Storm surrounding “The King’s Torah”: Tens of Rabbis, moderates among them, stood by Rabbis Dov Lior and Yakov Yosef. “It is intolerable that the police should investigate whether the halachic interpretation is correct or not.”

Tens of Rabbis took part in a solidarity rally with Rabbis Dov Lior and Yakov Yosef at the Ramada Renaissance hotel in Jerusalem last night. The Rabbis refused to be investigated for their endorsement of the content of the book “The King’s Torah” by Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira, Rosh Yeshiva of Od Yosef Chai of Yitzhar. An investigation is ongoing against the author and the two Rabbis, all suspected of incitement.

The book deals with halachic situations in which it is seemingly permitted to kill non Jews. Rabbi Shapira explained that the book is a theoretical discussion only, and does not constitute a permit for individuals to kill.

The event last night was attended by religious Zionist Rabbis, yeshiva heads educators and community Rabbis, among them many rabbis belonging to the moderate strain. Many of them stressed that they do not agree at all with what’s written in the book, but at the same time they noted that only Rabbis are authorized to write halachic compositions and not the police, and therefore the Rabbis should not be investigated. “Rabbis are chosen by the people, and they were chosen in order to tell us the Torah’s position. They must speak the word of the Torah without  any fear of anything,” said Rabbi Dov Lior.

Rabbi Yakov Yosef said at the gathering, “I apologize that when I served in the Knesset I did not anchor this Rabbinical right in law.” According to him, “They want to blur the Jewish identity of the state and disconnect it from religion, like in America. Is it conceivable that a few bureaucrats should decide what’s allowed and what’s not?!”

The chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, Yakov Ariel, who distanced himself from the book’s conclusions, said, “This rally comes to scream a loud and bitter scream – leave the Torah where it is!” He stressed, “I do not agree with the book. It contains inaccurate interpretations. One can argue, but the question is Who does the arguing? It can’t be that the police are the ones investigating if the interpretation is correct or not.”

At the entrance to the event stood a few demonstrators that protested against the Rabbis identifying with the book. In another incident, a youth was removed from the hall after he screamed at Rabbi Chaim Druckman and disturbed his speech.