New York – Editorial: A Postmortem on the Grossman Execution


    Florida Gov. Charlie ChristNew York – This column will undoubtedly generate a lot of flack and some people will be quite upset about what is written. Nonetheless, discussion and thought are items that have always characterized who we are as a people. The question is; Did we do the right thing in inundating Florida Governor Crist’s office to stop the execution?

    The issues are manifold. On the one hand is the issue of Ahavas Yisroel. Even Klal Yisroel’s biggest detractors would admit that there is hardly an ethnicity that demonstrates such internal concern for each member as the Jewish people do. But there are other issues as well.

    Firstly, this particular person, although he did express remorse and regret, he also did murder a human being – Tzelem Elokim. All people were created in the image of Hashem and it is a horrific thing to snuff out the life of any individual. The Meshech Chochmah writes that the punishment for murder – Jew or gentile, is death. For a gentile victim the punishment is Misa Bidei Shamayim. A gentile court should definitely enforce its laws – and it is a good and proper thing to enforce the death penalty for murders.

    But even for those who disagree with this first point – there is another issue –the second point. A governor under significant political duress will never, ever commute a sentence. Once again to those who may have missed that previous sentence – a governor whose political future is in serious question will never alienate the civil service workers in his state – ever. Anyone with an ounce of political sense will know this to be true. One would have better luck selling Israeli Bonds at a Palestinian National Convention.

    With this in mind, how is it that the brightest and the best minds in our orthodox Jewish organizations attempted such a campaign when they new there was zero chance of it coming to fruition? The political damage to Orthodox Judaism was enormous. The harassment to the victim’s family was so significant that they actually asked the Jews to stop calling them and harassing them. Indeed, the family of this woman were called “Nazis” in asking for the death penalty being invoked here. Is this also not an enormous Chillul Hashem? How dare any of us call them Nazis.

    One phone caller to Governor Crist actually said, “By us.. the most important thing is a Jewish life.” What?? Is this person insane? Is this the message that we are giving- yes seek justice in every way, but when it comes to one of us – don’t mete out the punishment that the wheels of justice finally came up with – because this guy happens to be one of us.

    And don’t the people who run these organizations and campaigns realize that there will also be people in our camp who are not the brightest candles in the box who will make Chilul Hashems constantly and consistently when we ask them to take to the phones, emails, and letter writing? Numerous people have complaints against those who have signed off on hafganot in Yerushalayim because they do not rein in the mishugayim – why then did our organizations not do the same? Especially, when there was no gain here.

    A third point involves a re-examination of our role among the nations. One of the reasons for our galus is to bring the Umos haOlam to a realization of the yashrus of Darchei Hashem. When we place our interests above the public good in something so public – does that really further enhance yoisher and appreciation of the Darchei Hashem?

    Have we not taken the idea of “But is it good for the Jews?” to such an extreme level of absurdity that we apply it to the detriment of society around us? The question is not wrong, but it should be tempered with, “Is it good for the Jews and is it good for society?” If a Jewish young man is dealing drugs – that is bad for society – he should be punished – because what he has done is wrong, immoral and destroys the basic fabric of society around us. Every case is different and every situation should be judged on its own merit, but here we have a case where we seemed to have lost our judgment in what was an appropriate hishtadlus or not.

    True, what will be said is that we are ignoring the mitigating circumstances. The perpetrator was extremely sorry for what he had done, he was young, his IQ was low, he was either on alcohol or drugs, etc. They will point to the inherent unfairness of a situation where other people whose crimes are much worse receive much lighter sentences. This may all be true, but the fact is that an innocent young woman who dedicated her life to the betterment of the world – was brutally murdered with a bullet to her head. Crime must be punished. Vicious crimes must be punished even more. We must always do what is right – even when it hurts.

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    1. Kal Hakovod to Rav Hoffman for again cutting through all the rhetoric and speaking the truth. This whole effort to save a convicted murderer was poorly conceived and even more poorly executed and will result in a much greater long term damage to the fumme community than anything it might have acomplished. We seem to lack strategic vision and somehow the life of a convicted murderer seemed to become the exclusive priority of orthodox jews to the exclusion of much greater needs for which they choose to remain silent. What a shanda.

      • We, as yidden, know that one is only chiyuv missa on certain conditions. Mr. Grossman did NOT meet all conditions and therefore was NOT chayuv missa!!! As a jew, each and every single one of us is mechiyuv to help save an innocent jew!!!! So dont go out there ranting and raving about a CHILUL HASHEM!!! You all have to give an answer when the time comes!! If you did your utmost for Michoel Yechiel then kudos to you, if you did nothing becuz “he deserved it”, well I sure hope u still have time to repent. Nobody should have any regrets for doing what they did, and everybody should have loads of regrets if he sat there silently!

        Old woman writes

      • Disagree, a stay of execution for 60 days so that top lawyers can review and appeal this case was a proper request. This Governor would have been given all credit, however this case would have turned out. He did not have commute the sentence. After waiting 26 years, another 60 days would have been a proper response. His blood would and should be avenged by G-d.

        • There. Were. No. More. Appeals.

          Judicial review was exhausted.

          The only path left was executive clemency. Since Governor Crist (who would have to agree to it) didn’t see that as an outcome, there was absolutely no reason for him to delay the execution.

        • Disagree, how about Grossman already have those reviews you are suggesting for 26 years and non were acceptible to the many judges and courts!

          He had 26 years of chances he didnt deserve another 60 days of regurgitating arguments that never worked untill now.

    2. A man and his wife are at the checkout in the supermarket. The man insists that the cashier erred and short-changed him. After a brief dialogue, the man realizes that the cashier is correct, that she did not short-change him, and he walks away.

      What should the wife do?

      1. Apologize to the cashier for her husband’s behavior
      2. Say nothing but look at the cashier with a “You’re right but what-can-I-do?” look
      3. Walk away with her husband without any kind of response to the cashier

      I invite the readers to choose one of these options and later, b’ezras Hashem, I’ll finish my point and how this relates to this R. Hoffman’s column.

      • Lets make the scenario more accurate…

        A man and his wife are at the checkout in the supermarket. The man insists that the cashier erred and short-changed him and slaps her in the face. After a brief dialogue, the man realizes that the cashier is correct, that she did not short-change him, and he walks away.

        What should the wife do?
        1. Express shock and disgust with her husband’s behavior
        2. Say nothing but look at the cashier with a “You’re right but what-can-I-do?” look
        3. Walk away with her husband without any kind of response to the cashier

        Now finish your point, please.

