Rabbi Aviner Refers to Baruch Goldstein as Saintly

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baruch-goldsteinBaruch Goldstein was a righteous man, but what he did was wrong, Zionist Rabbi Shlomo Aviner said in a response to a question regarding the Jewish doctor who murdered 29 Palestinian civilians and injured another 125 at the Meoras Hamachpeila on Purim 14 years ago.  Rabbi Aviner replied to a reader’s question posted on the Ma’ale website. The reader was wondering whether Goldstein’s act was justified, “seeing that at the time many innocent Jews were murdered by Arab terrorists,” or whether his act constituted “a heinous murder.”

Rabbi Aviner agreed that the issue was complicated: On the one hand, Goldstein’s act could not be viewed separately from the man himself, who, according to Rabbi Aviner lived during a time of multiple terror attacks and dedicated his life to saving Jews; and on the other hand, a man cannot act of his own accord on behalf of the nation.

 “Clearly Baruch Goldstein did not act out of personal vengeance. This is precisely why he should have asked for the nation’s permission, because it is the nation that would later have to shoulder the responsibility.

 “Had he asked us we would have told him not to do it. This is not the way to act. But he didn’t. And he got killed. He knew that what he was doing was dangerous, so may the memory of the righteous be for blessing, may the memory of the saintly be for blessing. But what he did was wrong.”

 The Realistic Religious Zionism movement stated in response: ” We believe that the religious public understands the severity of Goldstein’s act, is appalled by the murderer’s actions and will not allow questionable words to divert them from observing the mitzvah of ‘be killed but do not transgress’.”

 {Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/Ynet}


  1. the whole point is missed “for a change” Whether or not they deserve it is irrelevant. The question always needs to be what is daas tora period. the trouble starts when we act according to how we feel rather than following what the tora demands

  2. To objective opinion it would seem that Dr. Goldstein was mentally ill. If he had had security concerns he would have – if mentally competent – notified the authorities, which in the West Bank have historically been friendly to settlers’ security. Instead, he acted alone in a way which would increase antagonism, not block terrorist action.

    It would seem that Dr. Goldstein was acting irrationally and was not mentally competent at the time of his act.

    Of course there is a second question – what was there in the atmosphere of his community that made mass murder seem a rational solution to a perceived problem in the mind of an irrational individual?

  3. Baruch Goldstein Zichron Tzadik Livracha acted completely rationally and correctly, due to the fact that the Arabs whom he killed were plotting a pogrom on the Jews in the nearby settlements. Baruch Goldstein heard of the evil plot the Palistinians hatched, and went out to stop it, killing 29 Palistinians and injuring many more, stopping the Arabs’ attacks. Also later there was a cache of weapons stored in the muslim Avoidah Zorah temple, and anyone who says they were just there is a liar.

    Dr. Goldstein ztz”l should be praised, rather than criticized by most people

  4. I noticed you refer to chareidi rabbis as “Rav” and to Tzioni rabbis like R. Aviner as “Rabbi”..is this intentional? You have a lot of chutzpah

  5. U R on the mark, Reb Aviner.
    Anyone who is aware of the events of that horrendous Purim knows that Reb Baruch saved the lives of thousands of Jews who were part of a planned massacre by the descendants of the murderous Arabs of 1929. Dr. Baruch Goldstein z”l was not a crazy, rough n tough guy. He was dedicated to saving lives and was on hand to provide care to many Arab families of the Hevron hills area also.
    When you go to visit Maaros Hamachpala stop and say a tefilah at his kever which is in kiryat arba.

  6. The Realistic Religious Zionism movement

    WHAT? WHO?
    I am confused. Do we have the AGUDAH and then the REALISTIC AGUDAH org? Is there the YOUNG ISRAEL MOVEMENT and the REALISTIC YOUNG ISRAEL movement? Maybe there is SATMAR and the REAL SATMAR…..but who are the others?


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