The Rabbi of Ofra, Rabbi Avi Gisser has granted permission to the non-Jewish laborers to work within the town ON SHABBAT to finish up the houses there as soon as possible.
He did this in response to the attacks by the Left to destroy the town by way of the Supreme Court (see my post on it here). He hopes to move the families in quickly and create facts on the ground (Please God).
According to Haaretz, Chareidi MK Rabbi Avraham Ravitz (United Torah Judaism), says that sanctioning construction on Shabbat is misguided to say the least.
"Purely from a halakhic standpoint, a Chinese laborer can work whenever he wants. If he chooses to do so on Shabbat, so long as it is not at my behest, a system of halakhic arguments can be found to permit it. I would not permit it, and in any case a rabbi should also take a long-term view: ? What will be the outcome of this? Tomorrow, someplace else, they will start allowing construction on Shabbat because perhaps some politician will wake up in the middle of the night [and call for] an armaments factory or textile plant that strengthens the state," Ravitz said.Opposing MK Rabbi Avraham Ravitz (United Torah Judaism) is the Gemorah.
In Gittin 8b it says:
[Our authority further says that] "a field bought in Syria is like one bought on the outskirts of Jerusalem". What rule of conduct can be based on this? — R. Shesheth Says: It means that a contract for selling it [to a Jew] can be drawn up even on Sabbath. What? On Sabbath? — You know the dictum of Raba, "He tells a non-Jew to do it." So here, he tells a non-Jew to draw up the contract. And although there is a Rabbinical prohibition against telling a non-Jew to do things on Sabbath [which we may not do ourselves], where it was a question of furthering the [Jewish] settlement of Eretz Israel the Rabbis did not apply the prohibition.
Hattip to Dr. J. Woolf (I was forwarded his comments on this matter).
So, let's see if we got this right.
1. The Left is trying to destroy Ofra and hand the land over to enemy.
2. The Rabbi of Ofra uses the Gemorah that states that one is not prohibited from appointing a non-Jew to do certain labors on Shabbat specifically for the purpose of furthering the settlement and acquisition of the Land of Eretz Yisrael (where Eretz Yisrael is defined as Greater Israel including Syria).
3. Meanwhile the Chareidi MKs are against it because they can't seem to differentiate between expanding the ownership and liberation of the land of Eretz Yisrael with building industries that sit on already owned and liberated lands (and seem to be unfamiliar with this Gemorah, because it doesn't seem to be that a "system of halachic arguments" needs to be found, it's pretty clear from one explicit statement).
4. The "Settler Camp" is prepared to actually live and apply Halacha to building a modern Jewish Halachic State and discover halachic solutions to National problems.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד