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FAKE NEWS: Rabbinic court sentences dog to death by stoning *UPDATED

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 21, 2011 | 9:00 am

Here is a story that really gets my goat. It’s about a dog:

A Jerusalem rabbinical court recently sentenced a wandering dog to death by stoning. The cruel sentence stemmed from the suspicion that the hound was the reincarnation of a famous secular lawyer, who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago.

Several weeks ago, according to the Behadrei Hadarim website, a large dog entered the Monetary Affairs Court near the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim. The dog scared the court’s visitors and, to their surprise, refused to leave even after they attempted to drive him away.

One of the judges suddenly recalled that about 20 years ago, a famous secular lawyer who insulted the court was cursed by the panel of judges, who wished that his spirit would move on to the body of a dog (considered an impure animal by Halacha). The lawyer passed away several years ago.

Still mad about that insolent lawyer, they sentenced the dog to death by stoning. The dog got away.

Really? I mean REALLY?! This is Israel, right, not Iran?

This story really defies comprehension. I didn’t even know Jews believed in cursed spirits being reincarnated as other life forms. However, as my GetReligion colleague Mollie points out, no one else has really corroborated this story. Hopefully this is a case of bad reporting. Hopefully.

*UPDATED Well, I’ll be. This story was, indeed, fake. Mollie’s intuition was spot-on.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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