The arrest warrant issued against Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior has caused a stir within the religious public and particularly among rabbis.
Chairman of the Tzohar Rabbinical Orgnization Rabbi David Stav, who declared he does not agree with Rabbi Lior's endorsement of "The King's Torah", told Ynet: "A democratic society cannot prosecute rabbis for offences pertaining to freedom of expression, let alone criminal offenses."
The rabbi said that he has been in contact with senior officials at the State Prosecutor's Office for some time and has told them it would be wrong to arrest Rabbi Lior.
"Would they have issued an arrest warrant against Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who said something about Shulamit Aloni?" he pondered. "It is impossible that an arrest warrant in the State of Israel be issued against rabbis for expressing their opinions, when they do not intend or incite to break the law.
"The attempt to turn any rabbinical comment – whether I agree with it or nor (and in this case I don't) into a legal matter is wrong in the democratic and moral sense, and foolish in the practical and public sense."
Head of the Center for Bnei Akiva Yeshivot Rabbi Haim Drukman described the warrant as a scandal and said the police should prepare an extra cell for him if they intend on arresting Rabbi Lior.
Rabbi Drukman said he strongly opposes the contents of "The King's Torah" but believes that the police must appraoch Rabbi Lior in order to clear things up, instead of issuing warrants. "We never heard the police arresting professors who incited against the State," he noted.
The Tzohar Rabbinical Orgnization said in response: "We strongly condemn the arrest warrant issued against Rabbi Dov Lior. This is not the way to arouse a public discourse despite the danger "The King's Torah" contains. The debate must remain in the public domain. The police must not silence people. We warn that anyone who today arrests rabbis for their opinions will tomorrow arrest intellectuals and professors."
'Arrest warrant - sacrilege'
The "Derech Haemunah" organization whose members include such right-wing affiliated rabbis as Zalman Melamed, Shmuel Eliyahu and Yehoshua Shapira said that the arrest warrant of Rabbi Lior was sacrilege and contempt of the Torah.
"The attempt to scare rabbis out of expressing the Torah's way is even graver considering the legitimacy being given in the name of freedom of expression to any opinion, even if it hurts the State, its security and morality," the organization's statement noted.
The group demands that the warrant be revoked, the investigation be halted and that the police apologize to Rabbi Lior. "The rabbis will continue giving the Torah's advice on any matter without fear."
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