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Rav Dov Lior: Abduction was Divine Punishment

Former Shin Bet head, now harboring left-wing political glory, slams rabbi with irrelevant argument.

Rabbi Dov Lior lights Chanukah candles outside Beit haMachpela, in Hebron.

Rabbi Dov Lior lights Chanukah candles outside Beit haMachpela, in Hebron.
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90

Rabbi Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba/Hebron, said Thursday that the abduction of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel was God’s punishment for what he called “anti-religious” legislation pushed by the current Knesset, and for Israel’s stated willingness to abandon parts of Eretz Yisrael.

“Unfortunately, we are witnesses to a severe deterioration in the approach of the government to the Jewish image of the state,” wrote Lior. “There are aggressive laws whose common denominator is the erosion of the Jewish character of our public life, for example in the harm to the family unit, injury to the conversion process [as prescribed] by the Torah, and an attempt to harm the requirement that a convert accept and fulfill the Torah and the commandments.”

It is basic component of Judaism that nothing happens without a reason, particularly on a national level, though we may not know what that reason is. Divine reward and punishment on the national level are mentioned in the Shema prayer and repeated throughout the Torah.

It didn’t take long for the rabbi’s comments to arouse the ire of the Israeli left. Yuval Diskin, the retired head of the Shin Bet security service who is planning to run in the next Knesset election as part of a left-wing party, attacked the rabbi, facetiously asking why God arranged for religious boys to be kidnapped if God was angry with secular Israelis.

Diskin “analysis” also included name calling, branding Rav Lior as an “extremist” who has “provid(ed) philosophical cover for insane people,” as well as an unrelated comment about Lior’s criticism of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin during the early years of the Oslo “peace” process and also the rabbi’s approbation for the halachic treatise Torat Hamelech, which deals in part with the laws of killing non-Jews in certain situations during wartime.”

According to media reports, Diskin did not take the time to explain exactly what his criticism of Rabin had to do with the current abduction crisis (except, perhaps, that Rabin started the political movement that led to Palestinian quasi-indepedence, and directly from there to a spike in terror attacks against Israelis?).

About the Author: Meir is a news writer for JewishPress.com - and he loves his job.


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80 Responses to “Rav Dov Lior: Abduction was Divine Punishment”

  1. Ronnie Pleet says:

    Why publish this ?

  2. Mike Burke says:

    Face it, we have our own idiot clerics, too.

  3. Mike Burke says:

    Face it, we have our own idiot clerics, too.

  4. Mike Burke says:

    Hans Van Den Berg…you are as big a fuqwit as he is! Piss off! Israel does not need nor want your kind!

  5. Mike Burke says:

    Hans Van Den Berg…you are as big a fuqwit as he is! Piss off! Israel does not need nor want your kind!

  6. Rachel Topaz says:

    Seriously why publish this nonsense? Jew haters will have a field day with this. All efforts should be used to save those poor kids from the hands of terrorists and not to give them more fuel their hatred.

  7. Rachel Topaz says:

    Seriously why publish this nonsense? Jew haters will have a field day with this. All efforts should be used to save those poor kids from the hands of terrorists and not to give them more fuel their hatred.

  8. Thomas Lundh says:

    What a crock of ****! He sees Hamas as the tools of God? What a tool! ;-)

  9. I think the Hasidic should be kicked out of Israel No exception

  10. That smock needs medical help Rav bariach

  11. Ken Man says:

    Jeeeez your God always gets a bum wrap every time some thing goes ape …. Poor old bugger we just adore ours we don’t blame her for our stuff, for the results our or others human failings stupidities or misdeeds, we know that by focussing on the goodness of her light through hard experiences we can keep morally & spiritually afloat

  12. Jacob Maslow says:

    Don’t you have catholic groups to hang out at? Jews are suffering enough and really don’t need Catholics urging us to abandon our faith.

  13. I am not a catholic: Messianic Jews are as Jewish as this rabbi thiks he is

  14. Hans Van Den Berg it has nothing to do with Jesus. Please stop preaching that all of Isreals problems are because of that. If that was the TRUTH he never would of given us Isreal in the first place.

    This rabbi however is an Idiot. He is just as bad as a rabbi I had as a kid that turned me off of religion for many years when I asked him why God allowed the Holocaust to happen and he replied to create the state of Isreal. God does not punish people in that regard, because that would seriously cause people to think and say Why bother worshiping a GOD who will strike me down if I am not perfect.

    If the Jewish Press and other Jewish Media stop publishing the diatribes of these idiots then they will lose their bully pulpits and go away!

  15. Ronnie Pleet says:

    Just a big mouth?

