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Rav Mazuz: Bones at Ashkelon Site May be Moved

Eyal Gabbai, the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday visited Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon as the committee appointed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu begins its task, to investigate the facts surrounding the planned construction of a fortified emergency room for the hospital.

Accompanying Gabbai were a number of officials representing the Ministry of Health and Shuka Dorfman, who is the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Also present were the architect involved in the project.

After the increasing opposition surrounding this week’s cabinet decision to move the site of the new fortified wing of the hospital, the prime minister appointed the high-level committee towards reevaluating the facts.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Knesset Audit Committee convened to discuss the matter, and a stormy session resulted.

In the Knesset session addressing the hospital emergency room project, Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman was indirectly accused of having ulterior motives, intimating there is an interest which he is advancing connecting to Gerrer Chassidim.

In an interview in the weekly Makor Rishon last week, the deputy minister was questioned along these very lines, resulting in an adamant denial, accusing his opponents of unjustifiably seeking to besmirch his name.

MK (Shas) Rav Chaim Amsellem explained he spoke with a “high-level rav” and it is understood that some of concerns against moving the bones surround fears that such a move would be interpreted as a signal that kevarim may be moved. The Rav reportedly explained that Ashkelon is different than other cities because missiles are landing in the city. Amsellem explained that while it may be unpleasant to hear this, it is fact. Amsellem explained that in short, the graves may be moved to accommodate the original plan for the emergency room.

Rav Amsellem spoke with HaGaon HaRav Meir Mazuz Shlita, rosh yeshiva Kisei Rachamim in Bnei Brak. He believes the bones may be moved to accommodate the hospital. The Rav is quoted as saying that there is no fear that non-Jews out of Israel may take this as a sign that moving graves is permitted, since in this case, it is pikuach nefesh, referring to the missile attacks from Gaza.

(Click on image to ENLARGE) The p’sak of Rav Mazuz’s p’sak is the first major halachic ruling that is contrary to the ruling followed by Litzman, based on the halachic ruling from posek hador HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlita.

The Rav’s response was lengthy, citing halacha regarding the need to move bones if an area will be turned over to non-Jews, and/or construct on the site, and possibly, the remains will be desecrated. This he explains is not just theoretical, but it has happened in the past.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

One Response

  1. It seems that MK Litzman won the battle but lost the war. “Eizehu Chacham, Haro’eh es Honolad.”

    an Israeli Yid

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