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Second Rabbi Faces Arrest; 'They Are Putting Torah on Trial'

The son of leading Sephardic rabbi Ovadia Yosef faces arrest, says police are trying to put the Torah on trial.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/11/2011, 11:25 AM / Last Update: 2/11/2011, 12:18 PM

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Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, the son of Sephardi leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is facing arrest over his approbation for the book Torat HaMelech (The Torah of the King). He has stated that he will not cooperate with police.

“The Torah is under investigation, and I have no intention of cooperating in an investigation of a book that is solely about Torah,” Rabbi Yaakov Yosef told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service.

The book Torat HaMelech deals with the subject of life-and-death situations involving Jews and non-Jews, particularly during a time of war. In particular, it focuses on what a Jewish soldier fighting for his people is permitted to do in order to save his life, and rules that soldiers must not endanger themselves to protect enemy civilians.

“I saw fit to give my approbation to the book so that IDF soldiers will know the halacha [Jewish law], in contrast to the false morality that has gone public, since Operation Cast Lead, with encouragement from the media, the Supreme Court, and the Goldstone commission,” Rabbi Yaakov Yosef stated.

“The rabbis of Israel must not be partners to the false beliefs that lead to the deaths of IDF soldiers, even if the price they must pay is arrest or persecution. This is Torah!” he concluded.

Police say the book could incite violence against non-Jews. Arrest warrants have been issued for Rabbi Yaakov Yosef and Rabbi Dov Lior for confirming that the author is a Torah scholar by attaching their signatures to the book. Jewish leaders and organizations have protested the plan to arrest the two rabbis.