A rabbi in a West Bank community has ruled that home construction by non-Jewish workers can take place on the Sabbath.
Ofra Rabbi Avi Gisser's ruling will allow foreign and Palestinian laborers to work seven days a week building new homes in the community located near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in order to complete as many homes as possible before Israel's Supreme Court orders new construction halted.
The High Court will hear, this Sunday, a suit by the organizations Yesh Din and B'tselem and five Palestinians who claim that the nine new Jewish houses are being built on land belonging to the five Palestinians.
The plaintiffs seek a judicial order to demolish the nine houses, or at least to ensure they are not populated. In response, Rabbi Gisser ruled that work on the houses must be rushed and executed - by the non-Jewish workers - even on the Sabbath and holiday of Shavuoth.
Rabbi Gisser argued that his ruling is in keeping with the Jewish law as expressed in the Shulchan Arukh (Orach Chaim 329), which states that "if non-Jews besiege [or plan to besiege] a border town, even if just to steal grain, the Sabbath may be desecrated to defend the town."
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If the land really belongs to the Zionist settlers, then what do they have to fear from the court? Clearly they know that they have stolen this land and their desparate attempt to settle the land before the court hearing is the latest in a long history of Zionist efforts to "create facts" and thus effectively steal more and more land. These criminals are an embarrassment to the Jewish people.
Now they seek to compound their theft with the additional sin of violating the Sabbath. They justify it using a law relating to warfare, but it is obvious to anyone that this is not warfare, this is plain theft. When the victim of theft challenges the thief peacefully in court, is he considered to be waging a war?
Perhaps this violation of the Sabbath will wake Jews up and show them who these settlers really are: people who put their political goals and ideals above Jewish law, and then twist Jewish law to make it suit their needs.