Friday, May 16, 2014

Nissan Kaplan Apologizes for his "Kill the Generals" Schmooze

I want to thank my readers for calling the Mirrer Yeshivah. The administration e-mailed us and told us that an apology from Kaplan would be forthcoming, and here it is! 
They said that over a thousand parents called for his immediate removal.

A rabbi from Israel’s leading strictly-Orthodox yeshivah has apologised for saying that Israel’s government ministers deserve death.
Nissan Kaplan, a rabbi at the prestigious Mir Yeshivah, whose classes draw upwards of 200 students, said in a recent discourse on the weekly Torah portion that he not only advocates killing ministers, but also that he educates his children in this spirit.
He told students that his five-year-old son said: “Daddy, we don't have a sword in the house, I'm looking... maybe a hammer is also good? I was very happy, I gave him a kiss... I was so proud of my son, he's looking for a sword to kill all these government ministers.”
His logic was that because the government plans to draft the strictly-Orthodox to the army, its ministers are the modern equivalent of Haman, who tried to kill the Jews in the Purim story. They are also representatives of “Amalek”, the ancient foe of the Jews whose elimination is prescribed by the Bible. He claimed to be invoking proclamations of the Aharon Leib Shteinman, one of the best-respected Charedi rabbis today, in this assertion.
But the US-born rabbi told the JC on Friday: “I apologise completely,” adding that an “apology is not enough” and that he had disavowed his earlier statements in three classes on Thursday night and Friday.
He “never meant such a thing”. The story about his son was “just a joke” he claimed, saying: “You have to know my sense of humour.”
And while rabbis tend to encourage students to be punctilious about accurately attributing opinions, he suggested that he had assigned Rabbi Shteinman’s alleged opinion to him without justification. “Maybe someone in the street said it. I didn’t see Rabbi Shteinman and I didn’t hear [this view],” he said, adding: “The one I really have to apologise to is Rabbi Shteinman.”
Asked about violent acts against ministers, Rabbi Kaplan said: “It is an aveira [sin] to do such a thing” and said that faced with the draft of Charedi men “the only thing we can do is learn [Torah] — we don’t hit and we don’t fight”. His apology is unambiguous, he said, calling it a “black and white” matter.
But despite requests, he did not fully explain the dissonance between what he said in the original class and what he claims now to be his view. He gave only general comments such as: “Sometimes when you are sitting, something was said in the wrong way” and “maybe someone got me excited here.”
His intended message, he claimed, was to underscore the importance of Torah study. “The message is that learning is of key importance and there are things that the people of Israel gave up all these years for learning. The meaning was not that we have to fight, God forbid.”


Baal Habos said...

Here's the first apology -

Anonymous said...

'It was 'never meant like that' and 'it was just a joke'. So that's alright then. Typical!

Hareidiman said...

This guy didn't apologize. He's blaming others.

Anonymous said...


people say and do anything and everything and when they are held to the fire the claim sorry it was a joke.
was it a joke or were you afraid of loosing your job? or going to jail for inciting a riot

Anonymous said...

I have inside information from the mir and they said tens of people called. that number is not accurate.

Michoel said...

Could you post a copy of the EMAIL you received from a Mir representative, saying that a thousand parents had EMAILed?

Anonymous said...

Nothing will change. The Mir in Israel views Rabbi Shteinman as the gadol hador (the greatest torah scholar) and therefore his words are "daas torah" which one is not allowed to disagree with, just like one is not allowed to disagree with the words of the gemora. It is clear Rabbi Kaplan's words stemmed from what he believed was Rabbi Shteinman's view, and there are strong indications that Rabbi Shteinman does in fact hold the goverment is amalek. This is the underlying issue - whether the words of Rabbi Shteinman are "daas torah". I dont think this fiasco will change Rabbi Kaplan's view on this point. It will only change what he says publicly.