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Rabbi Tuvia Blau: ‘Don’t vote for Religious Zionism party’

Senior Chabad Lubavitch rabbi in Israel, Rabbi Tuvia Blau, joined other Chabad figures in calling on the community not to vote for MK Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party, but to throw their support behind the Ashkenazic-haredi United Torah Judaism (UTJ).

“All the efforts to present an image of Chabad as ‘liberal’ and ‘advanced,’ while making nice to every secular in the name of ‘loving your fellow Jew’ have created chaos, which prevents, among other things, the appropriate modesty…for their wives and daughters,” he said.

“The Rebbe is the only one who sets the Chabad path, and the plot to turn the Chabad movement into a ‘modern and open’ ‘State of Tel Aviv’ is ruined by those who doesn’t listen to the Rebbe’s holy instructions to vote for the UTJ party in the elections.”

Rabbi Blau also detailed the disadvantages that the Religious Zionism party presents for the Chabad voter: “A haredi list is not one in which the number two spot is [filled by] a woman, when there is a complete prohibition to vote for a party in which there is a woman. In addition, according to how she conducts herself, as they have publicized, she is far from being considered ‘haredi.'”

“A haredi list is not one in which the candidates announce that the State of Israel ‘is the beginning of our redemption,’ when the Rebbe said that a statement such as this causes bloodshed and delays the Redemption. A haredi party is not one in which candidates promise to enlist yeshiva students [in the IDF]….when the Rebbe expressed his holy opinion very sharply, against enlisting yeshiva students.”

“A haredi list is not one in which its candidates require National Service for girls, when the Rebbe expressed his holy opinion very sharply, against National Service for girls. A haredi list is not one where its candidates’ sons learn in high school yeshivas, when the Rebbe expressed his holy opinion very sharply, against high school yeshivas.”

“A haredi party is not one whose candidates ascend the Temple Mount, when the Rebbe expressed his holy opinion very sharply against ascending the Temple Mount. And most importantly, a real Chabad hasid who is connected to the Rebbe knows that it is a privilege and an obligation to fulfill the Rebbe’s holy directives, even if from an emotional or logical perspective he has an issue doing so.”

UTJ, he said, “has consistently opposed in the Knesset giving up any part of the Land of Israel, including during the Oslo Accords and the Disengagement agreement between [former Prime MInister Ariel] Sharon and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. Everyone knows that it is an integral part of what is called ‘the right wing bloc.'”

“A Chabad hasid is always obligated to fulfill the Rebbe’s holy directive, to express his connection to the Rebbe by voting for United Torah Judaism,” Rabbi Blau concluded.

Traditionally, Chabad has avoided expressing explicit support for a given party, with the Rebbe’s directive being to vote for a party which will demand protection of three things:

The Land of Israel, the People of Israel, and the Torah of Israel.

As a result, Chabad hasidim traditionally make their own decisions about who to vote for, depending on which party they see as best fulfilling the Rebbe’s directives.

Many Chabad hasidim voted for MK Naftali Bennett – who did not get into the Knesset – in the April 2019 elections. As a result, ahead of the September 2019 elections, Chabad rabbis urged their followers not to vote for any party which was not expected to pass the electoral threshold, so as not to waste right-wing votes. Instead, they urged Chabad hasidim to throw their weight behind a party which was projected to pass and would also refuse to allow any part of the Land of Israel to be given away.

In a letter then, community rabbis wrote: “It is known that Chabad is not political or affiliated with any party. Our business is to spread Torah and to prepare the world to greet Moshiach (the messiah – ed).”

“Therefore, no one has permission to intervene and express an opinion in the name of Chabad, and all those who have made statements regarding the elections are not representing Chabad’s stance, but their own opinions.”

“However, it is well known that the Rebbe told his followers to participate in the elections, and to vote for the ‘most haredi party,’ which will ensure the preservation of the Torah, the Land of Israel, and the Nation of Israel.”

“According to the Rebbe’s stance, voting for a party which may not pass the electoral threshold means supporting those parties which oppose G-d and His Torah, and is considered as if the person voted for those parties. Therefore, one should not vote for a party if there is a doubt that it will pass the electoral threshold.

“We would like to emphasize that these are the general instructions from the Chabad Rabbinical Court, and apply to all Chabad hasidim in the Holy Land. Any private expression of opinion from one of the undersigned does not represent the official stance of the Chabad movement.”

The letter was signed by Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda Yuroslavsky, rabbi of Kiryat Malachi’s Nachalat Har Chabad neighborhood; Rabbi Avraham MIchael Halperin, who serves as rabbi of French Hill and previously served as Chief Rabbi of Atlit; Kiryat Gat Chief Rabbi Moshe Havlin; Eilat Chief Rabbi Yosef Hecht; Holon Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Yochanan Gourary; and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gluchovsky, who serves as rabbi for Rehovot’s Denia neighborhood and the city’s Chabad community.

Source: Arutz Sheva