Rabbi Goren: A Pillar of Fire

The Chief IDF Rabbi, who blew the shofar when Israel liberated the Old City in 1967, would be prepared to die for a united capital, his son says.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 15:35

Rabbi Shlomo Goren (z"l)
Rabbi Shlomo Goren (z"l)
Israel news photo

Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the late Chief Rabbi of Israel who blew the shofar at the Western Wall when the Israel Defense Forces liberated the Old City in 1967, would be prepared to die for a united capital if he were living today, his son Abraham (Rami) Goren told Arutz Sheva.

Speaking before Tuesday night’s ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of his father’s death, Rami Goren said his father “was a pillar of fire that went before us.”

Speaking of the new generation of youth since the time of his father, he noted, “This generation is losing a lot of its ideals, and there is a polarization that is becoming extremist in both directions. Years ago, there also was a gap between two sides of thought, but they always knew how to get along with each other. Today, each side withdraws within itself, and when both sides met, it is a world war."

“People do not understand the old expression. 'If we do not live together, we will die together.' They have forgotten what happened 60 years ago.”

The younger Goren, who is executive vice president of Elbit Imaging, said it is our ”luck” that “the A-lmighty occasionally gives us a smack and then the People of Israel are united, but I would be happy if we could do so without the blows.”

Concerning Jerusalem, which the United States wants divided between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the late Rabbi Goren’s son stated that his father told him a month before he died, "I am prepared to die for Jerusalem."

"From his standpoint, there is a basis in Jewish law that if necessary, one must sacrifice his life for the Land of Israel," Rami Goren explained. "He fought for Jerusalem all his life.” He said that his father’s efforts succeeded in keeping Hevron's Cave of the Patriarchs in Jewish hands, although he failed to keep the Temple Mount under Jewish sovereignty.

Tuesday night’s event in memory of Rabbi Goren featured a discussion of the aspects of Jewish law concerning the release of terrorists in exchange for Jewish kidnap victims. The younger Goren offered his opinion that “the question does not concern the specific issue of kidnapped [IDF] soldier Gilad Shalit, but rather the principle of the government’s determining it needs to enter into negotiations” to bring back victims.

"My father’s answer on the issue clearly was ‘no,'” he added. “A large part of the reasoning is to prevent encouraging terrorists to kidnap again and again."