Israel – The recent murder of three children by their father on a Saturday shocked the nation and will certainly not be forgotten. When one sees such inhuman cruelty, and even in less shocking cases, it is clear that action must be taken to prevent such horrors – yet Itay Ben Dror’s religious neighbors were undecided about calling the police and reporting the case.
On Thursday, the rabbis of the Tzohar organization issued a clarification emphasizing the halachic aspect which allows, and even compels, the calling of the police on Shabbat.
The notice issued by the organization read, “Following the terrible act of murder in Netanya and the neighbors’ avoidance of calling the police for fear of desecrating the Shabbat, we wish to issue this notice to announce that when there is danger to life everyone must contact the police even on Shabbat, and thereby keep the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbour’.”
The signatories include a long and distinguished list of rabbis, such as Yaacov Ariel, Aharon Lichtenstein, Haim Druckman, Shlomo Aviner, Ram Hacohen, Haim Navon, David Stav, Rafi Feyerstein, Shai Piron and Israel Rozen.
On Wednesday, Ben Dror was deemed fit to be detained at the Ramla Magistrates’ Court. Family members of the victims Roni, Or and Omer were also present.
“They’re no longer his children,” said Albert Shem-Tov, the brother of the children’s mother, Lilach. “We came to see him from up close, because I want to see him and make sure he gets the punishment he deserves after what he did to the children and the family.”