False Prophets

Ari Fischbein

The following is an unqualified letter I assume has been distributed via the internet, and a wise response. I felt the response has much merit, and that the author's reasoning should be applied to all similar cases.

Letter: An Orthodox Jew from New Jersey was involved in a car accident and accidently killed an old non-Jewish man. Although the courts found the Jewish man not guilty, he could not carry the the pains of the guilt that he killed an old man. It gave him no peace and it caused him to lose his appetite and was unable to sleep for weeks.

He decided to seek counsel from the revered sage, Rabbi XXXXX of Bnei Brak, and wrote him a letter asking the Rav what tikun can he do because he accidently killed a non-Jew. The Rav wrote him an answer that included one word, "Amalek".

The Jew did not understand this answer and continued suffering with sleepless nights. At some point he decided to move away from his town to begin a new life. He began searching for a new house and found a house that appealed to him. The owners of the apartment told him that they are eager to get rid of this house because they inherited from their dead father that was killed in a car accident.

After short investigation, turns out the apartment belonged to the non-Jew who was accidentally killed by the Jew. In the basement of the house, the Orthodox Jew found materials belonging to the old non-Jew man. He was shocked to find a picture of the old man during his youth proudly wearing an SS uniform, standing next to Hitler, yimach shemo.

It turned out that this old man was an SS officer in the Nazi army and after the war, he came to the United States and hid his past. The SS Nazi Officer also hid other documents, including all the names of the Jews he personally murdered.

When he read the names of the Jewish people that were murdered, he found both of his parent's name on this list.

HaShem avenged their blood.

It was then that he understood Rabbi XXXXX answer that contained one word, "AMALEK".

Response: I think the more amazing part of this story was not that the Rav said "amalek" and was right, but rather that the killer ended up buying the dead man's house.  In any case, look at the story...there are just about zero verifiable facts.

It says he was acquitted by a jury over the car accident.  What was the court case #?

What was the defendant's name for that matter?

What was the dead man's name?

What was the address of the house?


Also, the fact that the rav wrote back "Amalek" is revealing.  He didn't write, "this man is of Amalek"  He didn't write, "The man you killed was a nazi". Nor did he write, "This man killed your parents".  Just "Amalek", which could mean a lot of things, and is probably why it was written that way.  If in fact this did happen, and it was written that way, the rav probably just wanted to make the guy feel better by hinting the man he killed was a rasha.  Of course he couldn't come right out and say because you can't just call anyone a rasha. 

Also, is the rav a prophet? 

Can't be...we  know there are no more prophets. Perhaps it is Divinely inspired insight? So is this rav claiming himself he has Divine inspiration, or are others attributing this to him?

 Further if we posit all of this is true, why would it be justice for this Jew to kill him? Why not some other way? This Jew had to go through years of self-torture, arrest, courts, money for defense, etc.  Is that fair?

Also what does that say about those thousands or millions of others whose parents perished, but were not afforded this kind of justice. Were they not deserving? 

Bottom line...this story has lots of unanswered questions.  And if given just s few more facts, it could at least be determined if it was plausible.  But since the specific facts are NOT included, is most revealing.




Ari Fischbein