Rabbis Call for World Jewry to Stop Disengagement

In speeches and in open letters, respected rabbis and Hassidic leaders are calling upon Jews the world over to join the struggle against the government's plan to withdraw from parts of Israel.

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, | updated: 13:56

In speeches and in open letters, respected rabbis and Hassidic leaders are calling upon Jews the world over to join the struggle against the government's plan to withdraw from parts of the Land of Israel.

In coming days, the Pikuach Nefesh organization, made up of rabbis opposed to relinquishing Israeli territory, will publicize a strongly-worded open letter calling upon rabbis and Jewish leaders worldwide to put pressure on the Israeli government not to carry out the uprooting of the Jewish communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria. Referring to "those who reject the desirable land and the Torah who, under pressure from the inheritors of the ancient spies and their emissaries - the media - are about to expel Jews from their homes," the letter calls the Disengagement Plan a "desecration of G-d's name and of the name of Israel in the eyes of the world" that endangers the lives of the Jews throughout Israel.

Among the leading signatories of the letter are former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, head of the Kisei Rachamim Yeshiva of B'nei Brak, Rabbi Me'ir Mazuz, Rabbi Binyamin Zilber of the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) Torah Sages Council , the Sadigerer Rebbe, and the Bostoner Rebbe, with other rabbis expected to sign in the next few days. Rabbis David Drukman and Yosef Gerletzsky head Pikuach Nefesh and are coordinating the publication of the open letter.

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of the spiritual leader of the Shas movement, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, issued a similar call at a large rally in Jerusalem on Thursday night. The rabbi said that no Jew is free to shirk his responsibility for the current situation, and that every Jew must take part in protesting the government's plans to evacuate the Jews from Gaza and Samaria. Rabbi Yosef decried the government specifically, saying that it "began its term with attacks on the Torah of Israel" - an apparent reference to the influence of erstwhile coalition member party Shinui - and now seeks to "ruin the Land of Israel," and is doing so with the votes of the Left and the Arabs. As Rabbi Yaakov Yosef was ill, his son Yonatan read the rabbi's statement to the thousands gathered for the rally, which was sponsored by Chabad-Lubavitch, at the National Convention Center last night.

Rabbi Shalom Wolpe
Also speaking at the Jerusalem rally was Rabbi Shalom Wolpe, chairman of Chabad's Center for Protecting the People and the Land. He emphasized that the Chabad movement is known for its unconditional love, as per the Lubavitcher Rebbe's instruction, and therefore only wishes the prime minister and his ministers well - "back at their homes." The struggle, he said, is not personal, but is over the path to ensure the survival of the people of Israel. Rabbi Wolpe repeated the late Lubavitcher Rebbe's warning that relinquishing territories in Israel endangers the millions of Jews who live here, saying that the residents of Sderot, Ashkelon, Hadera and Afula need to know that the Palestinian Authority's Kassam rockets, and worse, are on the way.




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