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Friday, October 12, 2007

Rav Elyashiv leads the charge against dividing Jerusalem

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (pictured top left), the leading Halachik (Jewish law) authority of the 'Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox' Jewish community, is taking the lead in the fight to prevent Jerusalem from being divided. Rabbi Elyashiv plans to attend a meeting on Sunday at the Ramban synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. The meeting will be hosted by Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl (pictured at right), the Chief Rabbi of the Old City and the leading student of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt"l (may the memory of the righteous be a blessing), who was Rabbi Elyashiv's contemporary. Rabbi Eliyahu Medina is also helping to organize Sunday's gathering.
The assembly is being called under the banner “Over Jerusalem they cast lots” – a verse from Ovadiah (1:11) – and will include “prayers and supplications to G-d.”

The event will begin after the 12:30 PM afternoon prayer at the synagogue, which is located in the Jewish Quarter’s main square.

Earlier this month, Vice-Premier Chaim Ramon outlined his political plan for dividing Jerusalem, saying: “The Jewish neighborhoods will be recognized by both sides as Israeli neighborhoods under Israeli sovereignty. Likewise, Arab neighborhoods such as Shuafat will be recognized as Palestinian neighborhoods. There will be arrangements to ensure, free, safe passages between the various Israeli neighborhoods and likewise between the Palestinian ones.”

With regard to the Old City, Ramon wrote: “On the matter of the "holy basin" – as the area including the Temple Mount and other holy sites is being referred to – there will be a special authority that will include the expression of Israel’s special interests and manage the holy sites…The Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter and the other Jewish holy sites in the Jerusalem region will stay in the hands of Israel forever.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has refused to comment on the Ramon plan, though commentators compare the situation to when Olmert himself introduced the idea of unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza ahead of then-PM Ariel Sharon’s open adoption of the policy. Ramon is a close friend and political ally of Olmert's.
Arutz Sheva points out that shortly before the Succot holiday, Rabbi Avraham Shapira zt"l, who passed away during the holiday, signed a letter opposing the division of the city.
On the eve of the Sukkot festival, just prior to his passing away, former Chief Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva of the Merkaz HaRav Kook religious-Zionist center Rabbi Avraham Shapira signed a strongly-worded statement against the plan. “The Land of Israel belongs to the Nation of Israel and was granted to us as an inheritance by the Creator of the world. Neither the Prime Minister nor anybody else has the right to give away areas, or even a grain, of the holy Land of Israel. The entire Land of Israel, according to the borders outlined in the Torah – belonged in the past, and belong in the present and future, only to the Nation of Israel, and it is forbidden by severe Torah prohibition to give up any of the territory of our holy land.”
We can only hope and pray that the religious community is able to unite across its spectrum to defend Jerusalem from Olmert's diabolical plans. This is something on which we all should be able to agree.


At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rav Elyashiv gave the ok for the UTJ to join the government and that help bring about the Gaza fiasco.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Let the Rabbi send his students to the army and defend Jerusalem.


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