Eli Yishai's Spiritual Leader: Torah Study Spared Sephardic Jews From Holocaust

Rabbi Meir Mazuz's book of responsa also says soldiers should refuse orders to evacuate settlements, religious students may evade tax.

Tomer Appelbaum

Rabbi Meir Mazuz, the spiritual leader of the newly founded party Ha’am Itanu, led by MK Eli Yishai, told a disciple that Sephardic Jews were spared perishing in the Holocaust because they studied Torah, Ynet reveled in an article Tuesday, quoting from a book of Mazuz's responsa (answers to religious questions) Makor Ne'eman.

Answering a question on whether Ashkenazi education is better than Sephardic education, Mazuz is quoted in the report as saying "Why did the Holocaust almost completely spare Sephardic Jews? It is the result of the education of the holy Torah"

Another response quoted by Ynet has the rabbi respond to a question on whether or not a soldier may refuse an order to evacuate settlements. The rabbi's answer: "Remember what Eichmann said - that he was only a 'small cog' [in the state apparatus]."

Another controversial answer given by the rabbi and quoted by the Ynet report is a response to a query on whether one may evade tax. According to the report the rabbi answered that Jewish law commands that one must comply with state laws including income tax laws but that in the case of students studding Jewish law in religious academies, tax evasion could be permitted.