Monthly Archives: June 2009

Menachem Z. Rosensaft: “MSNBC’s deafening silence on Buchanan’s Holocaust denial forum”

In an op-ed for the Jerusalem Post, Menachem Z. Rosensaft writes about how he discovered a Holocaust denial forum hosted on Pat Buchanan’s website and how it quickly disappeared once the news appeared in a New York Daily News article. Rosensaft discusses the hypocrisy of the fact that Buchanan has since appeared several times on MSNBC. Read the full story here.


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Statement By Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters

The following is a statement from the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters regarding the recent comments in Moment Magazine by Rabbi Manis Friedman.

Regarding recent comments made by Rabbi Manis Friedman in response to a question posed by Moment Magazine, we vehemently disagree with any sentiment suggesting that Judaism allows for the wanton destruction of civilian life, even when at war.

In keeping with Jewish law, it is the unequivocal position of Chabad-Lubavitch that all human life is G-d given, precious, and must be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.
Statements and opinions expressed by individuals do not necessarily reflect the position of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Lubavitch World Headquarters is the only office authorized to speak on behalf of the movement.

A Statement from Rabbi Friedman

**The following is an updated statement as of June 5.

I would like to clarify the answer published in my name in last month’s issue of Moment Magazine.

First of all, the opinions published in my name are solely my own, and do not represent the official policy of any Jewish movement or organization.

Additionally, my answer, as written, is misleading.

It is obvious, I thought, that any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion. Fundamental to the Jewish faith is the concept that every human being was created in the image of G-d, and our sages instruct us to support the non-Jewish poor along with the poor of our own brethren.

The sub-question I chose to address instead is: how should we act in time of war, when our neighbors attack us, using their women, children and religious holy places as shields. I attempted to briefly address some of the ethical issues related to forcing the military to withhold fire from certain people and places, at the unbearable cost of widespread bloodshed (on both sides!)—when one’s own family and nation is mercilessly targeted from those very people and places.

Furthermore, some of the words I used in my brief comment were irresponsible, and I look forward to further clarifying them in a future issue.

I apologize for any misunderstanding my words created.

—Rabbi Manis Friedman

The following is a response from Rabbi Manis Friedman:

I would like to clarify the answer published in my name in last month’s issue of Moment Magazine.

First of all, the opinions published in my name are solely my own, and do not represent the official policy of any Jewish movement or organization.

Additionally, my answer, as published, is misleading. For it is, in truth, an answer to a different question.

It is obvious, I thought, that any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion. Fundamental to the Jewish faith is the concept that every human being was created in the image of G-d, and our sages instruct us to support the non-Jewish poor along with the poor of our own brethren.

The question my statement addresses is: how should we act in time of war, when our neighbors attack us, using their women, children and religious holy places as shields. I attempted to briefly address some of the ethical issues related to forcing the military to withhold fire from certain people and places, at the unbearable cost of widespread bloodshed (on both sides!)—when one’s own family and nation is mercilessly targeted from those very people and places! (I look forward to further clarifying my brief words, too, in a future issue.)

I apologize for any misunderstanding the words printed in my name created.

—Rabbi Manis Friedman