Rabbi Lior's racism is not his fault

Rabbi Dov Lior did not invent the wheel. He only hung the monotheistic dirty laundry out in public.

Salman Masalha

It's not Rabbi Lior's fault

First, let me say this: As a descendant of one of the Sons of Noah who has violated all manners of prohibitions, I am doomed to any number of odd and sundry deaths. The choice offered to those of my ilk is one of the following three: death by sword, death by stoning or death by strangulation. In his "Law of Kings," Moses Maimonides (the Rambam ) specifies that for violating the Noahide laws I am sentenced to death by the sword, unless I have sex with a Jewish maiden who is engaged to be married, in which case I shall be stoned to death; alternatively, if she is already married, then I am to be strangled to death.

I am addressing this matter in light of the tempest over the detention for police questioning of the recalcitrant Rabbi Dov Lior, who did not report for an interview despite repeated supplications from law enforcement authorities.

I don't understand what all the fuss is about. None of the racist things attributed to one rabbi or another, or one Muslim sheikh or another, are new. Anyone who looks at the laws of the monotheistic religions can easily determine the root of the problem. Monotheists not only like to enter the bedrooms of others; they not only stuff themselves into other's guts in an endless search for something that made its way there without permission; they not only put veils, burkas or headscarves on their pious women, who pray for children - monotheists from all their religions and all their sects love to spill blood, lots of blood. This must be said. The naked truth must be told.

There are some good-intentioned, if entirely naive, souls who are quick to quote verses such as "Love your neighbor as yourself." They seek to coat the bitter pill by presenting some positive side of religion. But they forget that "your neighbor" refers solely to another Jew. The verse (Leviticus 19:18 ) commands: "Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." In his explication of the verse Rambam specifies that this applies to all members of the House of Israel who follow the Torah and its commandments, and that it is a mitzvah to hate anyone who does not accept the Torah.

Not to mention "Haviv adam shenivra b'tzelem" ("Beloved is man who is created in the image" ), which is cited incessantly as supposed proof of humanity of any kind in humanism in general and in Judaism in particular. Here, too, the reference is to Jews only. According to the sages, only Israel, Jews, are called "adam," "and not the nations of the world." Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook ("Haro'eh ), providing a persuasive explanation to his flock: "The difference between the Israeli soul, its independence, its inner yearning, its aspiration, its characteristics and disposition, and the soul of all the other nations, is greater and deeper than the difference between the soul of a human being and the soul of a beast." What could we possibly add to these warm sentiments?

All the greatest experts in halakha (Jewish law ) follow this concept. For the sake of example, here's the explanation of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel (the Maharal ): "The perfection of creation, which relates to the human in particular, applies to Israel and not to the nations." He added that the gradation of Israel in comparison to the other nations is comparable to the gradation of the human being in comparison to non-speaking animals.

If this is the situation, then why are so many politicians and self-declared defenders of the law picking on the respected rabbi of the national religious movement? The "enlightened" rabbi did not invent the wheel, after all. He only hung the monotheistic dirty laundry out in public. The populist politicians show off their dirty clothes in their media-blanketed appearances at every available opportunity (see under: Jewish democracy ), and in their eyes the rabbi is guilty of slander.

It must be said, clearly and unequivocally: The moral impurity resides in the benighted teachings of monotheism. Until everyone with the pretense of being cultured recognizes this, in this region and throughout the world, there will be no light at the end of the tunnel.
Published: Op-Ed, Haaretz, July 4, 2011

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