Kobi Nahshoni
August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Dozens of rabbis, educators, public figures and right-wing activists attended on Wednesday a support rally for Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, who refused to report for police questioning over their endorsement of the controversial book "Torat Hamelech," which relates a halachic perspective on violence against non-Jews.

The two, along with other rabbis and the author of the book, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, are being investigated on suspicion of incitement.

The rally was moderated by Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of Ramat Gan's Hesder Yeshiva and brother of the book's author.

Shapira opened the event by reading a severely-worded letter written by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, about the duty of struggling for independence of the rabbinate and against the interference of the state in the rabbis' work.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Ginzburg, who gave his consent to publish the book, did not attend the rally in order to draw more participants, including those who opposed the book.

Rabbi Dov Lior made his first public statement since defying the police summons, explaining, "The rabbis are the elected representatives, who were chosen to speak of the Torah. They must speak the halacha without fearing anything."

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef said he regrets not anchoring the rabbis' rights in the law while serving as a member of Knesset on behalf of Shas.

Rabbi Yosef blamed the affair on those who "wish to blur the Jewish identity of the State and separate religion and state, like in America."


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