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Rabbi Eliyahu To Soldiers: Refuse Expulsion Orders

Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has joined the growing number of public figures asserting the obligation of IDF soldiers and police to refuse orders to uproot Jews from their homes.
First Publish: 9/20/2004, 4:09 PM / Last Update: 9/19/2004, 11:18 PM

Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has joined the growing number of public figures calling on IDF soldiers and police to refuse orders to uproot Jews from their homes.

In an interview published in a weekly Torah pamphlet distributed in synagogues around the country, Rabbi Eliyahu said that a soldier who is asked to uproot a Jewish community should refuse the order and be willing to bear the responsibility for such, even if it means he must sit in prison.

"Someone who enlists in the army knows that he will receive orders," the rabbi said, "and that if his commander insists upon giving him orders that are contrary to the Torah, he must tell him, 'No, I will not do that!'"

"What will they do to him? Send him to jail?" continued Rabbi Eliyahu. "So let him go to jail. It's not a matter of life and death, he will not be stoned or killed."

Asked if calling upon the large number of religiously observant soldiers to refuse orders could harm the institution of the IDF as a whole, Rabbi Eliyahu responded: "This does not damage the army. What does the law say? You must listen to your commander, and if you don't, then it's prison - correct? So prison it is!"

Regarding the disengagement plan in general, Rabbi Eliyahu urged opposition, despite the fact that he is certain it will not be carried out: "We need to continue to oppose it, to make noise, to pray and fast over how we came to such a situation... but with all that said, I declare: It will not happen. I tell you, there will be no disengagement!"