Israel quake teams should work through sabbath: chief rabbi

Rescue workers look for survivors amid the rubble of a building in the rebel-held town of Jindayris on February 10, 2023, days after an earthquake hit Turkey and Syria. - The 7.8-magnitude quake early on February 6 has killed more than 20,000 people in Turkey and war-ravaged Syria, according to officials and medics in the two countries, flattening entire neighbourhoods. (Photo by Rami al SAYED / AFP)

Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi, David Lau, ruled Friday that emergency teams deployed to Turkey to help in the earthquake response should work through the Jewish sabbath to save lives, Agence France-Presse reported.

“So long as there is any hope of saving lives and finding survivors, operations should continue,” Lau said in a public letter to the rescue teams.

“The treatment being given to the wounded should not be interrupted,” he added.

Since the 7.8-magnitude quake devastated swathes of southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday, killing more than 22,700 people, Israel has deployed several hundred rescue specialists, doctors and nurses to Turkish towns and cities to assist in the relief effort.

During the sabbat, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, Orthodox Jews refrain from all work except where it can save a life.

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