Sep 23, 2004
The Rabbinical Council of America wishes to inform its membership, and the concerned public, that it wholeheartedly endorses the recent statement of the Israel Chief Rabbinate, as articulated by the Rishon le'Tziyyon Rav Shlomo Moshe Amar, dated 12 Elul 5764, in regard to the current situation in Israel resulting from the debate over the future status of Yesha.
A Summary of the Salient Points of the Statement of the Chief Rabbis (The Hebrew Original is available upon Request)
The statement of the Chief Rabbis took note of the following realities:
- There are political and military experts on both sides of the national debate, each putting forth many sincerely held arguments and proofs for its particular viewpoint
- In spite of the debate, the gap separating them seems to be widening rather than narrowing. What one side sees as a reasonable solution and in the best security interests of the country, the other sees in precisely opposite terms.
- Common to both sides, however, is a shared concern for the survival and security of the State of Israel and the well being of its citizens.
As a result
- The Chief Rabbinate does not take a position favoring one side of this debate more than the other
- It can nonetheless not remain silent in the face of the frightening prospect that the debate might lead to "fraternal (or civil) warfare"
- It thus calls upon all concerned, out of love and profound concern, to establish recognized limits and boundaries to the current discourse which are not to be violated by either side under any circumstances
- It fully recognizes the permissibility and even the obligation to exchange ideas, argue, and attempt to convince, as well as demonstrate -- but only in permissible ways.
- And it calls upon the citizenry of Israel to never forget for even a moment that they are all brothers and sisters, whose strength lies primarily in their national unity.
- It concludes with a prayer that the Guardian of Israel will safeguard the Jewish people and the land of Israel.
The leadership of the Rabbinical Council of America, is in full agreement with these sentiments. It too does not endorse or favor any particular argument or political position in the current debate, given the many and diverse views in these matters held by the membership at large of the organization. But it does call upon its members, and the community at large, whether in Israel or around the world, to engage in and foster respectful and reasonable debate and discussion of the undoubtedly important issues involved.