Monday, July 2, 2007
"According to the Jewish religion, the murder of a Jew is a capital offence and one of the three most heinous sins (the other two being idolatry and adultery). Jewish religious courts and secular authorities are commanded to punish, even beyond the limits of the ordinary administration of justice, anyone guilty of murdering a Jew. A Jew who indirectly causes the death of another Jew is, however, only guilty of what talmudic law calls a sin against the "laws of Heaven", to be punished by God rather than by man. When the victim is a Gentile, the position is quite different. A Jew who murders a Gentile is guilty only of a sin against the laws of Heaven, not punishable by a court (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah,"Laws on Murderers" 2,11 ; Talmudic Encyclopedia, "Goy".). To cause indirectly the death of a Gentile is not sin at all (R. Yo'el Sirkis, Bayit Hadash, commentary on Beyt Josef, "Yoreh De'ah 158. ...). ... All this has a direct and practical relevance to the realities of the State of Israel. Althought the state's criminal laws make no distinction between Jew and Gentile, such distinction is certainely made by Orthodox rabbis, who in guiding their flock follow the Halakhah. Of special importance is the advice they give to religious soldiers. Ibidem, p.75-76."