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Sexual transgressions are ‘ultimate sin’ -Torah

I wonder if the management of the Jewish Report knew that last week’s edition corresponded with the Torah reading of Parshat Balak.



Letters/Discussion Forums

Choni Davidowitz

I say this because I found the cover and various articles in the edition of July 3 both hurtful and insensitive to pure Jewish emotions.

In the parsha we are taught that because sexual transgressions of any kind are viewed by G-d as being the ultimate sin, Bilaam suggested to Balak to use the Moabite and Midianite women to seduce the Jewish men by sexual means as “weapons of war” and pushing back the fences of chastity and modesty never to be returned as they were before.

The gentile women succeeded in their mission to such an extent that 24 000 Jews died for the sins Bilaam had instigated. The parsha ends with the zealotry of Pinchas: “But Pinchas, son of Elazar, saw what had happened, and remembered the Law. He stood up from among the congregation and, taking a spear in his hand, he went into the tent after an Israelite man and pierced the spear through both of them – the Israelite man, and the gentile woman – right through her lower abdomen.

“The plague then ceased from the children of Israel. A total of 24 000 died in the plague.” (Numbers: 25; 7-9). Pinchas was rewarded with eternal priesthood and a covenant of peace for zealously avenging G-d’s anger. (Num. 25;10)

Today we are witnessing a continuation of the Bilaam syndrome of reducing the world’s moral level on a grand scale. It is being performed by the Supreme Court of the United States, by declaring same-sex marriages to be recognised in all 50 states of the country. As the world, including South Africa edges closer to suicidal immorality, at least we the Jewish nation will know that there is an Island of kedusha, sanity and morality in Eretz Yisrael.

It is distressing that South African Jewry has a major news outlet where columnists write articles with a headline: “Can SA Jewry provide a home for same-sex marriages?” The author challenges religious leaders to make all Jews, no matter what their sexual preferences are, to feel at home among them.

While it is true that we must not outright condemn individuals who commit Torah sexual transgressions, there can be no compromise with the sin itself.

I would like to commend your on-line editor, Ant Katz, who approximately 18 months ago, wrote the following line in a blog: “I was brought up to believe that nobody should question our Holy Torah.”

I agree 100 per cent with this sentiment and find it especially relevant when applied to the subject of Jewish morality and sexual matters.




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  1. Gary Selikow

    Jul 13, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    ‘Murder and terrorism, , not sexual transgressions, are the greatest sin’

  2. Choni

    Jul 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    ‘Hello Gary, Thanks for your comment. Our sages teach us that if keeping a mitzvah will result in a potential danger to a persons life he must disregard it for the purpose of pikuach  nefesh in order to preserve his life, with the exceptions of sins involving murder, idolatry or forbidden sexual relationships.



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Letters/Discussion Forums

“Clearly you’re a Zionist, going around demanding shit”



I’m so sad that I came across this terrible article (“Professor of propaganda” by Howard Sackstein, SA Jewish Report, 3 June 2021).

First, I’m a Wits-trained doctor, and I admire doctors like Professor Shabir Moosa who are able to step outside their comfort zones and challenge the minds and beliefs of their younger doctors. South Africa needs more doctors that stand up for what’s right. Israel is an apartheid state. Please stop denying it! You’re basically killing Arabs and jailing innocent kids. You have no humanity as a Zionist.

Second, he posted his article on this group, and that made interns feel uncomfortable! Oh please, grow up! It’s a bunch of white men trying to bully us into acting in a way suitable for them. Imagine, a bunch of privileged white men felt uncomfortable for the first time in their life!

Third, screw the author! That he thinks he has any authority to report and demand “action”. Who do you think you are? Clearly, you’re a Zionist. Going around demanding shit. When you deserve nothing.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Why seek citizenship of murderous Lithuania?



“Most of our ancestors were forced to flee Lithuania in terrible circumstances, and restoring our citizenship will go a long way to address the wrongs of the past.” I find these words by the national vice-president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies to be shameful and incomprehensible. To claim, as Zev Krengel does, that ex-Lithuanian Jews have an ancestral right to citizenship is an insult to the G-d of Israel. The only country to which any Jew has an ancestral right is the land of Israel.

When the Nazis marched into Lithuania in 1941, the government and people (with a handful of exceptions) didn’t lift a finger as Jews in more than 200 shtetls were humiliated, tortured, and ultimately murdered by Lithuanian collaborators. Which Jew with pure emotions would now wish to seek citizenship of that country, or any European country which willingly aided and abetted Nazi murderers?

The yizkor (remembrance) prayer that Jews recite in synagogues four times a year includes one for martyrs: “May G-d remember the souls of the holy and pure ones who were murdered, gassed, burned, strangled for the sanctification of the name through the hands of the German oppressors and their collaborators. (Yemach s’hmom v’zichron – may their name and memory be obliterated.) No, Mr Krengel, no amount of time will “restore the wrongs of the past”.

The most tragic event in Jewish history – the Holocaust – has taught the Jewish people that it’s forbidden for us to derive any benefit from countries that persecuted our people. (Hilchot Sanhedrin 15:9). How can any Jew with pure emotions associate with these places, much less seek citizenship?

With all due respect to Krengel and all those who seek citizenship of these murderous countries, may I humbly suggest that you rather seek citizenship in your one and only true ancestral homeland – the land of Israel. Seeking citizenship anywhere but Israel, after 2 000 years of bitter exile, is scorning G-d’s most precious gift to His people.

Further, I believe that to fulfil the commandment of “may their name and memory be obliterated”, no Jew should ever set foot in or associate with these countries in any way. It’s with dismay that one sees influential Orthodox groups spending money on resurrecting Judaism in these murderous countries instead of obliterating their names.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

None of us are angels, but condemnation of Israel is truly sick



I’m appalled by prominent members of our government, even one of our own – Ronnie Kasrils – who has the gall to speak out against Israel, Zionism, and the Jews for what happened recently in Gaza, even to the extent of mentioning a Jewish policeman or soldier with his knee on a dead Palestinian child. This isn’t the way Jews behave. We are very conscious of our Judaism and families, and kindness is in our genetic make-up.

The photo I’m referring to was taken years ago, in a completely foreign country, and it incites hate where it doesn’t belong.

Sick people have caused anxiety and fear during the pandemic by publishing pictures of COVID-19-related crimes and other lies on Facebook and WhatsApp, and by publishing old photos and leading us to believe that they are fresh situations.

None of us are angels who never sin. But can anyone truly believe that no action should be taken against 4 000 rockets fired at a country indiscriminately? Does any other army in the world advise the perpetrators that they should evacuate because they don’t want to hurt or kill innocent people when they retaliate?

Well, Israel does.

In conclusion, Israel isn’t fighting Gazans, it’s fighting Hamas. The people who run Gaza are Hamas, not the Palestinians. They made the fatal mistake of allowing Hamas to run their country. It uses them as shields and doesn’t give a damn about their safety or well-being.

So, wake up South Africa, and all who condemn Israel for defending its citizens – you would do the same!

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