    3. yashar koach to rabbi hoffman for saying what i (and i hope many others) have been thinking over the last few days. how low have we sunk when the yeshivishe velt (agudah, etc.) goes all out to try to save the life of a convicted killer, but doesn’t make a peep when our own precious (and most importantly INNOCENT) kinderlach are being molested, raped, etc. (R”L) by rabbeim, in mikvaos, etc…
      we care more about cold blooded murderers than we do about our own precious children.
      how low have we sunk.

    4. Going to the Pope was wrong. You don’t call in favors over someone so undeserving; you save it for true “Prisoners of Zion” like the Gilad Shalit and the others held in Arab captivity. But to waste a favor like that is exercising poor judgement. Where are the Vatican letters to Hamas to have rachmanus on Gilad Shalit? That fiasco was inexplicable and in the words of Mrs. Parks, “went too far”.

    5. The real culprit of this situation, is Death row and the length of time it took for this individual to be executed.
      Appeals and death row are what took so long for this individual to die, allowing him ample time to discover and reach G-d. (not that this is a bad thing)
      According to Talmudic law, the passage of time, between a murder, conviction, and punishment was extremely brief. And yet we learn that with death comes atonement.

      Death can provide atonement, but Death Row seems to be a path to sainthood.

      • Einfal,
        In this case, Grossman was extremely lucky he wasn’t put to death 20 years ago. In those days they still used the electric chair which is a harrowing and horrible end. They stopped using it because they botched it up so many times.

      • And had he been executed right away….”A chitzpehh, to execute a man so fast without giving the governor an opportunity to stay the execution, or time to examine all the circumstances”

        HAHAHA….make up your mind

    6. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! Rabii Hoffman this article eloquently put to words what my mind and heart have been thinking throughout the last few days. Sadly those like you who think clearly are not in powerful positions in Jewish organizations to make the proper decisions for the Klal. Once again our leaders have let us down.

      • I think everybody is missing the point. The reason why we called was a human is a human and not that a cop is a superhuman, we did not do the wrong thing by calleing and making the gov. Think twice that maybe were just killing him becuase he was a cop killer, we all know many other people who have done worse things wrong and have not been punished fairly as soon as its turned to a cop they kill the man, life in jail would have been a enough everybody knows how they acted when they were 19 of age, maybe you didn’t kill but you have done things that were very stupid, to maybe save his life was worth every phone call ps I do agree that many of the phone calls were a chilul hashem people should have spoken with more sense and no body should of harresed the family anybody could understand we’re they are coming from

    7. As usual Rabbi Hoffan you are right on target.

      key points

      1. Governor Crist did not sentence him to death, the people of the state of FL did.

      2. Gov Crist and 4 governors before him have all heard the pleas for this mans life on multiple occasions and all denied them.

      3. The “diminished capacity” appeal has been tried 19 times on behalf of this man with not one, single judge finding any reason to change the sentence.

      4. With no legal justification for overturning the sentence, the Governor is required by FL law to carry out the will of the jury who convicted him.

      For those who don’t understand the law, it is relatively simple. The Governor is required to carry out the will of the jury. Period. The only reason for a stay of execution under the law is if new information becomes available which may mitigate the sentencing.

      While my heart hurts when any yid is killed, blaming the governor is not only inappropriate, but it is dishonest.

      If the murderer were a cuban gang member of 18 years old and his victim was a 89 yo holocaust survivor would u and the agudah still be singing the same tune?

      • the truth is we were scammed – I don’t know by who, but this IS the bottom line. After all we are rachmonim bnei rachmoni, and we.. or at least I, did not check out the facts.
        1. this did happen over 20 years ago. Any and all “excuses” defenses and what have you, where argued before the courts on numerous occasions. the retarded, the IQ the rehab the drug induced, it was all done and redone.
        2. the governor who happens to be – from what I understand a great ohev yisroel, CANNOT arbitrarily overturn the court system, without any NEW grounds.
        3. the governor did not sentence him to death, the people of Florida did.
        4. there was no hubris only NOW a minute before midnight.
        5 how many of us would put $$$ where our fingers are, to PAY for legal defense, as for SR.
        It’s easy to read some facts, and rush to conclusions.
        Having said all this, and will even add that this IS a malchis shel chesed, we are in galus.. and ein lanu lehoshea ayla al Avinum shbashumaim.

      • Ben – I appreciate you re-posting my words (word-for-word) from the earlier article about Gov Crist today (comment #38), at least give credit for it. Copying and pasting someone else’s words as your own without crediting the source is dishonest.

    8. You are right with that, that if we tell people to call in te governer there will allways be people out there, with a loose mouth,
      However the major point here is that even if this guy was a gentile, a major fact in the case was not presented, that the guy was not himself at that time & he was totally doped,
      The ONLY thing we requested was that they should give him a clemency hearing, If he is So sure that he will still be executed, then why not give him another try, to bring up the REAL facts in the story, & let EVERYBODY agree that this guy should b executed,

      • Disagree, I gotta disagree with you. For the record, I wrote and called on behalf of Martin Grossman because people I respect asked me to do so. However, the record showed that, although high on drugs, he was apparently aware enough to beg the officer not to turn him in for possession of a firearm—he was on parole at the time—and would have been sent back to jail. Also, after beating this woman 20-30 times with her heavy flashlight he took her gun from her. She was not capable of harming him at that point and he could have run away. The fact that he shot her in the back of the head, execution-style, and his earlier pleas to her, plus all of the things he did immediately afterward, like try to burn his blood-stained clothing and hose out his van are the reasons the jury did not buy the “not himself” argument. That’s why the 1st degree conviction. There’s a place to ask for rachmonis but it would have been strictly “rahmonis chinom” on the Governor’s part—at least from the perspective of the State.

    9. I’ve heard these and similar arguments throughout the whole ordeal. While it’s true, there should be no double standard when the killer is one of our own, I also felt it wasn’t right for there to be a double standard when the killer is strung out on drugs. Other killers get leniency for such defenses, and for much less; why should he be any different? You allude to this in your last paragraph, nevertheless you feel he should be treated more harshly. Why?

      Other minorities (we can all think of who) will defend one of their own even when they overwhelmingly deserve punishment. So why do you feel you have to apologize for our hishtadlus?

      As for people harassing the Parks family, that was plain outright wrong, and a Chillul Hashem.

      If Crist would have felt his constituents were dissatisfied with his decision, he possibly would have stayed the execution. That was the message we were trying to generate.

        • What about terrorists who bomb thousands of innocent people, and the 9/11 high jackers who are given 25 years in prison give me a break!This guy could have ben given a life sentence he didn’t have to be executed! And if he gets executed why don’t they execute every terrorist that they find why give them trial after trial where a UCLA lawyer will show up and get the terrorists off the hook when terrorists INTENTIONALLY kill people!

