Israeli rabbi who advocated rape of ‘comely gentile women’ during war becomes chief army rabbi

Israel/Palestine
on 126 Comments

Just on my way to my flight from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, I noticed this cover headline in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper front page:

“New IDF Chief Rabbi: It is permissible to rape during war”. Under that: “Col. Eyal Qarim has declared in the past “draft of girls is totally forbidden” – and claimed that in times of war it is permissible for soldiers to “have sex with comely gentile women against their will”.

I have followed the case of Qarim for quite a while. In fact, some three weeks ago I drafted an article covering the history of Qarim’s violent advocacy since 2003. Though at that point the story seemed not to be current, just yesterday those fears concerning Qarim’s possible influence were confirmed: Qarim was promoted from head of the IDF Rabbinate to IDF Chief Rabbi. Below is my drafted article.

The story of the IDF Chief Rabbi Col. Eyal Qarim and his opinions about rape in times of war is one that comes up occasionally in the media, as it again has done recently for example here, and cited on other sources. Lately, a contact asked me whether I could look at the Hebrew sources and confirm that there is no mistranslation.

Front page of Yediot with Qarim appointment, controversy

Front page of Yediot with Qarim appointment, controversy

I am familiar with this case, and not only is there no mistranslation as such – there is a continuation of the story which seems to have gained no local (Israeli) nor international scrutiny, till now, and I think it deserves it. In order to understand the seriousness of the whole story, a certain historical overview is necessary:

The story has mainly come to be noticed due to Yossi Gurvitz’s article in March 2012 titled “IDF colonel-rabbi implies: Rape is permitted in war”, where he notes an answer that Qarim, not in uniform at the point, gave to a concerned reader of a religious publication called Kipa asking about rape in times of war, opining that “prohibitions against immorality” are removed during war. Part of Qarim’s answer:

“[W]ar removes some of the prohibitions on sexual relations, and even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge, under the conditions mentioned, for the purpose of the success of the whole.”

This was noticed in the Sheldon Adelson owned NRG and on Mondoweiss, both a day after Gurvitz’s post.

Gurvitz was making the point that although Qarim posted his answer in 2003, when he was out of uniform (Qarim had served as a combat soldier and commander in an elite IDF unit), he was in 2012 a commander in the military rabbinate, and considered for the post of Chief Military Rabbi.

Gurvitz asked the IDF Spokesman the following questions:

  1. Is the rape of women during wartime agreeable to the IDF Ethics Code?
  2. If not, why does a prominent military rabbi promote it?
  3. If not, does the IDF intend to end the service of Col. Qarim, or bring charges against him?
  4. How does the IDF Spokesman intend to deal with the anticipated damage to its image in the international arena, resulting from Col. Qarim’s ruling?

There was a response, as Gurvitz notes: “Frankly, I did not expect an answer, but surprisingly enough an enraged officer from IDF Spokesman New Media Unit called me. His official response was that Qarim was not an officer in active service when he wrote that ruling, and furthermore that my question ‘disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion,’ and hence his unit will no longer answer my questions.”

Apparently this exposure became a PR nuisance for the IDF, so the day after Gurvitz’s article came out, Qarim issued a “clarification” on the same religious website, Kipa (in Hebrew).

It is this clarification which is so interesting in terms of currency and as an addition to the story, because here is the military rabbi in uniform, and this is how he tries to backpedal. The response article is headlined:

“Rabbi Qarim clarifies: of course rape is not permitted in any situation – by halacha (religious ruling). Head of the Rabbinate Department answers activists from the left who have taken his words out of context. In clarification of the halachic (religious ruling) answer that he gave on Kipa [2003], Rabbi Qarim says “of course the Torah never allowed rape of a woman”.

Let us scrutinize how exactly Qarim gets out of this one:

Of course the Torah never allowed rape of a woman. The ruling of “comely woman” [Deuteronomy 21] is meant to cause a soldier to retreat from his intention to take the [female] prisoner to be his wife, through a series of acts which moderate her beauty and accentuate her personality and her sorrow. If, after the whole process he still wishes to marry her, he must do this through Hupa [religious ceremony] and blessings…. In addition, the whole essence of the ruling was to refine the situation which was prevalent in the barbaric world of wars that was existent then, where any soldier was permitted to do as he pleased with the prisoner, and the purpose of the ruling is to prevent a soldier from taking the prisoner as wife in the heat of battle. It is clear that in our days, the world has advanced to a level of morality where prisoners are not taken to be married, of course this ruling is not to be carried out as written, as it is also in total opposition to the values and orders of the army.

Now it is necessary to scrutinize the original text and what was originally asked on the first Kipa article in 2003. The inquirer asked specifically: “How is it then, that it was told to me by a rabbi, that a comely woman can be [raped], according to some of the [Halachic] rulers, also before the whole process described in the Torah? That is, that [a man would] surrender to his desires, and have sex with her, and only later take her to her home etc.?”

Indeed, the text of the Torah is worrying in its formulation. Let us have a look at it. This is Deuteronomy 21:10-14:

“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes”.

Indeed, the section is somewhat confusing – because the first “take her as a wife” that appears, and even more so in Hebrew וְלָקַחְתָּ לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה , could well be translated as an act of rape, in that the literal translation can be “and you took her as your woman”, in a “surrender to desires” as the inquirer puts it. Though the acts that follow are relating to the more formal question of marriage.

This is the very specific matter that the inquirer had asked about, and Qarim did not really answer it. Instead, he essentially explained how as the “success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge”. As NRG noted, Qarim did not say “no, it is not permitted”.

But when pressed to backpedal, Qarim applied a novel technique. He addresses the rape issue in the Torah very lightly (“Of course the Torah never allowed rape of a woman”), but then goes to address another issue – the formal issue of the marriage – as if the two were one and the same. What he then regards as the “problem” that the Torah supposedly tries to tackle, is the actual ceremonial marriage – not the rape. So Qarim is saying that the problem is taking a decision to marry a prisoner “in the heat of battle”. Thus he now tackles a whole other matter, saying “it is clear that in our days, the world has advanced to a level of morality where prisoners are not taken to be married. Of course this ruling is not to be carried out as written, as it is also in total opposition to the values and orders of the army”.

But this is a straw man. The inquirer did not ask about marriage, but about rape, and noted that some rabbinical authorities have opined that the ruling could be about what to do after the “surrender to desires”. In his 2003 answer, Qarim was focusing on the rape issue, justifying it in historical terms, and not answering the question specifically in address of our times, as was asked.

Qarim provides very ambiguous answers, which in their focus may leave the reader confused. In 2003 he seemed to imply that rape is permitted for Jews in times of war (he did not make the explicit distinction between biblical times and now), and in his “clarification” he addressed marriage, not rape.

This ambivalence, straw-man-argumentation and obfuscation are very worrying. In the darkness of ambivalence, one could indeed be worried that soldiers, particularly those heeding rabbinical opinions, would be confused. And who knows what a confused soldier “in the heat of battle” could come to do with a Palestinian woman.

NRG noted in its article that “it’s now clear who Erez Efrati learned from”. Erez Efrati is an IDF Officer, the bodyguard of the Chief in Staff, who was convicted of rape and who told the Supreme Court in 2011 that the reason he attacked the young woman was because “he acted as if she was a terrorist”. NRG also notes the opinion of Tzfat chief rabbi Shmuel Eliayhu, also cited from the Kipa site:

“If IDF soldiers do not satisfy their evil lusts, they may lose the war, and then the enemy soldiers will rape our women. In other words, we are talking about rape as a protective measure”.

Thus it seems that rape in times of war is a rather contentious issue amongst Rabbis, even IDF Rabbis. “No” doesn’t necessarily mean “no”, violent attack can be considered as “protective measure”. One wonders whether the “barbaric world of wars” that Qarim refers to is actually distant history.

Postscript: In response to some outrage from a few politicians from the left and heads of women’s rights organizations in Israel, the IDF Spokesman is quoted in Yediot Aharonot today stating: “Col. Qarim seeks to clarify that his words were uttered only in regards to a Halachic interpretation question, but in no way as an answer to a practical question. Rabbi Qarim never wrote, said or even thought that an IDF soldier is permitted to sexually assault a woman during war – whoever interprets his words otherwise is mistaken and deceiving. Rabbi Qarim’s moral attitude can be witnessed in his long service in the military in various command posts, in combat and as well as rabbinical functions, where he has demonstrated total loyalty to the values of the IDF and the spirit of the IDF, especially values of human dignity towards all.”

