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Rabbis: 'Don't rent to foreign workers'
July 8, 2010 12:42
25 Tel Aviv rabbis sign petition: "Do not have mercy on them."
Children of foreign workers in Israel

Children of foreign workers in Israel. (photo credit:Courtesy of 'Israeli Children')

Twenty-five rabbis in southern Tel Aviv released a letter on Thursday, warning Jews not to rent their homes to illegal immigrants and foreign workers.

"The neighborhood and synagogue rabbis who signed below warn the public about the halachic prohibition and the predicted danger of renting homes to these people!!!" the letter reads.

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Rabbi Chanania Leviev of the Chabad House in Kiryat Shalem told The Jerusalem Post to "walk around the streets here, and see what it's like - it's impossible to live like this!"

The southern Tel Aviv rabbi relayed that the petition is essential to maintaining the quality of life in his neighborhood, and that illegal foreign workers are adversly effecting his congregation.

"You see them everywhere, in all the streets, all the parks," Leviev said. "Girls walk by and get hit on [by foreign workers] all the time!"

The rabbis added to the letter that, according to police estimates, 40 percent of the crimes in south Tel Aviv are committed by "infiltrators," and that four murders were committed by illegal immigrants in the past year.

The rabbis quote the Talmud as saying  "do not have mercy on them," and cite the Shulchan Aruch, a major halachic source, to justify their actions.

Many rabbis added messages next to their signatures, such as "may whoever helps preserve the Jewish nature of Tel Aviv be blessed."

In recent months, protests have been held in the southern Tel Aviv neighborhoods HaTikvah and Shapira, opposing the influx of illegal immigrants and refugees.
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