By Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, Norwalk, Connecticut.
Member Presidium Rabbinical Alliance of America – Igud Harabonim
The Rabbinical Alliance of America decries the recent action by the US State Department, publicized oddly over the Memorial Day Holiday, of the revocation of the visa held by prominent Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu; Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Safed, Israel, a courageous religious leader, who serves with selfless dedication, all the people of Israel and World-Jewry, with heart and soul.
A scion of Jewish scholarship and devotion to Jewish tradition and life, Rabbi Eliyahu, has taken public positions that reflect the clear and unambiguous opinion of Torah and Halacha. His reputation as being a protector of the poor and vulnerable, has earned him the love and respect of the people of Safed and the inhabitants of the land of Israel.
Rabbi Eliyahu is known as an outspoken supporter for unrestricted development of Jewish communities throughout Judea and Samaria.
We, the members of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, serving throughout the USA, perceive the revocation of the good rabbi’s visa as misguided and troubling to people of good will and faith.
We can only surmise that the Department of State has acted upon the wishes of those elements who are calling for the internationalization of Jerusalem, and that Israel be coerced to cede its heartland and be forced to return to the dangerous pre-1967 borders.
This is both an illogical and dangerous idea that clearly threatens the security of all the inhabitants of Israel, irrespective of faith or ethnicity.
It is a regulation of the TORAH and decided as such, in the Code of Jewish Law (Orach Chaim #329) that it is prohibited to relinquish or abandon any part of Israel’s borders – where enemies are present. We believe that the revocation of Rabbi Eliyahu’s visa, only serves to fortify and embolden Israel’s detractors who seek to undermine its very existence.
It is our fervent hope and prayer that harmony and peace for the region will be achieved for all.