A leading Israeli rabbi called for a day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday to prevent a national catastrophe that many see resulting from the government’s judicial reform and the rift it is causing in Israeli society.
“Usually we fast after catastrophe has struck. This time we fast before,” said Rabbi David Stav in a video address to his followers.
“Israeli society, the State of Israel, is sliding toward a precipice,” Stav said in reference to the deep divisions exposed by the ongoing anti-government protests. “We ask for prayer, for a cry, a fast so our leaders find the way to continue this tremendous project, which is the State of Israel. We will pray for the prosperity of our country and people so that, God-willing, we will know how to emerge from the great crisis.”
Israelis all the way up to President Isaac Herzog have been openly warning of civil war amid the present turmoil.
Rabbi Stav is the founder of Tzohar, a moderate and influential Orthodox rabbinical group working to bridge the wide gap between secular and religious Israeli Jews.
In the previous government, then-Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahane tapped the rabbis of Tzohar to help reform Israel’s religious institutions.
Israel Today’s Jason Silverman wrote on Tzohar last year, and described the group as providing “an alternative path to Judaism, bringing many Jewish Israelis closer to Jewish tradition and thereby contributing to preserving Jewish identity in the Jewish State.”
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