A Statement from Rabbi Friedman

By | Jun 03, 2009

**The following is an updated statement as of June 5.

I would like to clarify the answer published in my name in last month’s issue of Moment Magazine.

First of all, the opinions published in my name are solely my own, and do not represent the official policy of any Jewish movement or organization.

Additionally, my answer, as written, is misleading.

It is obvious, I thought, that any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion. Fundamental to the Jewish faith is the concept that every human being was created in the image of G-d, and our sages instruct us to support the non-Jewish poor along with the poor of our own brethren.

The sub-question I chose to address instead is: how should we act in time of war, when our neighbors attack us, using their women, children and religious holy places as shields. I attempted to briefly address some of the ethical issues related to forcing the military to withhold fire from certain people and places, at the unbearable cost of widespread bloodshed (on both sides!)—when one’s own family and nation is mercilessly targeted from those very people and places.

Furthermore, some of the words I used in my brief comment were irresponsible, and I look forward to further clarifying them in a future issue.

I apologize for any misunderstanding my words created.

—Rabbi Manis Friedman

The following is a response from Rabbi Manis Friedman:

I would like to clarify the answer published in my name in last month’s issue of Moment Magazine.

First of all, the opinions published in my name are solely my own, and do not represent the official policy of any Jewish movement or organization.

Additionally, my answer, as published, is misleading. For it is, in truth, an answer to a different question.

It is obvious, I thought, that any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion. Fundamental to the Jewish faith is the concept that every human being was created in the image of G-d, and our sages instruct us to support the non-Jewish poor along with the poor of our own brethren.

The question my statement addresses is: how should we act in time of war, when our neighbors attack us, using their women, children and religious holy places as shields. I attempted to briefly address some of the ethical issues related to forcing the military to withhold fire from certain people and places, at the unbearable cost of widespread bloodshed (on both sides!)—when one’s own family and nation is mercilessly targeted from those very people and places! (I look forward to further clarifying my brief words, too, in a future issue.)

I apologize for any misunderstanding the words printed in my name created.

—Rabbi Manis Friedman

83 thoughts on “A Statement from Rabbi Friedman

  1. Strangel says:

    The Old Testament, especially the Torah, is a sick and twisted book. If both you and your neighbors actually read it you’d see right through its BS and then you’d have no enemies.

    1. Miguel says:

      Wow! I personally think this rabbi is a legend, where has he been hiding?

      I think it’s historically clear to all of us, at times when the Israeli govt. didn’t offer the slightest hint of giving any autonomy/land, we had quiet. The story changes once we gave them options.

      I can clearly see how parallel the Rabbis words are to this fact: Don’t show them that you are ready to give in and by all means are you ready to be ruthless -even with your wives and children who YOU put in harms way- and your end result is: no more women and children in harms way!

      So this policy would actually save more innocent lives than not. You are correct that it will not enhance the Palestinian agenda, but it will defiantly save lives and gear the Palestinians to start building inbound.

      1. Jason says:

        Miguel, your words are so true, I have come to see the beauty in the rabbis words.

        Looking forward to the rabbis follow up comments in the next issue, I’m sure there would be lost of light shed on this.

    2. Alejandro says:

      Wow! I personally think this rabbi is a legend, where has he been hiding?

      I think it’s historically clear to all of us, at times when the Israeli govt. didn’t offer the slightest hint of giving any autonomy/land, we had quiet. The story changes once we gave them options.

      I can clearly see how parallel the Rabbis words are to this fact: Don’t show them that you are ready to give in and by all means are you ready to be ruthless -even with your wives and children who YOU put in harms way- and your end result is: no more women and children in harms way!

      So this policy would actually save more innocent lives than not. You are correct that it will not enhance the Palestinian agenda, but it will defiantly save lives and gear the Palestinians to start building inbound.

    3. Clay says:

      Accusing a Chabad rabbi of not reading the Torah is not very credible. Maybe instead you should talk about the *way* he reads the Torah.

  2. Donalbain says:

    So, when you said that it is OK to kill children, you only meant that sometimes?

  3. Don says:

    THIS is your clarification? What a joke! You are an evil, disgruntled man who doesn’t understand the essence of religion. It’s ‘religious’ leaders like you that enter into a pact with the devil instead of with G-D. Find internal peace and spread it to others, even the Palestinians.

  4. Figaro says:

    He apologizes? Dreck! In all wars civilians are always caught between opposing forces and qualify as “shields”. Is this the excuse to kill them without compunction? The women and children too?
    And this man dares to use the term “merciless”
    as justification. What brazen chutzpah!

    1. meesh says:

      To all you posters: Calm down. Think before getting so emotional about the Rav’s response. Rabbi Friedman is a very sensitive and giving person. He does alot of chesed including among many other things he is responsible for bringing many Jews back to Judaism. Many people love him. Please think ahead before you judge someone who has helped so many.

      Regarding his comment he clearly said that only in a time of war must we defend ourselves even if it means killing others. War is war. In the Torah it says that when it is time to battle your enemies you kill them their wives their children and their cattle. End of story.

      So, cool your horses, and sit back and relax. It is not the end of the world. This is the United States remember. We have freedom of speech, at least for now. Rabbi Friedman has the First Amendment right to speak his views just as you are allowed to make despicable comments on a website.

      1. BRIAN RADFORD says:

        His First Amendmend right to state it is ok to kill women and children…and cattle? The man is pure evil.

      2. sharpinchitown says:

        Lately it seems the Jews are the only ones who have freedom of speech…people are thrown in jail around the world for disagreeing with Jewish beliefs. It’s very sad.

