Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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28 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 21, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Gedolei Yisroel Issue a Call to Protest the Archaeological Diggings in Haifa
by Betzalel Kahn and Aryeh Zisman

Maranan verabonon, the gedolei Yisroel appeal to us in a heartfelt, emotion-filled letter which they have written in the wake of the continuation of the archaeological digs in Haifa, conducted by the archaeologists of the Antiquities Authority with the backing of the Haifa municipality. (See separate article about the protest rallies.)

Under the title: "Who Does not Fear the Awesomeness of Divine Judgment," maranan verabonon write: "Our hearts weep with sadness over the excavations conducted by the archaeologists in the cemetery in Haifa, the burial site of sages from the period of the Amoro'im' and the Baalei Hatosfos -- Heavenly angels, rishonim kemal'ochim, who are buried near the grave of Rav Avdimi Demin Haifa.

"All hearts tremble over the treachery which, due to our many sins, is being perpetrated in Eretz Yisroel by the defiled hands of Jews who have cast off the yoke of Torah and mitzvos and are endangering the peace of the living yishuv chas vesholom, as explained by Chazal, Hashem yeracheim.

"Who Does not Fear the Awesomeness of Divine Judgment?

"We emphatically protest [the deeds] of these sinners -- the archaeologists and their ilk, the heads of the Haifa municipality who in their audacity exhume and desecrate the graves of our ancients, zy"a, which have been resting for hundreds of years in burial caves, quietly and securely. We firmly demand that the archaeologists vacate the site which has been consecrated for generations as an ancient cemetery.

"With a deep and heartfelt plea, we ask everyone to unite as one person with one heart in order to bring about the cancellation of this evil decree, and to recite many prayers and entreaties so that Divine wrath will cease in this difficult period.

"The merit of the kedoshim who are buried in the earth will protect Hashem's nation, so that we will soon see the fulfillment of the prophecy: `Wake up and rejoice those who dwell in the earth.

"Those who write and sign with pain and fear because of the honor of our ancestors:

The letter is signed by the following gedolei Yisroel: HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv; HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Steinman; HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapira; HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner; HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz; HaRav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg; the Admor of Rachmastrivka -- HaRav Yisroel Mordechai Twersky; HaRav Nissim Karelitz; HaRav Avrohom Yaakov Zaleznik; HaRav Chaim Kanievsky; HaRav Shmuel Auerbach; HaRav Boruch Rosenberg; HaRav Yehuda Adas; HaRav Sholom Cohen; HaRav Shimon Ba'adani; HaRav Moshe Tzadka.


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