Rabbis Who Bring Shame to Judaism
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2008-08-08 03:09:19 UTC
Rabbis Who Bring Shame to Judaism
by Khaled Amayreh / August 6th, 2008

Religious extremism is very dangerous. It means that every thinkable vice
under the sun can be committed, "sanctioned" and "justified" in the name of
the Almighty. In Israel, rabbis with hundreds of thousands of followers,
many of whom serve in the Gestapo-like Israeli occupation army, openly teach
that non-Jews are only human in form but animals in substance. These racist
teachings can't be dismissed as "innocuous" or "esoteric." Very often, they
constitute "a manual for action" for many Jewish settlers roaming the hills
of the West Bank, searching for an Arab prey to kill, or attack or tie up to
a power pole.

The teachings also serve as a direct inspiration to numerous Israeli
soldiers operating in the West Bank who, thanks to the racist indoctrination
they receive from their rabbis, have come to view the estimated 3.7 million
Palestinians living under Israel's military rule, not as real human beings,
but rather as animals walking on two feet. The often barbaric treatment
meted out to the Palestinians in the occupied territories testifies to the
rampantly racist indoctrination soldiers and settlers receive at the hands
of religious Zionist rabbis. Last year, a Jewish immigrant from France, who
murdered an Arab taxi driver after luring him to his home north of Tel Aviv,
told police interrogators that he didn't kill a human being; he only killed
an animal.

"Merkaz Harav"
Merkaz Harav (the Rabbi's Center) is the ideological and theological central
nervous system of religious Zionism in Israel. Established in honor of Rabbi
Abraham Kook, Israel's first Chief Rabbi, the center, which is actually a
religious college, teaches students that God Almighty created the entire
universe for the sake of "the Jew," and that all non-Jews ought to be slaves
laboring for the "chosen people." As to the Palestinians, Merkaz Harav
teaches that "non-Jews living under Jewish law in Eretz Yisrael (Land of
Israel) must either be enslaved as water carriers and wood hewers, or
banished, or exterminated."

Some rabbinic authorities associated with Merkaz Harav have been preaching
the view that Palestinians are descendants of the Amalek, or Amalekites,
whom the Bible says must be totally exterminated. Such hateful views are
actually espoused by hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers in the West
Bank. This is the religious doctrine of religious Zionism. This is the
theology taught in hundreds of Yeshivot (religious schools) throughout
Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Settlers as well as the
increasingly Settler-dominated Israeli army may very well act on these
doctrines in a more wanton manner if the world goes into a slumber. They are
only awaiting the opportune time to do it.

According to Rabbi Kook, "The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of
non-Jews-all of them in all different levels-is greater and deeper than the
difference between a human soul and the soul of cattle." The late Israeli
philosopher, Yisrael Shahak, pointed out that the teachings of Kook were
based on the Lurianic Cabala, one of whose basic tenets is the absolute
superiority of the Jewish soul and body over the non-Jewish soul and body
"so much so that the world was created solely for the sake of Jews."

In 2003, Rabbi Saadya Grama, an alumnus of Beth Medrash Govoha, the renowned
Yeshiva in Lakewood, N.J., wrote a book titled Romemut Yisrael Ufarashat
Hagalut, which can be translated as "the Majesty of Israel and the Question
of the Diaspora," in which he argued that non-Jews were "completely evil"
and that Jews constituted a separate, genetically superior species. The book
was condemned by many reform and conservative rabbis in the US as manifestly
racist and incompatible with normative Jewish religious thinking. However,
major Jewish organizations in Israel and North America, such as Agudat
Yisrael, refused to condemn the book.

