50 rabbis signed a religious ‘ruling’ forbidding sales or rental of apartments to Arabs…. 2 have withdrawn their signatures.

Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook and Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein said they decided to remove their names from the letter because they did not agree with its content. …. So why did they sign it in the first place?
Is racism not as popular as they might have thought??

Amid uproar, two rabbis pull their names from letter forbidding rental of homes to Arabs

Rabbis remove their signatures after ultra-Orthodox leader denounces the religious ruling.

Two municipal chief rabbis decided on Thursday to remove their signatures from a religious ruling forbidding Israeli Jews from renting homes to gentiles.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv- Meir Haltovsky Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv
Photo by: Meir Haltovsky
Dozens of Israel’s municipal chief rabbis had signed on to the letter, which came just months after the chief rabbi of Safed initiated a call urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews.

Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook and Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein said they decided to remove their names from the letter because they did not agree with its content.

However, their decision is probably related to a statement made by leading rabbi of Israel’s non-Hasidic Orthodox sector, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who denounced earlier on Thursday the religious ruling.

“I’ve said for some time that there are rabbis who must have their pens taken away from them,” Elyashiv remarked.

“It’s interesting that these same Zionist rabbis support symbolically selling their land to gentiles during the shmita year,” he added referring to the seven-year cycle when agricultural fields in Israel must lie fallow.

The attorney general’s office stated on Thursday that it would look into possible criminal aspects of a religious ruling to forbid renting homes to gentiles signed by a number of leading rabbis.

In an official response to a petition submitted by Meretz MK Ilan Ghilon against the signatories of the rabbis’ letter, an assistant of attorney general Yehuda Weinstein said that Weinstein would order the examination of possible criminal and disciplinary aspects of the rabbis’ letter.

“The attorney general thinks that it appears that the statements attributed to the rabbis are problematic in several aspects… and are inappropriate for public officials,” the statement said.

The attorney general office’s statement was the first official response by Israel’s legal establishment to petitions calling for legal action against the signatories of the rabbis’ letter.

Earlier on Thursday, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial decried the rabbis’ letter, deeming it a “severe blow to the values of our lives as Jews and human beings in a democratic state.”

“Past experiments have taught us just how important, and at the same time how fragile, these basic values are to coexistence and honoring the other,” the memorial said in response to the ruling.

“We know that the Jewish people, that knew suffering and persecution and experience ostracism and the revocation of basic rights, has expressed its stance on matters such as these with voices different than those we have heard today with this [ruling]”.



  1. Asif Ali said,

    December 10, 2010 at 11:38

    The 1985-86 Masonic Year Book lists three Rabbis as having held the high position of Past Assistant Grand Chaplain. Rabbi Isaac N. Fabricant 1960, Rabbi Percy S. Goldberg 1960, Rabbi Dr. Maurice Gaguine 1974.

  2. December 10, 2010 at 14:20

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lis, annastein and Pascal Uccelli, Kelly. Kelly said: RABBIS AGREE TO DISAGREE ON RACISM: 50 rabbis signed a religious ‘ruling’ forbidding sales or … http://bit.ly/gXHyXq #flotilla #israel […]

  3. Salmandar said,

    December 10, 2010 at 15:08

    Why I wonder such news never makes it to the media in the U.S?

  4. December 10, 2010 at 15:15

    Rabbis all-

    The moral imperative of life is to live a life that detracts not at all from the lives available to those who will follow us into this world.

    This moral statement is categorically true.

    It gives rise to a new knowledge set called, Categorical Knowledge.

    This is the ground floor of the morality that constrains us all.

    It is somehow fitting a Scotsman by lineage and an American by birth would have to tell all these Rabbis what morality is.

  5. Big Man said,

    December 10, 2010 at 15:18

    So 4% do have morals. Not enough for supposed men of the cloth.

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