Leading rabbi urges followers to ‘pray for destruction of Iran’s nuclear program’

Leading rabbi urges followers to pray for the destruction of Iran’s nuclear program.

By World Israel News Staff

A prominent Israeli rabbi urged his followers to pray for the destruction of Iran’s nuclear program last Thursday, as talks in Vienna aimed at persuading the Islamic Republic to curb its nuclear development show little progress.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tzfat and a leading Torah authority, made the statements during one of his near-daily YouTube videos on Judaism.

“We know that now the talks in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear [agreement] exploded,” Eliyahu said to his followers.

“Now we need there to be courage, heroism and of course the help of Heaven and success for Israel to destroy the entire Iranian nuclear [program], like [Menahem] Begin did in Iraq, like they did in Syria. Netanyahu also needed to do this, but he did not have the courage, he did not have the strength, they scared him. Now is the time.”

Eliyahu added that the existential threat to Israel posed by a nuclear Iran is comparable to historical enemies who wanted to exterminate the Jewish people.

He advised his followers to pray for the destruction of “those who want to continue what Amalek wanted to do,” referencing an ancient Biblical people who were sworn enemies of the Israelites.

Comments made by the rabbi in the past triggered backlash from Israel’s highest court, which ruled In September 2020 that the rabbinical authorities had failed by not investigating comments by Eliyahu which they said encouraged violence against Arabs.

The ruling was in reference to a Facebook post penned by Eliyahu, in which he wrote that “anyone who raises a hand to a Jew needs to be killed… We need to have a law so that it is clear to everyone including murderers, that a terrorist who comes to kill Jews – that is their end.

“It is an obligation and religious commandment on soldiers, police officers and citizens to finish them. Not to disable them, not to restrain them, but to remove them from the world,” the post concluded.