Chabad comes out against rabbi’s comments


NEW YORK (JTA) — Chabad-Lubavitch condemned the recent comments of a prominent movement rabbi who said that during war, Jews should kill civilians.

"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," said a statement published on the Web site

Friedman, a prominent Chabad author and lecturer from St. Paul, Minn., sparked outrage earlier this week with comments seeming to suggest the killing of civilians and the bombing of religious sites were Jewishly acceptable tactics during wartime.

"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," the statement said.

Friedman subsequently said his comments in the current issue of Moment were solely his own and not those of any movement or organization.

He said that “I apologize for any misunderstanding the words printed in my name created.”

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