Rabbi Gershon Edelstein
Rabbi Gershon Edelstein Photo by Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, head of the prestigious Ponovezh yeshiva, on Tuesday evening responded to the Israeli government's new "decrees" on the haredi public, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

In his weekly class, Rabbi Edelstein questioned, "How could a Jew be capable of making decrees on Jews?"

Kikar Hashabbat was informed that Rabbi Edelstein recently instructed MKs from the United Torah Judaism's Degel Hatorah faction to fight the decisions with all their might. Now, he has called on the public to increase their care in order to save the Jewish people from the "decrees."

"The situation now here in Israel is that there are decrees, decrees that it will be difficult to involve oneself in Torah, to waste time that could be used for Torah, that's the purpose of the decrees. The decrees are not only against the public which observes Torah and its commandments, but also against the secular people who are careful about specific Jewish laws and who will now be prevented from keeping kosher and other commandments.

"And besides for that, in general as well, on the entire general public, that there should be a leadership which does not follow Jewish law, with serious prohibitions, serious prohibitions that the general public as well does not transgress - they do not transgress such serious prohibitions - and [the government] wants to make them transgress! So that they will transgress, and the entire public will have sinned.

"It's not something we understand, that Jews should make decrees against Jews. That's against the nature of Jews. The Talmud says that the nature of Jews has three signs: Merciful, bashful, and doing acts of lovingkindness - those three signs.

"Everyone, even those who do not observe the Torah and its commandments, every Jew who has a Jewish soul is different than the nations of the world. That's something which is known. People who are familiar with the world also say this. I have heard them. They see the difference, the character of a Jew is something different, it's not the character of the nations of the world it's something different. [Jews are] merciful, bashful, and do acts of lovingkindness, that's the reality. So the gentiles made decrees, but that Jews should make decrees against Jews? That's something which is not understood."