The JC.com, June 20, 2011, unequivocally states that “no dog stoned to death in Jerusalem.”
This bogus story was first reported by an Israeli newspaper, Maariv. The story then went viral and made headlines around the world, and was the “Most Read” story on the BBC – despite a correction and apology being printed in Maariv.
A statement from the Jerusalem court said:
“There is no basis for stoning dogs or any other animal in the Jewish religion, not since the days of the Temple or Abraham.
The female dog found a seat in the corner of the court. And the children were delighted by it; there were hundreds outside the court. They are used to seeing stray cats but most have never seen a dog before. The only action we took was to dial the number of the Jerusalem Municipality to get the people in charge to take it away.
There was no talk of reincarnation, a lawyer has never been mentioned, either now or 20 years ago, and there was no stoning. Such inventions are a kind of blood libel, and we wonder why the inventor of the story did not continue to describe how we collected the blood of the dog to make our matzah.”
This is one of those WTF news.
A Jewish rabbinical court in Israel recently condemned a dog to death by stoning. The court believes the dog to be the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who had insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago.
Happily, before the sentence could be carried out, the dog escaped.
Agence France Presse reports from Jerusalem on June 17, 2011 that the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs.
Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises. So one of the sitting judges recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges 20 years ago. At that time, the judges asked that divine retribution be visited on the lawyer by having his spirit be moved into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.
Certain schools of thought within Judaism believe in the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation.
Convinced that the large dog is the reincarnation of the offensive lawyer, one of the rabbinical court judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children. But the dog managed to escape.
When an animal-welfare organisation filed a complaint with the police against the head of the court, Rabbi Avraham Dov Levin, the rabbi denied that the judges had called for the dog’s stoning. One of the court’s managers, however, confirmed the report of the lapidation sentence to Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot: “It was ordered… as an appropriate way to ‘get back at’ the spirit which entered the poor dog.”