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About 1,000 people congregated outside Rabbi Dov Lior's home in Kiryat Arba Tuesday morning in a show of support for the venerated rabbi, against whom police have issued an arrest warrant. Numerous bodies and personages have come out in support of the rabbi since news od the arrest warrant was published Monday.
Rabbi Lior addressed the crowd and said: "If a rabbi is asked on a Torah matter, he is bound to answer, even if it involves a risk. I have no doubt that those who care about the dignity of the nation and the Land of Israel will give voice to Torah opinion even if they are threatened with all kinds of threats. That is why they were chosen - it is not like the politicians."
"Unless the state declares that the Rabbis may not voice opinions on politics, sort of like what happened under the Bolsheviks, who dictated what to say and what to think," the Rabbi said, "it is inconceivable that some little clerk in a government office will dictate to rabbis what to say."
"We call upon the Prime Minister, who is responsible for everything, to give clear instructions to stop stop all these stupid persecutions," the rabbi told the throng. "I did not hear that they interrogated professors or 'cultural luminaries.' and academics from southern Israel who are in league with the haters of Israel - we did not hear that they were questioned. But rabbis who express Torah opinion - they come and investigate them. This needs to be stopped! No threat will deter us from saying the truth and the Word of G-d."
The state of Israel is a Divine creation, said Rabbi Lior, in keeping with the basic tenet of religious Zionism. There is "a problem in the way [the state] is being run," he explained. He expressed hope that the state would soon be run in accordance with the Torah of Israel.
MK Yaakov Katz (National Union) called the Minister of Public Security Monday evening to express his outrage over the arrest warrant. Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich admitted there had been an "error of judgement" by the Hevron police but would not promise to rescind the warrant.