Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shabbat vs. Eretz Yisrael

While at times I have been critical of the Charedi community and particularly the lack of strong leadership, I have also had many issues with the (lack of) leadership in the Religious Zionist community.

In particular, I think that many prominent rabbis in the Religious Zionist world have put an emphasis on the Land (specifically “Yesha”) at the expense of other Mitzvot.

One of the worst examples I have seen is a report in today’s Jerusalem Post claiming that Rabbi Dov Lior permitted the use of cell phones on Shabbat to prevent the destruction of Jewish Communities.

I haven’t seen details of his Psak, and I am pretty certain that the Jerusalem Post article is inaccurate or at least misleading (the way it describes the Heter makes no sense, I can’t believe that Rav Lior really means that you can use a regular cell phone if you see a D9 Tractor on the highway), however there have been similar Halachic rulings in the past (for example, allowing non-Jews to continue construction in Arial over Shabbat), which I think is a worrying trend within the Religious Zionist community.

Extracts of the Jerusalem Post article below. If anyone has any additional background information, please leave a comment or email me.

Rabbi Dov Lior: Phones may be used on Shabbat to stop IDF evacuations

Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior has given permission to the residents of West Bank settlements to use their phones on Shabbat to report "suspicious IDF movements," according to settlement activists.

A message being circulated by Efrat-Gush Etzion-Kiryat Arba Hevron Action Committees warned settlers to remain vigilant, stating: "In light of the threat of destruction of outposts, the public is asked to stay alert and report any suspicious movement of troops."

One of the country's most prominent Zionist rabbis, Lior is no stranger to controversy. During 2005's disengagement from the Gaza Strip, Lior called on all his former students to defy their commanders and refuse to take part in the "expulsion" of Jews. Earlier this year, he also said in an interview that it is forbidden for Jews to hire or rent property in Israel to Arabs.

source: http://www.jpost.com/


Mikeage said...

I haven't seen the psak for R' Lior, but Nadia Matar posted the following [which is probably at least a little more reliable than jpost]

In light of the threat of destruction of outposts, the public is asked to stay alert and report any suspicious movement of troops.

About Shabbat:
Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba Hevron, told the members of the Efrat-Gush etzion-Kiryat Arba action committees that if one sees a movement of troops on Shabbat and there is a possibility that those troops are on their way to destroy outposts, one can use the phone, on Shabbat, to report about it to the known activists of the area and they will check what is going on and give instructions to the public accordingly.
May we never need to come to that point. May our security forces always be used against the Arab enemy and in defense of the People of Israel and the land of Israel.

For details: Nadia Matar 0505500834 Yehudit Katzover 0507161818 Miriam Fleishman 0524295557

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