Wednesday, December 14, 2005

There Is Nothing Dumber Than A Rabbi With A Little Knowledge

December 14, 2005
Torah: Tookie’s Execution Was A Miscarriage of Justice
Filed by Yitzchok Adlerstein @ 1:50 pm
Tookie should not have been executed.

He may have been a bad man, but he was done in by bad law.

Tookie should not have been executed by the State of California, because his conviction was based on evidence that runs afoul of decency and the laws of the Torah itself. He may have deserved to die, and there may even be poetic justice in that it was injustice that took the life of an unjust man. But his conviction was also a breach of the law – the expectations of our Torah.

Tookie was not executed because he may have contributed, directly and otherwise, to the deaths of hundreds of people. He was convicted for the deaths of four people. The jury convicted him on nothing stronger than the testimony of convicted felons, some of the worst slime known to man. Regarding three of the victims, the testimony was not even about the murder, but about Tookie bragging in jail about his having committed the murders. As I understand it, halacha is quite clear about where the evidential bar must be set in Noachide law. The single witness (to the deed, not to an incident of jailhouse braggadocio) must be observant of the Seven Noachide laws. So says the Chazon Ish. (Avodas Kochavim 69:3 s.v veha.). In Bava Kama (10:15 s.v. v’nireh d’im), he modifies this considerably, taking into account that most of the non-Jewish world is far from perfect regarding a number of the seven laws. The minimum he sets, however, is observance of laws that the majority of people do adhere to: strictures about theft and murder. Those whose testimony doomed Tookie struck out on both counts.

I reject the notion that capital punishment is inherently barbaric and inhumane. The most vocal opponents of the death penalty as completely unjustifiable are the heads of the EU. It is hard to find a more convincing argument in support of court-mandated executions.

I reject the notion that a condemned prisoner can “redeem” himself in any manner or form. The death penalty, once accepted by a given society, is a statement that there are some crimes that simply revoke a person’s license to live. It takes into account the fact that humans can and do change, and rejects that as sufficient to continue existence in the company of civilized humanity. The champions of redemption were most prominently avatars of the entertainment industry. It is hard to find a more convincing argument to reject it, than that is endorsed by the single group least endowed with education, intelligence, stability, or morality. (I specific exclude Mike Farrell, whom I know, respect, and profoundly disagree with.)

Tookie went to his execution maintaining his innocence. I am not ready to smugly declare him wrong. I don’t doubt that he was fully capable of those murders. So were his accusers; so were thousands of Crips, and thousands of Bloods, and thousands of other Angelenos.

In our rush to differ with those who claim that the death penalty is never justified (and heterodox rabbis who never lose an opportunity to proclaim to the world that Judaism stands for the polar opposite position of what the Torah says), we ought not be guilty of what we charge our opponents of doing: ignoring the Torah. The Torah does allow for taking life. It also sets standards of evidence. The evidence is there (as far as I see it) that these standards were not met.

We should not be cheering for something the Torah does not endorse.

UOJ Comments

I read this with disbelief.Since when is the American judicial system suppose to be congruous with the Torah's standard of bearing witness. Where in the world are you going to find a witness in every or any criminal case that keeps the seven Noachide laws? I'm not going to waste my time debating with a shmuck.

I've heard from many people that you're an ass-hole, they were dead wrong, you're the ass itself!


Anonymous Yechiel said...

He was not discussing whether Tookie's execution was incongruous with the laws of America. He was discussing whether, as many people have claimed, Torah values would mandate an execution in this case.


Thursday, December 15, 2005 1:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He should stay out of it. Noisy Adlerstein is a jerk-off.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 1:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Did U Know? said...

Rav Pam was a teacher in Brooklyn College.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 1:27:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

His positionn was clear, since the execution was not in line with Torah values, we should NOT endorse it.

He's dead wrong and should move to Israel and become a member of the Chabad Sanhedrin.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous zvi said...

