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Jerusalem - Israeli Rabbi Bans 50-shekel Banknote Featuring Poet Who Married A Non-jew

Published on: December 4, 2017 11:54 AM
By: Jerusalem Post
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FILE - Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug holds up a newly designed 50 shekel banknote during its unveiling at a news conference in Jerusalem September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar AwadFILE - Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug holds up a newly designed 50 shekel banknote during its unveiling at a news conference in Jerusalem September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Jerusalem - A senior Haredi rabbi has decreed that it is forbidden to speak to Christians, and forbidden to even look at the new NIS 50 banknote, because it bears the image of the Hebrew poet Shaul Tchernichowsky, who married a non-Jew.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Motzpi, a respected and highly conservative Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbi from the Sephardi community, gave these rulings recently in response to questions submitted to his ask-the-rabbi forum on his website.

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One questioner said that he attended a lesson the rabbi gave in Haifa last Wednesday night, and was surprised to see Motzpi take out a NIS 50 bill and tell everyone that it was forbidden to look at it.

“It is known that he was ‘married’ to a fervently Christian woman who would pray in church every Sunday,” said Motzpi.

“People say that during the time of [first Ashkenazi chief] Rabbi [Abraham Isaac Hacohen] Kook, he pleaded, requested and tried to persuade him that she convert, and he refused,” the rabbi continued.

In an undated question – but which is numbered in the rabbi’s questions-and-answers series after the NIS 50 bill question – the rabbi is asked “how one should reply to impure Christians here who ask if you’ve read the New Testament, or if you believe in the impure,” a reference to Jesus.

“It’s forbidden to talk with them,” replied Motzpi. “The breath of their mouths defiles.”



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Read Comments (17)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 04, 2017 at 12:36 PM yonasonw Says:

“It’s forbidden to talk with them,” replied Motzpi. “The breath of their mouths defiles.” Really?

2

 Dec 04, 2017 at 12:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Are you saying that Yeshivos, mosdos & meshulochim will no longer accept donations of 50 shekel notes? I doubt it

3

 Dec 04, 2017 at 01:06 PM elyeh Says:

What about American bills of various dollar denominations which have pictures of non-Jews? Currency with pictures of women? And currency from Muslim countries? And all sorts of other currency? In Europe there were currencies with soneh Yisrael and leaders of pogroms - did anyone forbid using these currencies?

4

 Dec 04, 2017 at 01:07 PM hawkeyex Says:

The haredi rabbi has committed lashon hora, and needs to punish himself, overriding the Almighty One, blessed is He.

5

 Dec 04, 2017 at 01:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Are you saying that Yeshivos, mosdos & meshulochim will no longer accept donations of 50 shekel notes? I doubt it

No, they will not. Only bills of 100 and 200 :)

6

 Dec 04, 2017 at 01:17 PM The Professor Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Are you saying that Yeshivos, mosdos & meshulochim will no longer accept donations of 50 shekel notes? I doubt it

That's right! One hundred shekel notes at minimum! Kovod Ha-Torah!

7

 Dec 04, 2017 at 02:10 PM Curiosity Says:

Reply to #4  
hawkeyex Says:

The haredi rabbi has committed lashon hora, and needs to punish himself, overriding the Almighty One, blessed is He.

No he hasn't. But you just committed Motzi Shem Ra,. Learn about the laws of Lashon Hara before erroneously accusing others of violating it.

8

 Dec 04, 2017 at 02:14 PM Curiosity Says:

Chazal forbid gazing at the face of evil people for kabbalistic reasons. This Rav didn't just make it up. What is VIN's intent in pushing an anti-Torah anti-Orthodox article by the left wing chiloni Jerusalem Post?

9

 Dec 04, 2017 at 03:27 PM Butterfly Says:

You mean to tell me that no shul or yeshiva would take cash from any Crown Colony e.g. Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc. It boggles the mind. What about the change? Also, here in the USA, Purim time, does the Rabbi check all the silver dollars? Some have women!!

10

 Dec 04, 2017 at 03:29 PM Yossi Says:

for collectors please ue 2x20 and 1x10

11

 Dec 04, 2017 at 03:44 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #8  
Curiosity Says:

Chazal forbid gazing at the face of evil people for kabbalistic reasons. This Rav didn't just make it up. What is VIN's intent in pushing an anti-Torah anti-Orthodox article by the left wing chiloni Jerusalem Post?

Correction. chazal forbade gazing at the face of a rasha. The Kabbalist explained it according to their belief. Of course, there was a whole school of rationalist rishonim who would explain chazal otherwise.

12

 Dec 04, 2017 at 03:47 PM Israeli Says:

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. First there are the Rabbis who pasken their followers shouldn't use the new 100 sh notes because there is a woman's picture, & now this?

Are they insane or just want to make headlines? They shouldn't accept any cash from UK because everything, including pennies, has the Queen's image on it. But not to worry, the new Royal Kallah is a biracial Jew (after a "conversion" to marry husband #1), so she will make the Queen kosher.

I seem to remember some lady named Esther who married a non-Jew, but apparently she did the right thing.

13

 Dec 04, 2017 at 03:51 PM The Professor Says:

Reply to #8  
Curiosity Says:

Chazal forbid gazing at the face of evil people for kabbalistic reasons. This Rav didn't just make it up. What is VIN's intent in pushing an anti-Torah anti-Orthodox article by the left wing chiloni Jerusalem Post?

It's not a face - it's a picture of a face. How far are you going with this? Should we insist that both the mashgiach and the cows that are being milked be toiveled in order to be assured of receiving cholov yisroel l'mehadrin?

14

 Dec 04, 2017 at 03:54 PM Aron1 Says:

In the article he didn't say that you may not speak to Christians in general. That statement was made in reference to speaking with missionaries or others that would like to engage in missionary type conversations.

15

 Dec 04, 2017 at 03:58 PM favish Says:

Reply to #4  
hawkeyex Says:

The haredi rabbi has committed lashon hora, and needs to punish himself, overriding the Almighty One, blessed is He.

is that so, hoow?

16

 Dec 04, 2017 at 09:35 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Certainly the strangest story of the day.

17

 Dec 05, 2017 at 11:57 PM Curiosity Says:

Reply to #13  
The Professor Says:

It's not a face - it's a picture of a face. How far are you going with this? Should we insist that both the mashgiach and the cows that are being milked be toiveled in order to be assured of receiving cholov yisroel l'mehadrin?

I was taught the gzeira applied to pictures as well.

18

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