabbi in central Jerusalem said “today there is no need for explanations everyone sees what kind of instability and terror withdrawals bring. This is precisely what the Jewish Code of Law warned against in the laws of Shabbat in Chapter 329.
Rabbi Yirmeyhau Cohen, a leading rabbinical figure in Paris said that the dangerous situation in which Israel finds itself in recent years as a result of withdrawals can be classified as living “in a time of war.” In a time of war, he said, killing the enemy and terrorist takes precedence over ethics.
“We must protest against the continuous warped verdicts issued by the Bagatz (High Court of Justice) which cannot differentiate between a Jewish soldier who protects his nation and country and an enemy, a terrorist who wants to kill you. We must bring to public attention what the Torah has to say about this. The Torah is the absolute truth and most ethical code of laws which leads to a true peace,” said Rabbi Cohen.
Rabbi Yitzchak Y. Yeruslowsi, the head of the Chabad Rabbinical Court and Rabbi of Nachlas Har Chabad in Kiryat Malachi spoke in great pain about the lack of security in Israel. “Nowadays no one is safe anywhere here and it is forbidden to acquiesce to such a situation. I am convinced that if the current policies of the government would change we would see an improvement in the situation,” he said.
Rabbi Issar Klonsky, the rabbi of Givat Mordechai in Jerusalem spoke of what he called the “hypocrisy of the media and courts of justice in Israel.”
“Are you really concerned about protecting human rights and not to harm innocent civilians? It is precisely your actions and verdicts that have caused bloodshed of innocent men, women and children! It’s hypocrisy and cruelty! Is there anything more ethical and merciful than our Torah? and if our Torah determines that if one comes to kill you, you should kill him first it is because this is the true way to protect human rights and the lives of innocent civilians. We have to be concerned about our rights and lives and not the lives and rights of the enemy.” Rabbi Klonsky said.
He was followed by the Rabbi of Boston, Rabbi Meir Horowitz, who hosted the conference and praised the unity displayed by the various rabbis from different circles who came to protest the breach in the integrity of the Land of Israel.
He said that Jerusalem as well as all cities in Israel today have the Halachic classification of border towns where one is obligated to kill a terrorist even on Shabbat.
Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Rabbi of Central Tel Aviv and Chairman of the RCP said that “as long as the government will not stop the withdrawals and express regret over its weakness and over all the withdrawals as a result of Oslo and the disengagement, it will never be able wipe out the terror waves.
“The motivation that every Arab terrorist has to kill Jews is a result of the government’s policies in the past 25 years. The terrorist sees that every time he kills someone and then makes demands, Israel concedes and submits. Or the foolish statements made by senior security officials that condemn soldiers for killing terrorists, all this propels the enemy to spill more Jewish blood.”
Rabbi Avrohom S. Lewin, Executive Director of the RCP voiced concern over the possibility of the Labor Party joining the government whose sole purpose is to accelerate negotiations with the enemy on further withdrawals.
He reiterated what the Lubavitcher Rebbe told Rabbi Simcha Elberg, the chairman of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of USA and Canada in 1978 a few weeks after the Peace Now movement was founded. The Rebbe told Rabbi Elberg:
“With regard to Jews who go ahead and found a movement whose entire goal is the surrender of the territories, it is said, “Those who ruin and destroy you will emerge from your own ranks.” They are much worse than the Biblical Spies. Those Spies did whatever they did only among the Children of Israel, in order to weaken them. They wanted only that they should remain in the wilderness. This new movement, by contrast, will also operate among the nations of the world, explaining that the Jews ought to surrender the Holy Land. Its spokesmen will speak to the detriment of the Holy Land both at home and abroad. They are thus extremely dangerous, and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis should counter that by an “information campaign” that will rouse every influential individual to take energetic action.
“If action is not taken in time, this movement will cause Israel woeful and unprecedented misfortunes. All the relevant rabbis and communal organizations should recognize how great is their responsibility. For if this movement is not confronted by an information battle, it will soon prove to be a root whose fruit is bitter venom, and all the sages of the Jewish people will never be able to undo its far-reaching damage.”
