TRAIN LINE maintenance taking place on Shabbat led to tense disputes in the Knesset this week..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Members of the Council of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and other senior haredi and Religious Zionist rabbis have signed a letter protesting the construction of a bridge by Jews in Tel Aviv during the Sabbath, according to a report published Sunday by the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom.
The letter hinted that the rabbis may not allow Jews to walk on the bridge.
"We express our protest and sorrow over the culture of desecration of the Sabbath in the country, whose observance is the most prominent symbol of the Sabbath," the rabbis wrote in the letter. “We cannot restrain ourselves when we see a public project like building a bridge in Tel Aviv being built on Shabbat without any legal-religious permission.”
The letter is signed by all the members of the council, including Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel; David Baruch Lau, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Shmuel Eliyahu, Israeli Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Safed; Yehuda Deri, the Chief Rabbi of Beersheba; among others.
The rabbis called on the heads of the local authorities to “let go of the ugly way of harming the Sabbath, which is written in the Torah as the letter between Israel and our Heavenly Father.” They said, “Just as the Jews protect the Sabbath, the Sabbath protects Israel.”
According to Israel Hayom, sources close to the rabbis say that this is only the first stage in a larger struggle that the rabbis attend to conduct against Sabbath desecration. Until now, rabbis have protested individually or in various sectors. This is the first time all the members of the council have collectively opposed a project.
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