      • his constituents do not care that Groosman is/was a Jew. All there care about is the merit of the case. Does his crime call for the death penalty? And is this consistent with death penalty cases?

        That he is is a Jew, should absolutely play no role to stay the execution. Find a real compelling reason.

        and yes we should be ashamed if all we could think of to stay the execution is. HE IS A JEW.

      • There have been no such cases where someone got a reduced sentence for being strung-out on drugs. However, there are cases with prescriptions. FL has never allowed such a defense for murder, and certainly not in a cop killing.

        You are right that some other groups who do these things. However some do it better than others. Would you like our leaders to be viewed as equivalent to Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? Of course not.

        Your last point is one that several people made and is quite misguided. The law does not allow Charlie Crist to decide on staying an execution based on political pressure. The law only allows him to do it in the case of extraordinary circumstances which is usually defined as one of three things:
        1. New evidence is found to question the guilt of the individual (ie. DNA etc.)
        2. New evidence is found that may have influenced a jury’s decision to give the death penalty.
        3. New evidence comes to light regarding a mitigating circumstance. Once case was a conspiracy where information about a phony child rape was given to someone about his son who then went and killed the (innocent) person implicated.

        Both Crist & Rubio (his opponent) support this execution.

    10. We shed a tear for Martin Grossman’s death as well as for his life, and hope that he has attained teshuva sheleima and is in a better place now. However, Rabbi Hoffman, you could not be more right. Kudos to you for speaking up. We need to evaluate our priorities well, over and over again before launching an offensive of such proportions. Thank you Rabbi Hoffman. And may the neshama of Mr. Grossman תהא צרורה בצרור החיים אמן.

    11. Although it’s an unpopular stance, I agree and many Yidden do not understand that “halolam nivra bishvili” doesn’t mean that you can now disregard the rest of the world.

    12. I agree with the problem. Different solution.

      While reading this column I felt like I agree with everything that he says. However:

      It is important for us , sometimes, to set our intellect aside, and work from clear emotions. A fellow Jew is about to be executed. Just as no one will blame a relative for promoting the commutation of a sentence, so too, people can be expected to have a sensitivity towards a fellow Jew. If it was an American being executed in the Philippines, many Americans would rally around him. If someone has the emotion to get involved, and then, intellectually decides not to, will just serve to dull our emotions and connection to a fellow yid.

      I believe that your editorial brings out the problem correctly but comes up with misguided solutions.

      Perhaps this case can serve the Jewish community a good lesson that they should be kinder towards other convicts? Maybe we should rethink our support for capital punishment? Maybe we should support future, non Jewish people on death row, who, similarly, have extenuating circumstances?

      That would be a great Kiddush Hashem

      • I agree with #23 that sometimes we have to act with a heart (and soul) and not just with our brains….most of Torah is doing what Hashem wants with no rational reason behind our actions…so it was NOT out of character for us to mount this attempt to save a yid… Remember, Purim made no sense, either, Esther was for sure a gonner for going to Achashveirosh, the decree was written and distributed…the lesson is Jews have to do their part and Hashem does what He sees as fit.

        Of course, there are some who will act inappropriately, or say the wrong things, but most everyone WAS respectful, and anyway, this is America where we are allowed to have different viewpoints, right?
        As for the governor, do not worry about him – to get that job, you need to take alot more heat than we gave, that’s for sure. To him its just politics.

        But my question is: is everyone agreeing with Rabbi Hoffman because we LOST? What if the execution was postponed?

        • You ask: “…is everyone agreeing with Rabbi Hoffman because we LOST? What if the execution was postponed?”

          But that’s precisely the most incomprehensible part of all. What exactly were the Agudah and OU hoping to accomplish? What were their plans for the day after? Let’s say Charlie Crist had said, “You know what, I’m blown away by this outpouring of compassion, I can’t let this man be executed.” Let’s say that’s what the Agudah and OU were hoping he would say. Were the Agudah and OU prepared for the inevitable, LOUD backlash that would have immediately been triggered? The Jewish community would have been roasted. It would have been the most disgraceful thing ever, like Ben Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback for the Jews. The reaction across the country would have been, “We always knew the Jews controlled the world, and now we have our proof.”

          I just can’t believe our organizations ever pursued this.

          • From a purly TORAH perspective you are dead-wrong.

            To preserve a Yid’s life, you are required to do everything humanly possible – even desecrate the holy shabbos!

          • You have a good “logical” argument but Al Pi Torah we must do everything in our power to save a life, even if the next day’s newspaper will smear us.

            Torah does not allow us to let someone die (Loy Saamod Al Dam ReAcha) just because it will look bad for us in next days news-paper.

            If your life was on the line or if your family members life was on the line you would do all you can to save his life rather then let him die so you can avoid any “bad press”.

            • Give me a break with Al Pi Torah. Al Pi Torah there were plenty of reasons to not pursue this. It was hopeless and could only have caused more harm than it could help. Pidyon shvuyim only applies (or might only apply — I don’t want to say for sure) when we live under an entirely unreasonable and oppressive regime with whom we are constantly at odds. There is no concept of Pidyon Shvuyim with a government that treats us better than any secular government in our entire history. Otherwise we’d be trying to break out every Jewish swindler and crook in prison.

          • Exactly. What the feeble minded commenters here fail to grasp is that a “successful”
            outcome would have been an even greater disaster, and in a perverse sort of way,
            we ought to be grateful that we suffered the lesser of two evils.

      • As was widely reported this past summer, a person near and dear to many of us from our shul was sent to prison for a nauseating alleged crime. The comments to that story here on VIN disgusted me even more than the crime. Yes, he allegedy did something inexcusable.

        But it shocked many of us how people who have no connection to either the alleged offender or the victim could be so depraved in their indifference to a suffering Jewish neshama. His fate had been sealed – why is there a reflex in some of us to say things like “lock him up and throw away the key!” or “let him rot in jail!” or “I hope he gets raped in jail!”

        I visit this kid regularly in prison regularly. We are surroundedd in the visiting room by many heinous criminals and their families. KH, you should just know: I am a staunch believer in harsh sentences for harsh criminals. But my sensitivity to the plight of these tormented souls has been awakened. While in the past I would have just relegated these folks to the dungheap of my emotions, it’s just not how it is anymore.

        Only G-d knows if Martin truly deserved execution. It is likely that he did. But we have a duty to G-d and ourselves to retain our humanity.

    13. There are so many gemoras that point out we have to do all we can to save a jewish life whatever the circumstances are. Does halacha not require a person to give away all your money for pidyon shevuim? Does the writer know better then the amoroim and leading gedolim who paskened we have to do all we can to save Martin? Where is his emunas chachomim? A disgrace!