But this is essentially the backpedaling that Qarim already attempted in 2012. As I have shown above, it is rather unconvincing.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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126 Responses

  1. amigo
    July 12, 2016, 11:37 am

    “Rabbi Qarim’s moral attitude can be witnessed in his long service in the military in various command posts, in combat and as well as rabbinical functions, where he has demonstrated total loyalty to the values of the IDF and the spirit of the IDF, ”

    Nuff said.

  2. gamal
    July 12, 2016, 12:01 pm

    dear dear why does the Rabbi labour in ignorance when there a wealth of ahadith covering the matter, and even a little ijitihad, so let us mire ourselves in the scholastic swamp that is the ahadith, here getting iji

    “In our view the man who rapes a woman, regardless of whether she is a virgin or not, if she is a free woman he must pay a “dowry” like that of her peers, and if she is a slave he must pay whatever has been detracted from her value. The punishment is to be carried out on the rapist and there is no punishment for the woman who has been raped, whatever the case. (Imam Malik, Al-Muwatta’, Volume 2, page 734)”

    and

    “”If a man acquires by force a slave-girl, then has sexual intercourse with her after he acquires her by force, and if he is not excused by ignorance, then the slave-girl will be taken from him, he is required to pay the fine, and he will receive the punishment for illegal sexual intercourse.” (Imam Al Shafi’i, Kitabul Umm, Volume 3, page 253)”

    and this is only Umar

    “In an authentic narration from Sunan Al Bayhaqi, Volume 2, page 363, Hadith no. 18685 we read the following story:

    Abu al-Hussain bin al-Fadhl al-Qatan narrated from Abdullah bin Jaffar bin Darestweh from Yaqub bin Sufyan from al-Hassab bin Rabee from Abdullah bin al-Mubarak from Kahmas from Harun bin Al-Asam who said: Umar bin al-Khatab may Allah be pleased with him sent Khalid bin al-Walid in an army, hence Khalid sent Dharar bin al-Auwzwar in a squadron and they invaded a district belonging to the tribe of Bani Asad. They then captured a pretty bride, Dharar liked her hence he asked his companions to grant her to him and they did so. He then had sexual intercourse with her, when he completed his mission he felt guilty, and went to Khalid and told him about what he did. Khalid said: ‘I permit you and made it lawful to you.’ He said: ‘No not until you write a message to Umar’. (Then they sent a message to Umar) and Umar answered that he (Dharar) should be stoned. By the time Umar’s message was delivered, Dharar was dead. (Khalid) said: ‘Allah didn’t want to disgrace Dharar’

    Notice that Umar ibn Al Khattab (the second caliph) ordered the man who captured the slave girl and had sex with her to be stoned for this crime, for he took the slave girl unjustly.”

    oh ok an actual hadith then

    “Saheeh Muslim

    Book 015, Number 4082:

    Hilal b. Yasaf reported that a person got angry and slapped his slave-girl. Thereupon Suwaid b. Muqarrin said to him: You could find no other part (to slap) but the prominent part of her face. See I was one of the seven sons of Muqarrin, and we had but only one slave-girl. The youngest of us slapped her, and Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) commanded us to set her free.

    Book 015, Number 4086

    Abu Mas’ud al-Badri reported: “I was beating my slave with a whip when I heard a voice behind me: Understand, Abu Masud; but I did not recognise the voice due to intense anger. He (Abu Mas’ud) reported: As he came near me (I found) that he was the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he was saying: Bear in mind, Abu Mas’ud; bear in mind. Abu Mas’ud. He (Aba Maslad) said: threw the whip from my hand. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Bear in mind, Abu Mas’ud; verily Allah has more dominance upon you than you have upon your slave. I (then) said: I would never beat my servant in future.”

    the Rabbi going to be in shit come Judgement.

    • Mooser
      July 12, 2016, 3:59 pm

      “The Rabbi going to be in shit come Judgement.”

      Standing at the Judgement, you got to be tried.

      • gamal
        July 12, 2016, 6:30 pm

        wo! Mooser!! thanks for that

        what is it,

        look at the people,

        is there more? what you say we give the xtians a pass what would the Rev’ Cheeks do, no really that is …thank you, that is my favorite thing i didnt know existed, its only tuesday and Shmuel made me get drunk and now this, and people don’t like Jews! but my Pranja is big now trust me the Rev Cheeks can evangalize me any way he wants.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 1:14 am

        “is there more?”

        Lot’s more! From back then, til today .

        And in between. I love the Nightingales.

  3. eljay
    July 12, 2016, 12:03 pm

    … NRG also notes the opinion of Tzfat chief rabbi Shmuel Eliayhu, also cited from the Kipa site:

    If IDF soldiers do not satisfy their evil lusts, they may lose the war, and then the enemy soldiers will rape our women. In other words, we are talking about rape as a protective measure”.

    So, according to the rabbi – who I simply cannot imagine being a hypocrite – it’s acceptable for non-Jews to rape Jewish women “as a protective measure”. Interesting.

    Why do Zio-supremacists insist on undermining the human rights and international laws that are meant to afford protection to all people equally?

    Why do Zio-supremacists insist on hating Jews so much?!

    • mariapalestina
      July 13, 2016, 3:12 pm

      “If IDF soldiers do not satisfy their evil lusts, they may lose the war, and then the enemy soldiers will rape our women. In other words, we are talking about rape as a protective measure”.

      In other words, as with every crime Israel and members of its military machine commit against Palestinians, rape can be justified by claiming it’s for “Security” purposes.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 5:07 pm

        “If IDF soldiers do not satisfy their evil lusts, they may lose the war…”

        Strength-through-joy, Rabbi! Nice punchy slogan, don’t you think?

        Nobody can tell me that the Israelis don’t intend to send a strong signal to Palestinians by the appointment of this Rabbi.

  4. Marnie
    July 12, 2016, 12:14 pm

    WTF? Right, the torah said its okay, written back in those halcyon days of pillage, plunder and sanctified rape, I mean ‘have sex with comely gentile against their will’. Right, not rape at all. Thanks for the clarification ‘rabbi’.

  5. Marnie
    July 12, 2016, 12:25 pm

    WTF?

    “in times of war it is permissible for soldiers to “have sex with comely gentile women against their will”. rabbi karim

    “Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or below the legal age of consent.[1][2][3] The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.”
    1. “Sexual violence chapter 6″ (PDF). World Health Organization. 2002. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
    2.”Rape”. dictionary.reference.com. April 15, 2011.
    3.: a b c “Rape”. legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com. April 15, 2011.

    The torah is not listed as a reference in the wikipedia definition of rape. Just another example of the special entitlements of the zionist enterprise. Do you know if this might be a perk used to entice young men to enlist as lone soldiers from outside this hell-hole?

    • a blah chick
      July 12, 2016, 7:31 pm

      “in times of war it is permissible for soldiers to “have sex with comely gentile women against their will”. rabbi karim

      If they rape ugly women will they get a court martial?

  6. Ossinev
    July 12, 2016, 12:41 pm

    “out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge”

    So it would appear that the new IDF Chief Rabbi may soon tackle the wasteful instinctive shootings by IDF soldiers of Palestinian women armed with knives , scissors and loud piercing voices from the standpoint of the Torah – basically they should disarm them conventionally as per enforcement personnel in civilised non – Torahfied countries. This will then give them the opportunity to satisfy the “evil urge”. Following “satisfaction “they can then carry on as normal and shoot them.

    Yet another of the doombrain QuasiNazis rising to the surface in the delightful little Levantine Cult Colony.

    BTW Is it just me ? I am becoming more and more aware of the long straggly beard look practiced by these weirdos. Strikingly similar to the DAESH Jihadi fashion – could they somehow be related ?

    • Mooser
      July 12, 2016, 2:08 pm

      “I am becoming more and more aware of the long straggly beard look practiced by these weirdos”

      They should all visit the Wailing Wahl! It’ll help with the ladies they’re trying to make, too. Nose hairs, stuff like that, big turn-off.

    • RoHa
      July 13, 2016, 3:01 am

      If you want to be a Holy Man, a big beard and funny headgear will go a long way toward making you holy.

