Or Yehuda Residents & Students Burn New Testament

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arson1.jpgBacked by Shas officials, students from Or Yehuda yeshivas gathered hundreds of copies of the new testament along with missionary materials, which were later taken to a central location in the city and set ablaze last Thursday night.

A vehicle with a loudspeaker made its way down N’vei Rabin Street, calling on secular Jews to bring the copies of the new testament and other materials given to them by the messianic Jews, which were later set ablaze.

The news of the event has made its way to the mainstream media, not necessarily in a positive light, seeking to make comparisons of non religious Jews or people of other faiths setting Jewish holy books ablaze. Some secularists questioned the wisdom of the decision to burn the books as well as the “moral values” of those involved.

Shas officials in Or Yehuda explain that missionaries are working with fervor in the city, which they point out is against Israeli law.

Attorney Meyers, representing the missionaries, told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) on Tuesday that the action of the Orthodox Jews is illegal and immoral, drawing an analogy to the Nazis who burned Jewish books, leading to violence and the Holocaust. Meyers is calling on the state prosecutor and police to file charges against every single person taking part in the burning event.

Meyers pointed out that since the establishment of the state, not a single person has ever stood trial for missionary activities, which he stated is only illegal when seeking to entice minors, not adults. He stated that to his knowledge, there are about 10,000 missionaries in Israel today, stating the law is compelled to protect their basic rights. Meyers stated these messianic Jews still see themselves as members of the Jewish People and they are entitled to the full protection of the law and the basic civil rights enjoyed by all Israelis and residents of the country.

Or Yehuda Deputy Mayor and attorney Uzi Aaron, who is affiliated with Shas, told Razi Barkai of Galei Tzahal that the messianic Jews are indeed breaking the law and should be held legally accountable. He proudly confirmed taking part in the event.

Aaron stated the level of missionary activities in his city is intolerable, with messianic Jews going house-to-house to distribute their materials.

The act of publicly setting books ablaze has resulted in a controversy in Israel, with many looking back in history some 60 years ago when the Nazis did the very same thing to the Jewish People. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who heads the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, stated that the act of burning books has a negative association to the Holocaust. “It would have been preferable to find another way to dispose of the books and materials – but the main problem, the missionaries, remains.”

“We must respect holy writings of Islam and Christianity,” Dr. Zuroff adds, “but we may not permit missionary activities targeting our youth,” he concluded.”

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)




28 COMMENTS

  1. Burning what is sacred to other people?
    This is very disgusting.

    Also I hope they know that the Old Testament
    is also a lot of times in the same book as the
    New, so yeah they probably burned the Torah
    during their book fair.

  2. What idiocy. You don’t want it? throw it out! Recycle it! Teach your kids to reject it! But make a facsimile of what they did to us for 2000 years?

  3. To #2: Without getting into wether I agree or disagree withtheir actions, the fact that the old testament is also printed together with their new testament doesnt make it against halacha to burn. On the contrary, the Rambam clearly states that a sefer torah that was written by an apikorus (even if it is a “kosher torah scroll” with ink on parchment) MUST be burned!!! It has absolutely no kedusha and one may not learn from it.

  4. who cares if they nazi’s did it?! the nazi’s had an army, should we disband ours? the nazi’s had police, an obviously inherently evil thing. Part of the nazi’s oppression was imprisoning Jews, so we should shut all prisons down immediately.

    get real! the nazi’s are completely irrelevant to this. What goes around comes around, the minim made it very clear that we aren’t wanted in their countries (it was only the secularization of the western world that ended the pogroms and jew-burnings) so why should they be allowed any place in a Jewish state?

  5. to #2 if the “torah” is published in the same book as the ne–, yes it is a mitzvah to burn it, even sefer torah that was written by them with all hiddurim, is mitzvah to burn (shabbos,perek kol kisvay), so from being ignoramas dont pasken sheilos….what is right to do or not we are guided by shulchun urech not personel opinions shaped by reading newspapers ,what leftist say etc..now to farbrenen b’farhesia in de eigen fun de imos huolem in galus we dont know will not say personel opinions. to#1 to nazi is not doime, jews were not going around prostylizing, and here we have them prostylizing in the jewsih state..how would that be as compared that yidden would go prostylizing in the vatican??..muslims are burning bibles, torahs all over thar tdoesnt bother you same with others now we’er not saying we should do same de kashe is oif eich yidden that you become such kanoim we shouldn do it.nowone of the signers of thesr first 2 oposting have notice his otherposts es is alwaysoite to nut dass torah..now if you mean that we should respect the other because we shouldn unreitzen de goim oif unz ok, but from your wording we derive otherwise so is pshat de halts zeier shita is oich gerecht..so flatbusher we are right what we mentioned that other posts noticed nit dass torah..

  6. Good way to insult the Christians who are supporters of Israel with the added advantage of Nazi associations. There are other ways to eliminate such volumes

  7. NYpHotoGrapher – the fact that torah may be in there somewhere is irrelavent, it is at best considered heretical work, and may even be full fledged avodah zorah, which halachically must be burnt, irregardless of what goyim think. we have to get out of th ementality of what others will think, and do what Hashem wants us to do!

