No Probe of Rabbi Who Called Jews to Avoid Christmas Tree

Israel’s state prosecutor will not open an investigation against a university rabbi for telling students to avoid the student union in a campus building because it had the “pagan” symbol of a Christmas tree inside. Rabbi Elad Dokow, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, made the remarks last December.


“The Christmas tree is a religious symbol – not Christian, but even more problematic – pagan,” Rabbi Dokow wrote. “Halacha [Jewish religious law] clearly states that whenever it is possible to circumvent and not pass through a place where there is any kind of idolatry, this must be done. So, one should not enter the student union if it’s not necessary to do so.”

At the time, Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen (Hadash) demanded that the rabbi be investigated under suspicion of incitement. However, Israel Radio reported that the prosecutor’s decision was based on the fact that Dokow’s directive “wasn’t incitement, but only aimed at Jewish religiously observant students who might have been seeking guidelines as to what Jewish law permits.”