Tradition Today: Teaching the ways of peace

The lesson of the Shoah is that we must never permit such a belief to rise again.

February 13, 2019 19:17
Tradition Today: Teaching the ways of peace

‘Only one human being, Adam, was created – in order to teach that “if one destroys one person, it is it is accounted to him as if he had destroyed an entire world.”’. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Once again the subject of Jewish terrorism has been thrust into the headlines. Without entering into the specific incidents and the question of guilt or innocence of particular suspects, there is no denying that there have been many instances in which Israeli Jews have taken actions against Arabs. Some of these incidents have involved damage to property, but others have been more serious and have even resulted in the taking of human life.

The perpetrators of these acts of violence have been encouraged to do so by the teachings of certain educators and rabbis who believe that Judaism justifies such actions. It is particularly upsetting that there are well-known rabbinical authorities who justify these acts by citing instances in Jewish law and teachings which represent non-Jews as inferior to Jews. The most extreme example of this is the book Torat Hamelech. If such teachings were directed against Jews, they would be called antisemitic. What they forget is that the teachings they cite have long ago been repudiated and replaced by the vast majority of Jewish authorities, who found them abhorrent.


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