Fugitive rabbi threatens life of South African chief rabbi

Times of Israel

BY LEE GANCMAN January 31, 2016

An on-the-run rabbi wanted in Israel for sex offenses has threatened South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein with death under Talmudic law after police raided his hideout.

Followers of Rabbi Eliezer Berland made the threats on his website in his name following a police raid on his hotel room in Samrand, north of Johannesburg, where he had been staying for several months, the Johannesburg Sunday Times reported.

Berland’s followers accused Goldstein of alerting police to his location, and claimed that he should be put to death.

According to the Talmudic din rodef, or the “law of the pursuer,” extra-judicial killing is permitted against “one who pursues his fellow to kill him.” In this case, the accusations that Goldstein informed police were interpreted by Berland’s followers to mean that he was seeking their mentor’s death.

The raid was carried out 10 days ago by South African police at the request of Interpol; Berland escaped and avoided arrest.

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