      3. Figaro says:

        Freedom of speech? Please! Don’t make me trot out that old cliche about yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater. Friedman’s crazy rant is the stuff of perpetual war and perpetual suffering, not only for those directly in the line of fire but for Americans who will have to kill and be killed if Israel succeeds in igniting a mid East confligration over Iran.

        And speaking of cliches, if Friedman feels so strongly about wholesale slaughter, let him get his tuckus over to Israel where he can put his money where his mouth is.

      4. Rob says:

        “Rabbi Friedman is a very sensitive and giving person.”

        Every fascist has friends.

  5. Abash says:

    Rabbi Friedman’s critics seem to think that Jesus has prevailed – turn your cheek and the war is over. They must be the true messianics, believing that Moshiach has arrived and that the lions and sheep are grazing together.

    The inconvenient facts are that for all of recorded history there have been only 3 ways that wars really end: (1) One side realizes that they have too much to lose and nothing to gain and packs up and leaves – the Red Coats in 1783. (2) One side is utterly destroyed by the other and dragged to unconditional surrendor – our Civil War and WWII. (3) After a few hundred years everyone forgets why they are fighting and sue for peace – the Brits and the Irish.

    Rabbi Friedman confronts reality. War sucks! But the first morality of war, if one is dragged into it and must fight to survive, is survival.

    Does anyone believe that some kind of moral high ground is gained by eliminating the value of surprise and sending young people to risk their lives in an endless kabuki dance of so-called-war with their hands tied behind their backs?

  6. Manis Friedman is a lying thug says:

    Perhaps Manis Friedman should be treated as he would treat others.

    1. john says:

      The rabbi is miles above the intelect of the bloggers here. Listen to him on other subjects and you will find yourself stupid.

      If you believe he said to kill anyone randomly, you must be really a fool.

  7. Saad says:

    Unfortunately, he is not the only one:

    Top Israeli Rabbi Advocates Mass Murder of Gazans

    IDF shoot children while eating chips

    And Israel broke the cease fire first!

    Norman Finkelstein: Israel broke cease fire

    Israel broke the cease-fire

    1. BRIAN RADFORD says:

      unfortunately everyone who is educated and alert knows that israel broke the ceasefire, not the other way round. its just the msm that is portraying the palestinians as terrorists. tell me this: how can an australian kid who is jewish, travel to israel, spend a year in their defence forces and return ‘well rounded’, yet an australian kid who is muslim, travels to the middle east, spends time with their militias, and returns as a’terrorist’?????? i just dont understand why the dichotomy. what is so special about judaism and israel? why is it consistently protected and anyone who dares criticize them is deemed ‘anti-semitic’?

      1. vildechaye says:

        Ms. Abuzayd is misrepresenting the facts. The “targeted assassination” she refers to was nothing of the kind. It was an attack on tunnels built to go into Israel andkilled 6 or 7 Hamas operatives in them. No tunnel, no attack, very simple. Israel offered to renew, Hamas clearly stated that they weren’t interested in renewing. Your revisionist history is very interesting, but luckily, the facts are plain to see. Not tomention the 8,000 rockets fired on Israel between 2006 and 2008. As for the closed border, two points: 1) No country would open a border with an entity officially bent on its destruction. I find it amazing Israel sends electricity there. 2) Israel isn’t the only country sealing the Gaza borders. Why don’t the foes of the sealed border attack Egypt as well? And why can’t Egypt supply Gaza with its needs; why does it fall on the Israelis, whom the “legitimate” govt of gaza has sworn to obliterate?

    2. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

      Here’s a very graphic video of ARAB ON ARAB VIOLENCE for you: !!!WARNING VERY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING!!!

      It’s savage monsters like that the Rabbi was talking about.

      And the anti-Semites here attack the Rabbi, and not the Arabs?! They are no better than the murderers they defend.

      (If the link above didn’t work, go here to see the video, but only if you have a strong stomach)

      1. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:




  8. Miriam says:

    “with their holy sites destroyed, they will stop believing that G-d is on their side”

    Hmm… and who is still looking to re-build a certain Temple in Jerusalem that has been destroyed not once but TWICE? By this standard, the rabbi should definitely quit while he’s behind.

    And “meesh”, puh-leez… if someone said “don’t be so harsh on Osama bin Laden, he has brought many Muslims back to Islam and they love him”, how would that change anything about what he truly stands for?

  9. Not a Jew says:

    It is eye-opening to read Manis Friedman’s honest opinion, one which many other Jews probably support but would not publicly state. It helps me understand how Israel justifies the way it wages war. And, it has made me look at the Jewish religion and its followers in a different light.

    1. vildechaye says:

      Why not read what the other 8 or 9 rabbis have to say, instead of redefining your view of Judaism based on the ravings of an unhinged rabbi. This rabbi claims he doesn’t represent chabad (jury’s out on that, i have no idea), but what is sure is that Chabad hardly represents mainstream jewish thought, religious or secular.

      1. Saad says:

        re: Who broke the cease fire.

        By all accounts Israel broke the cease fire. You forgot to address this:
        Norman Finkelstein: Israel broke cease fire

        Hamas will end armed struggle if Israel quits territories

        Another Hamas Peace Plan Ignored

        Israel has no interest in peace because it wants to continue to steal land.

  10. Sick man says:

    This guy teaches hate and bigotry. His fundamentalist seminary should be investigated and shut down. Freedom of speech stops when you incite violence.

  11. SUM GUY says:

    The better question should be how nineteen animals murdered 2700+ people without batting a eye?! Or how a raving lunatic murdered 6,000,000, men, women & children while the “civilized” world watched and said and did nothing to stop him?!

    I agree with friedman – (on this issue) – that there is no difference between a combatant holding a gun in plain sight, and that of hiding behind a kid or a woman.

