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Hachrazah 5770 Cheshvan 30

Informal translation from Hebrew of the 30 Cheshvan, 5770 (17 November 2009) statement:

Special Court for Matters Concerning the Nation and the State
Secretary: Rabbi Amnon Hever Tel: 054-9400909

30 Cheshvan, 5770

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[2] 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[3]; 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.[4]
  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

Click here to see the Hebrew version


  1. e.g. Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa
  2. After the worldwide media on the book, some bookstores now offer the book. But neither the media nor many who purchase the book have actually read it. Quotes and page numbers are almost universally absent in all the Israeli bashing worldwide media, and the religious bashing Israeli media.
  3. 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
  4. e.g. British Col. Kemp testimony prepared for the emergency UN Human Rights Council debate on the Goldstone Report [1]

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