Rabbanim to Police, Soldiers: Disobey Orders to Destroy Shul

In a new appeal, leading Gedolim, Rabbanim and askanim in the chareidi and religious communities called on IDF soldiers, police and contractors to “have pity on their own neshamos”and disobey orders to demolish a synagogue in the town of Givat Ze’ev, north of Yerushalayim.

“The Ayelet Hashschar Synagogue is about to be destroyed,” the open letter published Wednesday said. “Our Torah forbids this action anywhere in the world — how much more so in Eretz Yisrael. Even the decision of the authorities cannot change this issur which entails a terrible chillul Hashem. As the halachah tells us, even if the king commands us to violate a mitzvah we may not do so.

“We call on all those in whom the heart of a Jew beats to take pity on their own neshamos and do not raise a hand to harm the synagogue. Anyone who refrains from taking part in this aveirah will merit great blessing and success in their lives.”

The message was aimed not only at Jewish security officers and police, but at non-Jews as well. “This blessing extends to the members of other nations who work for the police and security forces,” the letter added. “Those who refuse to harm the holy places of the Jews will receive a blessing in the merit of the G-d of Avraham, the father of many nations.”

The letter was signed by, among others, Harav Shalom Cohen, Rosh Yeshivah, Porat Yosef, and Nasi of the Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah; Harav Meir Mazuz, Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshivat Kisei Rachamim; Harav Ben Zion Mutzafi, Rosh Mosdot Bnei Zion; and Harav Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzefas.

The shul, which has been in operation for some 15 years, is slated for demolition after a decision last month by the High Court. The court ruled that the land the shul is built on belongs to Palestinians.

The builders of the shul claim that the land had been purchased from the Palestinians, which the latter deny.