Speaking with Kol Chai Radio on Monday evening, Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita continued his attack against Rabbi Dovid Smeidal of Atra Kadisha. He emphasized that he is certain Maran Rav Elyashiv Shlita did not give a p’sak halacha based on true facts, for if Maran did rule, “I would bow down in respect and adhere to it 1,000 times but R’ Smeidal simply tells lies to Maran and elicits a response in line with his agenda.
KC RADIO: But there are those who believe that they are making a kiddush Hashem, doing what is necessary to protect the Jewish character of the state, not to mention the kevarim.
Rabbi E: Yes, and without question they will receive their just reward in the next world, but their actions are mistaken nevertheless, since here, there is no question that the transfer of the bones was permitted and their actions, well-intentioned as they may be, are cause for a great chilul Hashem and more disharmony and controversy in Am Yisrael.
I am well aware of R’ Smeidal’s modus operandi, how he came to Tzfat, lied to some very prominent rabbonim, and in turn, they signed his proclamation against so-called chilul kevarim. When I approached the rabbonim and asked why they didn’t bother to check with me first, they were somewhat at a loss, and when the learned the true facts in the case, they retracted their support for Smeidal.
R’ Shmuel Chaim Peppenheim of the Eida responds: On a day like today, after the kevarim were disturbed, with all the pain associated with the current reality, it is sad to hear a talmid Chacham speak of another rav, a prominent talmid Chacham this way. Rav Smeidal is a shaliach of the GAVAAD Yerushalayim and rabbonim shlita, and the derogatory comments are not in line with R’ Eliyahu’s position. R’ Smeidal is among the Gedolei HaDor in his midos and knowledge, and we may not always agree but his opinion is always weighed by Gedolei Yisrael. I am very pained and sorry that this is the reality.
I know the entire story regarding the kevarim in Tzfat and I also know Rav Smeidal. I know and R’ Eliyahu also knows what really happened.
Regarding Barzilai, the chilul Hashem is not ours, but on the part of police and other who condemned the mesirus nefesh, and the actions of police, preventing protestors from reaching Ashkelon, stopping buses and cars on route to the city.
Rav Eliyahu: I agree that someone of notable status lies, as is the case with R’ Smeidal, citing an example with Rabbi Karelitz in which R’ Smeidal was caught in the act of lying.
Regarding the halachic aspect, there were many, not one rav, rabbonim from the area and other prominent rabbonim, who traveled to Ashkelon and saw the reality with their own eyes, not resting their opinion on second hand information. They too gave a p’sak permitting the transfer of the bones.
R’ Peppenheim: The way the transfer was carried out was also unacceptable. They should have first obtained a definitive rabbinical position, not taking action, taking the matter into their own hands without any rabbinical overseers. The actions since motzei shabbos were not acceptable.
KC RADIO to R’ Peppenheim: It is not true that no rav agreed. There were numerous rabbonim who expressed their halachic opinion, permitting the transfer of the bones.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)