(photo credit: Courtesy)
Two prominent rabbis from the national-religious camp refused police requests on
Monday that they undergo questioning for their endorsements of a controversial
book authored by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira of the West Bank settlement of
The book, Torat Hamalech (The King’s Torah), discusses the rules
of war and states that in certain situations, non-Jews can be killed. The book
has attracted a firestorm of controversy since being published in 2009, and
police questioned Shapira over the text last month while raiding his yeshiva, Od
Yosef Chai, in Yitzhar in order to confiscate copies.
Rabbi Dov Lior of
Kiryat Arba and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia
Yosef, endorsed the book and were summoned by the police’s National Serious and
International Crimes (NSCIC) Unit for questioning at its Lod
But in a joint statement issued on Monday, the rabbis said
they would not show up for questioning.
‘Our holy Torah will not be
subject to interrogation!” the statement read. “The attempt to prevent the
rabbis of Israel from expressing their opinion, the opinion of the Torah,
through intimidation and threats is a most severe act and will not succeed.
Authorities that act this way join the authorities of evil that have banned the
study of Torah and lifted up their hand against the Torah of Israel.”
rabbis defended the book, describing it as “the real instruction guide on the
rules of warfare according to our holy Torah.”
Responding to the
statement, a police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Monday evening that the
authorities would “not discuss an ongoing investigation.”
contributed to this report.