Rightist rabbis, who have used halachic justifications to object to the Shalit prisoner swap deal in the works, are irresponsible, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger told Ynet on Tuesday.
Metzger, who is scheduled to meet with Noam and Aviva Shalit Wednesday, argued that it is not possible to make an halachic ruling on the issue of the swap deal without being privy to all the details of the swap and the considerations behind it.
"As long as a rabbi or halachic adjudicator does not have all the information laid before him, including IDF and intelligence reports, it is not possible to take a decisive halachic stand (on the issue)," Rabbi Metzger said. "Halacha must not be ruled upon based on reports from the Arab media."
The chief rabbi noted that, according to Kabbalah, the 13 minutes between the hours of 1:43 pm and 1:56 pm on Thursday have unique qualities. He called upon the public to take advantage of this occasion to read psalms for Gilad's rescue. "With the power of prayer, we can open the heavens and be worthy of our heart's wishes being granted – that Gilad will light the Hannukah candles with his family."
As part of their efforts to persuade cabinet ministers to support the deal, Noam and Aviva Shalit contacted senior haredi rabbis via the "Union of Torah Friends for Gilad" – the headquarters of the haredi campaign for the release of their son – in order to hear their opinion on the matter. They also visited the home of Rabbi Elyashiv.
The captured soldier's parents are slated to meet Wednesday with Israel's chief rabbis, Metzger and Shlomo Amar.