- Shlomo Aviner
Rabbi Shlomo Chaim haKohen Aviner is the
Rosh yeshivaof the Ateret Cohanim yeshivain the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalemand the rabbi of Bet El. [ [http://www.havabooks.co.il/Hava2Root/static/About.asp Odot (Hebrew)] ] He is considered one of the spiritual leaders of the Religious Zionistmovement.
Rabbi Aviner was born in 1943 in
Lyon, France, and was involved in the Bnei Akiva youth movement, rising to the position of National Director. Rabbi Aviner is a qualified electrical engineerand holds an MA in mathematics.
When he emigrated to
Israelin 1966, he settled on Sde Eliyahu, a kibbutzin the northern Jordan valley near Bet She'an. He subsequently went to learn in the Mercaz HaRavyeshiva in Jerusalem, under Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook. Later, he became the rabbi of Lavi and afterwards the rabbi of Keshet in the Golan Heights. Since 1981 he has been the rabbi of Bet El. He served in the IDF and is a lieutenantin the reserves.
Rabbi Aviner is one one of the leading rabbis of the religious national movement. He has published tens of books and is frequently called on to speak in public forums.
In the past few years his outspoken views have attracted controversy. Religious extremists will not forgive him, that they were unsuccesful in opposing his views regarding the eviction of Jews from Gush Katif. Rabbi Aviner was against soldiers disobeying orders as suggested by a minority group of rabbis. Instead he proposed that a soldier should tell his commander that he is "unable" to perform such a command.
As a result his opponents have also republished accusations of sexual abuse. These accusations were published originally in Maariv. As a result of the uproar following the publication the newspaper appointed an independent investigator who came to the conclusion that Rabbi Aviner was innocent, though maybe guilty of practicing therapy without the backing of a professional. The expert also said that the Rabbi's intentions were honorable. After that Maariv published a retraction.
Another publicized accusation is that Rabbi Aviner made erroneous rulings with regards to questions of
niddah-family purity. The matter was brought before a rabbinic commitee made up of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, and 2 other rabbis. The commitee concluded that Rabbi Aviner should not be allowed to rule on these matters. Rabbi Aviner refused to listen to the commitee's decision. Rabbi Aviner agreed to respect a decision made by the only body entitled to restrict his rabbinical work - The Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
In 2005, prior to the forced mass eviction of Jews from
Gush Katifas part of Israel unilateral disengagement plan, Aviner took a rabbinical stance that soldiers should not refuse orders to participate with the plan, explaining that the religious issue was the state's responsibility, not the individual's. He continued to publicly oppose the resistance to the eviction plans and in one case took physical action. [cite video
people = Shlomo Wollins
title = Testimony on Shlomo Aviner
medium = YouTube
url = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D91xkM0YJM
date = October 24, 2006 ]
In 2007, in an article about
Baruch Marzel's threats over the settler movement, Aviner stated that he felt that the IDF was sincerely evacuating the renewed Homeshsettlers and other demonstrators at the site of the abandoned village to protect from future terrorist attacks.cite news | url = http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1195546795902&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull | title = Marzel vows to mobilize against Ronzki over Shabbat evacuations | publisher = Jerusalem Post | date = 2007-12-04| first = Matthew | last = Wagner | accessdate = 2007-12-11 ] Aviner further distinguished between the IDF's responsibility to protect settlements versus its responsibility for protecting demonstrators, saying that the IDF should do whatever is necessary to protect a settlement to keep it intact, including armed forces, but demonstrators may be evacuated if thought necessary where there is a danger to their lives.
* [http://www.havabooks.co.il Sheilot Shlomo - Rav Aviner's official website]
* [http://ateret.org.il/new/yeshiva.php?id=166 Ateret Cohanim's biography of Shlomo Aviner]
* [http://www.zehut.net//ravaviner2.html Video lesson of Rabbi Aviner] from Zehut
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