Sunday, March 16, 2008

Arab Labor Ban

9 Adar Bet 5768

Top Hareidi Rabbi Bans Arab Labor Following Merkaz HaRav Attack

by Ezra HaLevi

( Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, considered a top Torah sage of the generation in the Hareidi-Religious community, issued a Jewish legal decision banning the employment of Arab workers by Jews according to the Yom Chadash daily.

The rabbi issued the decision at a meeting with several administrators of yeshivas in B’nei Brak. The administrators told the rabbi that they had under they employ an older Arab man who they do not suspect of any involvement in terrorism. The administrators decided, nonetheless to seek halachic (Jewish legal) guidance following reports that the terrorist who carried out the massacre at Jerusalem’s Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva had been hired as a driver on occasion.

“According to Jewish law, it is completely forbidden to hire Arabs, especially in yeshivas,” Rabbi Kanievsky said. “There is a concern of endangering lives.”

The rabbi continued, explaining, “After all, we are at war with them…and are there not Jews that can work and make a living?”

Asked later on if his words should be publicized, Rabbi Kanievsky said: “Certainly,” according to News First Class, investigative journalist Yoav Yitzchak's news site.

Rabbi Kanievsky went even further, saying that Jews should refrain from employing any non-Jews, not just Muslim Arabs, and instead grant livelihood to Jews, unless there exist huge disparity between the costs of the labor.

Rabbi Kanievsky is one of the most recognized authorities in Hareidi-religious society. He is the son of the Steipler Rebbe, Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Kanievsky, and the son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leader of Lithuanian Hareidi Jewry.

Avoda Ivrit Hotline Set Up
For several years a revival of the concept of Avoda Ivrit – Jewish labor – has been taking place in the Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria regions – particularly in hilltop communities. Though a web site listing Jewish labor businesses was closed down after a law-suit from an Arab advocacy group funded by the New Israel Fund, a new hotline and email account has been set up to provide Avoda Ivrit solutions.

The hotline, for everything from gardeners, heavy equipment operators, painters, cement mixers and handymen to catering and restaurants, can be reached at: 1 599 588 588 or by emailing:

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