      • Does the writer know better then the amoroim and leading gedolim who paskened we have to do all we can to save Martin? Where is his emunas chachomim”

        Yes. In this case Rav Hoffman, shlita, DOES know better than the “amoratzim and leading gedolim” who would not have argued for saving the life of this one jew while jeopardizing the lives of many others. He is right. They (whomever they are) would be wrong.

      • ” how is it that the brightest and the best minds in our orthodox Jewish organizations attempted such a campaign when they new there was zero chance of it coming to fruition”

        Did Rav Hoffman ever hear of the words “Ki Afilu Cherev Chada Munachas al Tzavaro Shel Adam Al Yimna Atzmo Min Harachamim”

        WIth G-d there is no such thing as “zero chance”.

        Does anyone even understand what they are nodding their heads to with agreement on zero chance? PUre lack of bitachon in G-d.

    14. Unfortunately, this writer is 100% correct. We have caused ourselves incredible amounts of political damage chasing what was a lost cause and a wrong cause.

      Calling Gov. Christ a murderer, asking Shomayim for Nekomoh does a disservice to our people demonstrating that we could not care less about this country and have very little Hakoras Hatov to what has been the most gracious host our people has had during this long and miserable Galus.

      I’ve heard arguments here that we were required to try and save Mr. Grossman’s life. While this is true, the tactics employed by the Klal might not have helped, the comments on the blogs surely hurt. Gov Christ’s office can read VIN too.

      Yes, there were no Eidim and no Hasraah. I’ve seen those comments; if we would all learn the history of capital cases and Bais Din, we would know that Bais Din had other death penalty methods that it employed when needed.

      Let us not forget the murder victim. Not only did Mr. Grossman blow her brains out, he beat her senseless with a steel flashlight before doing so. Mr. Grossman was a cold blooded killer. If you support the death penalty, you must upport this.

      I hope his Misah was Kapparah for his Neshamah.

    15. Just to add my 2 “cents”, In fact, it was a great KIDDUSH HASHEM how klal yisroel stood up for a person non of us knew personally, all we knew is the story and that he’s a baal teshuva with deep remorse on his actions while a troubled teen ager.
      The hishtadlus with the governor etc. on ly showed the big achdus of klal yisroel.
      Mi k’amcho yisroel!!

    16. This person deserved to die if he was on drugs then even more he should bear the responsibility.

      he was saying that he got nervous cause he was in violation of his parole guess what that means he was thinking and in his right state of mind.

      again we feel sorry but the law of the land is the law and must be upheld and no group should be exempt

    17. No chidushim here, one thing is certain, in all generations there were gedolei yisroel that went all the way backwards to save convicted people from death or torture. so the right thing was done.

    18. Klal Yisroel must make their hishtadlus, so thats what was done. So just because it wasnt matzliach, dont start cursing da’as Torah, after all your just a bunch of news reporters, stay with that, and dont put your nose in. Thanks!

      • One thing I haven’t seen discussed yet is the Chillul Hashem caused by focusing attention on Grossman and the murder he committed. Many who had no clue to his religion or regarding the murder itself are now informed.

      • Quite a few criminals in jail actually convert (sincerely) to Judaism. I’d be surprised if all those who advocated against Grossman’s execution would do likewise for one of them. If not, why not?

    19. Wow, where does Rabbi Hoffman really stand on the issue? I am so confused.

      Yes, he committed a terrible crime & was sentenced according to the prevailing laws. However, we also have the other side where the higher courts could stay an execution & the state governor could commute the death sentence to life in prison. In certain cases we also have the presidential pardon which we are more than happy to accept when needed.

      All this is only with a melech bosor v’dom. With HaKodosh Boruch Hu we daven & beseech Him to change g’zayros ra’os and sometimes the answer is ‘yes’ & sometimes the answer is ‘no.’

      We as yiddin are supposed to understand as hard as it is that HKBH knows best.bestm Only He knows what was, what is, and what will be. He knows the What, the Why, & the What for, for EVERYTHING that has happened & will happen forever.

      There was nothing wrong with doing our hishtadlus in having this murderer sit in jail forever & it seems most of the gedolim whom we look to, felt this was the proper thing to do.

    20. The Agudah (and I am sorry to say the OU also) organized a mass movement by our community to save someone ONLY because he was Jewish. All the reaons thrown in, how he was on drugs etc. are all bogus, and we know it. It was only because he was Jewish and they feel that only goyim should be executed. And they didn’t adopt the quiet approach of lobbying, but they called on Jews to flood the governor’s office with calls and emails, so that they entire world would know that the Jews care more about a killer than the family of the dead one. And you can say that the way Agudah formulated its statement was not mean to hurt the family or to absolve Grossman of his crime, but they have to know (and if they don’t they are really clueless) that when you let the animals out of the cage, when you call for the haredi masses to bombard the governor, you are going to get all sorts of loonies saying things that create a massive chilul hashem, and this at a governor who loves Jews and has always supported Israel.

      The Agudah created a situation where their masses were threatening the governor that the Jews of the world would never forgive him, that we are powerful and would make sure he wasn’t reelected etc. etc. The Agudah is responsible for the “ugly Jew” that reared its head, and all that will result from it.

      • Bingo. I’m even more afraid of what’s going to happen the next time any state is scheduled to administer the death penalty. Everyone will be asking “where are those Jews who were so concerned before?” and we’ll be left with the lomdishe nafka minas that work in a bais medrash, but not in the press. Today, we can’t rely on people to simply forget. The internet doesn’t allow for that anymore. This is going to cause problems down the road, I fear.

      • If we as a community are so concerned about Halacha, and Dina D’Malcusah why is it that we have so many criminals in our midst (money launderers, pedophiles, pozi scammers…). Why do we as a community condone lying on welfare documents and falsifying income. Aren’t we concerned with Dina D’Malchusa. Why do we not teach our young that a Jew must adhere to ALL Dinah D’Malchusa. Why do we not teach our kids that ends never justify the means, if it is not above board by all standards, Chosen Mishpat and Dinah D’Malchsh. It is a sad day when our community leaders seem pained over a cold blooded murderer and are will to to KILL our youth by not teaching then right from wrong. When a Rebbe can be convicted of money laundering and lying to authorities and its swept under a rug, and we cry over a murderer, we know that we have our priorities all messed up.

        Wake up yidden and be honest in all ares of life. Not just the ones that are convenient.