    1. sharpinchitown says:

      Odd how post 911 no Muslims were caught doing questionable things across our nation but many, many Israeli nationals were.

      As for the 6,000,000 number, that’s been revised down but it’s still heinous.

      FYI, the Jewish run NY banks FUNDED Hitler’s Nazis…figure that one out and when you do, share it with me…actually you don’t need to. There has been much written about the financing of the Nazis by the big Jewish banks in NYC. (I hope many of you wake up to this truth so we can stop them before they destroy everything.)

      You need to understand that we are all manipulated by men behind curtains because they know if we banded together, their domination of the planet would cease, so they create conflict, wars, death and destruction. It also keeps the earth’s frequency low with such emotions as anger, hatred, fear – this is their fuel folks.

      They (governments) conduct false flag operations all the time.

      1. Clay says:

        Please protect me from such as this one.

      2. Excellent!! Ammaleck !!!
        No Hebrew need reply to such gifted “writers”, “historians”, “philosophers”. Let them further expose their hate-leading-to-failure. They are but a great help to advance the Jewish Cause.

  12. Amir says:

    People who speak in this manner frighten me…is there no hope for a normal future?

  13. vildechaye says:

    First of all, friedman says he answered a different question, but carefully avoids stating he was ASKED a different question. The real question is, why did he answer that question when he was asked another. I don’t buy his argument, it’s just rabbinic nit-picking. In any event, the Torah has plenty of examples where peaceful non-Israelites were killed by the invading Israelites, so if he were honest, he’d have to use the same answer even to the original question (which is what Im sure he was doing anyway).

    As to the notion that Israel broke the ceasefire, it’s a total conceit to believe that “all intelligent people” believe that. First of all, they don’t, and for a very good reason: it isn’t true. Israel attacked tunnels and killed Hamas fighters in them. Those tunnels were being built or would be used to go under the border. Blowing them up was not the first transgression of the ceasefire, building them was.
    And please don’t quote Norman Finkelstein as some kind of unbiased middle-east expert. The man hates israel and zionism and is happy to lend succor to israel’s enemies. As a child of holocaust survivors myself, i find him despicable beyond words, and I don’t put stock in any of his twisted opinions.

  14. vildechaye says:

    RE: it has made me look at the Jewish religion and its followers in a different light.

    Why not read what the other 8 or 9 rabbis have to say, instead of redefining your view of Judaism based on the ravings of an unhinged rabbi. This rabbi claims he doesn’t represent chabad (jury’s out on that, i have no idea), but what is sure is that Chabad hardly represents mainstream jewish thought, religious or secular.

  15. sharpinchitown says:

    The “little people” around the world that are Jewish, Arab, any variety of ethnicities really do’nt want any more of this bloodshed, but we know the manipulative political figures need war to remain valid and pertinent.

    Well enough spilled blood already. You are redundant, every last one of you “elite” war mongerers.

    Israel funded the creation of Hamas to ensure a permanent “enemy”. How convenient. It’s just sad that the innocent Palestinians must pay whenever Israel’s bastard child, Hamas does something.

    Figure it out – you created it, you should fix it w/o harming innocents.

  16. Eric says:

    G-d commanded that certain peoples be treated that way and he gave that order through His prophets. Any man, whether learned or ignorant, who declares that it is not only acceptable, but “the Jewish way,” to do that to a population had better be a prophet, because the alternative is that he is a hateful, evil cynic.

    So tell us, Rabbi. Do you put yourself on the level of Joshua or Samuel? Did you get that pronouncement from G-d Himself? Or did you just sort of come up with it on your own?

  17. Eric says:

    Please explain how you came to be answering a different question than the other respondents. The question at the top of the page is, “How should Jews treat their Arab neighbors.” Everyone else, whether dove or hawk, seems to be answering the same question. Were you duped? Confused? You seem to suggest that it was obvious that Jews should treat their Arab neighbors with respect, so obvious that you went on and answered another question, one that was not asked nor implied by the original. The alternative is for us to believe that you answered the question and are now back-pedaling.

    It pains me to say it, Rabbi, but it looks from here like you are a liar filled with hatred.

  18. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    I know what Rabbi Friedman meant, that we must not allow Arab genocide of Jews continue. We must fight it, and even if that means killing the civilians they hide behind, that’s what must be done. Anyone who thinks differently has a tinker toy for a moral compass.

  19. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    So called “Palestinian” Arabs spew their lies, and their hate. But the world sides with them over us. Well, anyone who has read The Jewish Prophets knows that was predicted, and the winners and losers are also known in advance. But still the world bites off it’s nose to spite it’s face.

    The REAL CRIMINALS are the “Palestinian” Arabs, NOT Jews, which is no surprise to anyone who is honest.

    And as far as killing kids? If it’s these you’re talking about, then have at it!!!

    1. Don says:

      You sound like you’re a student of Rabbi Friedman!

      Killing innocent women and children has no place in war or in peace. The Rabbi’s beliefs are disgusting and you are a fool to try to defend him. First you take the Palestinians’ homes and freedom , now you want to kill them all? This is an instance of the once oppressed becoming the oppressor.

      1. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

        Killing innocent people in war is the fault of those who hide behind them, not those defending against those committing perfidy, the REAL war crime the Arabs excel at.

        The problem is, the standards the nations have for themselves, and which are perfectly reasonable, are not the same suicidal ones they hold us to.

        Just because you hate us, you have to make up new rules for us that you haven’t before applied to yourselves. But because you hold us to them, you will keep them yourselves in order not to appear hypocritical in your own eyes. Then King David’s words will be fulfilled, that you will fall into the trap you have set for us.

