Hebrew U. in Israel Is Criticized for Holding Seminar on Controversial Religious Book

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is under fire for holding a seminar this week on The King’s Torah, a book in which the author suggests circumstances that, according to Jewish religious law, non-Jews may be killed, reports +972, an Israeli online magazine. Written by two rabbis, the book has been denounced as incitement and its thesis sharply criticized by other Jewish scholars.

Haifa University canceled a similar seminar last September, reports The Jerusalem Post, and during the Hebrew University event student protesters tried to stop the proceedings. Avinoam Rosenak, head of the department of Jewish thought at Hebrew University and the organizer of the seminar, told Arutz Sheva, a news Web site, that he was personally opposed to the book’s teachings but felt the seminar provided an opportunity to air the thesis of the book in a rigorous academic atmosphere. “It is the responsibility of academia, apart from producing research, to also produce public discourse on matters that concern society,” he said.

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