    21. I can’t see myself ever again donating money to Agudah, or attending their dinner. Their behavior in this matter has been outrageous. They have acknowledged that no matter how evil someone is, they will stand up for him as long as he is Jewish. Agudah will oppose ANY Jew being executed, no matter what he did. Yet the Agudah’s constituency is solid pro-death penalty. And take a look at the vicious comments on VIN, attacking the Park family, attacking the governor (who goes to daven at the kotel every year and is a great ohev Yisrael) referring to the murderer with Hashem Yikom damo, saying that the Governor will be cursed for what he did (i.e., following the law of Florida) and saying that Grossman was killed because he was Jewish.

      I realize that most of the commenters on that site are not very intelligent, to put it mildly, but you see how vicious their parochialism is. I am convinced that much of the world’s anti-Semitism is because of the people commenting on that site. They really only care about Jews and when the goyim speak about Jews only caring about themselves, they are onto something. These people on VIN are really from a different religion thatn the one I practice (and I don’t support the death penalty)

      Agudah disgusts me. I really feel that they are bad people running the organization

    22. Once again you proved that hindsight is 20-20.If the Agudah would have remained silent, you can be sure every VIN poster would have been screaming, where is the hishtadlus of our Askonim etc etc. Since things did not turn out the way we wanted, now everyone is looking for scapegoats and how to pass the blame.
      You can be sure this article would not have been written if clemency was granted.

    23. The right thing to do now is to contact the Parks family and let them know that as Jews, we feel their pain and loss.. Mrs. Parks painfully stated that the family has been harrassed by the Jewish community over the past couple of weeks.
      Shame on us.

    24. There were some very strong arguments as to why the death penalty was not warranted in this case. Although R’ Hoffman’s points are good, we as Jews still were supposed to try and get the sentence down to life in prison. Nobody was asking that he should walk free.

    25. I did call and I did email. Both were short and respectful and both thanking the Governer for taking the matter seriously.

      I don’t have the time to read comments on the major frum sites (3 that I know of) yet I found myself pulled into the whole ordeal these last few days out of sheer guilt that I was helpless. Yes I davened, yes I was Mikabel personal Kabolos as a Zchus but at the same time I was more nervous for Klal Yisroel in America as a whole then one Jew about to be executed. The more I read the more scared and worried I became. We Frum Yidden lost ourselves in our role of showing the world how to act to adversity. Using terms like Nazi?? Rasha?? spewing venom and hate? Acting like morons with no self dicipline? giving amunition to the Goyim to even think – let alone say bad things about who we are as a people and how we act? We are supposed to be better! We are supposed to be Nikiyim! We are supposed to realize that all is Beday Shomayim so our ONLY avenue is beseaching HKB”H!

      Thank you for this article. Thank you for speaking out and thank you for the first 20 comments here all agreeing that perhaps these last 2 days were not our brightest days to shine onto the world.

    26. Yasher koach for a well written article. The point of “#6 a reader” is so true. Uproar over a convicted killer and silence over molesters. They are “murderers” of generations of YIDDEN and we PROTECT these killers. The damage inflicted by them on Klal Yisroel is staggering. It happens daily and the silence by our Gedolim is deafening while they mobilized thousands to make a stink about saving a convicted killer. How shameful and hypocritical. Our political clout and favors are squandered away for futility. If you want to make a difference and save lives that are being destroyed as we speak, pressure the politicians for the passage of the Markey bill. Hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes and ensure that the funds for treatment are there and paid for by the perpetrators and if there was a Moisad involved then they need to step up to the plate as well and provide the financial compensation necessary for the victims and their families to heal from the ravages of abuse at the hands of these killers. Then you can make a difference in someone’s life who will not languish in jail for the rest of his life. Someone who can become a productive member of the Klal.

    27. Well said – makes me proud to be Jewish, again! – I’m horrified how many folks just didn’t get the whole picture. Any gentile reading this would assume we are totally out of our minds no less.

    28. One thing we can be proud about is how all the chareidi communities united in this cause. I was amazed how the frum community lined up to sighn pettitions in shuls and make calls. The unity was gevaldig. Lets use that power to fight for Rebashkin and against gay marriage and defeating all the liberal democrats who are not in our intrests.

      • Be careful what you wish for, my friend. Realize that most democrats are against the death penalty whereas you’d be hard pressed to find a single Republican who is against it. I am certainly not a supporter of either party, but in this case we would have had a better chance at saving this man if FL had Democratic leadership. Democrats (at least the liberal ones) are more likely to ignore the law and go with their emotions. An outpouring of letters and phone calls would have been more likely to work.

        • Did I hear my name called? Republican who’s VERY anti the death penalty.

          However true that about 80 % of republicans do support it, 58% (most) Democrats support it as well. The majority of American’s do, ironically the numbers favoring it rose dramatically during in the 90’s when Clinton, (Democrat )was in office and have fallen during the Bush Administration. (Republican)

          (sources taken from the Gallop poll, in case you want to check out these numbers)

          • Your point is about the numbers being up under the Clinton years and down during Bush years are spot-on, but your analysis is incomplete.

            The reason for the change is DNA testing. Many more people today are against the death penalty because we KNOW that a large percentage of those sentenced to death were in fact INNOCENT as proven by DNA. That is the main reason for the switch in the last 10-15 years. It had nothing to do with political parties or who was President.

      • Here’s a list of a few of the organizations that have been fighting for this Jewish convict to have his sentence commuted. Some have been fighting long before you ever were aware of this tragedy:
        Amnesty International
        Death Penalty News
        People of Faith Against the Death
        Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
        Tallahasee Citizens against the death penalty
        National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
        Newsflash to you: they are all liberal Dem organizations and ALL of them fought for Martin Grossman for years. If you don’t believe it- Look it up!!

        • Thanks for this info. It makes me want to start giving to the ACLU. I hope that the jewish organizations that mobilized for Martin Grossman will continue their efforts and oppose the death penalty for others regardless of religion. Proove the naysayers wrong and show that this is not just about sticking up for your own, but about doing the right thing.

    29. Ditto……If only the article had been written a few days earlier.
      It has been a very trying few months for the frum community. We should do some collective soul searching instead of trying to find Nazi’s hiding behind every rock.

    30. Although some of the points make sense, i must say that others don’t.
      1. The death penalty is not something that is done everywhere, in it is very possible that in other states he would have been released already.. So while FL law requires the death penalty that doesn’t mean he deserves it.
      2. Everyone is forgetting a very important fact, this guy sat for 25 years on death row.. has anyone ever seen a death row cell? well i have, inside you have a bed a toilet and maybe 2 additional feet to walk around.. even a animal gets more space. Hee spent 23 hours a day for about 25 years in that room. Don’t you think that’s enough of a punishment. You keep saying how justice must be done… while i agree with you, who is to say what justice is. if he would have been executed 20 years ago is one thing but it’s 25 years later the man has been punished already and he did repent for his sins.

