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yaacov teitel 248.88.(Photo by: Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency))
Shvut Rahel rabbi: Teitel represents nobody but himself
Matthew Wagner
Shvut Rahel rabbi Teite
"Everyone here loathes the terrible things he did," Ben-Zion Amar, the rabbi of Shvut Rachel, where Ya'acov Teitel has lived for the past seven years, said on Monday. "He must have brought his ideas from the Diaspora, because he definitely did not learn to do what he did here in the Land of Israel," continued Amar, who spoke with The Jerusalem Post by telephone. If convicted, Teitel, who allegedly carried out a series of violent hate crimes over the past decade, would be Shvut Rahel's second Jewish terrorist. In 2006, Asher Weisgan was convicted and given four life sentences and an additional 12 years for the August 2005 murder of four Palestinians and the attempted murder of an additional Palestinian who worked with him at an aluminum factory in Shilo, a settlement neighboring Shvut Rahel. Weisgan said he committed the murders in an attempt to stop the Gaza disengagement. Amar rejected the idea that Shvut Rahel attracted negative types. "The two acted for completely different reasons," he said. "Teitel does not represent anyone or anything but himself. We are a community of upright citizens: lawyers, IDF officers, engineers, hi-tech workers and lots of educators. We say the Hallel Prayer on Independence Day. "Teitel is a simple man who was not involved with the community. He did not frequent the synagogue, he did not take part in Torah classes and he did not participate in communal activities like most residents here. "His wife was much more involved." Amar said that right now the community is giving support to Teitel's wife, Rivka, and children. Meanwhile, Rabbi Daniel Shilo of Kedumim, who is the spokesman for Yesha Rabbis, a group of settlement rabbis, praised the police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for not using Teitel as a means of incriminating the entire settler movement. "We were pleased that security officials were careful to point out that Teitel worked alone and did not have any support," said Shilo. "I also believe that the Israeli public has matured and no longer demonizes the entire settlement community when some crazy person happens to live in Judea or Samaria." Shilo said that while Yesha Rabbis had not issued an official statement, it was obvious that the rabbis were opposed to Teitel's acts of violence.
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