Book Condoning Murder Has Another Rabbi in Hot Water

Head of yeshiva in West Bank settlement of Yitzhar detained by police over book permitting murder of non-Jews who threaten Israel.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

The police's Unit of International Crime Investigations on Thursday detained rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, the president of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar in connection to a book that condoned the killing of non-Jews.

Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg Credit: Eyal Warshavsky

Ginsburg was detained for questioning days after the alleged author of the book, rabbi Yitzhak Shapira was arrested for inciting to violence. Shapira is also a rabbi at the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva.

The book, named "The King's Torah," deems the killing of non-Jews who threaten Israel as legal. "It is permissible to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation," the book says, adding: "If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments - because we care about the commandments - there is nothing wrong with the murder."

Ginsburg, who recommended the book to his students, is a follower of Chabad. He has faced prosecution in the past for incitement to racism after having published a book insisting that there is no place for Arabs in the state of Israel. The charges were dropped after Ginsburg issued a clarification letter.

Ginsburg is a well known radical in his views on Israel's Arab public. The police declined to comment on the ongoing investigation against him.

The Od Yosef Chai yeshiva issued a letter on Thursday condemning the police, saying that in any other enlightened country it would be inconceivable to question such an admirable man as rabbi Ginsburg.

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