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Jan 15, 2009

The rabbinate finally solves the hospital problem - with a simple solution

I don't understand all the politics of how the Chief Rabbinate Rabbinic Council works, but it looks like they came up with a solution.

The hospital in Ashkelon has wanted to build a protective barrier. They found old graves with bones, and that prevented them from continuing the work. In what has been described as negligence by the rabbinate, the relevant parties have failed to submit recommended solutions for many months, thus delaying the project of building a defensive protection for the hospital.

The religious have gotten considerable bad press over this in recent weeks. Not undeserving perhaps, as the secular media has bandied about the claim that the religious clearly consider the dead more important than the living, with other such claims.

After many delays, it looks like the rabbinate finally came up with a solution that they could have recommended long ago, had they taken the time to do so.

According to Ynet, last week Rav Metzger signed a psak with his recommendation. Rav Metzger says that because the situation is one of clear danger and is pikuach nefesh, the work can be done. Pikuach nefesh pushes off all other considerations. The consideration of pikuach nefesh, along with the fact that it is questionable if these are even Jewish graves, makes it permissible to continue the necessary work.

Yesterday, Rav Amar agreed to Rav Metzger's decision and signed off on the paperwork, thus clearing the way for the work to be continued.

Now, will the government allow the work to continue, or will they find other excuses to blame new delays on? Has the government fortified the many other sites in the area? Did they build and implement other means of protection in the hospital in the meantime? Was all this just an excuse for the government to not put out the necessary money or was it the reason? Now that the rabbinate has stepped out of the way, we will see what the government will do...

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