        ” 4. Let those who seek my life be shamed and disgraced; let those who devise my harm retreat and be humiliated. 5. Let them be as chaff before the wind; let the angel of the Lord thrust them away. 6. Let their path be dark and slippery; let them be chased by the angel of the Lord. 7. For without cause have they laid their nets in the pit for me; without cause have they dug [pits] for my soul. 8. Let darkness come upon him unawares; let the very snare that he hid trap him, in darkness he will fall in it.”

        And, if you look around the World at those who are trying to destroy us, you will see that Europe is beginning to be consumed by the very evil they intend for us, and the USA is hot on their heals.

        Good Night, and Good Bye to all those who kling to their hate.

      2. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

        Oh, and as to the canard that we Jews are “stealing” Arab land, it is a lie, as is the nonsense that we are “oppressing them.”

        But hateful people will find any excuse, however feeble and however false to “justify” their hate.

  20. Mana says:

    If I thought that this so-called rabbi represents any aspect of Judaism I would immediately renounce Judaism.
    The sad part is, however, that there are a lot of blood thirsty Israeli and diaspora Jews who agree with this monster rabbi. It is also sad that the history of Judaism shows that Jews could be as blood thirsty as anyone else. Certainly they were when the stole the land from people who had lived there for many generations.

    I wonder if the ADL will condemn this racist rabbi or is Mr. Foxman only concerned when there is racism against Jews.

    1. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

      “If I thought that this so-called rabbi represents any aspect of Judaism I would immediately renounce Judaism.”

      Your thoughtless attack of him indicates that you already have.

  21. richards1052 says:

    Reading some of the comments here I feel reassured that there are Jews and non-Jews who are as aghast as I about what Rabbi Friedman has written. IT is simply a shande and he is a monster.

    I want you to know that I called him a monster in the blog post I wrote about this and a rabbi accused ME of using “hate speech.” And this is a liberal rabbi, not Chabad or even Orthodox!

    1. Eric says:

      My rabbi is scholarly, humble, very intelligent, and profoundly humane. I have no doubt that he is deeply pained by what Rabbi Friedman wrote.

  22. S. says:

    The rabbi makes sense. I was actually disappointed with the repsonses of some of the other rabbis.

    I also thought the question was “How do we react to the way our Arab neighbors treat us?”

    Rabbi Friedman answers that question perfectly – he says when Arabs or anyone wages war against us we need to fight the way the bible says to fight – unconditionally.

    Makes sense for any nation!

    1. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

      <em"Makes sense for any nation!"

      Exactly so, and that’s exactly what they have done themselves, as I pointed out above, though it bears repeating.

  23. simcha hecht says:

    al yavosh mpnei hamaligim.

  24. StructuralEngineer says:

    Hey you, The Immoral man of “Religion”…. your sneeky,lying,, criminal, cheating, envious, murderous “leaders” there in israel have been doing just what you want them to be doing and have been for decades…and it’s just as immoral, ineffective, counterproductive, unintelligent, criminal and wrong now as it has ever been… good idea you had there..did you think of it yourself?

    By the way, are you a REAL jew or one of them Fake converted ones from europe?…or don’t you know.

    And furthermore Mr. Immoral, the old testament has been super-ceded…it’s called the NEW Testament for a reason you smuck….must be a tough row to hoe for you and your tiny group of immoral religious types there…following an out-dated form of information like you all do… good luck with that.

    1. Clay says:

      This guy is doing the “I need a pogrom” dance. Sir, may I recommend physical exercise instead? Hiking, golf, a round at the batting cage? You seem like a decent, moral man. I hope everything goes well with you, with the exception of your hatred of me.

  25. yy says:

    To be honest, i think this entire discussion leaves out an important factor – the responsibility of Moment’s editors.

    Whether or not Rabbi Friedman understood the question, the editors of the magazine should have picked up that there was a “possible” misunderstanding, because the answer he gave seemed to be far afield from the question. In that case, contacting the rabbi for clarification would have been the considerate — and the responsible — course of action.

    Additionally, it is the editors’ responsibility to see that everything that is published in their publication is “fit to print”. In this case, publishing an opinion which could bring extremely dangerous and harmful consequences upon other Jews is a gross act of irresponsibility.

    Should any “retaliation” against Jews result from this entire matter, I hope Moment’s editorial staff will at least admit guilt for chosing sensationalism over responsibility.

  26. Menahem says:

    I think that the addition of “…and cattle” makes the statement so monstrously grotesque, that I wonder whether the Rav was actually making a big joke.
    Let’s hope so!

  27. Yitzchak says:

    The US Army trains its soldiers to drive over Iraqi children and not veer away when the kids run out in the way of the convoy…

    We in the US actually practice this thing…. we don’t allow the human shields to get in our way… so why are we so upset when someone else says it?

    Most of us have no stomach for all of this stuff.. Bring any average person into the most humane slaughter house and he will say it’s not humane if he doesn’t know otherwise… because most people can’t handle it… that’s what PITA does… and the liberals do the same with their warped morality that ONLY AND ALWAYS PROTECTS THE AGGRESSOR and NEVER PROTECTS THE VICTIM…

    Like the guys on the street with the ACLU trying to persecute Bush for torture to suspected terrorists… have they ever demonstrated against the Torture inflicted by the Terrorists on thousands of 9/11 families and the victims? I asked them, the answer was NO!

    Do you get what I’m saying?

  28. hanna says:

    to rabbi manis freedman .i think he don,t know any religion or history of middle east,where christians live in palestine sice 2000 yrs,and they are arabs.I wonder if he wants to kill those people also? Once again either he is ignorant or this the stereo type probagana to the west that all arabs are muslims.I think this should be known to the americans also as the TRUTH.

    1. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

      G-d has, as He has promised through our Prophets, brought us back to OUR Land, which, even by non-Jewish standards, is ours.

