Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner wants partnership
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Meir Porush - ultra-Orthodox mayoral candidate

Aviner: Porush has no consideration for national-religious public

Zionist leader says Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox mayoral candidate a ’haredi who went to extremes for his public', while secular candidate Nir Barkat offers haredim senior municipal positions

“(Jerusalem mayoral candidate) Meir Porush and the ultra-Orthodox public have no consideration for the National-Zionist population. They aren’t interested in them, do not recognize them and do not think they have any significance,” said Rabbi Shlomo Aviner ahead of the November 11 vote.


He also mentioned during an interview with Kol Hai Radio that the “national-religious population prefers a true partnership than an inferior stance,” and for this reason, he said, most of them support secular candidate Nir Barkat, who promised National-Religious representatives senior positions at the municipality.


During the interview Rabbi Aviner mentioned coments made by Meir Porush regarding the Temple Mount, which were protested by the Movement for the Establishment of the Temple.


Aviner adamantly expressed that “the Temple Mount is ours according to Halacha (Jewish law). While the rabbis have instructed not to go there, it does not mean it is not ours or that we are giving up our ownership of it. The entire Land of Israel is ours,” he said.


Later, the rabbi was asked why the entire National-Religious public does not support MK Porush, who Aviner called “a haredi who went to extremes for them (the ultra-Orthodox public).”


He also said that Nir Barkat has offered national-religious repesentatives senior positions in the municipality and also offered to appoint Zionist rabbis to the Jerusalem Rabbinate while Porush “has no consideration for (the national-Zionist public).”


'Not a true partnership'

“It is not a matter of feeling, but no real partnership is visible,” added Rabbi Aviner. “These are things imbedded in agreements. If they want this problem solved, Porush needs to provide this public with the same things. 


“These are serious claims. If people stand there and do not take us seriously, do not take us into consideration as real partners, this is not a true partnership," he said.  


“Porush is a religious scholar and a dear person and he has a lot of advantages; but it is necessary that the religious public, which wants true partnership, will find partnership in him."


Rabbi Aviner also clarified that he does not necessarily blame the haredi candidate for the situation and said, “I am not sure that Rabbi Porush can solve this problem. It is not up to him. In order to be elected, he needs to provide for many different groups. He has no choice. He needs to give a little to Shas, a little to those and a little to the others.”


Moreover, Rabbi Aviner refused to show public support for one of the two candidates and explained, “I do not live in Jerusalem and thus, who am I to say what should be done in Jerusalem?


“I have the same fear of God but they told me in the name of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, not to take any stance on the municipal elections. I like and respect both sides very much,” he said.


'God-fearing people for all tasks in Israel'

When asked about the Halachic principles of choosing an ultra-Orthodox candidate versus a secular one, he said, “It is written in the Rambam that God-fearing people must be chosen for all tasks placed on the nation of Israel.


“It is necessary to have a God-fearing prime minister; all Knesset members must be religious, all police officers and all judges. But as known, the reality is not yet as such.”


However, the rabbi presented an exception and clarified that the abovementioned is only relevant in a case in which the religious candidate is a bit less talented than the secular one. Thus, he said, it must not be deduced that it is a Halachic must to vote for MK Porush.


“Hachatam Sofer (Rabbi Moshe Sofer, one of the leading rabbis of European Jewry in the first half of the nineteenth century), ruled that all voters have the position of religious judges and thus, they have to judge and vote favorably.


“What is good for Jerusalem must be taken into account and not what is good for me or for my cousin,” said Aviner.


Moshe Chico Ben-Zimra of the national-religious group for Porush said in response to Rabbi Aviner that “there are serious negotiations being conducted with the National-Religious community leaders in Jerusalem and they are progressing nicely.


“I know that most of the city’s Zionist rabbis support Meir Porush. The national-religious public will vote for him; I don’t know if all of them will, but definitely most of them,” said Ben-Zimra.


Regarding the demand for a "true partnership", Ben Zimra said, “The person who treated the National-Religious public as a serious partner and proved himself is MK Porush.


"The major difference between him and Nir Barkat is that Porush considred us, the national-religious public, and was loyal to us way before he dreamed of being mayor; while Barkat remembered us during the Second Hakafot (after Simchat Torah when traditional second rounds are made with Torah scrolls in hand) and during Simchat Beit Hashoeva (water-drawing festival) and is mingling with this population on election eve,” said Ben Zimra.


פרסום ראשון: 10.27.08, 15:23
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