On Monday, prior to the funeral of the late Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Chief Rabbinate Council of Israel convened for a special mourning session in his memory.
Following is the text of the statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting:
"The Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbis Israel Lau and Eliahu Bakshi Doron, as well as the members of the Chief Rabbinate Council, expressed profound shock at this abhorrent deed, and concern and anxiety that this terrible act will give rise to polarization and produce a deep rift among the people, endangering the very survival of the Jewish people in the land of Israel.
The Chief Rabbinate Council declares that marginal groups have no authority use Jewish law (halakhah) as a pretense to support their views, and that the sole authority to speak in the name of Jewish law is the Chief Rabbinate Council and the great Torah scholars recognized by the Council.
At this difficult time, the Chief Rabbinate Council appeals to the entire Jewish people to unite as one, to search their souls, while respecting their fellow men and upholding the Divine commandment to "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
On this coming Sabbath, of the Torah reading "Va-yera", we ask that all rabbis and prayer leaders in synagogues, in Israel and abroad, emphasize in their sermons the supreme value of the sanctity of life, and that they expunge the malignant abomination of violence from within us. We ask that a special prayer be said in all synagogues for the soul of Yitzhak ben Nehemiah Rabin, of blessed memory, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
Upon the conclusion of the seven days of mourning, on Monday, November 13, 1995, 20 Heshvan 5756, the Chief Rabbinate Council appeals to all synagogue worshippers and school teachers, in all streams of Judaism, to conduct a day of soul-searching, to read Chapters 121 and 130 of the Book of Psalms, and to study the teachings of Pirkei Avot ("the Chapters of the Fathers") dealing with human dignity -- Chapter 1:12 and Chapter 3:13 and 18."