    31. Thank you VIN for posting this opinion piece. This whole last minute pulling was very distasteful… and put the governor (and family) in a very unfair position… I was very surprised with certain organizations… I believe that all those with common sense who would like to do some damage control should write to Governor Crist (who is an oheiv yisroel) and express understanding… As an orthodox Jew… And express condolences to the Parks family…

    32. Great article! I would also like to point out to the people who bring up the fact that he was “doped,” and therefore did not know what he was doing–Not only is that not a defense, in some countries you get the death penalty just for having drugs in your possession! He endangered himself and others through his choice to take drugs and/or be intoxicated. Finally, to the person who allegedly compared the poor grieving mother to a nazi–shame on you! That’s worse than the Palestinians that compare Israelis to Nazis, what a way to belittle what happened during the holocaust!

    33. Finally a note of sanity and reason..Thank-you for articulating that which many many of us – the silent majority felt all thoughout yesterday. The horrific Chillul Hashem of harassing an elected government official sworn to serve the citizens of his state, as well as harassing the family of the murdered is unspeakable.

      All the so called Jewish Organizations who jumped on this bandwagon of infimay should hang their heads in shame for the outrageous conduct of their constituency.

      This murderer was convicted 25 years ago and thru countless appeals and re-appeals sought the stay of his impending execution.

      For the Religious Jewish Community to align themselves with a convicted murderer is unspeakable in its grotesqueness.

      We can only hope that G-d in his infinite wisdom will spare us his wrath.

    34. When there was the issue ,also in Florida, about taking out the feeding tube of a woman there, the orthodox jews were also involved in trying to stop it. The matter here is about a human life. and wether he deserves the punishment we can not pasken bec. only the sanhedran could pasken, since we do not have a sanhedren we must do everything to save a jewish life. A person has to do shtadlunos and leave the rest up to hashem.

    35. You have one thing wrong. NOTHING has to make sense when it’s our own brother that is being executed.
      We are all brothers, we act like brothers and that is the way we should act.
      If this would be your brother would you have written this article? or are you not part of our brotherhood.
      Our father is looking down at us and smiling to see how we love ALL of his children.

    36. Well put, but I think that the degree of meshugas from the yidden is overshadowed by the natural mentality of vengance of the family of the victim and advocates for law enforcement, however well intended or natural that may be for them.

    37. two more point:
      3. you stated the following “A governor under significant political duress will never, ever commute a sentence” How can you even say such a thing why should we care about is political situation? if we take the premise that this Jew shouldn’t have died then of course we should have done everything possible to stop even if it means bothering this politician until we are blue in the face. If you are of the opinion (Which i am assuming you are) that he should have died then it makes sense but if you didn’t agree with the death sentence wouldn’t you try to save someone you know from death at all costs even if it means getting on the Governor’s nerves (“nebach”)
      4. and for all of you out there who keep saying if we would scream about this issue if this guy was a non Jew… shame on you!! every group out there will come running to save one of their own and you can’t do the same!! is it of your “Geon Yaakov” that doesn’t let you defend another Jew? if you truly believe that he deserves to die is one thing.. but if you don’t excuses of any kind don’t make sense…. imagine this guy was African American, don’t you think all Sharpton would have been there to defend him.

    38. Since when in the great USA did it become acceptable for politicians to execute citizens for political gain?. Who ever wrote this article is insane. Instead, this article should have been dedicated with a call for the governors immediate resignation for spilling jewish blood!

    39. I think more at issue should have been – is the death penalty moral? Can we pay for a life with a life?
      Maybe this should be the next campaign to the governor – explaining that we are against the death penalty.

    40. 1. Would the Chofetz Chaim or the Chazon Ish ZT”L agree to Rabbi Hoffman, isn’t it an obligation on our part to do whatever it takes to save a fellow Jew although it’s not so beautiful for the secular media. ?

      2. Is Rabbi Hoffman playing the role of the Sanhedrin to pasken Dinei Nefushos ?

      3. If G-D forbid Mr. Grossman would have been Rabbi Grossman’s son or brother, would he rule the same not to turn over every remaining stone to save a soul ?

      4. Do you know that Reb Moshe Leib Sasover ZT”L of the great talmidei Baal Shem Tov has been involved in Pidyon Shevuim to save all kinds of criminals ?

      Let’s not let the secular media penetrate our society.

      Of course everything needs to be done with Derech Eretz with the utmost respect to Gentile institutions. But to rule out hishatdlus you need to “Sanhedrin” of 71 gathered members.

      By-the-way this execution has been a wake-up call that we are still in Golus, and to rely so much on Uncle Sam – “Ein Luni Lehishoen Eilu Al Uvinu Shebashumaim” !!!!

    41. I wholeheartedly disagree with Rabbi Hoffman’s article and his attitude. WE are not on the madreigah of the sandhedrin who can carry out such a decree or even understand the meaning of such a halacha.

      The circumstances of this case was not fully presented in court and Mr. Grossman’s situation was not presented and represented appropriately in court. He was a premeditated evil murderer. He was a nebech of a child and should have been remanded to a mental institution for rehabilitation as are others in his situation. As it was he was rehabilitated in jail and he did fulfill an honest teshuva. Had he been in another state the issue of a death penalty would not even be in question.

      Therefore everything and anything that WE all did or were requested to do on behalf of this individual was totally proper and in order. NOT one person excused his crime, and not one person requested that HE be let off the hook as far as punishment or as far as being released for prison. THE ONLY thing that was requested was that his life be spared, not his freedom and not his punishment. NO ONE was there when the incident occurred especially NOT Rabbi Hoffman, so he in particular cannot judge.

    42. This article is fundamentally flawed in at least 4 ways.
      1. That a Jew was going to be put to death not according to the laws of the Torah is enough of a reason that every believing Jew should have been pained.
      2. If certain individuals acted foolishly, stupidly or in a way that was a chillul Hashem by what the said to the family or Governor, that in no way takes away from the merit of the cause. Perhaps we’ll learn from this and if chas v’shalom, a similar situation occurs we will be better educated. But the cause was still valid.
      3. Very prominent lawyers including Alan Dershowitz reviewed the case and concluded that even according to secular law, Martin should not have received the death penalty in this case.
      4. Finally, to say the Governor would never have changed his mind, is close to, if not outright k’fira. Hashem can do anything. He could have changed the situation in a second.

      • I agree with #69

        Lev melachim Vesarim Beyad Hashem and anyone who doubts that Hashem can make the Governor change his mind is close to kefira.

