Roshei Yeshiva of BMG Sign Kol Koreh for Martin Grossman; Updated: Rav Elya Ber and Rav Chaim Epstein Add Their Signatures

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bmg-roshei-yeshiva-small[Update below.] [Letter below.] 12:40 p.m. EST: The four roshei yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rav Yeruchom Olshin, Rav Dovid Schustal and Rav Yisroel Neuman, have signed a kol koreh encouraging people to write to Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, imploring him to grant clemency to Martin Grossman, a death-row inmate scheduled for execution this coming Tuesday.

Thousands have been writing to the Governor to ask him to allow Mr. Grossman to repay his debt to society by serving the rest of his life in prison.

grossman-bmg-kol-koreh-smallMr. Grossman was convicted of killing Margaret Parks, a Florida Wildlife Officer in 1984, when he was 19 years old. The crime was committed when Mr. Grossman was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and he has conducted himself as a model prisoner since his incarceration some 25 years ago and has shown profound remorse and regret for his actions.

The Governor’s e-mail address is and his phone number is 850. 488.7146. He can be faxed at 850.487.0801.

Separately, 200 organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish, have sent Governor Crist a petition requesting a 60-day stay of the execution, in order to properly file an official request for clemency.

Click here to see the letter signed by the four BMG roshei yeshiva.

Update, 2:43 p.m. EST: has learned that Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg, and Rav Chaim Epstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Meilich in Brooklyn, have added their signatures to the kol koreh. Click here to see the updated kol koreh with all six signatures.

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  1. I hear the point of view of Mr. Grossman’s defenders.

    In fact until a few years ago I was staunchly opposed to the death penalty and was blinded with empathy to almost every defendant. I regarded the Justice Department as the evil satan ruining innocent lives.

    Until I became a victim myself and that all changed.

    How fortunate are all of Martin’s defenders to not have know suffering, but believe me your opinion would change instantly if you were in a victim’s shoes.

  2. I don’t get it.
    Lo saamod al dam rei’echa?
    We extend that for a murderer but not to non-frum Jews who never chose to be raised that way??


    Their death sentence is eternal.

  3. Oh, and #5, if you hope Hashem cleanses somebody’s soul, hope that it’s Martin Grossman’s soul who is cleansed. He’s the one who murdered someone, not us.

  4. The Emes is that there’s no logical or Halachic reason to focus on this guy over the many other Jews on death row. You’ll see, even if they are successful in this case we won’t rally for EVERY similar case.

  5. These rabbonim are rachmanim and tzaddikim. And they know what the amhaaratzim don’t know – the chiyuv to save someone’s life under these circumstances.
    All the other fools could keep quiet.

  6. At Matzav’s earlier article about this story at, in Comment #18, I posted a copy of the article at’s web site at I would thus refer readers here to go there as it explains the case pretty well, has telephone numbers and email addresses, and a link to the online petition, which everyone should sign.

    At Matzav’s next article about this story at, Comment #20. from Nochum Kurinsky posts the web address:
    which goes to the web page of the specific group — the Aleph Institute — that is working on this issue. I would thus refer readers here to also go there as it explains the case in very great detail, has the email address of Governor Crist, and a link to the same online petition mentioned above, which everyone should sign.

    So again:


  7. Did anyone pay attention to this weeks parsha? Parshat mishpatim ;which exactly focuses on an accidental murder and the murder having to go to an eir miklot, and not an intentional murder and the conditions that need to be met for the bais din to kill him. There need to be two kosher aidim, and the murder has to be forewarned; otherwise bais din can’t have him killed!

  8. Dear Governor Crist

    A mans life is precious beyond words and under Jewish law saving a life precedes almost all commandments. Our Holy Sabbath and Holidays and even Yom Kippur get pushed aside when it comes to saving a life.

    As a Jewish Rabbi located in Staten Island NY, I pondered whether Martin Grossman deserves to live, for under Jewish law, when one kills someone with a full and clear mind, he’d be subjected to the death penalty and to convince a government to save someone like that, would go against the fundamentals of Judaism. I therefore pushed off writing to you.

    However after reviewing this particular case and from reading and hearing all about Martin Grossman and his upbringing and past, I’ve realized, that not only was he unstable and under the influence of drugs, but he was also brought up in an unstable environment and in no way did he understand the importance and preciousness to a persons life and should not and would not be judged under the same category as a person with a full clear mind and would therefore under no credible justice system be liable to the death penalty.

    The death penalty serves mainly 2 purposes, 1) PUNISHMENT Pay back, meaning; what you did to someone else you should feel yourself 2) preventive measures, meaning; to prevent the killer and others from committing such a horrible heinous crime.

    These 2 reasons do NOT apply to Martin Grossman, as was previously mentioned. #1 doesn’t apply, because when a person does an action under an influence, whether it’s fame, money, or desire, one can argue, that lust isn’t an excuse and as people with brains and the ability to make decisions, we must live up to our actions and if not, face the consequences. However in the case of Martin Grossman, who was under the influence of drugs, which to an extent block a persons brain, how in anyone’s right mind could he judge someone like that with the same consequences as a clear minded person and therefore I feel that killing Martin Grossman wouldn’t match his incompetent action, #2 surely doesn’t apply, as a person under the influence doesn’t need measures to prevent him from repeating such a crime as the influence was the cause, not the his clear minded decision to kill another human being.
    Please make the right decision and don’t let another mans life be taken away.

  9. The America government is not subject to Torah law.The US has the best system of justice in the world and it follows the chiuv of the Bnei Noach.

  10. Justice will be served in 15 minutes:
    Thank you for contacting me and sharing your concerns about the execution of Martin Grossman.

    On December 13, 1984, Mr. Grossman violated the terms of his probation by leaving Pasco County and having a stolen firearm in his possession. In a routine stop, Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Margaret Park found the weapon. When she reached for the radio in her patrol car to report him, Mr. Grossman attacked her with her own large flashlight, beating her over the head and shoulders 20 to 30 times. When Officer Park tried to fight back, Mr. Grossman took her .357 Magnum revolver and shot her in the back of the head, killing her.

    Mr. Grossman took several carefully planned steps to cover up this horrible crime. The weapon was buried, and Mr. Grossman attempted to burn his clothes and shoes, which were later disposed of in a nearby lake. The following day, Mr. Grossman thoroughly cleaned the van and changed its tires to mislead law enforcement.

    Officer Park’s autopsy revealed lacerations on top of her head, hemorrhaging inside the scalp and extensive fracturing of the skull. All of these injuries resulted from Mr. Grossman’s attack. The facts of this crime clearly meet the definition of heinous, atrocious and cruel, and his actions afterward demonstrate his well-reasoned attempts to cover it up.

    The courts have fully reviewed Mr. Grossman’s legal claims, and his conviction and sentence have been affirmed by both the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Based on the facts and exhaustion of legal proceedings, and in accordance with Florida law, I signed his death warrant on January 12, 2010.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.


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