  7. Mooser
    July 12, 2016, 2:10 pm

    I want to stipulate that “Jons” does not agree with this Rabbi. So what is all the fuss about? What more do you want? Considering there are 200 million Jews, there’s bound be a few nuts and sex-fiends

  8. Shmuel
    July 12, 2016, 2:30 pm

    Haaretz has some more gems from Qarim: “Terrorists should not be treated like human beings, because they are ‘animals'”; “Injured suicide terrorists should be killed”; “The duty to take revenge against the enemy rests exclusively with the IDF, the Israel Police and Border Police, the Shin Bet and the Mossad … and indeed they do their best, although they are sometimes prevented by the government from acting with full force”; “It is not racism to encourage, promote and advertise ‘Jewish labour'”; “[Not allowing women to testify in religious courts] is discrimination in their favour, since they are unable to withstand cross examination in the courtroom, due to their emotional nature”; “Our attitude to the [homosexual] individual is as to one who is ill or handicapped … to support him and help him out of his situation, with great sensitivity and patience”; “Relationships of the kind you have mentioned [i.e. homosexual relationships] are the opposite of nature and the destruction of nature. Homosexuals and lesbians remain such … only if they choose to do so, but man has the freedom of choice to live according to nature.”

    http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/politics/.premium-1.3005054?=&ts=_1468347038546 (Hebrew)

  9. Boomer
    July 12, 2016, 4:54 pm

    Well, as long as they are good looking no harm is done: it’s good for the gene pool. Is this the origin of the Shiksa Goddess trope? (“Abomination” seems a bit strong, but maybe it isn’t intended to be offensive:
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShiksaGoddess )

    Probably this part of Deuteronomy was progressive by the standards of the time and region. After all, she gets a month to mourn, plus a haircut and manicure, and if her “husband” isn’t happy with her, she can go where she wants. Could have been worse. Probably it was, for the ones who weren’t lookers.

    It makes sense. If one is going to cite ancient scripture as the “deed” for the “Promised Land,” and as justification for its ethnic cleansing, one has to accept the rest of it too, I guess.

  10. Kay24
    July 12, 2016, 5:21 pm

    Evil from the dark side:

    “Border Police deliberately provoke Palestinians in East Jerusalem, internal reports say
    In one such initiation of ‘friction,’ a confrontation was sparked in which a boy was shot in the head with a sponged-tipped bullet, putting him in a coma.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.730325?v=350BF67A60E9FC87DAED810AB3687D72

  11. xanadou
    July 12, 2016, 7:05 pm

    There is no war in Palestine. There is an illegal occupation by a genocidal army that has its spiritual leader’s imprimatur to add rape to its many other immoral duties.

    (is there no bottom to this pit?)

  12. traintosiberia
    July 12, 2016, 9:13 pm

    Abbas should have informed the world of the real dogma and practices of the religion inspired Zionism instead of talking about poisoning some well.

  13. hophmi
    July 12, 2016, 10:17 pm

    Not sure what your deal is, Jonathan, but I’m guessing you’re secular. If you knew the passage in question, you’d understand why Rabbi Qarim would talk about marriage. At the time of the Torah, it was common for soldiers to take enemy women captive and to then take them as wives. This was a practice the Torah frowned upon, precisely because the assumption was that the captive woman had been forced into the relationship.

    For that reason, the Torah decrees that a man who takes a woman captive must wait at least 30 days before marrying her, in the hope that he’ll see the error of his ways and let her go.

    It is clear that Qarim is talking about the Torah here, and not about modern practice, and for anyone to claim otherwise is simply a complete lie.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 13, 2016, 3:28 am

      At the time of the Torah, it was common for soldiers to take enemy women captive and to then take them as wives.

      how common? what percentages of jewish children came from these mothers? do you think it helps explain why european jews don’t look like they came from the middle east?

      • jon s
        July 13, 2016, 8:09 am

        Annie,
        That doesn’t make much sense. Any enemies being fought at that time were also Middle-Eastern.
        In fact, you may have a point, only it’s the other way around: After the disastrous Jewish revolts against the Romans, many Jewish women were taken captive by the Roman soldiers. There’s a theory that those women found themselves in camps of the Roman legions, in Gaul and along the Rhine. With their captor-husbands away most of the time on military campaigns, many of them never to return, those women could have decided to raise their children as Jews and found ways to organize as communities, perhaps hiring teachers and rabbis from elsewhere. According to this theory, they were the first nuclei of the Ashkenazi communities. As I said, it’s a theory, I’m not aware of any hard proof.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 1:11 pm

        “As I said, it’s a theory, I’m not aware of any hard proof.”

        Why, that’s no theory, “Jon s”! That there is “Israeli History”.

        And who needs a “hard proof” when all you’ve got to do is stuff it into soft heads of children.

      • hophmi
        July 13, 2016, 3:18 pm

        I think fake stories like this, which intentionally distort something a religious leader says in order to make it seem as if he means something that he doesn’t, play into the Judaeophobic attitudes of people who want to believe the worst about Jews and Israelis in the exactly the same way as those who use decontextualized quotes from Islamic clerics or from the Qu’ran do so to smear Muslims and Islam.

        The passage in Deutoromony doesn’t directly discuss rape; it’s implied. It discusses what happens when a women is captured. In ancient cultures, that woman was usually enslaved. The Torah forces the captor to marry the woman or to release her. The thirty day period is for the woman to mourn her parents. Rashi, quoting the Midrash, suggested that the idea was that if she cried for 30 days, the captor, initially attracted by her appearance, would be repulsed by her appearance and release her.

        In the context of the time, the idea of not enslaving captive women against their will was progress.

        Jon S has a good answer to your question about Jews and assimilation. It was common in the ancient world for capturing armies to take women captive. Since Jews were sovereigns for a very short time in history, I doubt it happened very often, and it certainly would not have happened in Europe, because Jews were not sovereign in Europe.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 4:15 pm

        “I think fake stories like this….”

        What’s “fake” about it, “Hophmi”?
        Where is the fakery?
        Are you saying Rabbi Rapin did not say these things?
        Are you saying Rabbi Rapin has no history of saying these things?

        Are you saying they didn’t make Rabbi Rapin the Chief IDF Rabbi?

        I know “Hophmi” we all see it, but nobody except you and “Jon s” really understand it. Sure.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 4:18 pm

        . ince Jews were sovereigns for a very short time in history, I doubt it happened very often, and it certainly would not have happened in Europe, because Jews were not sovereign in Europe.”

        Gosh, that makes it even more important that Jews revive the old customs and laws as we, 200 million strong, return to our histrionic homeland.

        “Men of Palestine,
        Lock up your wives,
        The Zionists have arrived!” (IDF marching cadence.)

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 4:49 pm

        “jon s” has a good answer to your…”

        To the question of why Rabbi Qarim was appointed to the post?

        To the question of why Israel wants to make sure the Palestinians know that the IDF has just appointed Rabbi Rape’em?

        That’ll really help out at the bus-stops, won’t it?

      • Mr.T
        July 13, 2016, 6:16 pm

        “There’s a theory that those women found themselves in camps of the Roman legions, in Gaul and along the Rhine… According to this theory, they were the first nuclei of the Ashkenazi communities.”

        Sure. And there’s also the theory that the Ashkenazis were simply Europeans who converted to Judaism. But let’s go with the fantasy where captive Judean widows are running rabbis up the Via Claudia Augusta and through the Province of Raetia.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 7:05 pm

        “Sure. And there’s also the theory that the Ashkenazis were simply Europeans who converted to Judaism. But let’s go with the fantasy”

        “Mr T” wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that “Jon s” knows that Mondo is read by adults?
        And he tries to hand us this (and many another) load.
        Can you imagine, with a shudder, what he must palm off on the children he teaches?

      • jon s
        July 15, 2016, 4:52 am

        MrT,
        As I said , it’s a theory – a plausible one in my view- for which there’s no positive proof, to the best of my knowledge. And we can assume that Jews travelled the roads of the empire , including the Via Claudia Augusta, for various purposes.

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 12:45 pm

        “As I said , it’s a theory – a plausible one in my view- for which there’s no positive proof, to the best of my knowledge.”

        Another words, it’s a self-serving fantasy that you use to fool children.

        No, no, I shouldn’t say that. “Jon s” is completely objective and disinterested. Jews don’t lie to protect their interests. Or spin self-serving fantasies. No,not us.
        And there’s a name for people who say we do.

      • Dan
        July 15, 2016, 10:51 pm

        Hi Jon S.

        What do you think is the general reaction of what remains of the Israeli left (Meeretz types), to this Rabbi’s appt. ?

      • jon s
        July 16, 2016, 6:50 am

        Dan,
        Naturally, Meretz and the entire Left expressed disgust that someone with blood-curdling misogynist, racist and homophobic views would be considered for the post and called on the chief of staff to cancel the appointment.

