Groups slam rabbis’ letter backing Katsav

By JONAH MANDEL
February 24, 2011 02:21

Modern-Orthodox groups speak out against letter of support leading national religious rabbis reportedly sent former president.

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Moshe Katsav.

Moshe Katsav 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Liberal modern-Orthodox groups spoke out strongly on Wednesday night against the letter of support that dozens of leading national religious rabbis reportedly sent convicted rapist and former president Moshe Katsav.

“The Torah relates to rape as to murder,” the Orthodox feminist group Kolech said in a statement.

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“Rabbis who signed onto such a letter to Katsav need to understand that by standing up for a convicted rapist, they become accomplices... and cause promiscuity and harmfulness by authoritative men toward their subordinates.”

The Ne’emanei Torah Ve’avodah group expressed its bewilderment over the letter, “which, even if it was personal, adds no honor to the Torah.”

“While we can understand, though not accept, the desire to express empathy for a man paying a heavy price for his deeds, we object and warn against any attempt to justify him in the face of the legal system.

This is a strange and inexplicable meddling of rabbis in the court’s considerations, in which the rabbis had no part.”

According to media reports on Wednesday evening, dozens of rabbis sent Katsav a message wishing “for the day the injustice will be removed, and the light of truth and justice will shine.”

The Tel Aviv District Court will issue Katsav’s sentence in two weeks.


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