Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
Rabbi Shmuel EliyahuDavid Cohen/Flash90

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of the city of Tzfat, on Tuesday responded to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a Basic Law.

Due to its constant battles for survival, Israel never completed the creation of a constitution, Instead, a number of Basic Laws were enacted, which, when the compilation is complete, will form the country's constitution. Thus far, the Supreme Court has never intervened on a Basic Law, considering its authority to stem from the Basic Laws themselves.

However, on Monday night the Supreme Court narrowly voted, in an unprecedented 8-7 ruling timed to allow Chief Justice Esther Hayut to rule on the matter before her retirement, to overturn an amendment to a Basic Law.

"Who authorized the court's judges to cancel a Basic Law?" Rabbi Eliyahu queried. "Who gave them any authority at all to cancel laws that the majority of the nation decided on? Who gave them the authority to cancel the vote of the nation of Israel?"

"The answer is 'no one,'" he emphasized.

"The members of Knesset were chosen by the nation of Israel. The members of the government were chosen by the members of the Knesset. The judges no one chose and no one authorized them to cancel the will of the voters. Not to cancel regular laws and certainly not to cancel the country's Basic Laws.

"No one gave them the authority to force their weird values on the majority of the residents of the State of Israel. No one gave them the authority to force themselves on the public who did not choose them."

Rabbi Eliyahu continued, "Such a ruling, during a time of war, shows us that they have no authority and no responsibility. The country does not sit on their shoulders. It sits on the shoulders of the soldiers, who are not free to return fire against them, on the shoulders of the families of the heroes who gave their lives for the sake of the nation of Israel."

"So that you do not interpret our silence as agreement, we hereby announce that your rulings have no validity in our eyes.

"You have no authority to dictate your values to us. We are not obligated to uphold your rulings. They have no halakhic (pertaining to Jewish law -ed.) validity and apparently no legal validity, either."

Turning to the soldiers, he said, "To our brothers who are on the front: Do not allow your hearts to soften! The path of unity and courage will see victory! The promise of G-d exists and will be implemented in its fullest: 'And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning,' (Isaiah 1:26). Amen, amen."