      • Mooser
        July 16, 2016, 1:08 pm

        “Naturally, Meretz and the entire Left expressed disgust…”

        And having played their ordained part, subsided into impotence and silence.
        After all, if anything actually changed, you’d be out of a house.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 21, 2016, 9:38 pm

        Annie, That doesn’t make much sense. Any enemies being fought at that time were also Middle-Eastern. In fact, you may have a point…

        jon, i have no idea what you are talking about. i wasn’t making a point. i copy pasted hops statement and asked some questions. ie:

        how common? that means how common was it “for soldiers [meaning jewish soldiers] to take enemy women captive and to then take them as wives.”

        one assumes since this is in the torah the rabbis are referencing jewish soldiers — not romans. it was a question, not a point. next:

        do you think it helps explain why european jews don’t look like they came from the middle east?

        again, just a question not a point. unless you think Ashkenazi communities look like they come from the middle east, in which case i suppose you could consider that a “point”.

        either way i see neither you or hops answered my queries.

        After the disastrous Jewish revolts against the Romans, many Jewish women were taken captive by the Roman soldiers. There’s a theory that those women found themselves in camps of the Roman legions, in Gaul and along the Rhine. With their captor-husbands away most of the time on military campaigns, many of them never to return, those women could have decided to raise their children as Jews

        yes, of course that could have happened sometimes. however, i’m fairly certain i read the jewish community in europe initially started primarily by jewish men (traders), not women. but i could be wrong about that. could you link to this theory you speak of? thanks.

        hops, It was common in the ancient world for capturing armies to take women captive.

        yes i know that. but what is not common is for someone to reference it today in real time as if it’s acceptable, which the rabbi — sort of — did do. before he wrote a PC answer to deal w/the pushback.

    • John O
      July 13, 2016, 8:28 am

      “..the Torah decrees that a man who takes a woman captive must wait at least 30 days before marrying her, in the hope that he’ll see the error of his ways and let her go.”

      What utter drivel. All they had to say was, “Thou shalt not…”

    • eljay
      July 13, 2016, 8:58 am

      || hophmi: … At the time of the Torah, it was common for soldiers to take enemy women captive and to then take them as wives. This was a practice the Torah frowned upon, precisely because the assumption was that the captive woman had been forced into the relationship. For that reason, the Torah decrees that a man who takes a woman captive must wait at least 30 days before marrying her, in the hope that he’ll see the error of his ways and let her go. … ||

      Yup, no need to…
      – forbid the taking of captives; or
      – leave it up to the woman to decide whether she wants to be the wife of her captor (or, y’know, whether she wants to be captive at all),
      …when all you need is a 30-day “waiting period” and – bam! – the Torah says it’s all good.

      • eljay
        July 13, 2016, 9:12 am

        || eljay: … all need is a 30-day “waiting period” and – bam! – … ||

        Or perhaps schtoink!  ?

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 1:24 pm

        “Or perhaps schtoink! ?”

        Marital law was strict and unfair in those days.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 12:07 pm

      Shorter Hophmi: ‘Of course Jews get to take “Gentile women” captive, just be thankful we wait thirty days to rape ’em. Of course, by that time, they love us, so it isn’t rape’.

      Sounds like Tom Sawyer explaining about pirates and “orgys”.

      • hophmi
        July 13, 2016, 3:24 pm

        Mooser, that isn’t remotely what I said, and you’re being a super-jerk.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 4:09 pm

        “Mooser, that isn’t remotely what I said, and you’re being a super-jerk.”

        I’m hardly being a “gentleman”, am I? You are treated so unfairly here.
        At your own blog, you could ban me.

      • Mr.T
        July 13, 2016, 5:52 pm

        “super-jerk”

        Seems pretty spot on, to me. You’re bending over backwards to try to explain away this old evil stuff.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 5:51 pm

      “If you knew the passage in question, you’d understand why Rabbi Qarim would talk about marriage”

      Okay, this is reassuring! So if IDF guys take Palestinian women prisoner of war, in 30 days the Rabbinate will be more than glad to marry them! That must be what it’s all about, some of the IDF men had doubts.

      C’mon, “Hophmi”. Why wouldn’t any thinking adult say that this appointment is:

      1) a message to IDF soldiers. Nod-nod, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.
      2) a low, contemptible provocation directed towards Palestinians.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      July 14, 2016, 6:12 am

      Hophmi, it’s strange, because it appears you might not have actually read my article – I cover, with considerable detail, the particular passage. I have also scrutinised the distinctions between rape an marriage, how the inquirer in 2003 asked specifically about rape, how Qarim answered about rape, and how in 2012 he tried to backpedal by talking about “marriage” in detail, whilst only addressing rape in one sentence. It actually appears that Qarim is in the concensus regarding rape, that is, BEFORE the rest of the acts prescribed regarding marriage. I would recommend to read Michael Lesher’s comment which he posted in an earlier discussion about this: “For what it’s worth, I can add a bit to this mess.

      The Talmud discusses the passage in question (Deut. 21:10-14) at Qiddushin 22a. Most of the passage is devoted to the details of the process that, according to these verses, must precede the soldier’s marriage to the captive woman. However, it is unclear from the Talmud whether or not the soldier is allowed to RAPE the woman BEFORE she begins that process — and commentators, predictably, differ.

      Rashi takes the position Qarim falls back on in his “clarification”: namely, that no rape is ever permitted. A few other sources concur. However, the 19th century rabbi — and famous Orthodox “liberal” — Samson Raphael Hirsch was unfortunately correct in writing (in his own Pentateuch commentary) that the great majority of commentators disagree with Rashi; they insist that the soldier may FIRST rape the captive, and only then must take the steps prescribed in Deuteronomy 21:11-14. These commentators stress the Talmud’s words that the commandment in question was designed with the soldier’s “evil inclination” in mind: in other words, he must satisfy his lust, and divine law concedes this much to him, adding only certain qualifications in the event he intends to “keep” his victim. This was clearly the view — again, the traditional MAJORITY view — that Rabbi Qarim had in mind when he wrote his first response. Rabbi Qarim then added his own gloss to the effect that anything that helps a soldier maintain his fighting morale in time of war can’t be all bad. Given the premises of the previous commentators, I’m afraid I can’t call his position illogical.

      I won’t waste time on the revolting assumptions at work here — this passage is perhaps the starkest example in the Hebrew Bible of woman-as-object misogyny. And although commentators like Rashi, Ramban and Ohr ha-Hayyim all clearly wanted to purge the passage of its nastiest aspects, they never won the day. People who naively suppose that today’s Orthodox rabbis, in light of modern feminism — or just basic decency — would be rushing to disown these laws, or at least the most vicious interpretations of them, don’t know much about the rabbinate.

      The real point I think this episode illustrates — and this is one that’s hard to fit into a tight paragraph — is the methodological dishonesty employed by far too many Orthodox rabbis when they discover their Talmudic analyses are reaching an unexpected audience and that the audience isn’t happy with what it’s hearing. Instead of telling the truth about the traditional material they’re interpreting, or even — still more breathtaking — acknowledging its moral flaws, these rabbis spin the material into the form that best suits their purpose at that particular moment, hoping the reader won’t know how to check sources for herself and will never realize she’s being lied to. Afterwards, of course, the rabbi can go back to the faithful and repeat what he really believes.

      I doubt that many outside the Orthodox Jewish community realize how often this sort of thing happens when rabbis address a non-Orthodox public, or how easily, almost unconsciously, rabbis like Qarim lapse into dishonest apologetics once they realize something they’ve said didn’t have the desired effect on an unfamiliar group of readers. Israel Shahak’s savage critique of the Orthodox rabbinate on this score was, alas, quite justified. And when influential rabbis play this game — in this case, a rabbi whose word is relied on by real soldiers in a real army, dealing (all too often) with real captives — the consequences can only be disastrous. I can assure you that no Orthodox IDF soldier will be impressed by Qarim’s backpedaling, because he will understand at once what it means: that’s the story for THEM; the real story is more complicated, meaning, in the end, do what you want, it’s all right, no one can blame you (assuming you can get away with it). Some religious counsel.”

      • Boomer
        July 14, 2016, 2:17 pm

        Mr. Ofir,

        Thank you for the original post, and for your patient subsequent explanation in the comments. Some of the nuances of the original had eluded me, in part because I’m an outsider, and in part because I didn’t study it closely. That, in turn, was because I regarded the whole issue as unworthy of serious study by someone in the 21st century. But I was wrong. As you say, there can be real consequences.

        I think that the language barrier is part of the dishonesty you describe. I recall often reading assertions from some Israelis and some advocates of Israel that the “Arabs” are routinely guilty of dishonest double speak: they say one thing in English and another in Arabic. Perhaps that is so at times (I don’t read Arabic), though I suspect there is also considerable projection involved. But neither do I read Hebrew. In both cases, I must depend on people such as yourself whom I consider reliable.

        Thanks.

      • Mooser
        July 14, 2016, 3:54 pm

        “I can assure you that no Orthodox IDF soldier will be impressed by Qarim’s backpedaling…/…(assuming you can get away with it). Some religious counsel.”