      And I would recommend being careful, hanna, of calling anyone else “ignorant,” when you haven’t a clue what the facts are.
      “TRUTH” is what it is, not what you want it to be.

      1. Saad says:

        What are the boundaries of this land of Jews? Is it ’67 borders? Is the all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates?
        What happens to the people that live there already? Do they get shipped out to a camp someplace?

        What happens if some of them want their land back and launch some bottle rockets at Israel? Can Israel use one of its 300+ nukes to obliterate them and everyone around them? According to this Rabbi it would be OK.

  29. Shoshanna says:

    The Chabad bashing here is prejudice, ignorant, and hateful. A Chabad Rabbi makes a statment that you lefties don’t like and your immediate knee jerk reaction is to call Chabad a bunch of monsters. Tell me Tikun Olam crowd, how is this tolerance? Tell me, how does your labelling of your fellow G-d fearing Torah observing Jews as ‘monsters’ make the world a better place? And exactly what have you guys done to make this world better anyway? All you seem to do is whine, try to prove yourselves as somehow morally superior to all who do not share your far left views, and Jew bash. Meanhwile, Chabad has literally thousands of tireless dedicated souls who work day in and day out on a grass roots level helping people, all kinds of people, Jew and non-Jew alike. Chabad lifts people spiritually and gives concrete help to people materiallly every single day in every remote corner of the globe, one person at a time regardless of their political beliefs or religious stance. No one can ever deny this, it is a fact that Chabad spreads goodness and kindenss throughout the world. Chabad would never label any of you as ‘monsters’, no matter what evil things you may say or do. And do you know why? Because we care, we have love in our hearts, even for those with whom we disagree. Chabad is a shining light in a dark world, spreading the wisdom and light of our holy heritage and there is not a single group within Judaism today that comes close to the self sacrifice of thousands of Chabad Jews who live not for themselves but, soley for others. This is a fact.

  30. ebon says:

    If these words came from a regular person, it would have been considered a slip of a tongue, but from an old rabbi who’s words suppose to bare wisdom and knowledge it does expresses a sickness in this Rabbi’s own personality, beliefs and practices, knowing that his religious position allows him to pass such sick beliefs to the young an innocent generation. If Jews Criticize fanatic Muslims for using God’s name to fight and kill Jews, then what this Rabbi said is exactly the same: Kill in the name of god, and trust me God never said that to both Parties. In the matter of fact this Rabbi’s strategy is what has been practiced by Jewish state for long years so far and the result is more wars and no sign of peace. just the past 3 years this Rabbi Policy killed it’s Arab neighbor’s children, women and Men, destroyed their holy mosques, broke their young’s arms and elbows, and the result is more angry Arabs, more revenge and more justifications for Arabs to hate Jews. These words uttered by this Rabbi are a call to commit the act of terror which is despised by every civilized community regardless if it’s religious beliefs.

  31. Saad says:

    Dear Rabbi,

    How do you propose killing men, women and children efficiently? Should we concentrate them in a camp, deprive them of enough food, water and medicine? Drop uranium and phosphorus bombs on them and literally poison their heads? Then once that’s done we could the bodies in a crematorium to burn their bodies. I still don’t think you could reach 6 million but it would be along the same lines.

  32. Larak says:

    As a disinterested secular observer to the anguished moralizing by some over Rabbi Manis Friedman’s inflammatory comments, I offer my support to him as I believe there is some kernel of wisdom amongst the biblical chaff.

    Friedman eludes to the importance of demoralizing the Islamist’s by eliminating their religious places, and I, could not agree more with him on that.

    While I do not wish to see any Child, Woman or Man harmed in the process, I would go as far as to say Vaporize, or irrevocably defile the Kabbah to prove to the Islamist’s that Allah is a weakling unfit to be worshiped, & that Muhammad was merely a fraudster.

    We only have to look back and observe the Islamist fixation on destroying religious symbols of other Religions(Destruction of the Bamiyan Statues and other similar incidents), and cultures(the 9/11 destruction of the symbols (World Trade Center) of what the Americans worship I.E.-Money/Power) to understand the significance to Islamist’s of their own Symbols of power. They rationalize that by reducing any other Symbols which they deem in opposition to Allah that in turn increases the Power of Allah because his Symbol (The Kabbah) still stands strong, proud, pure, and Holy.

    Their power (the reason they fight) lies in the symbol of the most Holy of Holies, and if you turn that symbol of Allah, and Muhammad into an outhouse for Infidels or paint the walls of it with menstrual blood, and turn it into a Pigpen, then it is reduced to a pathetic laughing stock, and the religious fanatics are stripped of their whole Raison d’être.

    They will not continue to be so belligerent when they know their god is weaker than a Woman, and cannot even defend himself from non-Muslims who have turned the Kabbah into a public Urinal. They destroyed the Banyan statues to prove to the followers that allah is stronger than their God.

    When the Islamist’s see that Allah is not even powerful enough to protect the Kabbah from permanent and utter defilement and subsequent destruction the head will truly have been separated from the Viper.

    So I agree with the Rabbi’s comments that we in the West should stop pussyfooting around, and with the caveat that no injuries or absolutely as little as possible injury should be caused to Muslims we should nevertheless expose Allah, and muhammad as being to pathetic and weak to save the Kabbah from permanent defilement and destruction. This will drain the fire from the blood of the Jihadists and give them a good reason to be peaceful.

    When you chop the head off a Snake it toothlessly, and aimlessly wriggles around a little in the grass but soon enough dies and as far as Islam is concerned that would be a pest control measure which is long overdue. Without venomous snakes in the grass little children of all faiths or none are free to safely run and play in the fields while their parents, faithers or not can recline in relative peace and safety upon the good earth.

