Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira. Another edition on its way
Photo: Gil Yohanan

'King's Torah' writer has no regrets

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira explains that 'killing of enemy's children is permissible in order to defeat an evil king or tyrant', but says changes may be made in new edition of controversial book

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira of Yitzhar, who wrote in 2009 that it is permissible for Jews to kill non-Jews (including children) who threaten Israel, says that changes may be made "in popular sections" in the next edition of his controversial book, "King's Torah."


According to the rabbi, the book should be written in a clearer way, which would make it easier for the public to understand the author's intentions.


"I have no regrets, not about the book and not about what God Almighty creates with its publication," Rabbi Shapira said in an interview to Kol Hai Radio, which will be broadcast soon.


"I do believe that had it occurred to me that the book would be distributed to such a wide and distant audience, I would have added in several sections a slightly bigger clarification."


The rabbi addressed the killing of children, which was one of the reasons he was suspected of incitement, as were Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef who endorsed the book.


According to the book, "Hurting small children makes sense if it's clear that they'll grow up to harm us, and in such a situation – the injury will be directed at them of all people."


Shapira explained in the interview, "Assuming that at a time of war I must kill children in order to win – otherwise my soldiers will die, then killing the enemy's children is the right thing to do rather than have my soldiers killed…


"If I believe there is an evil king, a tyrant, who is involved in many unjustified wars, and I want to win the war, and my way is for his children to be hurt in order to weaken his spirit and have him stop sending his soldiers to war – then it's permissible."


When can one kill a goy

The rabbi went on to slam Israel's combat ethics. He expressed his hope that a Torah-based practical combat plan would be distributed to the public in the future, "in order to let the public judge whether what the Torah says is more acceptable then what all kinds of legal advisors and people of ethics say…


"I think that people who read the plan will realize that what the Torah says is much more sincere than 'purity of arms' (IDF's official doctrine of ethics). I think that calling it 'purity of arms' is a disgrace – it's putting human life in risk.


"The Jews are wise people; they will come to their senses. The conscious and behavioral revolution will take place easily and pleasantly, and I hope we won't have to experience difficult things for it to happen. We can't go on acting like we're acting today, because then the situation of the Jews here will be worse."


The Yitzhar rabbi strongly criticized Israel's legal system and former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak. According to Shapira, Barak decided to confront the Torah with all his might, as did Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan.


Answering a question presented by interviewer Assaf Gavor, the rabbi clarified that his book includes a halachic innovation because it thoroughly examines when it is really permissible to kill a non-Jew and when he and when it's forbidden.


He said that there was an erroneous understanding that sometimes "when one reads the Halacha in different places, one might think that you can kill gentiles freely, without any problem whatsoever."



פרסום ראשון: 07.05.11, 14:06
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