Religious-Zionist Rabbis Issue Proclamation

A scathing proclamation was released by senior Rabbis and spiritual leaders of the Religious Zionist sector, concerning the alliance of Habayit Hayehudi with Yesh Atid in the present government, accusing it of being responsible for a wave of anti-religious legislation that is harming the state’s rabbinic system, has a degrading view of those who study Torah, and is intent on destroying Torah institutions in the country.

Signing the proclamation are dozens of Rabbis of cities and yishuvim, as well as Roshei Yeshivot of the Religious Zionist sector. Among those who signed are Rabbi Dov Lior, Rav of Kiryat Arba; Rabbi Yehoshua Rosen, R”M in Yeshivat Merkaz Harav; Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kalev, Rav in Yerushalayim; Rabbi Mordechai Sternberg, Rosh Yeshivah, Har Hamor; Rabbi Yo’ezer Ariel, Rav of Teveria; Rabbi Chaim Ganz, Rosh Yeshivah, Maaleh Eliyahu; Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Rav of the Shomron and Rosh Yeshivah, Elon Moreh; Rabbi Dovid Dudkewitz, Rav and Rosh Kollel of Yitzhar; Rabbi Tzvi Kostiner, Rosh Yeshivah, Mitzpeh Ramon; Rabbi Yaakov Klein, Rav of Kiryat Chaim; Rabbi Ben Zion Amar, Rav of Shvut Rachel, and others.

Rav of Rechovot Rabbi Simcha Hakohen Kook, who also signed the proclamation, said, “The intent of this document is to show everyone that those who are waging a struggle against these destructive trends are not alone, and that concern over the world of Torah, halachah and the rabbinate is a concern shared by all stripes of the public, and to all those whose hope is that the State of Israel be a Jewish State. This is primarily a demand that a religious party free itself of being a partner to such deeds.”

The proclamation’s heading states: “Hakadosh Baruch Hu Only Forged a Covenant With Yisrael Because of the Torah.” It goes on to state that “Over the past year, a new government was set up in Israel in which a religious party joined up with a party that today turns out to be the one behind a well-planned apparatus designed to eradicate anything of holiness.”

After detailing the wave of anti-religious legislation that “in the future will cause very great harm to the Jewish character of the country,” they note the painful financial blow to the Torah institutions in the Holy Land, which constitutes a degradation of the value of lomdei Torah and threatens the continued existence of many Torah institutions.

The Rabbis noted that the common thread of all these phenomena is a sense of mistrust toward the Torah world and the existing rabbinic system, and changes that are raised under the guise of efficiency are in fact degrading and harming the preservation of halachah and religious observance in the public sphere.

They conclude by saying to the Knesset members and all who hold public positions to stop these schemes immediately and formulate a strategy,  together with the talmidei chachamim, Gedolei Yisrael to find a proper solution in order to improve the religious services systems while standing firm on the clear principles of the world of halachah.