At a special meeting held on Monday at Yeshivas Mesivta Rabbi Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of America signed on to a declaration by Gedolei Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel regarding a p’sak prohibiting flying on El Al.
Release of the declaration is pending the outcome of negotiations among El Al officials and a committee of Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel concerning whether or not the airline will honor its commitment not to fly on Shabbos.
Participating in the Brooklyn meeting were R’ Yackov Perlow Shlita (the Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh Agudas Yisroel), R’ Aharon Schechter Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Chaim Berlin), R’ Avrohom Chaim Levin Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Telshe Chicago), R’ Shmuel Kamenetsky Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Philadelphia) R’ Aharon Feldman Shlita (Rosh Yeshivas Ner Yisroel) and R’ Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld Shlita (the Mattesdorfer Rebbe).
At the meeting, during which a number of other pressing issues affecting the k’lal were also discussed, Agudath Israel of America executive vice president Rabbi Shmuel Bloom reported on the ongoing negotiations with El Al and conveyed the request of Gedolei Eretz Yisroel that American Jewry join Jews in Eretz Yiroel in taking a firm stand for Kedushas Shabbos.
After signing the declaration, Moetzes members asked that Agudath Israel contact Agudah rabbonim in cities throughout North America to apprise them of the declaration and to inform them of the pronouncement of Gedolei Eretz Yisroel that at this time, flying on El Al constitutes a chilul Hashem that even a large monetary loss does not mitigate.
In addition, the Jerusalem is reporting that Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and Rabbi Avraham Shapira, the two most senior halachic authorities for the religious Zionist community, gave their backing Tuesday to a potential boycott of El Al Airlines, and have signed the Kol Koreh as well.