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Fine her, she’s a witch!

Saudi Arabia convicts individuals for practicing sorcery and when they do Spencer and Geller  blog about how it is proof of Islam’s backwardness and repression. Where is their outcry over this? (hat tip: DE)

Fine her, she’s a witch!

by Yossi Gurvitz

Rabbinical court penalizes a woman for witchcraft. And no, it’s not Monty Python

The rabbinical court of Haifa ruled against a woman whose husband claimed she practiced witchcraft in their home. The court acquitted the woman of refusing to cook for her husband, as the latter committed adultery, which the court found constituted mitigating circumstances in the woman’s dereliction of culinary duties. (Hebrew)

The woman denied being a witch, but she failed a polygraph test  – which is not accepted as evidence in regular Israeli courts. Presumably the duck test was unavailable. The court, composed of rabbis Yitzhak Shmuel Gamzo, Michael Bleicher, and Meir Kahan, admitted they found no legal precedent for reducing the woman’s ktuba – the money her husband pledges her in case of divorce – presumably since the Halachaic punishment for witchcraft is death. They nevertheless relied on the dubious book of Rabbi Nachman of Breslau, which is not generally considered to be law book (much more of a moral tale) to deprive her of some 90,000 NIS. Impressive.

And no, this isn’t mythical medieval England. This is Israel, 2011. And the court is funded by the government.

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  • Syed

    For a moment I thought this article was about Pamella Geller 🙂

  • Al

    Lol, what will they do next?

  • Farlowe

    I just read NassirH’s link on “Jihad victims”, which is quite interesting.

    “soon we will be hearing that Confederacy was Islamist supremacy”

    LOL.

  • Farlowe

    What type of witchcraft was it? A lot of modern Ceremonial/Ritual Magic comes from interpretations of the Old Testament anyway.

  • NassirH

    This is off topic, but this article is an excellent rebuttal of the Islamophobic lie that 270 million were victims of “jihad.”

  • Christian-friend

    Good article. Totally made a day

  • Nur Alia

    No matter how you try and say it. NO laws based on ANY religion is a democracy. None, whatsoever.

    Although I am a Muslim, I perfer to live under secular law, where I can freely practice my own faith, rather than ANY religious law.

  • Robert Spinster

    @Danois:

    Quote:(Danios) You can believe in anything you want, but when you prosecute women for witchcraft then you are worse than a magician using a wand and a rabbit. (Obviously, I am using the word “you” here in the general sense, not referring specifically to you (Robert Spinster).

    Reply:(Robert Spinster) The article didn’t really seem to indicate though that she was prosecuted on the foundation that she had engaged in witchcraft. The article more seemed to indicate that the case was about divorce, not witchcraft. It was more of a case about whether practicing witchcraft (and what constitutes it according to Judaism) was in violation of the marriage contract.

    Quote: (Danios) I do not think anyone was mocking the Jewish legal tradition, nor is that our purpose/intention. Instead, our intention is to simply show that all traditions have their problems so stop picking on Islam specifically.

    Reply:(Robert Spinster) The reason why I considered it mocking was because I do not see how considering witchcraft(thus, what constitutes it according to Judaism and Islam) a crime is bad or a problem. The fact that Judaism considers witchcraft a crime does not mean that that is a problem in Judaism.

  • Robert Spinster, can you see that the last paragraph you are complaining about deriding Jewish legal tradition was written by a Jew? that is a Jewish magazine that article is from, Loon Watch did not write it.

  • Just Stopping By

    @Danios: “prosecute” is a criminal term. This was a civil case about a divorce.

    I think the result is ridiculous, but it’s a contract question about whether practicing witchcraft (whatever that might mean here) violated the marriage contract. The underlying article isn’t clear about exactly what she did, but technically any reliance on magic could violate a marriage contract that said that the couple would not leave the religion.

  • mindy1

    Oh for crying out loud… Seriously???

  • Danios

    @ Robert Spinster:

    I do not think anyone was mocking the Jewish legal tradition, nor is that our purpose/intention. Instead, our intention is to simply show that all traditions have their problems so stop picking on Islam specifically.

    but one does have to keep in mind that in Jewish and Islamic tradition magic/witchcraft does not mean that they have to be using a wand with a rabbit coming out of the hat or whatever.

    You can believe in anything you want, but when you prosecute women for witchcraft then you are worse than a magician using a wand and a rabbit. (Obviously, I am using the word “you” here in the general sense, not referring specifically to you (Robert Spinster).

  • Robert Spinster

    Personally, while I do support loonwatch and commend it, I do not see how they have the authority to mock the Jewish legal tradition regarding sorcery and witchcraft.

    About that last part of the article, where it says “This isn’t mythical medieval England” yes-ok, but one does have to keep in mind that in Jewish and Islamic tradition magic/witchcraft does not mean that they have to be using a wand with a rabbit coming out of the hat or whatever.

    Deriding the legal tradition does not help in the fight against Islamophobia. Period.

  • Lo

    Things like this are bound to happen when the so-called justice system is monopolised by men. It has been proven time and time again that men, when in a position of power or when is under the delusion that they are in a position of power, can be total pigs, regardless of their religion. It isn’t a Muslim thing. It isn’t even a backwardness thing because if it is, there would have been a female POTUS by now.

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