  8. jent1150 – you would come off sounding more intellectual if you did without all the yeshivishism, which are completely not understandable to people who may not have grown up on 18th ave.

    but you are dead on, in pre-nazi germany no jews were going around proselytizing, if anything the opposite is true, they were going around to jews to make them more Germanic. book burning like most other things goyim do comes from us. this whole thing of not doing things because goyim do it, did it, or its “goyish” is nonsense, especially when its halachically the right thing to do.
    saying the book burnings are reminescent of the holocaust is not a true analogy. a true analogy would be here in the US on memorial day, the organization that upkeeps the nations flags, burns them and buries them, as is teh rules of proper disposal of our national flag. are we to say that they are like the arabs in iran that burn flags of the US at demonstrations? to equate them together is foolish as is lumping ohr yehuda and nazis together

  9. to #11 ..the first 2-3 lines pertaining to you, you should understand.. and if not seems you are totaly not within our bnei torah,yeshivishe language…so i’m assuming , as you sign “NY photograpgher” and using the term “the old testam—” and since yeshivah, bnei torah dont use that term because keilu..so no wonder you say “its disgusting”.. are you a shomrei torah umitzvos?you say “why do we ask?”..because of your wording ibid..and see first half of this posting, and if the answer is in the affirmitive ..what you doing on this site…and soliciting advice shelo al pi torah?

  10. I’m sure that burning the books made people feel good; just like it made those people in Paris 1215 feel good when 24 cartloads of the Talmud were burned, destroying nearly every Ashkenzi version of the Talmud Bavli. This is not about feeling good. It’s not about power or about “what goes around comes around.” It’s always about doing ratzon HaBoreh. I personally believe that G-d prefers that we, his children, not succumb to such temptations as burning books. I think He wants us to be better than that.

  11. SHAS chevra definetely know how to have fun, was this part of the medurot for lAGBOMER?
    Missionaries should be arrested and jailed, if it is against the law…
    Book burning,, was done to the books of the Rambam also, not a ‘jewish way’.

  12. They did not burn books used by the goyim or minim for their own worship. These were books distributed specifically to Jewish families in order to missionize them. As such, there is no comparison at all to burnings of the Talmud and other holy books in Europe. Christians should have no reason to be angry at Jews for this book burning, since it was done in self-defense.

    But I have a different problem with this. When you burn books publicly and make a big deal out of it, it looks like you’re afraid of what’s written in them, as if the books contain some truth that we want to hide from our kids. This will greatly encourage the missionaries and it may even arouse the curiosity of some ignorant Jews who otherwise would have just ignored these books. Accordingly, it would have been better to dispose of the books quietly.

  13. The Nazis burned books that were not theirs to burn. These Jews burned books that were freely given to them to do with as they pleased. Didn’t the missionaries realize that at least 90 percent of their Bibles would go into the garbage? Burning them is not much different.

  14. A translation of relevant sections of post 7 for NYphotographer:

    “to #2 if the “torah” [Genesis through Deuteronomy] is published in the same book as the ne– [NT], yes it is a mitzvah [commandment] to burn it, even sefer torah [a Torah scroll] that was written by them [i.e. Christians] with all hiddurim [illuminations], is mitzvah to burn (shabbos,perek kol kisvay) [he’s citing his source, Talmud tractate Shabbos and chapter Kol Kisvay], so from being ignoramas dont pasken sheilos [tell us what Jewish law says].what is right to do or not we are guided by shulchun urech [Shulchan Orech is a codification of Jewish law] not personel opinions shaped by reading newspapers ,what leftist say etc..

  15. Thnx baruchgershom.

    Anyway I still think it is wrong
    to burn it publicly. It’s only illegal when it
    involves minors.
    I think it’s disgraceful to their
    religion, just throw the stuff out.

  16. de zach is, its a yiddishe medina ,the jews for j.. were prostylizing, these books were handed out by them so it belonged to these individuals..un probably hot men nit getracht vaigen de newspapers vet reporten…

  17. Flatbusher: I have mixed feelings on this subject. I’m a convert to Judaism, and somewhat involved in anti-missionary work. It is true that Christians have a strong desire to appear as martyrs for their faith or to somehow be discriminated against. So, it is likely that they would use videos of the book burning to that effect. Its very possible that the Jews of Or Yehuda were set up by the missionaries who anticipated that they would have gotten just this reaction. On the other hand, every time I read one of them complain that Yad L’Achim took some action against them, I grad my checkbook and send a donation to Yad L’Achim.

    My preferred approach to missionaries is to use their own weapon against them — Christians have a very finite knowledge of Tanach and you can easily quote verses to them, preferably in two languages to establish that you are the teacher and they are the student, you can make them very uncomfortable because they will not have answers to your challenges. I’m especially advantaged because I’ve forgotten more of their scripture than they ever learned, and I’m well acquainted with their standard responses and I understand, also, their weaknesses. But if you have reasonably good knowledge, you can devestate them long enough to make them walk away and not want to missionize anymore.

