Dozens of rabbis and rebbetzins (a rabbi's wife or other woman leader), on Friday demanded Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologize for statements regarding Likud MK Amir Ohana's appointment as temporary Justice Minister.
After appointing Ohana, who is openly gay, to the Justice Ministry, the Likud said, "There went a state of Jewish law."
The comment comes after Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman continuously claimed that the religious parties wanted to create a "state of Jewish law" and United Right MK Bezalel Smotrich said he "wants to return the Torah to its foundation."
"Even in the midst of a stormy political discussion, we expect a Jewish-Zionist party to respect Israel's Torah, and certainly not to disparage it freely as spokesperson Mr. Yonatan Orich did. We call on you, honorable Prime Minister, to distance yourself personally from statements such as these, which are against halacha (Jewish law) and which were said just prior to the holiday when we celebrate the giving of the Torah, which we all attended, all of us at the foot of Mount Sinai 'as one man with one heart' (Rashi on Exodus 19:2). Not everything is politics," the signatories wrote.
Israel's Association of Community Rabbis told Arutz Sheva: "We are sure that Prime Minister Netanyahu will order his spokesperson to apologize in his name. Such statements do not reflect the deep identity of Likud members, who we know personally. 'Our nation is not a nation without its Torah' (Rabbi Saadia Gaon)."