The Chief Rabbinate Council will convene at Elon Moreh in Samaria Thursday in an expression of support for Jewish communities in Samaria. The Rabbinate’s move is unusual and has even been hailed as "revolutionary" by activists in Samaria because the body has traditionally maintained neutrality on the politically charged issue of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The Rabbinate Council session Thursday will deal with the usual subjects such as appointment of rabbis as well ideas for the strengthening of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The session was initiated by Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Yonah Metzger following a tour of Samaria (Shomron) two weeks ago, at the invitation of Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika. Metzger visited yeshivas and was given an overview of the development of Torah learning in Judea and Samaria’s communities.

Special Sabbath planned

One of the ideas that Metzger intends to float at the Elon Moreh session is that Council members devote a Shabbat to Judea and Samaria, with each rabbi being the guest of a different community.

Rabbi She’ar-Yashuv Cohen of Haifa said that it was symbolic that the session would be taking place in the month of Adar. which is marked by the Purim festival.

“The session, which will be preceded by visits to the yeshivas at Shiloh, Har Beracha and Elon Moreh, has more symbolic meaning than any oral statement, as a Torah-based statement on the subject of settlement in that area,” Rabbi Cohen said. “We hope that the Chief Rabbinate, which has as a member the great Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, will thus continue in the path of his late father [Rabbi Avraham Shapira - ed.] as well as that of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, the Rabbinate’s founder.”

On his visit to Samaria, Rabbi Metzger voiced enthusiasm about plans to connect Jewish communities in the region with Jewish communities in the Diaspora. He has published a letter calling on communities around the world to take part in the Shomron Liaison's sister community program and to adopt the towns of Samaria.