JERUSALEM (Aug. 27)
The question of whether Israel is permitted under Jewish low to give up territories for peace has become the latest issue of dispute between the two Chief Rabbis Sephardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef says it is, Ashkenazi Rabbi Shlomo Goren says it is not. Yosef mode his point last week during a lecture to the annual “Oral Law Conference” at Yad Harav Kook in Jerusalem. He said it was entirely up to the generals and the politicians to determine what borders were necessary for security.
As for as rabbis were concerned, Yosef said, they could only determine that halachically the main point was indeed that of security. If retaining the territories meant war, bloodshed and injuries, then the concept of “Pikuah Nefesh” (risk to life) applied, and it shunted aside the “mitzvah” of retaining all of Eratz Israel. Goren, at a rally in Safad a day later, took the opposite view, insisting that the mitzvah of holding onto Eretz Israel was paramount. (By David Landau)