"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Saturday 23 January 2010

The King's Torah: a rabbinic text or a call to terror?

By Daniel Estrin, Haaretz

The marble-patterned, hardcover book embossed with gold Hebrew letters looks like any other religious commentary you'd find in an Orthodox Judaica bookstore - but reads like a rabbinic instruction manual outlining acceptable scenarios for killing non-Jewish babies, children and adults.

The prohibition 'Thou Shalt Not Murder' applies only "to a Jew who kills a Jew," write Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. Non-Jews are "uncompassionate by nature" and attacks on them ?curb their evil inclination,? while babies and children of Israel's enemies may be killed since ?it is clear that they will grow to harm us.?

"The King's Torah (Torat Hamelech), Part One: Laws of Life and Death between Israel and the Nations," a 230-page compendium of Halacha, or Jewish religious law, published by the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, garnered a front-page exposé in the Israeli tabloid Ma'ariv, which called it the stuff of ?Jewish terror.?

Now, the yeshiva is in the news again, with a January 18 raid on Yitzhar by more than 100 Israeli security officials who forcibly entered Od Yosef Chai and arrested 10 Jewish settlers. The Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency, suspects five of those arrested were involved in the torching and vandalizing of a Palestinian mosque last month in the neighboring Palestinian village of Yasuf. The arson provoked an international outcry and condemnation by Israeli religious figures, including Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who visited the village to personally voice his regret.

Yet, both Metzger and his Sephardic counterpart, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have declined to comment on the book, which debuted in November, while other prominent rabbis have endorsed it - among them, the son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Sephardic Jewry's preeminent leader. Also, despite the precedent set by previous Israeli attorneys general in the last decade and a half to file criminal charges against settler rabbis who publish commentaries supporting violence against non-Jews, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has so far remained mum about "The King's Torah."

"Sometimes the public arena deals with the phenomenon and things become settled by themselves," Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen told the Forward.

A coalition of religious Zionist groups, the "Twelfth of Heshvan," ? named after the Hebrew date of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, has asked Israel's Supreme Court to order Mazuz to confiscate the books and arrest its authors.

"You open the book, and you feel that you read a halachic book. And it's a trap," said Gadi Gvaryahu, a religious Jewish educator who heads the coalition. It was, in fact, "a guidebook [on] how to kill," he charged.

Family members who answered phone calls placed to the homes of both authors said they did not wish to comment.

In 2008, author Shapira was suspected of involvement in a crude rocket attack directed at a Palestinian village. Israeli police investigated but made no arrests.

Co-author Elitzur wrote an article in a religious bulletin a month after the book's release saying that "the Jews will win with violence against the Arabs."

In 2003, the head of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, was charged by then-Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein with incitement to racism for authoring a book calling Arabs a "cancer."

In 2006-2007, the Israeli Ministry of Education gave about a quarter of a million dollars to the yeshiva, and in 2007-2008 the yeshiva received about $28,000 from the American nonprofit Central Fund of Israel.

"The King's Torah" reflects a fringe viewpoint held by a minority of rabbis in the West Bank, said Avinoam Rosenak, a Hebrew University professor specializing in settler theology. Asher Cohen, a Bar Ilan University political science professor, thought its influence would be "zero" because it appeals only to extreme ideologues.

But the book's wide dissemination and the enthusiastic endorsements of prominent rabbis have spotlighted what might have otherwise remained an isolated commentary.

At the entrance to Moriah, a large Jewish bookstore steps from the Western Wall, copies of "The King's Torah" were displayed with children?s books and other halachic commentaries. The store manager, who identified himself only as Motti, said the tome has sold "excellently."

Other stores carrying the book include Robinson Books, a well-known, mostly secular bookshop in a hip Tel Aviv shopping district; Pomeranz Bookseller, a major Jewish book emporium near the Ben Yehuda mall in downtown Jerusalem; and Felhendler, a Judaica store on the main artery of secular Rehovot, home of the Weizmann Institute.

The yeshiva declined to comment on publication statistics. But Itzik, a Tel Aviv-area book distributor hired by the yeshiva who declined to give his last name because of the book?s nature, said the yeshiva had sold 1,000 copies to individuals and bookstores countrywide. He said an additional 1,000 copies were now being printed.

Mendy Feldheim, owner of Feldheim Publishers, Israel's largest Judaica publishing house, said he considered this a "nice" sales figure for a tome of rabbinic Halacha in Israel. He said his own company, which distributes to 200 bookstores nationwide, is not distributing "The King's Torah" because the book's publishers did not approach the company.

Prominent religious figures wrote letters of endorsement that preface the book. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, blessed the authors and wrote that many "disciples of Torah are unfamiliar with these laws." The elder Yosef has not commented on his son's statement.

Dov Lior, chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and a respected figure among many mainstream religious Zionists, noted that the book is "very relevant especially in this time."

Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, one of the country?s most respected rabbinic commentators, initially endorsed the book, but rescinded his approval a month after its release, saying that the book includes statements that "have no place in human intelligence."

A handful of settler rabbis echoed Goldberg's censure, including Shlomo Aviner, chief rabbi of Beit El and head of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim, who said he had "no patience" to read the book, and spoke out against it to his students.

Previously, Israel has arrested settler rabbis who publish commentaries supporting the killing of non-Jews. In addition to Ginsburgh, the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva head, in 1994, the government jailed Rabbi Ido Elba of Hebron for writing a 26-page article proclaiming it a "mitzva to kill every non-Jew from the nation that is fighting the Jew, even women and children."

