< HOME  Thursday, November 12, 2009

Terrorist Rabbi's Guide to Killing Causes Firestorm

An Israeli Rabbi living in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank has caused a firestorm in both Israeli and Palestinian media with a new book outlining a series of Jewish theological arguments for killing those who threaten Israel or demand Israeli land.

The 230-page book, "The King's Torah" was released over the weekend by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and gives theological backing to Jews killing those perceived to be violating Jewish commandments or threatening the Jewish nation. A theological treatise based on Rabbi Shapira's interpretation of passages from the Jewish bible, "The King's Torah" is an extensive guide to when it is permissible for Jews to kill non-Jews.

Rabbi Shapiro's book argues that Jewish law allows the killing of "non-Jews who demand the land for themselves", those from a nation which "helps a murderer of Jews," those spreading "hostile blasphemy" and "those who, by speech, weaken our sovereignty."

"Any case in which the life of the civilian endangers Israel," the book states, "it is allowed to kill a gentile."

"The permit also applies when the persecutor is threatening to kill indirectly rather than directly," Rabbi Shapiro's book reads. "If the civilian is aiding fighters it is permissible to kill... Any citizen who supports the war or the fighters or expresses satisfaction with their deeds - the killing is permitted."

Rabbi Shapira's book argues that revenge is a necessity under Jewish law.

"To defeat the wicked one should be vengeful, tit for tat," the book reads. "Revenge is a necessity... and sometimes doing savage things intended to create a true balance of terror."

The book further states that Jews are permitted to kill children "If it is clear they will grow up to harm us."

"If hurting an evil leader's children will pressure him to stop acting maliciously," Rabbi Shapira wrote, "you can hurt them."

The book discusses the laws regarding such killings in theological terms, never specifically mentioning Palestinians, Arabs or Israeli soldiers sent to remove Jewish settlements. Its release comes weeks after the arrest of Yaakov Teitel, a Jewish Israeli settler of American origin who is understood to have admitted to killing Palestinians and attacking progressive and messianic Jews.

Rabbi Shapira is head of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva, a religious school for Jewish boys based in the Yitzhar Jewish settlement a few miles southwest of the Palestinian city of Nablus. Rabbi Shapira's followers adhere to a radical form of Jewish religious nationalism and call for a Torah-based theocracy to replace the State of Israel, which they see as having abandoned core Jewish principals.

The school is best known for its former leader, American-born Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg, seen as the spiritual heir to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the American-Israeli founder of the extreme-right political party Kach, classified by both Israel and the U.S. as a terrorist organization. Rabbi Ginzburg was imprisoned for an article praising Baruch Goldstein, an American-born Israeli physician who killed dozens of Muslim worshipers in Hebron and injured 150 others in 1994.

Both Rabbi Ginzburg and Rabbi Ya'akov Yosef, another prominent leader of the radical Jewish religious nationalist movement, have recommended Rabbi Shapira's new book, which was first released over the weekend at a Jerusalem memorial for Rabbi Kahane.

Rabbi Hank Skirball, the chairperson of Hiddush, an Israeli organization dedicated to religious freedom and equality, said Rabbi Shapira's book represented only the far right fringe of religious Jews.

"It's a perversion of Jewish law and I don't think it's taken seriously by most," he told The Media Line. "It's giving people tremendous latitude to kill people they disagree with and opens itself up to violation of much more important prohibitions in Jewish law."

"In Israel we did not kill the murderer of Prime Minister Yitshak Rabin and we didn't kill any of the people who created sedition at the time," he said. "We have freedom of speech and its very difficult to know what is dangerous and what is not. Jewish law does not provide for us to go out and kill someone for what he's saying. You are only allowed to kill someone if it is very obvious that he's about to kill you and you have no other way to save your life other than by killing him."
Rabbi David Hartman, founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a philosopher of contemporary Judaism, said that the rabbis of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva were not taking into account the consequences of their teachings.

"Has the Jewish tradition ever created a distinction based on race, gender, etc? Of course, there is no doubt that there are serious Jewish sources that do not look at the non-Jew with full equality," he told The Media Line. "But they have lots of sources they could use, and which sources you choose to read and don't read is important."

"One of the interesting things about Jewish law is that perception is a part of the criteria," Rabbi Hartman said. "Jewish theologians aren't pure academics nor are they spokesmen, so they are not writing in a vacuum. The most serious Jewish theological figures are very careful about the implications or consequences of their writings."

