06 July 2014

Has the Bar Been Raised Too Far?

9 Tamuz 5774

Everything that we are going through right now is a test. It's best you bear that in mind. These are like team try-outs. Hashem is putting us into situations and then looking at how we react to them. Our minds and hearts must be found in sync with His Will, or we will be disqualified from receiving Mashiach. After all, why would Mashiach come just to fight the Jews who try to stand in his way?

Tonight, there is a report that one of the most upstanding of the religious-Zionist rabbis has made some very bombastic statements to his yeshivah bachurim. I won't use his name because I do not believe it, but for the sake of a teaching opportunity, let's say some rabbi somewhere held that IF Jews murdered the Arab teen, they would be liable to the death penalty and not hypothetically-if-we-had-a-Sanhedrin, but now, today in the secular Israeli courts.

The first thing I want to know is why this rabbi has not worked diligently all these years to bring Arab murderers of Jews to justice??? Why, suddenly, now, we must jump to conclusions and speak of putting Jews to death for the murder of an Arab?

The second thing I want to know is what does the Torah say about it? 

Mechilta, Beshalach 2 (on Exodus 14:7)

[Exodus 14:5-7 "It was told to the king of Egypt that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharoah and his servants became transformed regarding the people, and they said, 'What is this that we have done that we have sent away Israel from serving us?' He harnessed his chariot and attracted his people with him.] He took six hundred elite chariots [and all the chariots of Egypt, with officers on them all."]

From whom were the animals that drove the chariots? If you say they were from Egypt, doesn't it say (Exodus 9:6) "and all the livestock of Egypt died [from the fifth plague]"? If you say they were from Pharoah, doesn't it say (Exodus 9:3) "[Moses said to Pharoah]: Behold, the hand of G-d is on your livestock that are in the field"? If you say they were from the Jews, doesn't it say (Exodus 10:26) "And our livestock, as well, will go with us- not a hoof will be left"? Rather from whom were they, from the Egyptians who feared G-d [and were not affected by the plagues]. We now see that the livestock of the G-d-fearers that escaped the plague caused great hardship for the Jews [by being used for chariots to pursue them]. From here R. Shimon [ben Yochai] said: Kill [even] the good among the gentiles.

From the above teaching we see that R. Shimon ben Yochai was discussing a case of war. The G-d-fearers among the Egyptians allowed their animals to be used in battle against the Jews. Presumably, these people went along with their animals and drove the chariots. We now see that the G-d-fearers, the "good" among the gentiles, were doing battle with the Jews. To this R. Shimon ben Yochai said that, when in battle, do not try to spare the lives of those opposing soldiers who are fine, upstanding people. Kill any enemy soldier, regardless of their character....

Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Rotze'ach 2:11 and the commentary of R. Yosef Karo,Kessef Mishneh

A Jew who killed a righteous gentile is not executed in a court of law as it says (Exodus 21:14) "If a man shall act intentionally against his fellow..." [and a gentile is not considered a fellow] and even more so that he is not executed for killing an unrighteous gentile.

What our teacher Maimonides meant when he wrote that he is not executed in a court of law is that he is nevertheless punished by Heaven.

The above passage in Maimonides shows that there is a discrepancy between the treatment of a murderer of a Jew and a gentile. The Bible says that a murderer is only executed if he kills his "fellow" and by being parts of very different communities a gentile is not the "fellow" of a Jew. Is this murder forbidden? Absolutely. However, biblical fiat declares that this murder is not a capital punishment. However, rather than allowing this murderer to receive a minor punishment, his punishment is left to Divine providence. G-d will punish this sin appropriately because it is out of the court's hands.

And that's talking about Jewish courts run according to Torah law - NOT secular Israeli pseudo-courts!


  1. As our Sages have foretold, many of the Rabbis (religious ones) will be of the Erev Rav before the arrival of Moshiach, so, unfortunately, reading and hearing of what they say (especially to an uninformed Jewish public) is not so surprising. These rabbis just say what they are told to say. We need Hashem's Rachamim NOW to send us Moshiach tzdkeinu in a blink of an eye!

  2. Posting Anonymously, because the Shabak now has a cyber crimes unit they are actively going after people who post, even Torah that they deem inflammatory. You %100 correct on the halachot. We have to becareful though because there is an issur of Meshum Aivah. But yes Rabbis coming out saying these biys IF they did it deserve the death penalty is flat out ridiculous.