Just to let you know that a story doing the rounds this weekend – and still featuring as number one in “most shared” over at the BBC – is total tosh.
Headlines blazed “Jerusalem rabbis condemn dog to death by stoning” and derivatives thereof.
The story goes something like:
A Jewish rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a stray dog it feared was the reincarnation of a lawyer who insulted its judges
The paper that originally carried the story – Ma’ariv – has apologised and issued a clarification saying:
“On 3rd June 2011 we published an item headlined “Meah Shearim: A Bet Din (religious court) instructed that a dog be stoned”. In the article it was reported that a complaint was made to the police by the Israeli animal protection society against the Rabbinical Court for Monetary Matters in Jerusalem. The article also brought a categorical denial of this accusation from the head of the court, Rabbi Yehoshua Levin. The Rabbi said, amongst other things “There is no basis for cruelty to animals, not in Halacha (Jewish religious law) and not in logic.” According to him, workers from the municipal authority collected the dog from the court. The headline of the article did not reflect the full story and we apologize to the court and its members for the distress caused.”