Thursday, June 30, 2011

R. Yaakov Ariel's Response to 'Torat Ha-Melekh'

The following is the translation of an excerpt from R. Yaakov Ariel's letter of approbation to Derekh Ha-Melekh (The Path of the King): Racism and Discrimination of Gentiles in Halakha, a halakhik and meta-halakhic alternative to the book Torat Ha'Melekh.

The entire Derekh Ha-Melekh can be downloaded here. The introduction appears on pp. 6-8. Only the beginning and very end of the letter have been translated, as they give R. Ariel's general agreement with the content of the work and state why he believes it to be valuable. The rest of the letter is a more detailed discussion of some of the work's finer points.
Translated by Rabbi David Derovan

Office of the Rabbinate – Ramat Gan
Chief Rabbi
Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel
9 Kislev 5771 (November 16, 2010)

To Rabbi Ariel Finkelstain,

          All power to you (Yasher ko’ach) for your book, Racism and Discrimination against Gentiles in the Halakha, which deals very seriously and in depth with the book, Torah Ha-Melekh. This terrible issue will not be resolved through proclamations to the media or by police investigations, but by taking the Way of the King (Derekh Ha-Melekh) that you are traveling on, the path of the rabbis – for "Who are these kings? The rabbis" – who delve into the depths of halakha and bring its truth to light.
          You have succeeded in refuting the main arguments of the authors of Torat Ha-Melekh from top to bottom: beginning with their outrageous, prejudiced presumption that gentile blood is cheap, and ending with their alleged proofs and supports from halakhic sources, which were interpreted tendentiously and erroneously.
          You have publicly sanctified God's name with your book, by preventing the unsubstantiated denigration of Israel’s Torah. You have proven that the Way of the King – the King of the universe and the giver of the Torah – is to bestow compassion on all of His creatures. This is also the Way of the Kingdom of Israel. It logically follows that to ensure the life and compassionate treatment of all God's creatures, it may also be necessary to destroy the might of those seeking to kill us. These are both the words of the living God, the God of justice, compassion, and peace – each at the proper place and in the right time, under the guidance of the Torah.
 . . .
Once again, yasher ko’ach on your knowledge, effort, and the depth in presenting these life-and-death issues. You have succeeded in adducing the truth of the Torah, whose ways are pleasant and whose paths are peace.

With the blessing of Torah,
Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel
Ramat Gan