JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than two dozen Israeli rabbis’ wives have signed a letter urging Jewish women not to date or work with Arab men.
The letter, which had at least 27 signatories, was distributed Tuesday by Lehava, a one-year-old organization dedicated to preventing intermarriage between Jews and Arabs.
The letter comes on the heels of another letter published earlier this month and signed by several dozen municipal rabbis calling on Jews not to sell or rent properties to non-Jews. That letter created a furor, sparking a host of condemnations from some Israeli political figures and numerous religious and community leaders in the United States, including the main Modern Orthodox rabbinical group, the Rabbinical Council of America.
"There are quite a few Arab workers who use Hebrew names," noted the letter from the rabbis’ wives. "Yusuf becomes Yossi, Samir becomes Sami and Abed becomes Ami. They seek your proximity, try to appeal to you and give you all the attention you could ask for. They actually know how to be polite and how to act, making you believe they really care… but their behavior is only temporary. As soon as they have in you in their grasp, in their village, under their complete control — everything becomes different. Your life will never be the same, and the attention you sought will be replaced with curses, physical abuse and humiliation."
The letter’s signatories, according to Ynet, include: Nitzhiya Yosef, daughter-in-law of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and wife of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef; Esther Lior, wife of Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba; Shlomit Melamed, wife of Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beit El; and Esther Levanon, wife of Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Elon Moreh.