Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Foxy Foxman - Fooey

Abe Foxman, former member of New York Betar, has a large salary as befits his position as titular head of the ADL.

And I found one of his actions here:

The ADL is urging Israel’s chief rabbis, as well as Orthodox rabbis in the US and around the world, to “speak out against this text as a perversion of Judaism, cloaking itself as an authoritative interpretation of Jewish biblical law,” according to a January 26 statement by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director.

He is referring to the book Torat HaMelech, by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira.

Here is the full text of his statement:

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira's book is a perversion of Judaism, rejecting the morals and ethics inherent in the Jewish faith for an extremist ideology that encourages the killings of non-Jews. His teachings are anathema not only to the tenets of Judaism but to the humanitarian and democratic principles upon which the state of Israel was founded.

It is outrageous that several prominent rabbis have endorsed this book. The failure of religious leaders to condemn the distorted views of biblical law advocated in Torat Hamelech may have contributed to an atmosphere in which heinous attacks, such as the attack against the Palestinian mosque in Yasuf, are encouraged and condoned as being supported by biblical commandments.

We applaud those rabbinic scholars who have condemned the book and banned it from their schools. We call on the chief rabbis of Israel and rabbinic leaders in the Orthodox community -- in the United States and throughout the world -- to speak out against this text as a perversion of Judaism, cloaking itself as an authoritative interpretation of Jewish biblical law.

Foxman may be correct. But I suggest that he himself is totally incapable of reading the book, of understanding it and of being able to argue with it. He, at the least, could have named those Rabbis who did read the book and who understood it and with whom he took advice.

Moreover, he tags on this:

Ten settlers were arrested January 18 in a raid on Yitzhar by Israeli security officials.

Foxman is engaging in guilt not only by association but based on tenuous facts and acts. For example, besides the elementary principle of "innocent until proven guilty" from which Jews suffered in the lapse, there are less than 10 persons currently incarcerated since they were released already. His liberalism is affected not by truth but what the goyim will say. And if he doesn't like books liable to incite, why doesn't he start with Mein Kampf, sold over Amazon?

By the way,

Israel’s Supreme Court this week rejected an appeal by the Twelfth of Heshvan, a coalition of Israeli religious organizations, to force Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to take immediate action against the book’s authors. The judges accepted the Attorney General’s request for more time to deal with the matter [the Hebrew version of the court's decision is here],

But, let's return to the essence - what of the book. Well, here's the pronouncement of the group called Sanhedrin, which is easily the most radical right-wing group in the religious national camp:

30 Cheshvan, 5770 [November 17, 2009]

Concerning the book "Torat haMelech (Laws of the King) - Capital offenses between Israel and the Nations"

1. There are two kinds of books in Jewish law: books published which have been universally accepted by all the scholars of Israel for practical rulings in Jewish law (probably the last one of this type was published in 1965[1]) and study books; Shapira and Elitzur's book "Torat haMelech" is a study book. Even a partial review of the material shows it contains a study of mostly medieval material and the opinion of the researchers, and does not attempt to survey modern halachic authorities on the subject.
2. The book is one of about 30,000 study works published by thousands of researchers in our time. This book is one of the studies, and like the rest, it does not obligate anyone.
3. It is not meant to be a ruling in Jewish Law, but rather a summary of some of material written on the subject. Even the endorsements of rabbis who gave their endorsement were praising the efforts to study, not suggesting to use this book in the application of practical Jewish Law.
4. The book is not sold in stores, and obviously it is not meant for the general public unfamiliar with the material, and can only be obtained by direct request to the authors. The authors are not known as halachic masters or decisors in Jewish Law.
5. In the culture and nation of Israel, there is complete academic freedom. Anyone can write and self publish his studies. For the mass media to intercept and falsely portray this book is akin to intercepting someone's doctoral thesis and falsely portraying it in the uninformed popular press.
6. If not for the newspaper Haaretz, which published a story on the book, the religious community probably would not have heard of it. The newspaper published its contents in a partial and perverted manner, as part of its tendency of the newspaper and its owners and members of its system to slander the rabbis of the settlements, residents of the settlements, all of mitzvah observant Judaism, and all the principles of Judaism. They are prepared, as part of their war on the religion of Israel, to slander, by means of partial quotes, their Jewish brethren, in spite of them knowing, as journalists, that they were quoted amidst further falsification, and in a manner which causes anti-Semitism, and hatred of Israel, and even though they are endangering the peace of all the Jews in the Diaspora.
7. At the time of this writing, there are about 35,000 websites quoting the misinformation that Haaretz (and other anti-religious Israeli papers) published, and therefore we see the need to publish this notification.
8. Despite the massive war of propaganda by Israel's enemies against the Jewish people -- which make use of Israeli secularists' and atheists' attacks on Judaism -- the truth is that Judaism is the religion which brought to the world the prohibition against killing children, by our holy Torah[2]; never has a Jew been instructed by religious law to kill innocents, or to commit suicide in order to kill others, (unlike suicide bombers who target families with their children).
9. In spite of all the lies published by the anti-Israeli press, apparently starting from Haaretz and including the hostile European and Arab press, there is no army which strived so much to refrain from harming citizens who are not participating in fighting, as the IDF does, not just in Operation Cast Lead, but since its founding.[3]
10. Therefore, we admonish and condemn in every way the Israeli and worldwide press, printed and electronic, that on the basis of the story in Haaretz (and other anti-religious Israeli papers) published attacks on Israel, on Jews, and on Judaism itself.
11. We have forwarded this message directly to Haaretz. Perhaps they will learn that even in hatred of religion there must be some limit.

Rabbi Yoel Schwartz
Rabbi Yeshayahu haCohen Hollander


1. e.g. Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa
2. Leviticus 18:21, 20:2-5; I Kings 11:7; II Kings 23:10; Isaiah 30:33, 57:5, 57:9, 19:5; Jeremiah 32:35; Amos 5:26
3. e.g. British Col. Kemp testimony prepared for the emergency UN Human Rights Council debate on the Goldstone Report

Israeli TV has just announced that the judge ordered Rav Shapira by released, noting that the police have not the least slim bit of evidence that would justify extending his remand but the police appealed and so he'll be in jail one more night. I doubt a priest or immam would have been chained about his ankles and wrists, as was Rav Shapira when brought into court.


Here's a Hebrew language clip of Rav Shapira talking about the book:

1 comment:

yoni said...

the sanhedrin claim the book is unavailable in stores and may only be obtained by direct request to the authors. as of last week, at least, it was available at moriah in the old city and pomerantz downtown, and selling relatively briskly.