Border Police Rabbi Censured For Signing a Letter With 250 Rabbonim Against a Toeiva Lifestyle


Border Police Rabbi Superintendent Yoel Shemtov of the northern district, was censured after signing a letter along with 250 other rabbonim expressing their disapproval of a Toeiva lifestyle. The dati leumi rabbonim signed the letter as in support of Jerusalem Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Aryeh Stern, who has come out in the strongest term against the Toeiva community and lifestyle, which is far from being politically correct in Israel today.

After learning Rav Shemtov was among the signatories of the letter, he was called for a disciplinary hearing amid the explanation, “It is inappropriate for a policeman to actively participate in public discourse”.

In Tuesday’s Haaretz newspaper, it is reported Rav Shemtov is not being removed from his post. As such, Haaretz clarifies, “He must act in a stately fashion and refrain from expressing public opinion on political or diplomatic maters as expected from every policeman. The police also stated he will come before a disciplinary board, but the results will not be published since it is a personal matter.”

MK (Machane Tzioni) Revital Swid complained to Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, stating, “An officer in the police cannot signed a letter that labels the LGBT community ‘deviant’, and using ‘aggressive terrorism’. It is strange that the police see a person’s sexual orientation as a diplomatic or political matter, and it is very grave that the disciplinary measures taken against the police officer only ‘to clarify procedures.’”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Someone should tell them that he is not “expressing public opinion” and this is not “political or diplomatic maters (sic)”. He is simply informing the public about what is stated unequivically in the Torah – and that is a rabbi’s job.

  2. garlic – Of course It extends to rabbis. But in Israel, active (as opposed to retired or reserve) members of the security forces, which includes the police, are prohibited from engaging in public political activities.