"The atmosphere has changed," said Yair Sheleg, senior researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, who specializes in issues of religion and state. Previous governments took a tougher stance against such publications, he said, but "paradoxically, because the tension between the general settler population and the Israeli judicial system?is high now, the attorney general is careful not to heighten the tension."

It is not uncommon for some settler rabbis, in the unique conditions of West Bank settlement life, to issue religious decrees, or psakim, that diverge from normative Jewish practice. In 2008, Avi Gisser, considered a moderate rabbi from the settlement of Ofra, ruled that Jews may violate Sabbath laws and hire non-Jews to build hilltop settlements. And In 2002, Yediot Aharanot reported that former Israeli Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu sanctioned Jewish harvesting of Palestinian-owned olive trees.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I became curious about the Basis of the Jewish "claim" to Palestine, how they were always saying "God gave it to us",
so I read their claim. Their "claim" to Palestine is based entirely on War Crimes and GENOCIDE.
It is UNFAIR and WRONG to compare Israel to the Nazis.
The CORRECT comparison is that of the Nazis to the Israelis:
The Nazis just copied the Jewish "Manual" point by point
Numbers c.5 v.2-4
Leviticus c.20 v.13 well, really the whole chapter
Exodus c.32 v.27
Numbers c.11 v.1-2
Numbers c.16 all
Numbers c.21 v.5-6
Numbers v.26 v.10
KILL anyone who engages in "DIVERSITY" or "INTEGRATION"
Numbers v25 v.4-8
Deuteronomy c.14 v.2
Numbers c.21 v.03 Canaanites
Numbers c.21 v.24 Amorites
Numbers c.21 v.33-35 Bashan
Numbers c.31 all Midianites
Numbers c.32 v. more Amorites
Deuteronomy c.2 v.34 People of Heshbon
Deuteronomy c.3 v.6 really the whole chapter. threescore cities
Joshua c.12 A list of victims of Israeli GENOCIDE
Where are THEIR "holocaust" Memorials!
Numbers c.21 v.25
Numbers c.32 v.39
Numbers c.33 v.53
(just to name a FEW)
Numbers c.33 v.31-34
Deuteronomy c.7 v.2
Deuteronomy c.12 v.28-30
Deuteronomy c.20 v.11-16
Deuteronomy c.2 v.2
Deuteronomy c.7 v.1
Jews SELF-anointed "The CHOSEN People of GOD"
Nazis SELF-anointed "The GENETICALLY CHOSEN People of God".

13 July 2010 at 05:08  
Blogger HereAmI said...

The injunctions in the Torah against foreigners and breakers of the Law sound really appalling. However, one should be aware of various matters. Specifically, that the peoples who lived in the Promised Land prior to the arrival of Moses and the C of I were satanists. They sacrificed their children to Baal in fire ceremonies. The Carthaginians, who were the later descendants of these people, continued this practice. They also "lay with beasts" and committed incest, which even on a practical level is a degraded act. They worshiped gods of wood and metal and the host of heaven, rather than the Creator Himself. They were therefore, unregenerate and degenerate idolators. Thus YHVH could not countenance them. He knew that, if allowed to survive, these people would inevitably infect His chosen people, usually via that most insidious of mechanisms, the womenfolk. Thus they must be completely exterminated, as being completely incorrigible, and their cities burned and left desolate for all time. Modern humanists would allow them to survive. The result of that misguided philanthropy is what we see today, ie a yearly marching through the streets of East Jerusalem by the descendants of the Canaanites, who falsely call themselves Jews. They cry "Mavret Avrahim" which means "Death to the children of Abraham". Perhaps you begin to see why they should not have been spared, as they frequently were, all those years ago.
Much is said in the Torah about the equal rights of the strangers who were living amongst the Jews. As YHVH frequently reminded them, they too were strangers in Egypt before He brought them out with a high hand and an outstretched arm. Women were protected from rape, if proven by two witnesses, the man would die, and the woman return to her home. Misogyny is not a charge which can be levied against the Most High. YHVH is not, as are most people, a respecter of persons. Much was said about the rights of animals and servants, indeed of all, to rest on the Sabbath day. Much was said about how importantly YHVH sees the defence of the poor, the widow, and the fatherless.
The seemingly endless series of references from the first poster should not be taken as a sign of Divine Intolerance, but actually, of Divine Wisdom. It is appropriate that all read these chapters in the Torah for themselves. The impression which emerges is wholly different from that which some would have you believe.
Always remember that the modern Israeli is essentially a Pharisee, and remember how the Lord Jesus Christ unreservedly condemned them.

8 July 2012 at 02:32  
Blogger HereAmI said...

ps I do not have the intention to go through all the references given by Poster #1.
But I looked at his very first reference, ie Numbers c5 vv 2-5.
THERE IS NO REFERENCE THERE TO KILLING ANYONE ! But the person specifically states that this is the case.
The C of I are told to put out of the camp those who are leprous or who have a discharge. This sounds like simple common sense to me. These people were given the right to return to the camp if and when their condition ameliorated, providing that they made the appropriate sacrifice to YHVH.
I say again; it is very important that you read these verses for yourself, and do not allow someone who is clearly severely defective in his viewpoint to infect you with it as well.

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