        Thanks. I would think that Qarim’s appointment will send a message to Palestinians, too.

      • gamal
        July 14, 2016, 7:20 pm

        “rabbis like Qarim lapse into dishonest apologetics once they realize something they’ve said didn’t have the desired effect on an unfamiliar group of readers.”

        thing is I have some experience here when i lived in Jamaica, I sold some Johnson American Bulldogs we had bred (and trained but no card games only chess) to Lady Saw, long story cutting to the chase

        when she released her single “Let Me Love With My Heels On” in America we were disappointed by her mealy mouthed acquiescence to “norms” because that’s not how she put it to us, in patois she said well see below and bulldogs, especially pits, are pretty like butterflies.

        this is really for Mooser but he’s a married man it may be Halakically unwise to follow the link do so if you think your libido is big enough. ( yes i have been drunk since i caught the number 68 bus on 67th street)

        https://youtu.be/5tOHMdzeOpo

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 2:13 pm

        “this is really for Mooser”

        Sorry, “gamal” none for me. To a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool-sock ankle man of long standing, like myself, those shoes are an abomination.

        Give me a Bass sandal, patrician arches you could drive a truck through, and ten toes like perfectly boiled shrimp ranging from the 31/35 who went to market to the 61/70 who cried “wee, wee, wee” all the way home, the whole suspended from ankles turned by George Hepplewhite, but with the strength of Porsche 930 CV joints, and I’m happy.

      • gamal
        July 15, 2016, 3:08 pm

        “Sorry, “gamal” none for me.”

        you would have got away with that but then

        “but with the strength of Porsche 930 CV joints”

        you a bad bad man

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 4:28 pm

        “bad man”

        I’ve never seen a woman who was outstanding in her field in stiletto heels.

        Speaking of turned ankles, today is my 27th Anniversary!

      • gamal
        July 15, 2016, 4:51 pm

        “today is my 27th Anniversary! ”

        congratulations

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 11:07 pm

        “congratulations”

        Thank you, “gamal”.

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2016, 2:17 pm

        “Today is my 27th Anniversary”

        Three more days and she can marry me, and I can finally get a haircut and a manicure!

      • Annie Robbins
        July 19, 2016, 3:50 pm

        congrats to you mooser & the loverly ms mooser. she must be an amazing woman — please send her our regard. and for the both of you here’s a little thought package i hope you enjoy. just close your eyes and imagine — it almost like being there, really — just try it: http://www.hotelsandresort.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/5-holiday-packages.jpg

      • MHughes976
        July 19, 2016, 3:53 pm

        27 wonderful years! Moreover, today.is my 72nd birthday.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 19, 2016, 4:07 pm

        happy birthday MHughes!!!

      • gamal
        July 19, 2016, 4:25 pm

        “today.is my 72nd birthday.”

        happy birhtday Daddy Hughes, i am not even 60, forgive my insolence, you have to Jesus commands it, I am an Arab we are the people of vendetta, of feud, we are hoping Jesus will understand, no doubt you will put in a good word so,

        happy birthday, sir.

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2016, 5:28 pm

        “27 wonderful years!”

        And that’s 13 1/2 years for each of one of us. Thank you, “Annie” for the kind thoughts.
        And I have the comfort of knowing my wife has promised to quote the words of the old Spiritual, as Dr. King did, at my obsequies.

      • RoHa
        July 19, 2016, 9:12 pm

        Congratulations, Mooser.

        Happy Birthday, MHughes. (You are two years older than me! Who’d have thought it?)

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2016, 9:39 pm

        Happy 72nd Birthday, “MHughes976”, and many more!

  14. echinococcus
    July 13, 2016, 12:15 am

    “even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors”

    This is an answer to the question “Is rape permitted?”
    So the premise of the syllogism is [rape = fraternization]

    The more you look at the rabbies, the better it gets.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 5:29 pm

      BTW, wasn’t the Torah written long after the events described had occurred? It couldn’t have been any contemporary guide to the behavior of the Hebrew soldiers.

      Of course, “Hophmi” and “Jon s” will say that Jews have been denied their requisite number of rapes historically, and now is the time to make up for it, we are owed thousands of rapes.

      • echinococcus
        July 13, 2016, 9:10 pm

        Mooser, man of little faith!

        The Old Testament was not so much written as inspired by the divine breath; does not describe events but re-enacts them continually. It is no “contemporary” guide for any given period but a peremptory order for our behavior in saecular saeculorum; divine matters do not change like skirt fashions. Tremble before the Wrath.

        All this is so much more important for soldiers’ behavior, of course.

        The eternally valid order is, about all -ites anywhere in Greater Yissrael, and valid for all, more particularly the soldiery:

        “.. slay both men and women, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”… “kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”… “smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword. But the women, the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself.”… “thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly destroy them, namely, the Hittites, and the Amorities, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.”

        And the Canaanites du jour are Palestinians. Too bad, not for them who after all are just Ayrabs committing the unspeakable crime of owning Palestine, but the poor, poor Russians and Bessarabians and Poles and Bukharans and Brooklynites who are forced by divine order to act somewhat distastefully.

      • jon s
        July 18, 2016, 6:55 am

        echinococcus,
        The Palestinians are not “Canaanites du jour”. In Jewish tradition, the Muslims are identified as “Yishmaelim”, descendants of Yishmael, sons and daughters of our common father, Abraham.

      • gamal
        July 18, 2016, 8:18 am

        “the Muslims are identified” ? what even Muslims from Malaya and Nigeria?

        “Ishmael dwelt in the wilderness, apparently, of Beer-sheba, where he became a skilful archer; later he settled in the wilderness of Paran, where his mother took him a wife from Egypt (Gen. xxi. 8-21)”

        http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8251-ishmael

      • Mooser
        July 18, 2016, 12:49 pm

        “In Jewish tradition, the Muslims are identified as “Yishmaelim”, descendants of Yishmael, sons and daughters of our common father, Abraham”

        Wow, talk about self-haters, those Palestinians take the matzoh, don’t they?

        But I get your point “Jon s”, the Palestinians (gee, I thought they were a false people who just recently…oh, never mind) are basically, when it’s all said and done Jewish property.

        BTW, I notice this “Jewish tradition” has a huge influence in Zionism and Israel. You can tell from the way Israelis talk about Muslims. (Who the hell are you trying to kid “Jon s”?)

        Now “Jon s” will equivocate about “Jewish tradition” vs. Zionism

      • jon s
        July 18, 2016, 1:55 pm

        gamal ,
        It’s possible that the tradition identifying the Muslims as “Yishmaelim” developed as a way to emphasize the similarities and perception of “kinship” between Jews and Muslims.

      • Mooser
        July 18, 2016, 2:30 pm

        “It’s possible that the tradition identifying the Muslims as “Yishmaelim” developed as a way to emphasize the similarities and perception of “kinship” between Jews and Muslims.”

        I mean, who can’t see how strong the “tradition”, the “perception of “kinship” for Muslims is woven, warp and woof, into Zionism.
        I mean we see the positive results of this “tradition” playing out in every day of Israeli history, bringing peace and positive results.

        “Jon s” who are you trying to kid?

      • jon s
        July 18, 2016, 3:39 pm

        gamal,
        I should add that identifying Muslims as “Yishmaelim” was also a way to explain the success and power of Islam, since Yishmael had been blessed by God. See Genesis 17:20.

      • Mooser
        July 18, 2016, 3:54 pm

        “I should add that identifying Muslims as “Yishmaelim” was also a way to explain the success and power of Islam, since Yishmael had been blessed by God. See Genesis 17:20.”

        And those ungrateful Muslims never even thanked us.
        We should send them a bill, or make a remunerative licensing agreement. They owe us.

        I can’t dispute the quote, since Genesis 17:20 is missing from my Bible. Hey, we ran out of Charmin.

      • echinococcus
        July 19, 2016, 12:07 am

        Hi there, modecensors!

        It’s your site of course, but that habit of yours of suppressing the right of response for things that have nothing to do with your supposed rules makes one slightly suspicious of what you are doing.
        Just sayin’.

  15. silamcuz
    July 13, 2016, 1:12 am

    Can any religious Jews clarify if any of the statement made by the good Rabbi is actually based on Jewish religious writings? I know many Muslims often made to defend their religion when some wackjob Imam release an outrageous fatwa calling for stoning and beheading, and I am not trying to do the same here.

    It would be great however to know from religious Jews themselves that this Rabbi is full of it, and only saying things that will grant him favors from the Zionists.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 12:10 pm

      “It would be great however to know from religious Jews themselves that this Rabbi is full of it, and only saying things that will grant him favors from the Zionists.”