Rabbi Lewin concluded: “unfortunately this prediction materialized right before our very eyes. The Labor Party is Peace Now and therefore everything must be done to prevent it from being part of the present government which is very weak on its own.”
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Safed and son of former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu called on the defense minister and the COS as well as other senior security officials to instruct soldiers not to hesitate in shooting and killing a terrorist. Quoting the Biblical verse “he who is fearful and fainthearted, let him return to his home,” Rabbi Eliyahu said “if you can’t stand the heat then resign.”click here for more see pictures
of the Emergency Meeting of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace – Pikuach Nefesh
at the Beit Midrash of the Grand Rabbi of Boston shlit”a, Har Nof, Jerusalem
7 Iyar, 5776 – May 15,2016
1. The Rabbis of Israel hereby declare that the Land of Israel, in its entirely, is the exclusive property of the Jewish People, given to them in the “Covenant between the Pieces,” made by Creator of the World with the Patriarch Abraham, and is an “eternal inheritance for an eternal people, made by the Eternal G-d.”
Furthermore, the only way to uproot the current wave of terror in the Holy Land, wrought by the hands of murderous Arabs, is for the Israeli government to forcefully and unequivocally declare that it will entertain no further discussions concerning the “return” of parts of the Land to our enemies, that they express their regret over the previous withdrawals and over the unfortunate declaration of “two states for two peoples.” Instead, there must be a clear and forceful declaration that the entirety of the territories of Judah, Samaria, and all of the city of Jerusalem are an intrinsic part of the Land of Israel, without exception, to be build up and settled without interruption.
2. The Rabbis have determined that according to Jewish law, the use of deterrence by Israeli security forces to frighten our enemies, in the spirit of “If your enemy comes to kill you, rise up earlier and kill him first,” is our most effective means of combat, and the Torah’s path to prevent terrorist attacks. It is precisely through this approach that we can rely upon the Holy One to continually protect each and every Jew, as it states: “Behold, the Guardian of Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers.”
3. The Rabbis protest the foolish statements of senior governmental and military officials that insult the dignity of the Jewish people and of Israeli soldiers who risk their lives for the protection of Jews in the Holy Land. Such statements contradict the eternal truth of the Torah to “rise up and kill your enemy first.” Every Arab terrorist who leaves his home with the intention of harming Jews forfeits his right to live and should be shot without a second thought, if doing so can save a Jewish life.
The way of the Torah is the most ethical way of life. Nonetheless, “whoever shows mercy on the cruel will eventually show cruelty to the merciful.” Any other approach only leads to an increase in terror attacks and bloodshed. One who refuses to act along these lines should not serve in any official security position in Israel. “Who is fearful and fainthearted, let him return to his home…” (Devorim 20:8).
Obviously, it’s important for senior government and military officials to constantly support security personnel in their extremely important role, inasmuch as they endanger their lives daily to protect Jews in Israel. It is even more obvious that it is forbidden for any person – especially a Torah observant Jew – to speak about these security personnel disrespectfully, such as with harsh language or insulting terms, G-d forbid.
4. The Rabbis warn against the inclusion in the Israeli government of any individuals or political parties that explicitly advocate for the “quick resume of negotiations for the transfer of land” to our enemies, G-d forbid. The Rabbis have established that it is forbidden for any member of Knesset, who upholds the laws of the Torah, to support or participate in a government that holds negotiations concerning the transfer of Israel territories.
5. According to Jewish law laid down in the Shulchan Aruch, and according to the opinion of the great Jewish leaders of the previous generation, in this crucial matters of life and death, “One who asks should be ashamed.” Rather, each and every Jew should know these laws clearly. The Rabbinical Congress for Peace – Pikuach Nefesh will distribute two and a half million copies of the legal decision concerning the prohibition of negotiating over parts of the Holy Land (including explanation), which will include the signatures of Rabbinical Congress Members, in order that this ruling reach every Jewish home in the country.
It is our sincere prayer that we should soon achieve true peace and tranquility for every Jew in the Holy Land, and that the promise “I shall give peace to the Land,” be fulfilled with the arrival of our Righteous Redeemer, soon in our days. Amen.