His blood was adopted by a deeply opinionated media to discredit 'inciting rabbis,' Rosen says.
Photo: Meir Fartush

Rabbis didn't kill Rabin

Do Israelis love to hate religious Zionism?

As we mark 10 years since the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, of blessed memory, his blood continues to ignite and infuriate Israeli society.


The murderer is serving the maximum penalty, it is clear to everyone that he acted alone, not in the name of any organization.


He looked to no rabbi as a "spiritual guide", nor was he known to have any such mentors.


Despite all this, many people continue to believe "religious Zionism killed the prime minister."


Blood libel


This blood libel has sunk deep into the local consciousness. Just try to prove we didn't crucify the messiah.


Leading up to the Gaza disengagement, Rabin's blood was adopted by a deeply opinionated media to discredit "inciting rabbis" who "failed to learn anything" from the murder.


Even now, there is ongoing incitement against "warmongers" who "threaten civil war", for example.


Even the words of the attorney general, hardly sympathetic to the goals of religious Zionism, didn't help.


"There is no proof that Rabin was killed as a result of incitement. And there was certainly a security failure at the time of the murder," said Mazuz back in August.


But the authors of history in the media came down on him like the proverbial "ton of bricks," calling Mazuz on the carpet and berating him for denying the role of incitement in the murder.


Guilty feelings


This feeling of guilt has penetrated the religious Zionist world as well. One person jumped ship and dramatically beat the chest of his comrades, and started a dramatic, prophetic journey towards taking responsibility, self-flagellation, and "soul searching." This journey continues in part to this very day.


Last summer's events in Gush Katif prove the very opposite and show just how much of a moderating force the rabbis really are. But the conspiracy theories that just refuse to die.


More than once, the thought has snuck into my heart that the future of religious Zionism form many people is like the role of the Jewish people amongst the nations of the world: They love to hate us, degrade us and denounce us as corrupt lepers and criminals.


No approval for violence


This would seem to be because we are right, we contribute and manage to fulfill a complex ideal. No intelligent rabbi has ever explicitly or implicitly approved or excused Jew-on-Jew violence, or any sort of fanaticism.


All faces of Judaism – textual study, Jewish law, lore, philosophy, hasidic thought and others – regard bloodshed as the most serious transgression amongst the 613 mitzvoth of the Torah.


I do not believe there is any rabbinic body, not even a second-or third-class one, perverted enough to distort Jewish teaching and even hint at legitimizing murder from the Torah's perspective.


Anyone who believes this joins in the anti-Semitic worldview expressed by Mel Gibson in his film "Passion of the Christ."


Asking forgiveness


And the land will not atone unless we atone for this libel. The time as come, as we mark 10 years of this terrible political murder, for purveyors of these accusations to apologize, ask forgiveness, and take back their words.


Whoever believes they can threaten the rabbis into silence, can scare us out of expressing our opinions on pressing issues in the name of the Torah, has no concept of what Torah is, and has learned nothing from the history of Israel in exile.


Rather than witch-hunt the rabbis and threatening to fire, cut budgets, or cancel "arrangements", it would be better to have things "out in the open", and to discuss the issues in rabbinic forums.


Sometimes we will hear extreme, dissenting views, and sometimes severe rulings, but never, never will we so much as hint, or appear to hint, that it is alright to cross the red line, the line of bloodshed.


Rabbi Yisrael Rosen is the head of the "Tsomet" institute in Alon Shvut


פרסום ראשון: 11.02.05, 12:10
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