  33. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    If anyone thinks these Ghouls (not just figuratively, but literally as that is their name) deserve “self determination,” then you deserve the fate that will one day come to them!

    They are evil, as is anyone who supports them.

  34. Simply Simon says:

    The only difference between the “Rabbi” and Hitler is that Hitler only had a mustache….I have heard such rantings before from Chabad Rabbis…and have had personal encounters with some of their “followers”…or should I say sheep. I have learned long ago of the hypocrisy of this sect. As someone who considers himself very religious , I abhor everything the “Rabbi” stated, and say to him, once we behave like the ‘enemy’, be become the enemy!

  35. Victor says:

    Rabbi Manis Friedman is a treasure of the Jewish community. It is unfortunate that those of you who do not know him were introduced to him in such negative circumstances, where his ideas on a complicated and sensitive subject were reduced to sound bites and published specifically to rile controversy. I can say with absolutely sincerity and certainty, as someone who has long followed his writings and his deeds, that Rabbi Friedman is utterly devoted to Jewish life, Jewish learning, and in the case of situations where Jewish life is at risk, to Jewish security. He has been an inspiration to many who have chosen to return to Yiddishkeit, and is the epitome of Tikkun Olam.

    Speaking purely for myself, and not representing anyone else, I had some thoughts I wanted to communicate, regarding some of the important issues several commentators explored earlier.

    Jewish exceptionalism is intrinsic to the Jewish faith. Just as other faiths believe themselves to be “chosen” or exceptional in some way or another – most Christians believe only they will be saved, most Muslims believe only Islam is the truth path to G-d – so, too, the Jewish people have a unique purpose in this world. Our mission is not to the exclusion of others, but a complement to their missions, for the benefit of all humanity.

    Just as a right hand is not the left, so too is every nation endowed with a special purpose and the qualities necessary to achieve this purpose in the service of G-d. Does this make the right hand inferior to the left? Of course not, they merely have a different purpose. Imagine what kind of problems would arise if the right hand were pretending it is the left. More ludicrously, imagine if your foot thought it was your elbow, or your nose thought it was your ear. Just as the human body is composed of many specialized parts, each serving a critical role as part of the whole, so have the nations been created, each with a role in the service of G-d.

    Adherence to the values of Humanism and Universalism is admirable and important to temper the negative qualities of men in the world. Our Jewish faith is not in conflict with the essence of these ideas, but enriches them with a deeper, fundamental meaning – that the world, and all of us in it, were created to serve G-d. We serve Him in different ways, by design, and we should embrace the diversity inherent in that design, not fight to force our right hand to behave as our left.

    As Jews, we have a rich and treasured tradition that endows us with a unique mission, coupled with special responsibilities and obligations. We are a nation that merited to receive the Torah and its 613 commandments, not from a prophet or savior, not from a vision in a dream, but from the revealed and open hand of G-d at Mt. Sinai. It is on that mountain, and at its base, that millions of Jews simultaneously experienced the will and direction of our Creator – a massive revelation of spirituality that infused us with love and fear of G-d to this day.

    This is a limited forum to engage each other in a heartfelt discussion, avoiding recriminations and senseless bickering. I have no doubt that the Rabbi, a true scholar and thinker, will explain himself in due course. I would encourage everyone reading this, Jews and non-Jews, to connect with Rabbi Manis Friedman’s many excellent teachings, and discover together how we can infuse our world with greater spirituality, kindness and truth.

    You can find more info at: http://www.rabbifriedman.org

  36. avi, israel says:

    It’s hard for to express how angry comments like Rb Manis makes me. First of all – who are WE and how are THEY? Rb Manis is an american and he can not refer to the israeli-palastinian probs as if they where his own. Has he ever been to Israel? has he ever been to the west bank or gaza? What does he know about the nature of the people that inhabit this land?
    Eventually I am the one that will have to “Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle)” and not him.
    Anyway the disbelief in western moral is what brought the jewish ppl to the brink of extinction, and now he sugests WE (not HIM of course) do the same to the arabs in israel.

    1. Larak says:

      “Eventually I am the one that will have to “Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle)” and not him.”

      I just like yourself am not in favor of Killing the People or the Cattle, but since you say it is You and not HE who would be on the pointy end of Destroying the holy sites I am interested to know if you have any qualms about that?

      Do you not agree that the “Cause” for which the Religio-Terrorists fight would be proven through the destruction of the Kaaba in Mecca to be a silly cause in service to a weak, and silly Old Woman like god called Allah. The Kaaba is the direction all the Terrorists, and many others Pray towards multiple times a day, and it is the place their religion requires them to travel to on the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.

      The Kaaba is the Head of the Serpent, the Heart of the Dragon, the very Testicles of Allah. Would you feel ok with performing the sex change operation to turn tha manly war god Allah into a more female Eunuch like Girlyman God to pacify his terrorist followers. (Assuming it could be done without all the aforementioned killing)

  37. Timothy Shanahan says:

    I am a white male Christian American. I am what my country is increasinly attempting to silence and this is what I believe about the good Rabbi’s comments as well as some of the other comments in opposition. When a Jew turns his / her faces away from G_D, terrible things befall ALL mankind. The Jew was chosen by Hashem to carry HIS Word & Law throughout time. When the Jew becomes secular and might I add, a liberal democrat in this country, evil ensues. Avi, your attack on Rabbi Manis is not honest. I have never gang raped an innocent african american girl and I know in my heart that it would be absolutely wrong, no? Just because the good Rabbi has not been to Israel does not make it impossible for him to know right from wrong anywhere in the world. He is right on with his point. His position is this; if the one whom would desire mayhem in the middle east will not cease their attacks and rhetoric then they must be dealt with appropriately. Perhaps you are not mature enough to accept reality. This is the reality. I have served in my countries wars and I have seen blood from another human being spilled. I deal with it as an adult who deeply believes in G_D and know also that anything on this earth is transient. HE is eternal. Bad things happen to the people of the world when Jews turn their backs on G_D. Look at what havoc communism did on humanity. I support and more importantly understand what the Rabbi was saying. Thank you teacher Manis, you are a good man.
    Respectfully, Tim Shanahan
    Bermuda Dunes, CA.