In Israel, numerous Orthodox Zionist rabbis, many of them graduates of and
lecturers at Merkaz Harav, continue to teach the theologically dubious
concept that the ten commandments don't apply to non-Jews and that,
therefore, the Biblical commandments against committing murder, theft, and
lying don't cover non-Jews. For example, Rabbi Dov Lior, Chairman of the
Jewish Rabbinic Council, teaches that "there is no such thing as enemy
civilians in war time" "The law of our Torah is to have mercy on our
soldiers and to save them. This is the real moral behind Israel's Torah and
we must not feel guilty due to foreign morals," he was quoted as saying by
the Hebrew newspaper Ma'ariv in 2004.

"A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew's fingernail."
Lior is not a marginal figure in the Zionist religious establishment. I
asked Rabbi Menachem Froman, who himself has taught at Merkaz Harav, about
Lior's religious credentials and he told me that the man "is considered
among the most learned sages of the Torah." Earlier this year, Rabbi David
Batsri told followers that "it is impossible to mix the pure with the
impure. They (the Arabs) are a blight, a devil, a disaster. The Arabs are
donkeys, and we have to ask ourselves why God didn't create them to walk on
all four. Well, the answer is that they are needed to build and clean. They
don't have any place in our school."

In May, 2007, Mordechai Elyahu, a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, issued an
edict that would permit the Israeli army to murder hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians . "If they don't stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a
thousand. And if they don't stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If
they still don't stop we must kill 100,000. Even a million. Whatever it
takes to make them stop."

I don't believe that this repulsive extremism represents true Judaism, the
Judaism that is based on the Ten Commandments. Jewish traditions relate the
story of a heathen who came to Shammai with the request to be accepted as a
convert on condition that he was taught the whole Torah while he stood on
one foot. Shammai drove him away with the yard-stick he was holding. Then
the man went to Hillel with the same request. Hillel told the man "what is
hateful to yourself don't do to your fellow human being. That is the whole
of the Torah and the rest is commentary."

Unfortunately, the rabbis of religious Zionism, including the so-called
Chabadim who have effectively replaced the Torah with a notoriously racist
manual called "Hatanya," pay no attention to such traditions. And when they
are reminded of them, they arrogantly claim that words such as "man" or
"human being" refer solely and exclusively to the "Jew."

Besides, it is obvious that these fanatics only select the most racist and
most hateful texts from a huge body of scriptures, Biblical and Talmudic,
while utterly ignoring and shunning authentic texts, including biblical
texts, that urge Jews to treat kindly and justly non-Jews who live in their

In addition, one wonders if these so-called religious leaders and "holy men"
understand what it means to rule that in wartime no holds are barred and
there is no such a thing as enemy civilians.

Well, Adolph Hitler could have made the same argument to justify his
genocidal onslaught against Jews and non-Jews in Europe?

Finally, I hope that moderate Jewish religious authorities will move to
challenge these extremist rabbis who I am convinced misrepresent Judaism by
presenting it as a religion of fire and blood and hate. God-fearing rabbis
should make it abundantly clear to Jews in Israel-Palestine that harming
innocent people is wrong.

This is a paramount issue because if the ideology and theology of Merkaz
Harav are allowed to prevail, then Judaism itself will suffer immensely.

Khalid Amayreh is a journalist living in Palestine. Read other articles by
M. Ranjit Mathews
2008-08-08 15:20:21 UTC
Post by al92653
Rabbis Who Bring Shame to Judaism
by Khaled Amayreh / August 6th, 2008
Some rabbinic authorities associated with Merkaz Harav have been preaching
the view that Palestinians are descendants of the Amalek, or Amalekites,
whom the Bible says must be totally exterminated. Such hateful views are
actually espoused by hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers in the West
If the Bible claims the Amalek were totally exterminated, why do they
think there are living descendants of Amalekites? The Hasmonean
kingdom of John Hyrcanus had either expelled or forcibly converted non-
Jews in the kingdom. So, many of the Palestinians must be descendants
of Jews, not Amalekites. Their current religion being Islam doesn't
prevent their being descendants of Jews since religion is not genetic.
Many Palestinians must be even more closely related to the Jews of
Herod's kingdom than most Jewish immigrants are related to the Jews of
Herod's kingdom.