  18. NYpHotoGrapher:

    I think that the poster at #7, and others, are trying to point out that their is a fairly well established commandment to burn tracts linked to idolatry, even if it includes our entire Bible, and Christian missionary literature aimed at Jew, most sources would say, certainly qualify. That’s a valid point. The point raised by #23 is whether doing so publicly inflames anti-Jewish bias and could cause us harm. That, too, is a valid point and one which leading rabbis would consider if you asked them for their legal opinion in the first place, before any NTs are burned. But we’re dealing with a fait d’acompli (or as they say in yeshiva: b’dieved); the deed has been done. How do we spin it? Rather than saying it was wrong to do, I think we should blame the Christians who put their Bibles at risk in the first place by giving them to the “foresaken” Jews.

  19. Anyone who’s against this is mamesh thinking like a Goy – secular ideas that books are inherently valuable, or beaitiful, no matter how much TUMAH and soul-destroying poison are in them..have no place in the mind of a yid. Rabbeinu Yonah did not do teshuvah for stam burning a book – he simply burnt the wrong books. Go tell Rabbienu Yonah he was ‘so goyishe’ for burning books, I dare you. As per yakovkuperman – are you insane???? Russia was totally secular, so was Germany, and the most jews in our entire history died there!!! Secularism is worse than christianity to us – if you think otherwise you’re just a brainwashed westerner.

    Goyim think burning books is wrong, and that we need to respect their beliefs – my question, is WHY?? Why respect something that destroys us? If you had a bottle of poison in your home, you’d throw it out because it’s DANGEROUS! The new testament is DANGEROUS, more so than poison, and these people did a tremendously great thing, sending the message that we do not want christianity in our neighborhoods – sorry if that ruffles some goyishe feathers, but the 60’s, in all their lustful evil, are over,a nd with them ends the nonsense about living in peace and harmony without moshiach – moshiach hasnt some yet, and hence, you’re not going to increase peace by ‘respecting’ those who want you dead – dont be violent, but send a powerful message.

  20. They forget that Jews living outside of Israel will feel the ramifications of the book burning. They will be responsible when a Jew gets attacked in Russia by someone avenging this affront to their religion.

    It seems that Israeli’s forget that there are Jews outside of Israel, until it comes time for them to schnorr money from us.

  21. to #22 ny photographer..so when you will come across such a problem you’ll dispose as you see fit ..so whats the problem ?

  22. I’m really a bit shocked by some of the commentary on this thread, defending the indefensible. Of course, Daas Torah is first and foremost. I am not pretending to be a source for Daas Torah, but it seems plain to even a simple Jew like me that it isn’t that hard to figure out:

    1. Darkei Shalom: There are good examples of how this principle applies and it seems to apply here as well. V’Hamayvin Yavin.

    2. Chillul Hashem: If the actions tend to disgrace Hashem’s name, they shouldn’t be done. This is not a justification to stop keeping any mitzvos or to adopt the standards or values of other cultures. It just means, if the world, Jewish and non-Jewish will view the actions as barbaric, it reflects badly on Hashem. Of course the material should be removed from Jewish homes. But it should be disposed of discretely. Making a public display of burning is holchim b’chukosayhem and does no honor to Hashem, to say the least. If we had an Eliyahu Hanavi today, perhaps he would say differently and replay Har HaCarmel. Alas, we are bereft of prophecy and prophets.

    3. Sakanos Nefashos. We are in galus. Even Eretz Yisroel is considered galus. Accordingly, no actions should be taken which may tend to enrage other people and possibly lead them to violence against Jews r’l. Heaven knows, there is a terrible upsurge of anti-Semitism already in many parts of the world and Jews are being attacked and their property vandalized almost daily. We shouldn’t do anything to make matters worse. Of course, we have to do things like engage in military action against enemies and people will hate us for it, but in that case there is no choice. As a matter of Sakanos Nefashos itself, it takes precedence over the reaction of others.

    4. Menchlichkeit. A simple regard for the meaning of what it means to be a decent, ethical, peaceful Jew should be enough to prevent this kind of boorish behavior. A mensch doesn’t do such things. A nation of priests doesn’t do such things. Period.

    Before anyone flames me for my comments, believe me that I am equally outraged by the missionary activity. To think that teire yidden in Eretz Yisroel are being lured away from our ancient and beautiful Yiddishkeit, Torah and Mitzvos is enough to make me want to scream. I think we just have to be a lot smarter about how we deal with it and not go off half-cocked and mob style.

  23. Hey! The books in question were private property, given to the owners by the missionaries. People are entitled to dispose of their property in any way they wish, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others.

    Who can compare that with the Deutchen, YM”Sh, or any of the other Reshoim going all the way back to the Crusades, who stole the Sifrei Kodesh, lehavdil, that they burned?