Key Figure in Holyland Case Consulting Haredi Rabbis About Breaking His Silence on Affair

Meir Rabin, whom police believe was the go-between in the Holyland bribery affair, has been consulting leading rabbis about how he should proceed in the investigation, and the questions he has reportedly asked indicate that he is considering breaking his silence, Haaretz has learned.

Sources in the police and prosecution have said over the past few days that Rabin would be able to provide a great deal of information implicating other suspects in the affair.

However, as far as is known, the rabbis have not given Rabin any clear advice.

Rabin has been in custody for several days, and has so far not implicated anyone else. But over the last few days, Haaretz has learned, his siblings have sought advice from several rabbis in Israel and abroad.

Last week, two of his brothers went to Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who is considered the spiritual leader of the "Lithuanian" faction of the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox community. Kanievsky received the two brothers several times, at their request.

Rabin, who lives in Bnei Brak, has been a familiar figure in the Kanievsky household for many years, and he views himself as Kanievsky's student. The two brothers asked Kanievsky whether their brother should cooperate with investigators or continue to exercise his right to remain silent, to protect himself and others.

But Kanievsky reportedly made do with saying a blessing for Rabin. He told the brothers he "is not familiar with the subject," and Rabin would do better to consult his lawyers.

One of Rabin's sisters also recently approached a well-known ultra-Orthodox rabbi who lives abroad with a similar question. That rabbi also gave a blessing, but no definitive answer.

Meanwhile, Shas declined to respond officially yesterday to a statement by Rabin's attorney, Giora Zilbershtein, that his client was questioned a few days ago on suspicion of conveying millions of shekels to Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Zilbershtein also said Rabin was asked about money he allegedly transferred to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and two former ministers, Dan Naveh and MK Ruhama Avraham Balila (Kadima).

But a Shas source insisted that "Rabin never visited Rabbi Ovadia, and we don't know him." A source in Ovadia's home added that "if Rabin was indeed asked about the matter, it was because the police are trying to pressure someone into talking."

Lieberman, Avraham and Naveh vehemently denied Zilbershtein's statement. The police said "the officials named by Rabin's attorney were named on his own responsibility."

Lieberman sarcastically told a meeting if his Yisrael Beiteinu party's Knesset faction yesterday that "Over the past few days, I've been so disappointed. There are so many cases - Holyland, the Israel Lands Administration, the kidnapping of those two women - and my name wasn't mentioned in even one of them. So I was glad to hear today that they managed to get my name into at least one case."