  38. George Wolf says:

    Rabbi Friedman, you are an abomination before God! I lived through the Holocaust (I am from Czechoslovakia)
    and this was par for the Nazis. Your statements, however they weremeant,bring shame and opprobrium on the entire Jewish people wherever they are.

  39. Elie says:

    As Executive Director of The Blue Card, a national Jewish organization that provides financial assistance to destitute Holocaust survivors in the United States, I am very disturbed to read Rabbi Friedman’s letter in the last issue of Moment magazine.
    It is really incomprehensible to understand how a rabbi who was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1946 a year after the war ended and whose many relatives were killed by Nazis can advocate the collective punishment for Palestinians. The Nazis practiced a policy of collective punishment for actions committed in ghettos and concentration camps.
    If a Jew was found with food the whole group was punished. If a Nazi soldier was murdered by a Jew, not only was that Jew executed, but also his/her family and a hundred other Jews. Wikipedia defines collective punishment as “the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions.” This is exactly what Nazis did to Jews. Do we want to be like them?


    Elie Rubinstein
    Executive Director

    1. Larak says:

      Ellie aside from all the killing of people and cattle do you see any wisdom in the comments of the Rabbi as they pertain to destroying the earthly symbol to which the terrorists are in thrall?

      It is that which holds them spellbound which if removed would free them from the spell. No persons or cattle need be harmed in the doing of it so what say you?

      Are you here just to dump on the Rabbi, to make yourself seem and feel morally superior to him by condemning all that he said or can you condemn some and support others of his points as I have done.

      You mention the Nazis, and I join with everyone in roundly condemning them, but let it be known that even Hitler had some redeeming qualities. I understand that he instituted Anti-Smoking regulations, and I guess his dog loved him.

      1. Larak says:

        Furthermore, I am not a Jew, and I do not know this Rabbi. I had not heard of him before this issue hit the interwebs, but I have seen others here who know him and his works defend him in this forum so I have to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is a good man who was either misquoted, misunderstood, or misunderstood the question as it was framed to him by the interviewer and gave a misquided response.

        Perhaps it is so that the Rabbi believes that these issues should be handled in the Biblical way by Utterly Destroying the men, women, children, and cattle of the enemy but if that is so then blame the purported author of that book for those bloodthirsty passages. The Rabbi didn’t invent those tactics, they are there for all who have eyes to see!

        If you decry and condemn the Rabbi for saying kill all and sundry (if he said it) then you are in fact decrying and condemning the master which you and he both follow. Beware whose face you spit into woman!

      2. Elie says:

        Redeeming qualities? Hmmm… In front of whom? Would you like to count his good deeds against bad ones? Please spare me from this fruitless exercise.

  40. Timothy Shanahan says:

    Honorable Director Rubinstein,

    We are all G_D’s children and have arranged ourselves within, “tribes” if you will permit me. Being a member of a community / tribe comes with responsibilities and communal agreements (laws.) Well, by invoking Nazi’s at any opening to decry what the good Rabbi Friedman was illustrating is intellectually dishonest at the least. It’s a lazy reply. Collective punishment, however reprehensible, in fact, works. When a community / tribe fails to self police and becomes a threat to it’s neighbors then it is incumbent upon the neighboring community / people’s leaders to protect the sovereign status of the tribe. I am not saying that this is a pleasant action and in fact, rather abhorrent although necessary at times. Rabbi Friedman’s observation is logically correct. If we, Christians and observant Orthodox Jews would begin to aggressively police the tribes who would do us harm it would initially cause great strife but ultimately, peace. The problem in my opinion is this concept of proportionate measured response to opposite tribal aggressions. If in the course of a community’s peaceful existence they are attacked repeatedly, then if it is necessary to resist and fight you fight to win. You fight to annihilate your enemy. Was it a nice prospect to burst an atomic weapon over Nagasaki and Hiroshima? What was the result of that on a macro scale for both parties involved? Lastly, you asked, “do we want to be like them (Nazis).” Well ALL human beings have the propensity within to perpetrate great evil upon mankind, yes, even a Jew or Christian. Again, Trotsky, Marx, et.al perpetrated much worse on mankind but we should not hold Jews responsible for these crimes against humanity.

    If we must fight, fight to win and destroy your enemy as G_D instructed King Saul to do with the Amalekites. Well Saul being merciful disobeyed G_D and King Sauls mercy viewed from a secular humanists position seems like a nice thing to do, he did his own thing and G_D’s will was not done as directed. Well, look what happened with that. The entire world is suffering even today from this “pleasant human” act of King Saul.

    Timothy Shanahan

    Thank You Rabbi Friedman for speaking the truth.

    1. Larak says:

      Yes Timothy, The Amalekites and many others tasted the effects of gods propensity to mete out collective punishment. Ask all the firstborn innocent babes of Egypt if they were given a fair deal through no fault of their own!

      For Elie Rubenstein whom I assume to be a co-believer in the same books which the Rabbi derives his methods from to decry the use of it is merely opportunism. Perhaps Ellie is attempting to raise her/himself up at the expense of joining in with the pack of mongrels who so cowardly and basely kick the Rabbi when he is down.

