CNN: Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is believed to be the deadliest attack on Jews in American history

Was this slaughter prompted by disrespectful speech? Jews have about the most violent speech around and yet they have about the lowest rates of criminal violence. The Jewish Bible contains God’s commands to commit genocide. Is that hate speech? If not, why not?

From CNN:

In a statement condemning the Pittsburgh attack, the Rabbinical Assembly said the shooting was a reminder that anti-Semitism “is on the rise in America at a rate unprecedented in decades.”

“This vicious hate crime, perpetrated against innocent people at prayer is but the latest in an escalating scourge of hate-based violence in America,” it said.

Moishe Bane, president of the Orthodox Union, expressed heartbreak for “the senseless murder of our fellow Jews and all victims of vicious hate crimes.”

“We condemn the dangerous rhetoric that foments such senseless violence and we stand with the Tree of Life Congregation and the whole Pittsburgh community at this terrible time,” he said.

Rabbi Elazar Muskin, president of the Rabbinical Council of America said “fringe elements of society” had become “emboldened by speech which is often disrespectful and hateful.”

I wonder if R. Muskin ever read the Torah and the Talmud and did he ever find that speech disrespectful and hateful? If not, why not? There’s no definition of hate speech that would not include Torah and siddur (Jewish prayer book).

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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