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Israel Chief Rabbi Denounces Picketing of White House by Orthodox Sect

The picketing of the White House by followers of the Satmar Rebbe in protest against the mixed-bathing swimming pool in Jerusalem was denounced today by Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhah Nissim.

In a letter to Rebbe Yoel Tetelbaum, Brooklyn leader of the sect, Chief Rabbi Nissim called the picketing a “measure entirely alien and contradictory to the spirit of Judaism.” Rabbi Nissim added that “there is not the slightest doubt this went beyond what is proper and permissible.” “Religious Jewry is always happy to receive aid from the Diaspora but pleadings to and involvement of non-Jews in such internal Issues were never sanctioned even in the most extreme instances,” the Chief Rabbi declared.

While describing the construction of the pool as a “grave breach in the walls of modesty which have always characterized the Jerusalem populace,” “he warned against methods of protest which were both “questionable and harmful” in any effort to preserve the Holy City’s aspects. He also expressed sorrow over threats of excommunication of the Satmar Rebbe which have been made in the dispute, saying “this weapon should not be employed in our times.”

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