That ‘disloyalty’ really is a problem.
When your first loyalty is to the Left, you end up adopting bizarre causes, like fighting against the death penalty for a Neo-Nazi who shot up a synagogue because the death penalty is evil.
A little background.
The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, which was the target, was also providing space to two leftier congregations, Dor Hadash, which is Reconstructionist, a faction that doesn’t believe in the existence of G-d, and New Light, which is Conservative. Dor Hadash’s support for HIAS, an anti-American and anti-Israel group, dedicated to mass migration in both countries, seems to have attracted the gunman’s attention.
While Tree of Life’s leadership behaved with dignity and its Rabbi met with President Trump, Dor Hadash and New Light are agitating against the death penalty for the Neo-Nazi killer.
Leaders of both the New Light and Dor Hadash congregations had written to Attorney General William Barr to beg him not to pursue capital punishment for Robert Bowers. Four of the 11 people killed in the massacre, considered the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, were members of those congregations.
Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of New Light Congregation vowed Tuesday to continue to fight the death penalty, which he believes is contrary to Jewish teachings. He also said it would re-traumatize the survivors of the Oct. 27 massacre.
Perlman said he thought prosecutors were trying to curry favor with the Jewish community by seeking the death penalty.
“But what the administration needs to understand is that if they took a poll of the Jewish community they would find out Jews are very much opposed to this for religious reasons,” he said.
Perlman’s statement is insulting to prosecutors and completely misinformed about Jewish law. The prosecutors are not currying favor, they’re enforcing the law. His comments insult public servants who are doing their job and require an apology.
The death penalty was always part of Jewish jurisprudence when there was an independent Jewish judiciary in a Jewish commonwealth.
Judaism is not opposed to the death penalty. It strongly believes in it.
The third congregation meeting in the building issued a statement saying: “Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha does not have a statement on this matter; we have confidence that justice will be served.”
Seven of the victims were from the Tree of Life congregation. The shuttered synagogue is in Pittsburgh’s historic Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Tree of Life is the actual synagogue. And, once again, its leadership is behaving with dignity. In sharp contrast to the leftier groups.
Jewish tradition has mostly, but not always, opposed the death penalty.
Fact check: That is completely and bizarrely untrue.
Jewish tradition has always supported the death penalty, beginning with the relevant passages in the Bible/Torah and onward for thousands of years. The deviation in this regard comes from fairly recent movements that have been around for 150 years or so.
And they oppose it not because of Jewish tradition, but because their politics often tend leftward. And the Left opposes the death penalty unless it’s being implemented by their regimes.
On Tuesday, Perlman said he has been in touch with the chief executive of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly to see if it might also take a stand in this particular case.
Is fighting to save the life of a Neo-Nazi mass murderer of Jews really the hill they want to fight on?