Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Dov Lior Shlita opposes separation of religion and state in Israel. “While now there is a negative trend we have yet to attain a full realization of our ambition” he stated, the rabbi remains optimistic regarding the future.
The rav was responding to a question to determine if today, a separation between religion and state might be advised in light of recent bills and laws liberalizing some religious policies.
Rabbi Lior explains one must realize that today, we are in the ‘אתחלתא דגאולה’ and we are seeing the words of the Navi come true, ושבים נדחי ישראל לארץ שניתנה לאבות האומה.
He adds that while we yearn for a nation that is run in line with Halacha, this is not yet a reality but “to our joy there are areas in which the state does operate in line with Toras Yisrael.” Examples given by the rabbi include the fact that Shabbos is the national day of rest, yomim tovim are not viewed as work days, keeping kashrus in IDF kitchens and marriage controlled by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
The rav admits that today it can appear bleak and the war against those seeking to dismantle Yiddishkheit is a difficult one but today’s situation is only temporary. He feels an effort must be made in the nation’s education system towards bringing the young back to a life of Torah observance and this will bring the Geula closer with Hashem’s assistance.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)