GUSH KATIF - The Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar visited Gush Katif today and met with bereaved families whose loved ones are buried in Gush Katif’s cemetery.
Amar has requested to be a mediator between the government and the families in an attempt to move the graves.
In a meeting with the bereaved families, Amar heard condemnations of the rabbinic ruling that said it would be permissible to move graves from Gush Katif to the Mount of Olives in the capital.
Members of the families said the ruling damaged their struggle and gave the government legitimacy to defile the graves of their loved ones.
Some of the families asked Amar whether concrete could be used to cover the graves, rather than transferring them.
The rabbi said that this “was not a good solution. There are fears the graves could be defiled by the Palestinians.”
One of the bereaved fathers asked the rabbi to check the possibility of leaving the graves where they were, and placing foreign forces in the site in order to protect them from desecration.
The rabbi also ruled out that suggestion.
“The government owes a debt of honor to the dead who were killed for the sanctity of God. To my sorrow, there are people, not in the government, who don’t know how to speak with the appropriate sensitivity,” the rabbi told the families.
'Pray from your hearts'
Before the meeting with the families, the rabbi visited a synagogue in the Kfar Darom settlement, and was received with singing and dancing. Dozens of yeshiva students and rabbis from the settlement arrived in order to participate in a prayer led by Amar to “cancel the decree” for the pullout.
The chief rabbi attempted to avoid coming out emphatically against the disengagement plan, but it was clear from his comments that his hopes lay with the cancellation of the planned move.
“We returned to the Land of Israel after 2000 years of disapora. We were born outside of this land and we saw the Western Wall in old pictures, and we asked, ‘Will we ever get to see it?’ And here, after the liberation, we are witnessing ourselves going backwards. This is the real test of the faith in God. Not in force and not in forces. We need a strong prayer force in order to remove this decree. Pray from the depth of your heart,” said Amar.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger was supposed to arrive with Rabbi Amar to Gaza, but a source close to Metzger told Ynet that “we understand that there would have been a sizeable boycott of the visit.”
The source explained that there was a dispute still raging between other rabbis who had contended for the position of chief rabbi against Metzger.
“Jerusalem was destroyed because of baseless hatred. Its too bad that some of Gush Katif’s people continue the baseless hatred towards the rabbi,” said the source.