  16. Ronnie Pleet says:

    Nothing to do with G-D. A crazy Rabbi. All religions have their crazies

  17. so you do not need or want any support? rather have anti-semits and islamists lead the way at fb and in the media? you can have it your own way. I just have the right to respond at any msg here from the Jewish Press as you have. Let them choose better articles then to put here. I always use normal language, never hurt anyone. Your language here is even worse

  18. Yes. So was the Shoah. These fake teachers should keep their hurtful opinions to themselves. This changes nothing and only hardens the hearts of most of Israel and intl Jewry. Shame on them!

  19. Ray Bailey says:

    I’m sorry, I hate to disagree with such a learned Holy man, but this has nothing to do with that. This happened because of evil, ignorant people, bent on the destruction of Israel. Period.

  20. Read it properly before you throw your emotions in, I gave a retoric answer “if THAT (Gods’punishment) would be true. And I believe it’s not.

  21. Mike Burke says:

    Not your sort, no. We have no use for your rabid proselytising. There is a reason why it is illegal for your Messianic rubbish in Israel!

  22. Ken Man says:

    True… We have ours too… But not the damning kind… Wishing our Israeli friends a speedy peaceful resolution and safe return, my heart sad over the African girls after seeing a video of one purportedly being buried & stoned to death,

  23. Why only 3? If HaShem was passing judgment wouldn’t He have done as in earlier days? King David saw a judgment. Korah saw a judgment. . Why change now? Great and mighty are His judgments… Why change now? Enough with the judgment talk. Not for policies or messiahs. This was free – will choice for evil. We need to hold on to what binds us. NO ONE SHOULD BE KICKED OUT BECAUSE OF BELIEF UNLESS THAT BELIEF BRINGS HARM TO ANOTHER. Now, let us pray……

  24. Tammy Lulabell says:

    Oh how I wish it was Tzipi Livni kidnapped instead of these children.

  25. HVDB – messy jews are NOT JEWISH, they are xtians. You are nothing but a pagan idol worshiper.

  26. Mike Burke says:

    And no, you don’t have the right to lie about your ‘support’ when it seeks to convert us. You are offensive to every Jew, from the secular to the religious. And do not kid yourself Hans Van Den Berg, by the nature of your comments you are an antisemite as you seek to subsume us into your doyen of Christianity! The Muslims are at least honest about their goals, while you are not.. If you cannot speak your rubbish in Israel, why should any Jew tolerate your rubbish here?. We can criticise ourselves…you are an outsider.

  27. Mike Burke says:

    And no, you don’t have the right to lie about your ‘support’ when it seeks to convert us. You are offensive to every Jew, from the secular to the religious. And do not kid yourself Hans Van Den Berg, by the nature of your comments you are an antisemite as you seek to subsume us into your doyen of Christianity! The Muslims are at least honest about their goals, while you are not.. If you cannot speak your rubbish in Israel, why should any Jew tolerate your rubbish here?. We can criticise ourselves…you are an outsider.

  28. what a cheap shot . God’s mind is not like that of a Rabbi for sure. .why would God punish these three INNOCENT LAD for the sin of these Legislators or of the nation??? is God’s sense of justice now stoops so low to that of the Rabbi?

  29. Jonathan Weber says:

    It was just a matter of time before this came up. To be perfectly fair, it could also be from the Lashon Harah going on between Haredi Sectors and Dati Jews in Israel. or Both. We have to respect the rights and opinions of all observant Jews and not measure our Jewishness by how many Humrot we observe.

  30. Can’t say I disagree!

  31. There had been a significant drop in hate-mongering and bashing of dati'im over the past week. But not to worry — here comes Rabbi Dov Lior to the rescue: He noticed the problem, and immediately took steps to correct it. Baruch Hashem.

  32. Then why are our kids kidnapped and not theirs. That makes no sense. Mayb bec here in stupid brooklyn there was an Asifa against out Jewish army and we were disjointed with eretz Yisrael so Hashem wanted to show the ‘yeshiva world’ that having midinat Yisrael and a Jewish army means that we protect out yeshiva world and all out children.

  33. Then why are our kids kidnapped and not theirs. That makes no sense. Mayb bec here in stupid brooklyn there was an Asifa against out Jewish army and we were disjointed with eretz Yisrael so Hashem wanted to show the ‘yeshiva world’ that having midinat Yisrael and a Jewish army means that we protect out yeshiva world and all out children.

  34. Tamarah Hood says:

    Why would Hashem punish three Torah students? His idea would make more sense if it was three secular Jews or some Jews OTD.

  35. Tamarah Hood says:

    Why would Hashem punish three Torah students? His idea would make more sense if it was three secular Jews or some Jews OTD.

  36. I just don't get it at all. In addition to the fact that so many great rabbanim and leaders have made it clear that we cannot know why specific things happen, how can anyone, no matter how learned or pious, dare to be so insensitive as to publish/publicize a statement that is sure to cause additional trauma to these amazing families?

