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      Rabbis to Explain 'Torat HaMelech' Controversy

      Two rabbis facing arrest will explain their approbation for the book 'Torat HaMelech.' MKs seek to make rabbis immune from prosecution.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 2/16/2011, 10:17 PM / Last Update: 2/17/2011, 12:17 AM

      Arutz Sheva

      Two rabbis facing arrest for giving their approbation to the book Torat HaMelech are going on the road to explain themselves. The two, Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, spoke Wednesday night in the Buchari neighborhood in Jerusalem, and plan further appearances.

      The rabbis have ignored police orders to appear for questioning, and arrest warrants have been issued for both.

      During their public appearances, the rabbis explain why it is that they refused to present themselves for questioning regarding their connection to the book, and why they believe their refusal is permitted by Torah law despite the rule that “the law of the land is the Law.” The rule is usually understood as obligating Jews to follow the laws of the land they live in, as well as the laws of the Torah.

      Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Yosef also explain why they gave an approbation to the book. The book discusses theoretical attitudes of Jewish Law toward killing a non-Jewish member of an enemy nation in wartime.

      MKs: Rabbis Must be Protected
      Members of Knesset from the coalition and opposition have banded together in an attempt to prevent a reoccurence of the problems facing Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Yosef. MKs from Shas and United Torah Judaism joined MK Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union (Ichud Leumi) in sponsoring a bill that would give rabbis immunity.

      Ben-Ari's bill, submitted to the Knesset on Tuesday, would make rabbis immune to prosecution over their responsa in Jewish law, whether verbal or written.

      The bill was submitted “due to the upsetting feeling in the Torah world that various parties in law enforcement have set a goal of preventing the rabbis of Israel from expressing their opinion on Torah law regarding certain matters,” according to an explanation included in the document.

      Ben-Ari said, “What is permitted to a leftist academic is definitely acceptable for rabbis. The goal of this bill is that rabbis will get, by law, the same treatment that the state prosecutor's office gives members of the extreme Left.”