Jun 12, 2007
The Rabbinical Council of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America are saddened to learn that a small number of Jews, who were part of a much larger group making a pilgrimage to the grave of the biblical Joshua, broke away from the group and desecrated graves in a nearby Arab cemetery. Judaism teaches respect for the dead as well as the living. The defacing of tombstones of individuals of any faith is contrary to the Jewish tradition and is a violation of Jewish law. It also represents a vast desecration of God’s name, and is a blemish on the good name of the Jewish people.
In light of the unfortunate tendency to judge all Jews by the actions of a
few irresponsible individuals, it is especially important to stress that the behavior of these vandals is entirely anomalous. We were pleased to learn that the Israeli government as well as responsible Jewish groups everywhere, along with the great majority of the pilgrims to the gravesite, have all condemned this desecration and have taken immediate steps to repair the damage to the Arab cemetery.
The Rabbinical Council of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America join together in condemning the desecration of the graves, and call upon all Jews to desist from such acts in the future.