      Yes! That MUST be the explanation! I mean, what else could it be?

      (“Silamcuz” see “Hophmi’s” reply, that ought to satisfy you.)

    • Talkback
      July 13, 2016, 5:02 pm

      silamcuz: “Can any religious Jews clarify if any of the statement made by the good Rabbi is actually based on Jewish religious writings?”

      He’s has become chief army rabbi instead of being arrested for incitement. I hope this answers your question.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      July 14, 2016, 6:16 am

      I copy Michael Lesher’s comment from a discussion we had about this earlier, once again: “For what it’s worth, I can add a bit to this mess.

      The Talmud discusses the passage in question (Deut. 21:10-14) at Qiddushin 22a. Most of the passage is devoted to the details of the process that, according to these verses, must precede the soldier’s marriage to the captive woman. However, it is unclear from the Talmud whether or not the soldier is allowed to RAPE the woman BEFORE she begins that process — and commentators, predictably, differ.

      Rashi takes the position Qarim falls back on in his “clarification”: namely, that no rape is ever permitted. A few other sources concur. However, the 19th century rabbi — and famous Orthodox “liberal” — Samson Raphael Hirsch was unfortunately correct in writing (in his own Pentateuch commentary) that the great majority of commentators disagree with Rashi; they insist that the soldier may FIRST rape the captive, and only then must take the steps prescribed in Deuteronomy 21:11-14. These commentators stress the Talmud’s words that the commandment in question was designed with the soldier’s “evil inclination” in mind: in other words, he must satisfy his lust, and divine law concedes this much to him, adding only certain qualifications in the event he intends to “keep” his victim. This was clearly the view — again, the traditional MAJORITY view — that Rabbi Qarim had in mind when he wrote his first response. Rabbi Qarim then added his own gloss to the effect that anything that helps a soldier maintain his fighting morale in time of war can’t be all bad. Given the premises of the previous commentators, I’m afraid I can’t call his position illogical.

      I won’t waste time on the revolting assumptions at work here — this passage is perhaps the starkest example in the Hebrew Bible of woman-as-object misogyny. And although commentators like Rashi, Ramban and Ohr ha-Hayyim all clearly wanted to purge the passage of its nastiest aspects, they never won the day. People who naively suppose that today’s Orthodox rabbis, in light of modern feminism — or just basic decency — would be rushing to disown these laws, or at least the most vicious interpretations of them, don’t know much about the rabbinate.

      The real point I think this episode illustrates — and this is one that’s hard to fit into a tight paragraph — is the methodological dishonesty employed by far too many Orthodox rabbis when they discover their Talmudic analyses are reaching an unexpected audience and that the audience isn’t happy with what it’s hearing. Instead of telling the truth about the traditional material they’re interpreting, or even — still more breathtaking — acknowledging its moral flaws, these rabbis spin the material into the form that best suits their purpose at that particular moment, hoping the reader won’t know how to check sources for herself and will never realize she’s being lied to. Afterwards, of course, the rabbi can go back to the faithful and repeat what he really believes.

      I doubt that many outside the Orthodox Jewish community realize how often this sort of thing happens when rabbis address a non-Orthodox public, or how easily, almost unconsciously, rabbis like Qarim lapse into dishonest apologetics once they realize something they’ve said didn’t have the desired effect on an unfamiliar group of readers. Israel Shahak’s savage critique of the Orthodox rabbinate on this score was, alas, quite justified. And when influential rabbis play this game — in this case, a rabbi whose word is relied on by real soldiers in a real army, dealing (all too often) with real captives — the consequences can only be disastrous. I can assure you that no Orthodox IDF soldier will be impressed by Qarim’s backpedaling, because he will understand at once what it means: that’s the story for THEM; the real story is more complicated, meaning, in the end, do what you want, it’s all right, no one can blame you (assuming you can get away with it). Some religious counsel.”

      • Shmuel
        July 14, 2016, 8:48 am

        Thanks, Jonathan, for the article and the clarifications.

        I disagree with Lesher about what “the real point” is, although he’s absolutely right about the “methodological dishonesty” of certain orthodox rabbis in such cases (Ovadiah Yosef and his spokesmen made it an art form).

        The “real point”, in my opinion, is that Religious Zionism has taken topics that were, for millennia, the object of purely theoretical study,* and decided to apply them to contemporary political and military life, in a modern nation state.

        Is Karim’s statement about “comely women” (eventually withdrawn/explained/contradicted and unlikely to have any significant impact in and of itself) really worse than his statements about killing “injured terrorists” (whom he calls “animals”) or, on a somewhat more theoretical level but not without practical consequences, his constant, almost mystical glorification of “the people” and “the nation”, above the needs and rights of individuals?

        *A classic method of dealing with some of the worst parts of Scripture and other sacred texts, without denying that they are the word of God, is to treat them as no longer applicable. The wisdom of this approach seems to have been lost on much of Religious Zionism.

      • MHughes976
        July 14, 2016, 4:49 pm

        The original passage in Dt. Is not about the heat of battle and not about slavery. Its purport is that the normal inhibition against marrying a non-Israelite does not apply when the wife is a legitimate prize of war. In that case the woman is not an enslaved concubine but, as far as I can see from the passage, a wife with as much honour as any other wife. Or if she doesn’t like the deal she can walk away.
        We may say that the idea of people as prizes of war is atrocious but really what else could humane behaviour, allowing people to live on after the horrible experience of the sack of cities in the ancient world, have amounted to?
        I think that the idea of a legitimate non-Israelite wife caused embarrassment and hence that the things were transferred from the aftermath of battle to the heat of battle and the desire for the non-Isrselite femme was, without textual authority, called evil. The idea that the woman can be forced to have sex at least once, which is nowhere in the original and is contrary to its general tenor, was brought in, so that an evil desire could be indulged. Really it is the dislike of intermarriage rather than the prohibition on rape that is being modified.
        R. Qarim ties himself in knots but I don’t think we can really find a statement from him clearly permitting rape.

      • Michael Lesher
        July 14, 2016, 7:27 pm

        Shmuel: Thanks for your reply. Your point is well taken; this is one of many topics that rabbis of the Religious Zionist camp have dug out of mothballs and tried to apply to dangerously practical situations that could scarcely have been imagined when the Talmudic text was completed, or when Rashi and others wrote their commentaries. I agree with you that in doing this, these rabbis are recklessly giving new life to ideas that should have been shelved a long time ago.

        My only additional point is that saying that much isn’t really enough. First of all, I can’t accept the premise that relegating a discussion of permissible rapes to the realm of “theory” neutralizes its danger. After all, what are we to learn from such a passage — if not that a woman, at least a non-Jewish woman, is an object, not a person, one that may be forcibly violated whenever the law “permits” her to a Jewish man? Isn’t a consensus in favor of such a view bound to have ugly consequences, whatever its application?

        Second, history teaches us again and again that you can’t incubate, hatch, nurture, feed and strengthen a dangerous idea over a period of centuries, and then expect it just to go away because you turn your back on it for a while. Yes, the IDF’s rabbis are doing us all a monstrous disservice. But aren’t all of us Orthodox Jews responsible, too? Why have we left rulings like the ones relied on by Qarim unacknowledged and untouched for so many years? We’re a bit like a parent who leaves a loaded gun in a kitchen drawer, and is horrified when a kid from next door shoots somebody with it. If our rabbis — I’m speaking broadly now — hadn’t so often fallen back on dishonest, or half-honest, methods of rationalizing the indefensible, fending off curious goyim with half-truths and telling ourselves that, anyway, the whole truth doesn’t really matter, so long as we keep it inside the walls of the yeshiva — in a word, if we hadn’t been guilty for so long of so much intellectual and moral cowardice — would we be in the position we’re in now? The Rabbi Qarims of today are symptoms of a serious disease. Had the disease been cured when we had the chance, there’d be no more symptoms.

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 12:27 am

        “Had the disease been cured when we had the chance, there’d be no more symptoms.”

        And make entire Jewish world one big trefa banquet? Never!
        Don’t give in to the modernizers, the assimilationists, the Reformers!

        Besides, this time it’s all really going to work!

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2016, 2:51 am

        Michael,

        I think the ultra-nationalist (or neo-fascist or whatever you want to call it) turn taken by Religious Zionism (and it’s offspring “Hardal”) is particularly grave, because it is precisely the stream of Judaism that had begun to work through things like misogyny in Jewish tradition (and to some extent still does). Ultra-Orthodoxy has its inbuilt mechanisms to prevent some of the worst things from reaching halakhic practice, despite (or because of) its ostensible literalism and extreme conservatism. Paradoxically, “Modern Orthodoxy” that did not forbid “anything new”, as per the famous dictum of Moses Schreiber (Hatam Sofer) , has been far more susceptible to romantic national-idolatry (although it is making inroads into Haredi society as well, for various reasons I won’t get into here).

