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      Rav Yaakov Ariel: Wrong Halachic Ruling is No Police Matter

      Rabbi of Ramat Gan: state could have asked the Chief Rabbinate to disavow “The King’s Torah.”
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 6/28/2011, 1:03 PM / Last Update: 6/28/2011, 1:06 PM

      Yoni Kempinski

      Rav Ya’akov Ariel, the Rabbi of Ramat Gan, said Tuesday that while he disagrees with the opinions expressed in the book Torat HaMelech, they are not a matter for the police.

      Police stopped Rav Dov Lior’s car Monday morning as he was driving in Gush Etzion and took him to questioning, in an act that has caused extreme pain and anger in the religious public.

      Rav Lior, a highly respected sage and the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, was questioned regarding the halakhic approbation he wrote at the beginning of a book called Torat HaMelech, which was written by another rabbi. The book discussed the theoretical attitude of Jewish Law toward killing a non-Jew in wartime. 
       
      “It is no secret that I oppose the book and I think Rav Dov Lior should not have given the approbation [to it]," Rav Ariel told Arutz Sheva in Hebrew, but that is another plane: an internal Halakhic one. Even if this or another Halakhic edict is wrong, it is no police matter. [The authorities] could have turned to the Chief Rabbinate and it could have published an opinion disavowing the Halakhic soundness of The King’s Torah.  
       
      An approbation or "haskama" (literally "consent") from respected rabbis is commonly sought by rabbis who write works of Jewish thought and its inclusion at the start of this kind of book means only that the halakhic reasoning in it is coherent.