Haredi rabbi bans new NIS 50 banknote featuring poet who married a non-Jew

Rabbi Ben Tzion Motzpi, a respected and highly conservative Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbi from the Sephardi community, gave these rulings recently in response to questions submitted to his website.

By
December 4, 2017 17:29
1 minute read.
New shekel notes featuring Shaul Tchernichovsky (50 shekels note), Natan Alterman (200 shekel note).

New shekel notes 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Bank of Israel)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A senior Haredi rabbi has decreed that it is forbidden to speak to Christians, and forbidden to even look at the new NIS 50 banknote, because it bears the image of the Hebrew poet Shaul Tchernichowsky, who married a non-Jew.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Motzpi, a respected and highly conservative Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbi from the Sephardi community, gave these rulings recently in response to questions submitted to his ask-the-rabbi forum on his website.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


One questioner said that he attended a lesson the rabbi gave in Haifa last Wednesday night, and was surprised to see Motzpi take out a NIS 50 bill and tell everyone that it was forbidden to look at it.

“It is known that he was ‘married’ to a fervently Christian woman who would pray in church every Sunday,” said Motzpi.

“People say that during the time of [first Ashkenazi chief] Rabbi [Abraham Isaac Hacohen] Kook, he pleaded, requested and tried to persuade him that she convert, and he refused,” the rabbi continued.

In an undated question – but which is numbered in the rabbi’s questions-and-answers series after the NIS 50 bill question – the rabbi is asked “how one should reply to impure Christians here who ask if you’ve read the New Testament, or if you believe in the impure,” a reference to Jesus.

“It’s forbidden to talk with them,” replied Motzpi. “The breath of their mouths defiles.”

Related Content

Meni Naftali, 2015
August 20, 2018
Netanyahu whistleblower joining 'Celebrity Survivor'

By AMY SPIRO