In light of the High Court orders to destroy the Ayelet Hashahar Synagogue in Givat Ze'ev northwest of Jerusalem, leading religious Zionist rabbis issued a letter Friday morning condemning the order, and calling on the public to act to prevent the destruction.
Those signing on the letter included Rabbi Haim Druckman, Head of the Bnei Akiva Yeshivas; Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Head of the Beit El Yeshiva; former Hevron Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, Head of the Temple Institute; Rabbi David Chai Hakohen, head of the "Orot Hatorah" institutions in Bat Yam, and other leading figures.
"Ayelet Hashahar Synagogue in Givat Ze'ev is a place of prayer and Torah for hundreds of people and has stood for 15 years already," they noted. "A destruction order was ruled against it by the High Court."
"The decision of the High Court is wrong and mistaken, and horribly harms those to whom the honor of the nation is dear to them," wrote the rabbis.
"It is forbidden by the Torah to destroy a synagogue and there is a desecration of G-d's name in doing so," added the letter, citing a Talmudic pronouncement that states that desecration of G-d's name is just as serious if done by mistake or if done on purpose.
In conclusion, the rabbis wrote: "we call on all those who are able to act to cancel the ruling; it cannot be that a person in Israel (i.e. a Jew – ed.) would give a hand G-d forbid to such a serious and awful crime as this."
Several of the rabbis took part in a meeting at the synagogue on Thursday night to strengthen the community.
Synagogue members have stated they legally bought the land, but while they were in the process of clarifying its legal status due to the absence of building permits, radical leftist groups launched a petition for the alleged Arab land owner who is not present in the proceedings, and got the High Court to issue a demolition order.
Many have expressed outrage over the case given that the state and the courts have left hundreds of illegal mosques standing nationwide, and in many cases canceled demolition plans due to the "sensitive" religious nature of the buildings.