RCA Statement Regarding The Sale Or Rental Of Property To Arabs In Israel

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The Rabbinical Council of America places great value on the judicious balancing of halachic and ethical principles of policy and action. The brilliance of the halachic tradition lies in its ability to affirm the Torah and rabbinic teachings of past generations, in a way which elevates and ennobles contemporary life, while bringing honor and respect to the Torah. This requires a special sensitivity to societal realities, widely-held ethical principles, and historical injustices. This is true no matter the particular circumstances that might militate in favor of policies or actions intended to protect a narrow community concern or interest.

For this reason, the Rabbinical Council of America finds the recent statement by certain rabbinic leaders in Tsfat, Israel, regarding rental and sale of residences to non-Jews, to be objectionable. The halachic issues at hand are indeed complex, and we are surely sympathetic to the impulse to protect a Jewish community in the face of intermarriage, communal conflict, or unsafe neighborhoods. We are also mindful of the need to respect the halachic and policy rulings of rabbis in other countries and specific locales, given their general familiarity with the facts on the ground.

In spite of all of these considerations, we find it necessary to express our views from afar insofar as the statement in question affects not just Jewish communities in Israel, but communities in North America as well. In addition many rabbis across Israel whom we hold in high regard have spoken out in opposition to the statement.

It is our view that in spite of the concerns of the authors of the statement, it is wrong and unacceptable to advocate blanket exclusionary policies directed against minorities of other faiths or ethnic groups. Of all people, Jews should know that such practices are beyond the pale, having ourselves suffered from them in the past. This is especially so, when as in the statement issued by the rabbis in question, the halachic sources and arguments are a matter of debate, and even disagreement. And even were that not the case, it is not at all clear that the principles in question would apply in the State of Israel in the 21st Century.

We thus respectfully call upon the authors of the statement in question to reconsider their position, in the interest of communal harmony, societal peace, and the public sanctification of God’s name, which are as always the hallmarks of the Torah way of life.

(YWN Desk – NYC)




10 COMMENTS

  1. Oh OK RCA. You stay there in your Holy City of New York publishing statements about how the Jews in Israel need to behave. You guys are worried about diplomacy? Worried about what the goyim ar going to say? Sounds very reminiscint of what we said in Yiddish, “Mach Nisht Shoyn Visindik,” on the way to the Gas Chambers…Every single Jew in Israel, lives a life Al Pi Kiddush Hashem, where people surrounding them want to kill them – we’re not talking about low income housing projects here… It appears that living around prim and proper goyim has clearly influenced your line of thinking. I feel bad for you Mr. RCA. Stop worrying about what the goyim will say and come join Jews in Israel who are making the true Kiddush Hashem.

  2. I object to the RCA’s continued liberal attitude towards our enemies, the Arabs. The Arabs are not our friends, even though they may pretend to be, they will turn on us as quickly as the Germans did. Let us not forget the programs of the 1920’s. We should do all we can to rid the holy land of Arabs by buying their lands and offering them one way tickets to Palestine/Jordan. This liberalism will only bring more death and destruction to our people. I am by no means a Zionist, but the HALACHA IS CLEAR we cannot offer carrots to those that seek our destruction.

  3. torahtotty: You are 100% right. Being anti-zionist doesn’t mean you want your family murdered by terrorists.

    Nobody answered the question, why Harav Chaim Kanievski Shlit”a could forbid employing arabs, and renting can’t be forbidden. Unless I hear otherwise, I assume he agrees with the ban on renting too.

    Comparing this to a ban renting to Jews in the diaspora is ludicrous. When Jews would terroize their non-jewish neighbors, then we can compare.

  4. Even the most prestigious Religious Zionist rabbis have objected to the ban: Rav Ariel, Rav Druckman, and Rav Lichtenstein. They are joined by Rav Steinman, Rav Elyashiv, and Rav Yosef. When have the leading RZ and Charedim agreed on a controversial issue? Sorry #5, but the halachah does NOT clearly support your position. And #3, the RCA awaits your apology for your accusation of their not following halachah.

  5. The true way is the middle way, right? At least acordoing to the Rambam. For anyone to call the RCA “Liberal” is laughable; such tripe can only come from people glued to the right wall.