Led by former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Avraham Shapira, representatives of a group of 1,200 rabbis of the organization called Ichud HaRabbanim - the Union of Rabbis for the People of Israel and the Land of Israel - published a halakhic [Jewish legal] ruling, forbidding the transfer of the Golan Heights to the Syrians and the uprooting of Jews from their homes in the Land of Israel. Attached to the ruling is a call for Jews to act "with self-sacrifice" - but within the law - to prevent the destruction of Golan communities. In addition to Rabbi Shapira, the signatories include Rabbis Dov Lior, Zalman Baruch Melamed, Tzefaniah Drori, Nachum Rabinowitz, Chaim Druckman, Eliezer Waldman, Meyer Fendel, Sholom Gold, Shabtai Zelikovitz, and others. A meeting of the organization's leaders took place at Rabbi Shapira's home in Jerusalem this morning.

The ruling reads as follows:
a. The Golan is part of the Land of Israel that was granted to the Tribes of Israel by the A-lmighty, as recorded in our holy Torah. The Golan was settled by Jews in the 1st and 2nd Temple periods, as our Sages tell us (and as confirmed by Josephus). According to Jewish Law, it is forbidden to uproot Jewish settlements in Eretz Yisrael.

b. The abandonment of the Golan involves a mortal danger for the entire country. Withdrawing from the Golan will not bring peace, but the opposite.

c. It is unethical to remove Jews from their homes that they have built with self-sacrifice and at the behest of the state.

d. Tens of thousands of Jews will stand against those who uproot us from our land and who wheel and deal with our security. Every Jew must take part in the legal public activities and act with self-sacrifice to prevent the destruction of the Golan communities.

e. We call upon the government of Israel not to tear away this precious part of our Land, and not to cause a split in the nation.

f. We call for a national convention of rabbis to strengthen the Golan. "Let us strengthen and let us be strong on behalf of our nation and the cities of our G-d."

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