A few years ago, I wrote about Rabbi Shlomo Aviner’s twisting of the Halacha to serve his world view. Now it seems that was not an isolated incident.
Aviner recently published an answer to a question about the right attitude one should take towards Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish doctor (!) who murdered 29 Palestinians and wounded scores more while they were praying in Hebron, 14 years ago this week. In an elaborate word-twisting video response, Aviner tried to play it both ways. While taking care to point out that Goldstein was wrong in taking the law into his hands, he still managed to call him a “saint” and said the act cannot be judged separately from the man.
I must be growing old, for I do not feel so passionately against these ugly words as I did when Aviner justified the murder of a captured and bound terrorist a few years ago. I then called it a “license to kill” and expressed a wish rabbis would think twice before saying things that are not only wrong but also cause a big hillul hashem. Aviner’s recent answer deserves to be denounced no less passionately; Goldstein is nothing but a despicable murderer, full stop. No justifications, no mitigating circumstances.
The public outcry in some media outlets prompted Aviner to issue a clarifying answer. More word twisting.
I a truly ashamed that Aviner is such a prominent figure in the Zionist-Religious community in Israel. I am even more ashamed that other rabbis have not condemned his views.