        I attended National-Religious yeshivot (in Israel) and personally had Haredi “leanings”, but managed to study things like the chapter of the “comely woman”, balancing belief in the divine origin of the Torah with modern abhorrence for such a practice. Our teachers (Haredi and otherwise) gave us the tools to do so, with such mechanisms as “the Torah spoke in human language”, as explained, for example, by Maimonides. The possibility existed and exists within the tradition, to study and understand both the acceptable and the unacceptable without losing one’s moral compass. I would even say that doing so has advantages over simply dismissing, rejecting, or sweeping under the rug. Part of the secret actually lies in the multiplicity of opinion and interpretation.

        I believe the real slippery slope lies in the fetishisation (sorry, Yonah) of Land and People, which has created a new “morality”. Have a look at the quotes from Karim in the original article in Haaretz that broke this story — at how many times he mentions “the Nation” and “the People” and “the Collective”. Or at the shocking “morality” found in the chapter on “ethics” in Min Hahar’s classic Dinei tzava u-milhamah ([Religious] laws of army and war). I can’t believe I ever bought and studied that book, let alone had any respect for its author. It is no coincidence that Karim headed the pre-military academy at Shlomo Aviner’s odious “Ateret Kohanim”, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem (or that he was a combat officer). Nor it is it a coincidence that he was appointed chief military rabbi, at a time when the role of the military rabbinate is being redefined.

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2016, 5:03 am

        Shmuel- Thanks for the honorable mention. (a jewish gossip columnist in nyc used to end his columns praising in short sentences, the honorable menschen)

        Not particularly sensitive (at this particular moment) to the accusation of fetishization you have offered as an explanation of modern Orthodox attachment to land and people, but still wishing to participate in the discussion (since you alluded to me) here is a 6 by 6 down and across crossword puzzle that includes the words fetish and heresy.

        FETI SH
        EVINCE
        T ITTE R
        INTONE
        SCENES
        HERESY

      • Michael Lesher
        July 15, 2016, 9:47 am

        Shmuel, all good points — though I admit I’m not as sanguine as you about the firewalls between Talmud and practice in relatively haredi circles (which were more or less mine, by the way, rather than “modern” ones, after I turned B.T. many years ago).

        I think the discussion we’re having is probably digressing from the main points of interest to most readers here, so I prefer not to prolong it on the site. But I’d be very happy to know more about you and your ideas, if you’d ever care to email me at [email protected]. By the way, do you know my book (Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities)?

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2016, 10:13 am

        Thanks, Michael. I’m far from sanguine. As I intimated, I was on the verge of Haredi society for quite some time, and have more Haredi relatives (Hasidic, Mitnagdic and Sephardic) than I can count on the fingers of both hands. Haredi society is rife with problems — including a shocking level of racism and, increasingly, nationalism. At this point in time, however, I find the National-Religious ideology far more dangerous, for the reasons I touched on and others that are, indeed, beyond the “brief” of this site.

        No, I hadn’t heard of your book. Thanks for the email. I’ll drop you a line.

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 12:02 pm

        “I believe the real slippery slope lies in the fetishisation (sorry, Yonah) of Land and People,”

        And you’ve got a way to do Zionism without that? Love to hear about it. (Please don’t try and tell me about it)

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 12:13 pm

        “Haredi society is rife with problems — including a shocking level of racism and, increasingly, nationalism. At this point in time, I find the National Religious ideology far more dangerous, …”

        I just don’t understand it.

        Where on earth, how on earth, could it have gone wrong?

        I mean, well, at the time, the Haredi and National Religious movements and the settlement enterprise were so obviously the answer to everything, and the solving of all our problems, and the saving of Judaism world-wide.

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 12:49 pm

        Ah, there’s nothing like defining deviancy down to a “theoretical discussion”.

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2016, 1:55 pm

        And where’s the “theoretical” in this?

        It’s a well-known fact that soldiers fight harder if they know the call of duty is a booty call, too.

  16. Qualtrough
    July 13, 2016, 1:26 am

    Whoah, how did MEMRI miss this one?? Hopfmi and crew, can you use your contacts there to alert them to these outrageous statements by this rabbi? Since MEMRI’s self-described remit is to ‘inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East,” they should certainly be interested in bringing this to the attention of a wider audience.

  17. yonah fredman
    July 13, 2016, 9:22 am

    The Bible is not a god given document nor is it a perfect document. it is a product of a specific time (and place). (or times and places) Those who expect perfection or godliness from every verse of the five books of moses are bound to be disappointed. those that must see the godliness in every verse, because their lifestyle is based upon acceptance of the torah as the supreme document, are in an awkward position. It is an ancient document containing pillars of western society, plus other stuff that is not really worthy.

    • echinococcus
      July 13, 2016, 12:57 pm

      No way, Josay!
      If the bible isn’t god-given or perfect, Jonas, what the hell do you think you’re doing trying to be Jewish (and “a people”, to boot)?

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 1:50 pm

      ” It is an ancient document containing pillars of western society, plus other stuff that is not really worthy.”

      And Israel, of course, sticks to the pillars of western society part, and discards the ephemera.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 1:55 pm

      “The Bible is not a god given document nor is it a perfect document.”

      Sound the trumpets! Hear the chorus roar! The Enlightenment has reached “Yonah Fredman”. Hit it, Ludwig:

      ” Freude, schoener Goetterfunken,
      Tochter aus Elysium,
      Wir betreten feuertrunken…”

    • mariapalestina
      July 13, 2016, 3:18 pm

      So how do we know which bits to take as gospel? How about the part about God giving Jews permission to appropriate land belonging to Palestinians among others?

      • yonah fredman
        July 13, 2016, 4:52 pm

        maria palestina,
        You, I assume, wish to kick the Jews out of Palestine, tell them to go back to where they came from. If you can prevail in the market place of ideas then it will be a formidable obstacle to Jewish survival in the region and Jewish sovereignty over any land in the region, understood.

        Ben Gurion pointed to the tanach (hebrew bible) as his title deed to the land and to go from Plonsk to Tel Aviv required a belief in the historical moment, that the Jewish existence to reach the 20th century meant something essential certainly to those born Jewish and that the moment of world turmoil and threats and change was a moment that required bold action regarding turning the Jews from a nomadic people to a landed people.

        Currently the status quo is very different from what it was a hundred years ago. The idea of kicking the Jews out persists, but lacks a certain seriousness or shall we say willingness to face the seriousness of your opponent. certainly clownish behavior from the prime minister and brutish behavior from the populace and the army, seems to demand a scoffing attitude.

        yet, in fact the jewish people are not worthy of scoff and even if the zionist movement is something that must undergo some sort of very basic change in order to survive the changing of the guard, there needs to be some sort of seriousness in regards to jewish history, and how we reached here. the fact that christian society is less religious now than it was 200 years ago and certainly than it was 500 years ago, versus the fact that muslim society is much more religious today than it was 50 years ago, this does not guide us how to deal with the bible, but it does suggest that history is a tangled ball and any attempt to merely dismiss religion is in fact dishonest. there were many causes that went into the creation of israel and they include european dynamics, global colonial dynamics and the long range survival of a group that adheres to jewish religious texts. I understand that you really don’t wish to understand what went into the creation of israel, you merely wish it to disappear, but it seems to me that the odds are strong that its disappearance will not happen short range, so that gives you plenty of time to put yourself into zionist shoes. maybe if you had been born to another mother and father, you might have found yourself born in tel aviv, if i should imagine being born in Dheisheh and I should, then it is not wrong for you to imagine being born in tel aviv.
        the role that the biblio book has played in the creation of israel and how the book plays a role in the current war situation and how the book might play a role in a future peace situation are all questions. people who have studied the book if not day and night then at least year in and year out, certainly realize that it is not just as simple as tossing the book onto the bonfire or into the ash heap and the presence of pre geneva convention rules of war in the books represent going backwards instead of forwards and those who give too much credence to these verses in deuteronomy are part of the problem and not part of the solution, but if you want to take the book away from me, because the book was used to take the land away from you, then there will be a tug of war over the book and that is the path of conflict. certainly conflict is our bread and who am i to tell you how to fight your war against me, but imaging and imagining the future of peace is also part of the war and that will require deeper thought.

      • Mooser
        July 13, 2016, 6:51 pm

        “You, I assume…/…will require deeper thought.”

