Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, among the most renowned religious-Zionist spiritual leaders, was strongly opposed to attacks on Arab civilians, MK Uri Orbach of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party reminded his followers on Thursday.
Orbach uploaded to his Facebook page a letter sent 66 years ago by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, who passed away in 1982.
In a letter to the principal and teachers of a Jewish school in Jerusalem, Rabbi Kook wrote, “This morning, as I passed the school going toward Yafo-Ben Yehuda, I saw that of a group of children leaving the school, some hurt passing Arab, twice and once, with physical blows and rude teasing targeting Arabs selling goods in the street who were passing by.”
“Twice – two Arabs together, one young and the other elderly, who were apparently working together. First the youth, then the older man, with particular rudeness… Then again, with a youth.”
“I was deeply pained and ashamed at what I saw,” Rabbi Kook wrote to the school. “Because the children were running around and cavorting I was unable to catch up with them and rebuke them.”
He noted that he was unsure of the children’s identity, and that some of the children in the group had attempted to prevent their classmates from harassing the Arab venders.
“Despite this, this incident, which pained and embarrassed me, requires me to inform you of the need for particular attention to education against such things,” Rabbi Kook wrote. Students should be taught that such behavior is prohibited “both due to the essence of Torah, Judaism and morality, and due to the practical value for the Jewish settlement and the state of maintaining peaceful relations between neighbors,” he said.
Orbach’s post comes in the wake of two incidents in which Arabs have accused Jews of attacking them due to their race. Police are investigating both allegations.