the things you learn about ‘judaism’…

by tobybee

so, i never knew that there were jews who believed, as an official part of judaism, in reincarnation. but it seems there are…

Jerusalem rabbis ‘condemn dog to death by stoning’
In traditional Judaism, dogs are often considered to be impure animals

A Jewish rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a stray dog it feared was the reincarnation of a lawyer who insulted its judges, reports say.

The dog entered the Jerusalem financial court several weeks ago and would not leave, reports Israeli website Ynet.

It reminded a judge of a curse passed on a now deceased secular lawyer about 20 years ago, when judges bid his spirit to enter the body of a dog.

The animal is said to have escaped before the sentence was carried out.

One of the judges at the court in the city’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood had reportedly asked local children to carry out the sentence.

An animal welfare organisation filed a complaint with the police against a court official, who denied reports that judges had ordered the dog’s stoning, according to Ynet.

But a court manager told Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot the stoning had been ordered as “as an appropriate way to ‘get back at’ the spirit which entered the poor dog”, according to Ynet.

Dogs are often considered impure animals in traditional Judaism.

(from BBC News)

hopefully the dog keeps managing to escape.

update: so, ah, yeah… seems i jumped the gun a bit. apparently, it was all not true. (via @avinunu)

Remember the story of the dog that appeared at the gates of the beis din in mea Shearim? They could not chase it away, and supposedly had decided it was a gilgul of someone who had shamed the dayanim many years earlier. they supposedly had kids stone it and chase it away.

The story raised a ruckus at the time, and the organization against cruelty to animals even filed a complaint against the beis din, all the while the head of the beis din denied the allegations.

Today, the Maariv newspaper ran a “clarification” and apology about that story, saying the rav had said there is no basis for abusing the dog, not halachically and not logically. The rav had also said that city hall had sent their dog catcher to collect the dog from the premises of the beis din. The newspaper apologizes for the misleading headlines from when it was reported.

so, apologies folks for blogging about something that wasn’t true. i guess, in my slight defense, i did demonstrate surprise that this was something that would happen… now to question why i (and others) believed that it was possible – is it that we’re gullible, or that there are so many indecipherable things happening in ultra-orthodox judaism that it seemed at slightly possible that this was also true, or that, as a quote from the beis din (quoted in the link just above) suggests, this was an example of a modern-day blood libel that we all participated in?