Rabbi Meir Mazuz: Henkin Murders on Divine Retribution For Gay Parades

A popular rabbi at the head of Tunisian Jewry in Israel suggested to a memorial gathering Sunday that the murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin and other recent violence were a direct result of “sinful behavior,” including gay pride events.

Rabbi Meir Mazuz, who is also spiritual leader of nascent political party Yachad and heads a yeshiva in Tel Aviv suburb B’nei Brak, told a memorial event for the Henkins that their shooting death 30 days previously at the hands of Palestinian terrorists had been a form of divine retribution.

Two of the Henkins’ children who were in the car when their parents were killed on October 1 were at the event, at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem.

Mazuz suggested the way to end the recent wave of terror attacks was not just through government policy and increased security measures but by avoiding what he described as “immoral acts.”

“We must avoid acts of Sodom and Gomorrah that have multiplied over the past year,” he said, referring to the biblical cities destroyed by God for impenitent sin.

“Gay pride parade? Pride in what?” he asked. “What this pride is there in opposing nature? What pride is there is opposing God? For this comes punishment.”

The Henkin couple were shot to death as they were traveling in their car near the West Bank settlement of Itamar on October 1. Their four small children – the oldest is 9 years old – were in the backseat and witnessed their murder but were uninjured.

Eitam Henkin was a rabbi, noted Torah scholar and author of several treatises on Jewish law, and his wife Na’ama was a graphic designer.

Mazuz’s comments come three months after a deadly attack at the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in which ultra-orthodox Yishai Schlissel stabbed six participants on the streets of the capital. Fifteen-year-old Shira Banki died from her wounds a week after the attack. She would have celebrated her 16th birthday on Sunday.

Mazuz is known as the spiritual mentor of the Yachad political party which unsuccessfully ran in the March elections. Mazuz backed party leader Eli Yishai when he left the hegemonic Sephardi religious party Shas following a vicious leadership battle Aryeh Deri.

Despite strong polling throughout the election campaign Yachad failed to receive the necessary votes to pass the electoral threshold and receive seats in the Knesset.

2 replies
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    צד הדברים המרגשים הללו, העיבה על האירוע אמירה אומללה של הרב המוכר מאיר מאזוז, ראש ישיבת “כיסא רחמים”, שהיה בין אלה שחתם על ספרו של איתם. בהתייחסו למצב המתוח במדינה אמר אמנם כי “צריך להיזהר מלעלות להר הבית, ולא לעשות זאת בכוח” והוסיף כי “צריך להיזהר מלהתגרות באומות”.

    עם זאת טען כי הרצח של בני הזוג הנקין הוא למעשה “עונש” משמיים על מצעד הגאווה בבירה. “עלינו להיזהר ממעשי סדום ועמורה שהתרבו בשנה האחרונה. מצעד הגאווה? איזו גאווה זה להילחם בטבע, להילחם בקדוש ברוך הוא? על זה בא העונש”.

  2. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    The frequently controversial haredi leader Rabbi Meir Mazuz said on Sunday at an event commemorating a month since Eitam and Naama Henkin were killed in a terror attack that the murders came about as a punishment due to the gay pride parade in Jerusalem this year.

    “This pride march, what pride? Pride to wage war against the Torah, pride to wage war against creation, pride to wage war against God? For this the punishment came,” said Mazuz at the Jerusalem Ramada hotel to an audience of several hundred people, Walla news website reported.

    Mazuz is the dean of the Kiseh Rahamim yeshiva in Bnei Brak and the spiritual patron of Shas renegade Eli Yishai and his Yahad movement.

    The rabbi said that efforts must be taken to “warn and educate are children not to look at forbidden things, not to look at things that call an upheaval of the soul.”

    Mazuz is not the first rabbi who has spoken out against the gay pride parade in Jerusalem. Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Shlomo Amar said in September that the public was “disgusted and sick” of homosexuality, although he condemned the murder of Shira Banki by Yishai Shlissel at the parade in July.

    Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Aryeh Stern has also said that “immodest” rallies should be avoided to preserve the holiness of Jerusalem.

    At the same event Sunday night, Mazuz said that visiting the Temple Mount should be avoided because “we must be careful provoking the nations of the world.”

    Last week, Mazuz said surprisingly that it in certain circumstances it is permitted to visit the Temple Mount, provided the correct preparations are taken in accordance with Jewish law, but said that doing so could be problematic.

    The issue of visiting the Temple Mount became a serious stumbling block for Yishai’s Yahad party in the last elections when he sought to join with the far right Otzmah Yehudit party whose members are strong supporters of Jewish prayer rights and sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

    Yishai’s colleague in Yahad Yoni Chetboun, following the advice from his spiritual mentor Rabbi Tzvi Tau, president of the very Har Hamor Yeshiva, refused to unite with Otzmah until a compromise was found on the issue.

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