        Also anyone who doubts the Torah when it says that we must all protest and do all we can to save a Yids life as it states LOY SAAMOD AL DEM RE’ECHA – anyone who doesn’t believe that is close to kefira (I say “close” as an understatement).

        • If we are talking about what Hashem could do, he could have done many things. The poison could have not worked, the walls of the jail could have fallen as the walls of Yericho, or he could have just woken up out of jail. What? You think Hashem could not have done it? Are you a kofer or something?

          All Rabbi Hoffman is saying is that for him to commute the sentence at this point would have been political suicide for many reasons. And since most politicians like to remain popular and in office, the more pressure put on him, (espessially from people who cannot expain why Mr. Grossman sould be commuted to themselves, let alone others), had little chance to begin with. There are other ways to convince the Governer than by something that MIGHT cause a chilul Hashem.

          Agudah and others should have first explained why are we doing this? How are we to explain to others why we are doing this? On what merits should a cop-killer’s life be spared? And honestly, if the cop’s name was Martin Grossman and the killer’s name was Mohamad ibni Farqoz, and at the very end the Governer would have commuted the sentence, would we all be blaming the governer with being an anti-semite.

          • On the same note, if Hashem wanted him dead, he could have choked on his food, developed an incurable disease, had a fatal fall, or have any number of horrific fatal accidents or illnesses befall him over the past 25 years. As always Hashem has allowed humans to have choice. WE chose to do what we can to help him and the governor chose to kill him.

        • 103 has some wonderful points. Anybody who doesn’t agree with the exact interpretation of halacha that he has is a kofer. After all, EVERYONE agrees that Lo Sa’amod al Dam Reiecha means that you must do everything you can to save a yiddishe neshama, even if it belongs to a convicted repeat felon that murdered someone who gave their life to protect her community.

          I have to say, I think you should keep your accusations of kefirah to your own self. Believing that Hashem CAN change the governors mind is different than believing he WOULD. Hashem didn’t even change Pharaoh’s mind, and he was trying to kill all the Jews! Sometimes, you should just be a little bit sensitive toward other peoples interpretation of the Torah before you open your mouth and espouse accusations of Kefirah. I am sick of people using that argument without any forethought or sensitivity.

          Eilu v’eilu divrei elohim chayim only applies when one of the sides doesn’t offend your personal beliefs, I guess.

    43. This week these mindless Frum groups have increased antisemitism in Florida and the world by 150% with how they were handling this situation. It was all like Third Reich mindset that a Jew is above the law and because the victim is a goy . People writing how halacha is different when a Jew kills a goy; people blaming the victim or ignoring their side of the story.

      I can not blame the elderly mother of the victim who will now be disgusted by the sight of a Jewish person because she will remember the harassment and mindless defense of her daughter’s murder by selfish acting Jews.

    44. You make many assumptions and then you criticize, first how do you know that there was no chance the gov would commute? its just your great hind site vision, second when your giving out dinei nefashos I would hope you can find a better mekor than a meshech chochma, (besides the victim was no worse than a Jewish moiser). Anyway thanks again yair for criticizing our leaders its good that you keep em in line with your Monday morning quarterbacking

    45. As believing Yidden we know that Pikuach Nefesh is paramount! Even if the chance to save him was remote, we are mechuyav to do everything in our power to try to save him. Doing what halacha demands is never a chillul hashem! Yes, there may be some people who don’t know how to act correctly, but that doesn’t mean those who can act corerectly are potur.
      This is matzad halacha; emotionally your writing shows a lack of ahavas yisroel. Imagine it was your brother cha”v, would you feel similarly?

    46. Just because the chance of success as R’ Hoffman says was almost zero why does that mean that we should not voice our protest? Should that be an obstacle in trying to save someones life? As far as political damage goes, I dont see the problem. Do you think that Governor Crist was upset at the jews for protesting? I think he expected nothing less and would have been surprised if no one protested. The fact that people called the mother is absolutely obscene and should not be condoned but i can’t imagine it was more than a handful of people and it should not be blown out of proportion and it should not be the sole focus. Another point that R’ Hoffman seems to forget is that we werent asking the governor to set the man free we were asking him to sentence him to life imprisonment instead of killing him. how is this wrong hishtadlus? Life imprisonment is a proper punishment for such a crime. Why is death the only answer

    47. Furthermore, to come in after the fact with criticism for Rabbonim and honest and caring Jews is cowardly IMHO and offensive. What so many caring individuals did was brave and pro-active. As I said before no one was there at the time of the incident. No one knows what Parks said to him to provoke a violent reaction. No one knows what he was actually thinking. The presumption that he didn’t want to go back to jail was just that, a presumption. Anyone who is not on his madreigah at that time can not know what was going through his mind or heart and can not know what Ms. Parks told him.

      Mr. Crist is only concerned with his own political agenda and not with right or wrong or taking ALL the circumstances into consideration as is Rabbi Hoffman. One has to look at everything when coming to a conclusion and each case has many different variables. If Martin was an evil person who enjoyed hurting people like many serial killers, I doubt he would have gotten the sympathy of even one person. But that was not the case. He was not an evil man, and did not deserve to be treated as one. Although he took someone’s life, his life was also taken from him before his execution.

      • Your premise is wrong.

        You assume that the governor decided that this man would die. That is not the case. A jury decided that. The governor CANNOT, under the law, just vacate a jury verdict/sentence. There are conditions where he can based on precedent. To accuse a very moderate man of pushing his own political agenda just shows how ignorant you (and many others here) are. The law is the law and he followed it. The law is the will of the people of the state of FL. The death penalty is favored by approximately 80% of Floridians and the governor has no right to overturn it except in extraordinary circumstances, of which there were NONE here.

        Charlie Crist has been a great friend of the yidden here in FL. He is well loved by the Jewish community as a whole. He personally visits E”Y every year and is one of its staunchest supporters. All the ridiculous, uninformed, and ignorant comments like yours only serve to drive our friends in government away. What politician will ever want to consider ANYTHING from us if we spit in their face at the end? Who will ever side with us if the go online and find people like you telling lies about them? Shame on you.

        • It is a Chazaka that Esav Soney L’Yaakov and that “Chesed leumim Chatos means that “Kal Tvu D’Avdin Legarmehu Avdin” – All good that Umos Haolam do is for themselves (for their own benefit or Al Menas Lehisyaher) and not for us.

          A Sheep is a very friendly loving animal until the point when he realize he could get Shected.

          The Governor may show fake “love” as long as he thinks it will help him with votes for yidden, but hear he felt he would loose votes of the Republicans if he saved a Yids life.

          The Governor is just being SELFISH to do only whatever is best for HIMSELF to ensure the Republicans will continue to support him politically.