  37. Geoff Menzer says:

    Dont even try to have enough mental stamina to bother to address such an idiotic idea. He thinks that anything bad that happens is caused by God and it is our own fault.I suppose like the holocaust and other small incidents?! So Jews are Scapegoats for other peoples crimes? What is his explanation of ISIS,Boca Haram,etc.or Sunni v Shia?In Hawaii there are over sixty mixtures of races intermarried,and no sectarian problems.Can he perhaps explain this?

  38. Messianic Jews are Christians.

  39. Ronnie Pleet, all the religion idea is crazy, religion was needed with people were barbarians, not anymore. if we rely on the rabbies, the state of israel was never created…it was created, mainly, by atheist progressive jews, of whom i am proud

  40. And he call himself a Rabbi ,this is so sad ,am not a Rabbi am just a Torah v Tanach reader and because of that i know God is not responsable of this, in mizmor le David or Psalms 37:28,29 is clear that God love’s Justice and the abducted of this boys is not justice ,that Rabbi is saying that God is guilty for the suffering of families and he’s not , some specific things happen and yes we Can know why they happen we can find the answers in the Torah and Tanach. Have a Great day

  41. Miriam Friedman Weed Great comment but let me say am not a Rabbi am just a Torah v Tanach reader and because of that i know God is not responsable of this, in mizmor le David or Psalms 37:28,29 is clear that God love's Justice and the abducted of this boys is not justice ,that Rabbi is saying that God is guilty for the suffering of families and he's not , some specific things happen and yes we Can know why they happen we can find the answers in the Torah and Tanach. Have a Great day

  42. God does not find sadistic pleasure in kidnapping innocent boys. Hamas is sick!

  43. I dont think we need to look to leftist for outrage about this comment. What an ass.

  44. This idiotic comment is about this idiot. Lets not tar whole communities as a result. That just shows your hatred not theirs.

  45. Joe Grob says:

    It takes tremendous restraint not to wish that people like this should drop dead.

  46. Lize Bartsch says:

    It is not only this kidnapping but all the bad things happening in the world is G-d calling to mankind to repent. In America they banished the Bible from schools and feed children with TV violence and sexual perversion and computer games full of violence and occult then when the children start shooting each other at school they ask: Where is G-d? or they say: This proves there is no G-d because He would have protected!!! The pride and arrogance of mankind has no limits. The things why G-d is intervening is due to divorce, hatred, pedophilia, rape, unrighteousness of any kind, fornication, abortion. All these things He hates and will judge the nations who do these things. Repent of sin and perversion!! Turn to the Creator and honor His Word. Read the Tanach and see how the Lord has in history judged and removed His blessings due to these things.

  47. Joe Grob Im not bothering with the restraint. A boil on the backside of our civilization. The soooner he is lanced the better for the body politic.

  48. Wow you have some irrational rabbi, that is not G-d’s punishment

  49. …And Christians are idolaters. They try to say they are Jews, but Jews like this are apostate/ apiqoros.

  50. I believe that quality of “achdoot”positiveness(& respect ) in both -non religious & religions that is a big lack in Israel…

  51. so god wants to send a message that we all hav to UNITE…

  52. Rachel, Jew haters need nothing to attack Jews. They come that way.|I’ll take the rabbi’s view in another whether he meant this or not: There’s always cause and effect. If Israel for example removed an armed, hostile, terrorizing entity from our Land where all Jews are attacked at will, and if as many of us believe Israel is a Land to be free of such threats, not threats, no enemies, no kidnappings. But it does sound a bit creepy in a Christianesque way. ‘Everyone join the church and all problems solved.’ Don’t think so. Does Jewish Press use such unpopular views to draw attacks to such rabbis?

  53. What a horrible thing to say.

  54. Joan Michel says:

    how very awful is this wishing bad on ANYONE "instead of!"

  55. The left was upset at this? How about the right? No one can claim a direct line to God. Just as Chareidim who don't believe in Israel do not believe that God put the pieces in place for the Jews to re-establish Israel in 1948, because God has not definitely come from the sky and posted a billboard with his/her approval, this guy has no right to claim he knows what God is thinking here. Just a jerk for saying it. This is as absurd as claiming to know why the Holocaust happened, and as disingenuous as when Christian evangelic Pat Robertson definitely declared that Hurricane Katrina was caused by gays and partying in New Orleans. Where are our gedolim today leading the people properly and calling out the idiots?

  56. Jonathan Weber says:

    Michael Mostofsky Hi Mike – my comments weren't meant to tar anyone. It was just a message that we all have to get along with one another. There are many Haredi Jews that don't bash others. Thanks for your feedback. :)

  57. Alberto Calo says:

    How a religious person can say this?

  58. Jonathan Weber Agreed. My error. Comments like his boil my blood.

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