MK Ariel: State Owes Rabbis Apology for Torat Hamelekh (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/29/12)
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Knesset State Control Committee chair MK Uri Ariel (National Union)
said Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein´s decision to simply close the
Torat HaMelekh case without issuing indictments is woefully
Ariel told Arutz Sheva that Weinstein´s office owed authors of Torat
Hamelehl – and the rabbis who wrote approbations for it – a formal
apology for conducting a series of high profile interrogations
focused on their religious beliefs.
"If I were an adviser, I would suggest he apologize to the rabbis,"
Ariel said. "Although the investigation did not begin on his orders,
there is still room for a proper apology. This entire matter was a
clear case of abuse of power, and religious persecution."
Ariel said, "There is room to discuss the issue in the committee. I
have studied the matter and there seems to misconduct by the
prosecution in this matter. And we will look into it."
"There is no doubt that this series of interrogations should not have
been ordered in the first place, and the way the rabbis were
disgraced deeply upset the people," Ariel said, clearly
dissatisfied. "Now we are simply told ´the investigation is closed´?"
Torat Hamelekh contains the authors’ interpretations of Halakha –
Jewish law – regarding conditions under which Jews can endanger their
lives in wartime. For a summary of its contents, click HERE.
Indirectly critical of some IDf doctrines which exposed Israeli
soldiers to increased risk during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza (2008-
2009), the book became controversial when detractors accused the
authors of "racism" and "inciting to kill Arabs." The book, however,
is an analytic halakhic treatise, not a primer for action.
While Israel´s leading rabbis did not universally agree with the
conclusions in Torat Hamelekh, the decision to open a high profile
investigation targeting Torah opinions, arrest rabbis who refused to
cooperate with what they described as religious persecution, and
subject prominent Torah scholars to public embarrassment was met
widespread disapprobation by the religious public who saw a clear
double standard in play.
Of particular concern was the strong implication that Torah scholars
were not free to engage in theoretical discussions of halakhic
matters deemed impolitic by those in power, while secular academics
enjoy near unrestricted freedom to routinely cross the line into
incitement against those with whom they disagree – notably the
religious and settler public – while shielded by the principle
of "intellectual freedom."
Ariel´s remarks came after Weinstein´s office announced no
indictments will be sought against Rabbis Yitzchak Shapira and Yosef
Yirmiyahu Elitzur who authored Torat Hamelekh. Nor will indictments
be issued against Rabbis Yaakov Yoseph and Dov Lior, who wrote
haskamot – a stamp of approval – for the book.
A haskama is a routine approbation testifying to the coherent
halakhic logic of a judaic work.
The Torat Hamelekh probe was launched by former AG Elyakim
Rubinstein. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/29/12)
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