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Rabbis Meet With PM Sharon

Several leading religious-Zionist rabbis met yesterday with PM Sharon, in a last-minute attempt to forestall the expulsion. The participants were not surprised when Sharon did not change his mind.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 8/15/2005, 2:36 PM / Last Update: 8/15/2005, 4:01 PM

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu (pictured), the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, told Arutz-7 that it was not an easy meeting for any of the rabbis. "I received permission from my father [former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu], because, as he said, even Moses met with Korach to prevent division. Sharon, today, is the archetype of evil. It's very hard to meet with a person like that."

Rabbi Eliyahu said, "We talked not about the uprooting of people from their land, but of another aspect - the split in the nation that he is causing. We said to him: 'Before you cause this trauma for generations, please stop - otherwise you'll cause everything to collapse. Rav Moti Elon even said straight out, 'We won't forget and we won't forgive.'"

"We stopped short of saying what we really think, that if he goes through with this, his name will be remembered forever in infamy; no one will ever want to call his child Sharon again."

Asked what the Prime Minister responded, Rabbi Eliyahu said, "He said nothing except for his usual talk about that we're inciting and the like; it's really a waste of time even to repeat it."

One of the rabbis, who lives in Gush Katif, said to Sharon, "It's a totally absurd situation. The Palestinian terrorists attacked and maimed my family, and now we are forced to move out to some transit camp, give our house to them, and continue to pay the mortgage on the house while the terrorists enjoy it. This is pure evil!"

Rabbi Eliyahu said, "We told Sharon that we have learned our lesson, and that we will never again vote for people who do not come from a background of faith. We, as a public, will end up stronger, and we will not vote for people like him, people who ruin the country."

"We don't have to get angry; anger doesn't help," Rabbi Eliyahu said. "What we should do instead is to continue the fight, and not give up. Whoever can, should go down towards Gush Katif - and others, such as women with children, should pray. Prayer has great weight. G-d is great - much greater than this puny Sharon."