Rabbi Hartman argued that while such books touched a cultural chord, they were mostly ignored in the mainstream Jewish theological community.

"I make a distinction between a cultural fringe and what is fringe in terms of Jewish theological thought," he told The Media Line. "On the one hand, this is not fringe, and you have mainstream kids talking this talk. But in terms of Jewish law, there is no significant Jewish theological movement to permit the blood of non-Jews. If you're looking at the major thinkers, nobody is talking with that language, whether they are ultra-orthodox, Sephardic or Ashkenazi, and these kinds of things are ignored."

"The problem is that if you ignore something it doesn't mean it doesn't have any influence over students," Rabbi Hartman said. "Beware of that which you ignore, what is a cultural phenomenon today may become acceptable to major Jewish thinkers tomorrow."

"For example, when it comes to Israel, our return to power and the desire to strengthen the claim to the land has created a push for a new Jewish theological creativity and a cultural phenomenon in which certain Jewish theological positions are given more significance than what the major Jewish theological authorities would allow."

"Forty years ago there were no major Jewish theological figures who said the land of Israel was more significant than Pikuach Nefesh, the concept of the saving of a life," he said, in reference to Jewish theological debates over exchanging land captured by Israel for peace. "Today in the religious Zionist community there are major theological figures for whom this is now a self evident truth."



At Thursday, November 12, 2009, Blogger andie531 said...

This comment from another site:

I got in a fight with a Jewish friend of mine who went to Israel and turned right wing. I asked him if he really wanted to stone people to death for working on the Sabbath or adultery or eating shellfish. He said, sure. I said, in college, you ate pasta with clam sauce. Should I kill you?

He hung up the phone.

Any religion that promotes death is an evil religion.


At Thursday, November 12, 2009, Blogger Nepos Libertas said...

Jews -- the tribe of Khazaria, who has taken pointers from the extinct Pharisee and Sadducee cults when they converted to Judiasm -- who advocate murder of Gentile people and rape/molestation of Gentile women & children are indeed the demented and utterly depraved, and they have the gall to ask why do they hate the Jews?

They're either lunatic idiots or so debased in wickedness they know it but promote so-called "tolerance" and "solidarity with Israel".

The criminal enterprise Zionist regime of Israel do not deserve to exist. The ethnocratically puerile and amoral behavior have made the future extinction of Israel self-evident.

At Friday, November 13, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a Jew, and the claims made here are simply not true or blown wildly out of proportion.

At Friday, November 13, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can join the liars then, the article is quite accurate and unbiased; unfortunately you're used to a bias in favour of so-called jews.

go to hell.

At Friday, November 13, 2009, Blogger musique said...


did anyone force you to read something you and people don't like rest of the world to know? don't think so.

Stop shoving your fantasy ovenbaked story on us.

At Friday, November 13, 2009, Blogger musique said...

I heard hell is really really hot hmmm ....

well said Grim!

At Friday, November 13, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Must have been talking about
Fred 'soap lard' Schiefler
and the roast chicken crew!

No soap, No lampshades.

At Friday, November 13, 2009, Blogger andie531 said...

Hi, I'm a Jew, and the claims made here are simply not true or blown wildly out of proportion.

Let's take that statement apart - first part:

Hi, I'm a Jew

Is that like, an opening line at parties? How would someone answer that? "Hi, I'm a Pisces"?

Or does it presuppose some sort of mystical cell level knowledge of truth as it relates to Jews?

I'm half Italian. It doesn't mean I know anything about the Mafia, lasagna, Fellini, or Silvio Berlusconi. But I can always use it as a ruse to intimidate non-Italians:

"This is great lasagna!"

Me: "Man, are you joking? This would never pass muster at nonna's house."

Like that. Good luck with the Jew ruse.

At Saturday, November 14, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...


..have you heard the jewish prank call?

At Saturday, November 14, 2009, Blogger andie531 said...

..have you heard the jewish prank call?

That woman has to be living in a cave to think that all Italians are rapists and murderers. It's the east coast. They have wall to wall Italians there. Has she never met any?

At Saturday, November 14, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me about it, that's not all they said either, at one point i had transcribed it for the old wufys site, it's even more shocking to read!

I think TJ should have gone for the heart-attack, and said they're getting married, she's converting to Catholicism, and she's pregnant! xD


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