        Shorter “Yonah Fredman”: ‘200 million Jews intent on a historic settlement enterprise can pretty much make their own rules. Don’t stand in our way!’

        And I agree!

      • RoHa
        July 14, 2016, 12:17 am

        “Ben Gurion … and to go from Plonsk to Tel Aviv”

        You are saying Ben Gurion was a total Plonsker?

    • Mr.T
      July 13, 2016, 5:55 pm

      “[the Bible] is an ancient document containing pillars of western society”

      Not really. The pillars were already there back when the Bible’s authors were hill people in a backwater of nowhere. The Christian Bible became, well, not so much a pillar, but a facade atop what was already there, sometime later.

    • RoHa
      July 14, 2016, 12:13 am

      Aside from any other consideration, we should remember that the Bible was written by a bunch of foreigners. None of the authors were either British or Australian.

      • RoHa
        July 14, 2016, 12:32 am

        Ancient foreigners, too. But not the Greeks, the clever chaps, or the Romans, the decent chaps . They were the ones who set up most of the pillars of Western society. The hairy chaps, the Saxons and Vikings, set up the Common Law system.

      • Mooser
        July 16, 2016, 12:37 pm

        “None of the authors were either British or Australian.”

        It might have been a Roosian, A Frenchman, or Turk, or Proosian, or perhaps an Itali-an!
        But in spite of all temptations, to belong to other nations, they remain Mesopotamian. They remai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ain, Mesopotamian.

  18. Boo
    July 13, 2016, 9:24 am

    “the values of the IDF and the spirit of the IDF, especially values of human dignity towards all.”

    Long-form oxymoron.

  19. Vera Gottlieb
    July 13, 2016, 10:33 am

    I really don’t give a fig what the Bible, or Torah or any religious book says: not even animals rape just for the sake of it. This guy should be circumcised one more time to the point of rendering him ineffective.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 1:42 pm

      “This guy should be circumcised one more time to the point of rendering him ineffective.”

      Oh God. Considering the progression of Jewish circumcision, I really, really, really wish you hadn’t put it like that.

      • MHughes976
        July 13, 2016, 3:10 pm

        Lest we Christians boast, Vera comes remarkably close to the wording of Galatians 5:12.

    • Marnie
      July 16, 2016, 1:42 am

      Circumcise him one more time!

      Wasn’t that a Brittney Spears song back in the 90s?

      • Mooser
        July 16, 2016, 12:31 pm

        “Wasn’t that a Brittney Spears song back in the 90s?”

        Gee, maybe. It put’s me in mind of an old “Capt. and Tenille” number.

    • Froggy
      July 17, 2016, 4:51 pm

      Vera :: “This guy should be circumcised one more time to the point of rendering him ineffective.

      I’d go along with this.

  20. Talkback
    July 13, 2016, 10:38 am

    I’ve never read about an army priest saying to the Nazis that it was not only ok to rape Jewish girls/woman, but ok according to the bible.

  21. Ossinev
    July 13, 2016, 11:29 am

    @yonah Fredman
    “those that must see the godliness in every verse, because their lifestyle is based upon acceptance of the torah as the supreme document, are in an awkward position”

    A teasing little one from you Yonah. How can a certifiable religious fruitcake rabbi (or the multiples thereof in Ziobubbles in JSIL and abroad) be in “awkward position(s) “.

    They should be in treatment centres AKA lunatic asylums. It would be “awkward” I suppose for their families,acolytes and most moral employers.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 12:40 pm

      “because their lifestyle is based upon acceptance of the torah as the supreme document, are in an awkward position” “

      An “awkward position”? “Yonah” my advice is, stick to capture, rape and intermarriage, and leave the Tantrics to other religions that’ve had more practice.
      It is only fair to mention that these days, very few Jews use the missionary position. But maybe we should try it. At least during the first thirty days.

      • Talkback
        July 13, 2016, 5:08 pm

        My former rabbi confirms that 30 days should be enough to find out that this position is wrong when raping a nonjewish woman.

      • oldgeezer
        July 13, 2016, 7:44 pm

        30 days. I usually know within approx 2 minutes if a position is wrong. But then they lived to be hundreds of years old so they had more time.

        What the hell, if the position is too awkward then clearly the Palestinian woman is guilty of incitement.

      • Talkback
        July 14, 2016, 8:11 am

        oldgeezer, if the woman tries to resist to be raped by a Jewish soldier it’s antisemitic.

      • eljay
        July 14, 2016, 8:17 am

        According to Zio-supremacist “logic”:
        – when non-Zionists do it, it’s rape; but
        – when Zionists do it, it’s “self-determination”.

  22. MHughes976
    July 13, 2016, 4:52 pm

    The idea of marriage in the ancient world enforced by military means raises a few thoughts. Its dubious moral status is recognised in the story of the 50 daughters of Danaus who were pursued to Greece by the 50 heavily armed sons of Egyptus. 50 tents were set up for 50 marriages. ‘Girls’ said Danaus, ‘this is rape. Keep them happy and leave the rest to me.’ His daughter Hypermnestra – ‘supreme lover’ – had an unexpected experience. ‘Hyper’ said her husband ‘I’m no rapist. We won’t have sex unless you want it.’ ‘Maybe I do’ said she ‘maybe I don’t. Keep talking’. When Danaus arrived at her tent with 49 heads in his cart and sword drawn she said ‘Dad, we’re keeping this one, he’s quite nice’. So she became the ancestress of the Danaid royal house, friends of the gods, benefactors of humanity and conquerors of Troy.

  23. gamal
    July 13, 2016, 8:27 pm

    after reading Jon and other magisterial Zionist historians sometimes you need to read a real historian a real scholar for nutrition so,

    Ann Goldberg wrote

    Sex, Religion, and the Making of Modern Madness: The Eberbach Asylum and German Society 1815-1849.

    what is it with this ludicrous archaism in Islam and Judaism, i am really dumbfounded, laziness everyone wants to go back to the source they are too illiterate to understand and avoid the vast and complex commentaries, could there be anything worse than a lazy scholar, fuck them.

    hop “super-jerk” hmi’s getting girls with sovereignty did my head in and Jon’s Ashkenazi nuclei was the last straw. this a bloody good fascinating book she is a fine scholar, its why history is taught to produce Ann Goldbergs and weed out the lacking hard evidence Jonni tale spinners.

    i searched first to get page 170 read Abraham’s story, the sensitive reader will note how our culture has a disturbing continuity just an updated rationale 177 “Jews and the criminalization of madness” is searing

    https://books.google.ie/books?id=8ciXkfDx_YIC&pg=PA174&lpg=PA174&dq=jewish+robber+bands+germany+middle+ages&source=bl&ots=5xPZP7wJ45&sig=UhL7e_cVrCFzH9fJ9nPIvFucl7Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiYxZH7yPHNAhWIAMAKHYf7B7cQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=jewish%20robber%20bands%20germany%20middle%20ages&f=false

    and just the book

    https://books.google.ie/books?id=OuDhBwAAQBAJ&pg=PT235&lpg=PT235&dq=sex+religion+and+madness+ann+goldberg&source=bl&ots=gZvDPE0wBM&sig=1inW7VlVIQswhcPPF5eglWORuok&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiNn52izvHNAhUIDMAKHVxnAwAQ6AEIMjAG#v=onepage&q=sex%20religion%20and%20madness%20ann%20goldberg&f=false

  24. xanadou
    July 14, 2016, 1:17 am

    Yesterday I had posted the above article to my social website.

    Late today, I had a hard time posting a few unrelated items. The local hackers, Israeli/Iranian expats who live in my neighborhood, were eager to show off their skills, and obvious displeasure at my exercise of the First Amedment rights. They, twice, forced my site back to yesterday’s posting. This is not an accident. I have reposted a few dozen articles in the interim.

    I am not Jewish, it’s late and I’m about to hit the sack. Wish me luck and a safe goodnight.

    • Mooser
      July 19, 2016, 9:47 pm

      “I am not Jewish, it’s late and I’m about to hit the sack. Wish me luck and a safe goodnight.”

      You do live dangerously.
      Good luck, and a safe goodnight to you.

  25. Kay24
    July 14, 2016, 7:07 am

    You have got to wonder how a man who is doing “God’s work” can resort to to such vile remarks.
    Here is another classic example of such evil coming from another vicious zionist religious leader:

    ““There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, because there isn’t enough Torah study… Black people reside there [New Orleans]. Blacks will study the Torah? [God said] let’s bring a tsunami and drown them.”

    “Hundreds of thousands remained homeless. Tens of thousands have been killed. All of this because they have no God.”

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/5-of-ovadia-yosefs-most-controversial-quotations/

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