Embracing Yehuda Levin

An American rabbi, Yehuda Levin (of the radical Meshugina sect) has promised violence if World Pride goes ahead in Jerusalem.

“I promise there’s going to be bloodshed — not just on that day, but for months afterward. In America, we are outraged and disgusted over this event. There are millions of people who, with their bodies, souls and money, will stand against this…” said the rabbi.

Despite my disagreement with Rabbi Levin’s sentiments, I feel that we should not unequivocally condemn him for the following reasons.

(1) As a contributor to Harry’s Place, I must maintain dialogue with representatives of the World’s Great Religions (TM).

(2) As a rabbi, he is a respected authority on theological issues.

(3) Jews are a persecuted minority and as such, condemnation of Rabbi Levin will only contribute to a rising tide of antisemitism.

(4) There are many references to bloodletting in the Torah, so we cannot know that the rabbi is speaking literally.

(5) The source for the story is a “gay” website, so it is naturally biased.

(6) Rabbinical scholars disagree on the precise course of action. Some believe simply that “we must do everything to banish this disgrace from the Holy city.” There is thus a wide range of opinion.

(7) Rabbi Levin was quoted selectively: note the use of ellipses in the extract above.

(8) Many leaders of all the World’s Great Religions (TM) hold similar views. (cf. Fred Phelps and Yussuf Qaradawi).

(9) Rabbi Levin is constrained by the tenets of his religion and thus cannot be seen to contradict orthodox theology. We do not know what his private views are.

(10) I’m completely off my rocker.