To be a Jew who has lived in the twentieth century is to be a Jew who has experienced the worse forms of human behavior. One has seen soldiers dash the heads of babies into walls in the name of right and truth. One has witnessed the mass killing of innocent people, because their continued existence was a threat to your nation’s survival. However, according to Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, headmaster of the Old Yousef Chai Yeshiva, a soldier has the right to kill innocent civilians in the name of Israel. He told members of the Israel Defense Force(IDF), “According to true Jewish values, your lives come before those of the enemy whether he is a soldier or a civilian under protection. Therefore, you are forbidden from endangering your own life for the sake of the enemy, not even for a civilian.” He was protesting conviction of IDF soldiers who had children check bags suspected of possessing explosives.
There are moments, as a Jew, when I wonder how I got to become part of a religion which has religious leaders with such ideas. I am aware the same sort of thinking goes on among Christians or Muslims or just about every religion in the world. I read the words of Rabbi Shapira and wonder exactly how his thinking differs from that of Himmler who told SS officers they were doing a noble task by killing Jewish children since it prevented the growth of enemies of Nazism. This is one sick Rabbi. The problem is that his views are shared by other Rabbis.