      The Rabbi is (if he said kill all and sundry)only advancing the godly course of action. I do not abide all the killing but merely agree with destroying the Golden Calf as indicated. After the original Golden Calf was destroyed a mass slaughter took place of those who worshiped it, but I think that was excessive as was most of gods overly spiteful killing so I say just eliminate the Calf, and the followers will soon enough revert back to normal peace loving human beings free from the harmful effects of their belief in the supremacy of their war god.

    2. Elie says:

      Dear Timothy,

      You love for Rabbi Friedman’s teaching is really interesting. You wrote “the problem in my opinion is this concept of proportionate measured response to opposite tribal aggressions. If in the course of a community’s peaceful existence they are attacked repeatedly, then if it is necessary to resist and fight you fight to win.” This could be justification for killing Doctor George Tiller by a fundamentalist.

  41. juraim says:

    People, open your eyes. Do some independent reasearch. Then make up your mind. Start here. You don’t have to believe everything that’s there, but be honest and check the references.


  42. juraim says:

    If Rabbi’s comments surprised you, you are blind, probably due to your intellectual laziness. Read some non-mainstream news sources. For starter, read Israeli newspapers that are on line!!

    This Rabbi’s attitude is the norm, not the exception within IDF…the Israelis at the front line dealing with Palestinians. Less so with the civilian Israeli jews, but still very prevalent, unfortunately.

    How about American jewry? Well, this group I happen to know more intimately. Overwhelming number of them share none of the sentiments of this Rabbi, not even close. But, as you can see, there are plenty who think their blood, their life, their comfort, their security, their children, their family are much more sacred than anybody else’s. They are holier than any other people. I in fact admire this Rabbi for speaking the truth that’s in his mind. You can’t say he hasn’t been honest. Seriously, that’s a genuine virtue, no matter how much you disagree with him.

    Ok, here’s the link.


  43. Timothy Shanahan says:

    Elie, WTF!?!?!?

    You truly are an intellectually impaired individual aren’t you? First, my “love” for anyone is just as my Savior would have loved anyone, including you. I hate the sin, not the sinner, but in your case, you make that challenging. The Tiller killing has nothing to do with what it is we are debating here. This is a common, lazy tactic of an intellectually vapid being.

    Let me place it this way. Imagine if you are capable that your two closest family members are being brutally gang raped by Sandra Bernhard’s “strong black bruthas.” Can you visualize it, I can. Now these “strong black brutha” friends of Sandra Bernhard have it in mind that you and your people are a threat to their pimping and drug dealing so they commit to the wholesale inhalation of you & your “tribe.” What will you do Elie? I know what you should do as I suspect you do as well but are not honest enough to admit it. By the way, I am just using Sandra Bernhard’s metaphor to better relate to you as I am sure she is your friend and you are a big fan of hers as well. I’m just trying to relate to you in terms you are most familiar with.

    Lastly, if this were the case, as much as I may think you & your family deserve this form of punishment for the manner of government we currently find ourselves in, I would defend you and your family from these less than human thugs. Dr. Tiller’s death should stand as an illustration of human beings turning their collective faces away from Hashem. When we as a society do this, we shield ourselves from HIS blessings and protection. Perhaps the evil that befalls us in this country is self imposed due to us turning away from G_D.

    1. rxl says:

      Tim – people like you are the main reason why an increasing number are turning away from God.

  44. Larak says:

    Gentlemen, you are misdirecting the discussion away from the matter at hand onto unrelated matters. Elie has laid a false trail, and Timothy has haplessly digressed down the path.

    Please return to lambasting, or defending the Rabbi’s alleged comments. I for one would like to hear how Elie can decry the Rabbi for allegedly advocating Collective Punishment when that is the exact modi operandi of god himself in almost every instance from the beginning.

    What is Ancestral Sin if not Collective Punishment. God imposed collective punishment upon all mankind for crimes which none other than the first two progenitors had committed.

    I would be more merciful than that gruel god toward the worshipers of the black rock in Mecca. I would not harm any one of them, nor kill their cattle, but merely remove the source of their belief in a powerful allah by proving to them that their war god is a shriveled up old woman too weak to even protect or save his holy place. If you gentlemen can reground yourselves after your flight of fancy and focus yourselves I would like to here what you have to say on the matter.

  45. Cheryl Mavrikos says:

    I happen to be in agreement with Rabbi Friedman. The Jewish people are facing their biggest enemy yet – bigger than the Assyrians, bigger even than Rome. An enemy that exploits democracy and free speech as a weapon. An enemy that exploits its own fertility as a weapon. An enemy that exploits its own children as weapons. I don’t believe that Rabbi Friedman is truly advocating that we destroy their men, women, children and cattle…and the hysteria that his remarks created is a pretty clear indication that most of us are not studying the facts. The Palestinians couldn’t make it any clearer than they already have, on numerous occasions, in the Hamas Charter and in their own words. Rabbi Friedman, I salute you for your bravery!

  46. rxl says:

    Such irresponsible words preached by so-called ‘responsible’ citizens are precisely why hate legislation seems necessary, and why Friedman should be taken to task. The most uncivilised, gutless act is to encourage others to kill on their God’s behalf – conversely, to be courageous is to encourage continual dialogue toward an eventual resolution.

  47. Matthew J. Toth says:

    I, a Roman Catholic, just viewed Rabbi Friedman’s video about Adam and Eve and loved it. I always thought Eve was the “smart one.” I regret that my Catholic upbringing did not take advantage of relaying the Jewish. perspective on these vital part of the Catholic faith, especially directly from the mouth of a Jewish rabbi. This is one good thing that the internet is able to provide to me. I did not know the Rabbi or his teaching until this video, but I wish him all the best.

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