By COLlive reporter
Six of of fifteen members of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel will be shunning an official reception for Pope Benedict XVI on his first visit to the Jewish state, COLlive has learned.
Scheduled for Monday, May 16, his meeting with the Israeli Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar will take place in Heichal Shlomo hall in Jerusalem.
Members of the Rabbinate were asked to join. This is essential for a constructive relationship between the Jewish and Christian world, they were told.
One of the them who will be avoiding the Pope, and was not afraid of being identified, is Rabbi Shimon Elituv, a Sephardic Lubavitch Chasid who serves as the Chief Rabbi of Mateh Binyamin Regional Council.
“The place of a Jew on Lag B’Omer is in Meron,” Elituv said about the traditional commemoration of the passing of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai who lived in the era of the Tannaim during the Roman period, after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
A place of a Jew on this day “is definitely not in meetings with the pope,” he said. “But even so, there are many things that needed to be clarified before the meeting.”
Elituv stressed that his criticism is not directed to the Chief Rabbis’ meeting with the Pope, “which is obligatory.”
But, he says, his absence won’t cause a diplomatic tumult. The opposite, so long as the Vatican does not allow access to all the Jewish books and holy scriptures that were robbed from the Jewish communities, we must demand he return them.”
In other news, the Jerusalem police department notified the Lubavitch Youth Organization (Tzach) that they will be able to proceed, as usual, with the Lag B’Omer parade, despite the Pope’s visit.
Everybody here is praising Elituv for not “bowing to this Nazi” and for “keeping the faith” by refusing in principle to meet the Pope – BUT HE NEVER SAID THAT!!!
All he said was that since it happens to fall out on Lag B’Omer, he won’t go, because he wants to go to Meron. If it would fall out on any other date, he clearly implies that he WOULD go. He isn’t avoiding this because of anti-papacy principle; he is avoiding this because he wants to be in Meron for Lag B’Omer.
A classic case of misguided praise.
There was a “mini-Yechidus” that R’ Zalman Jaffe O”H had with the Rebbe of which the Audio was posted a few months back. It seemed to me from the conversation that the Rebbe was suprised that the then Chief Rabbi of UK, met with the Pope when he visited Manchester. Listed to it yourself and make you own assessment if the Rebbe would encourage our discourage meeting with the Pope, The Rebbe spoke if I recall corectly, in English. If it is not on COL it will be on one of the other Chabad websites,
If I recall correctly the Rebbe pointed to issur Avoda Zara in connection to the pope. I dont remember, for those who do please help!
Is believing in yoshkeh idolatry?
if so,,, then part of the sheva mitzvahs bnai noach should be not to believe in yoshkeh
So we should be making a public Chillul Hashem in order to build a bonfire?!….
To #10- The Rebbe spoke about VISITING the Pope on our own accord….yes, that was uncalled for, but this is not the same situation. By shunning them, we become like them- uncivilized.
The pope is a symbol of idolatry. Israel would be good to ban churches from its land, especially Jerusalem.
The rebbe once spoke at a farbrengen, which was transmited live on cable TV, about the great chillul Hashem and disgrace that some rabonim did by visiting the pope …
Thanks to Rabbi Elituv for keeping the faith….
if the pope is reaching out, why cant jews or rabbonim extend a hand dont understand. this is not europe 1939!
According to diplomatic protocol, the only ones who have to recognize Benedict ymach shmo (not to be confused with Benedictine which is good stuff and kosher) as a head of state would be the Prime Minister and President and I am not even sure whether the PM has to be bothered with this menuval. Neither Rav Elituv nor any other rav has to recognize the leader of the bloodstained church of Rome in any way. For the rabbonim, it would be the same as greeting Ayatollah Khamenei yms of Iran.
“Even if you don’t recognize his faith, he is still …..”
and STILL demanded the jewish children left in his monestaries NOT be told their Jewish. Till today
So why do Rabbanim have to go. When the president of Scandinavia visits Israel, every rav has to go pay his respects? And what about a head of ‘state’ responsible for the murder of millions?
There must be a basic respect to others
Even if you don’t recognize his faith, he is still head of state (the Vatican is a country)
The Rebbe was so anti papacy and for very good reason. I’m not sure what No. 2 is getting at. Not he necessarily, but his office is clearly, directly and indisputably the culprit behind the massacre, genocide and persecution of Jews over 2000 years…no, it is not the Muslims. It has forever been the Christians. True over the past 50 years or so the tide has dramatically changed, but I dont still know if there is any merit or Mitzvah in meeting with the “office” or “officer” that is directly at fault for the murder of roughly 265 million Jews.… Read more »
Good for Rabbi Eituv! It’s nice to know there are Rabbonim with integrity, who don’t “bow” to this Nazi.
As if the Pope could care less. He’ll never even hear about this.