I understood his argument that in this case the testimony was in itself flimsy and those who wish to say that such punishment are torah-sanctioned are also wrong.
I find the author of this blog to be full of venom. While criticism can help fix the situation, vomiting bile doesn't

Thursday, December 15, 2005 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes but nobody gives a shit about what Adlerstein says!

Thursday, December 15, 2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Have you read many of his articles and positions?

Have you seen him on the History channel mouthing off about the validity of the Bible Codes?

Have you seen his almost drunken response to the Kabbalah center on 20/20 on tape?

Adlerstein needs to be kept in check, he's the next mornic self-appointed spokesperson for Orthodox Judaism.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 2:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adlerstein is a a typical BT know-it-all that becomes frum and thinks they're better and smarter than everyone else (as opposed to the non-know-it-all BTs - I am not bashing BTs just the loudmouths in "rabbinical" positions)

Thursday, December 15, 2005 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...


Maybe there is a position open for him at the Agudah?

Avi Shafran looks to be burned out. He's been listening too much to his self-help tapes.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Those two am haaratzim deserve each other.
Plenty of room in Bloom's office for all of them.

Great idea for a Torah contest, the Novominsker farhering them on the aleph bais.
The winner gets the new Moshe Sherer book.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 5:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Moshe Sherer book? Barf Barf!

Thursday, December 15, 2005 6:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not as great as you think you are,you never were as great as you think you are, and you never will be as great as you think you think you are,Mr. Gaivah

Friday, December 16, 2005 7:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

anon 7:12

UO is the only one with the beitzim to bring this "laundry" out into the open, where hopefully it may bring much needed tikkun.

I hope your kids never get molested by their rebbe and that you never get screwed by the pious brethren that currently lodge in Otisville.

The Daily News "Inquiring Photographer" wants to know:

Is there a 'Mizrach Vant' in Otisville?

Friday, December 16, 2005 8:47:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mr. Gaivah is really Mr. Anav meod in my private life.
This is a dirty job, but someone needs to speak up.

Friday, December 16, 2005 9:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Mr.Boog,there are very few shomre Torah and mitzvot Jews you have met.Also, you don't know the laws of loshon hora.I Never even heard of the town you mentioned and I doubt that you have met all the residents there.I challenge you to prove your negative comments before a reliable bet din.

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Mr.Boog,there are very few shomre Torah and mitzvot Jews you have met.Also, you don't know the laws of loshon hora.I Never even heard of the town you mentioned and I doubt that you have met all the residents there.I challenge you to prove your negative comments before a reliable bet din.

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Anav has not one single haskamah from the gedolei hador. It is obvious that you and your fans are not charedi and bnei Torah.

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous lakewood yid said...

UOJ-You gotta do a job with this issue-http://yeshivaorthodoxy.blogspot.com/2005/12/o-devil-whats-lakewood-doing.html

It is getting the people of lakewood all worked up how the yeshiva can sell themselves for a few dollars whereby costing taxpayers 50mil- and then the yeshiva goes and assures anybody from going to any such venue!!!!!
lakewood needs your help in exposing the frauds-aron kutler and the vaad of lakewood for making everybody in lakewood pay a fortune in taxes as long as they get the small kickback or grant they want!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005 6:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

anon 11:26

Really? You know me? You really know me?

The shomre Torah Umitzvot Jews I know don't go around screwing their co-religionists and the U.S. Gov't.

Insofar as "a reliable Beis Din" is concerned. This is an oxymoron.

Find me one Beis Din today that is not influenced by Gelt. I know of one in Boro Park that is headed by Rabbi Alt.

How many do you know?

Saturday, December 17, 2005 8:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ze'ev said...

If Tookie Williams was so damn innocent, then why is it that even the most liberal court in the land, the 9th Fed Court of Appeals in California did not even overturn his guilty verdict. The Schmuck got what he deserved. I sat up and watched the news all nite because of that execution just waiting for that idiot to die. I ran out of popcorn and soda, but in the end...It was freaking worth it!!!
Too-too-Tookie Goodbye, Too-too-Tookie time to die...Hahahaha

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 7:31:00 AM  

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