          A Yid was Killed for Political reasons.

          • So you say he should VIOLATE THE LAW because you say so? You seem to think he had this magical power to say “yea” or “nay”. That is the lie in your argument. There were no LEGAL justifications for a stay of execution, only emotional ones from yidden. Our government is a system of laws, not “feelings”. Get that through your thick, dishonest skull and stop making up lies about a great friend of yidden and E”Y.

    48. As an attorney, I have reviewed this case, and with all respect I disagree with R’ Hoffman, the death penalty is given to about 2% of murderers, (i.e. rape, beheading…) Martin does not even come close to falling into that catergory. Thank You to Rabbi Zwiebel from The Agudath Yisroel, you did a fantastic job, in the attempt. Your jon was not for naught it showed all that we stand up and stand up strongly for one another, in times where justice is wrongly executed.

    49. The knowing waste of political capital here was just mind-boggling. Why would any politician ever take a call from the Agudah going forward? Right now the Agudah has about as much credibility as ACORN and as much esteem as the Tea Party.

    50. The answer to the question posed at the end of the first paragraph (Did we do the right thing in inundating Florida Governor Crist’s office to stop the execution?) is unequivocally YES!
      The Jewish religion is NOT an “Ish hayashar b’einav yaase” religion. The Torah tells us lo sasur min hadavar asher yagidu lecha yamin usmol. Chazal explain that even if they tell you on yemin that it is smol, we are still obligated to listen. The gedolim were consulted, and they advised to tzibur to participate in this matter. So those who did call the governor did the right thing, from the Torah’s perspective, which is the only one that should count to us.
      No gedolim said to call the Park’s family. Anyone who did, and said some of the things alleged here in the article, needs to have their head examined. It was a horrible violation of ona’as devarim and a whole bunch of other common sense issues. But that was a very few misguided individuals, if that. L’masmi’ilim bah, sama d’mosa.
      Our gedolim said that the value of a nefesh achas miYisroel is worth taking a public stand, even with the negative political implications that would follow, and we did. That was absolutely the right thing to do.

    51. NOT TRUE!!
      “men darf tin, nisht oftin”
      you have to do yours!! acomplishment is up to hashem!

      same when we vote for politicions, we have to vote for someone that worked for our community, even there is no chance that he will win, and the facts show that the oponent that is likely to win respects that, and this way the work for us even we didnt vote for them.

      all thos said that we gote do whats right! leave the rest to hashem.

      BTW i spoke to alot of non jewish people that read the news and told me how nice it is that we worked for so hard for martin, allthough he wasnt …..

      so please stay straight and fucosed!!

    52. The Torah mandates the death penalty for murder.

      An objective review of the relevant facts clearly shows that this was
      a brutal murder. This murder case is especially notorious since the
      victim was a police officer. The perpetrator showed no mercy.

      A civilized and just society under God cannot allow criminal sociopaths
      to gun down police with impunity. Laxity in this regard would give rise
      to anarchy. Baruch Dayan Emes.

        • “You are not a rabbi…Torah requires 2 kosher witnesses? “

          No, like many other uninformed individuals, you are still on an elementary school
          level. According to Torah Law, a non-Jewish society must establish courts.
          Gentile courts do not have to follow the 2 witness protocol. Study before you
          post your shtoos.

      • The Torah also mandates the death penalty for lighting a match on Shabbos. Are you ready to participate in the firing squad? Why is it you feel the need to invoke the Torah when you see it as politically beneficial? At some level, you must be aware that in fact, this case would not qualify for the death penalty under Jewish law as has been pointed out in the hundreds of comments before this one.

        Putting Mr. Grossman to death will not inhibit the likelihood of future police shootings, or at least you have no evidence to that end, and the last I checked, the State of Minnesota, where I grew up, has no death penalty for shooting police officers or otherwise, and the people there are more civilized and there is far less “anarchy” than in the state of Florida or Texas. The crime statistics on this bear me out. You are wrong, and typical of the emotionally-motivated mindless drivel that passes for intelligent thought in this community.

        • “Typical of the emotionally-motivated mindless drivel in this community…” You
          make no sense. Don’t you know that many orthodox rabbis favored a life-sentence
          instead of the death penalty? I disagree based on the relevant data.. You are
          emotionally driven by your ultra-liberal agenda. “Participate in firing squad according to Torah…” You need to get an education.. There is no such Torah law. Whether
          this would lead to capital punishment as per Sanhedrin procedure, that’s irrelevant.
          The Torah mandates as per Noahide regulations that courts adjudicate
          cases—including capital crimes with death penalty. “Why do you feel the need to
          invoke the Torah?” That’s my l task as a rabbi.(This is a Torah website. You didn’t notice? You expected me to invoke Das Kapital? Why do you feel the
          need to mock Orthodox Judaism?) Crime statistics do
          not bear out your abolitionist position. “Why invoke Torah for death penalty?”
          For educational purposes, contrary to liberal revisionsim, the Torah mandates the
          death penalty. This was a brutal murder. In light of frequent recidivism, capital
          punishment is necessary. Those who are executed never murder again according to the most reliable statistics

          • Fact: On average, states without the death penalty have lower per capita murder rates than states with the death penalty.
            Fact: The United States, with the death penalty, ranks near the top of the list of industrialized countries when it comes to murder (0.042802 per 1000 citizens), while most industrialized countries without the death penalty rank well below the US ( France 0.017, Canada 0.015, Greece 0.0075, Japan 0.005).

            I have revised not a thing. Above, I have presented the evidence and I think it speaks for itself. You on the other hand, have provided not a shred of evidence to substantiate your claim that the death penalty is “necessary” (whatever that means), or that it reduces the likelihood of future murders. But then again, you’re not really interested in the facts, only in promoting your own emotionally-based selectively applied agenda as I’ve pointed out before.

            Oh, by the way, I should also point out the “ultra-liberal agenda” you make reference to, seemed to find far more sympathy as this story has unfolded, than the “ultra-conservative” kill-the-cold-blooded-killer approach. I wonder why.

        • “Firing squad for lighting match on shabbos”

          You talk like an ignorant peasant. Grossman, vicious murderer got what he
          deserved. “Putting Grossman to death will not inhibit likelihood of future police shootings.” You don’t know that. But it is known that tough penalties often
          deter crime. One thing is sure: This degenerate will never murder anyone again.
          Minnesota does not have as many illegal aliens as Florida and Texas. But with
          Al Franken, that ultra-liberal lunatic, illegal alien criminals will feel comfortable
          in Minnesota. With death penalty in New York, murder rates have dropped to
          record levels. Ultra-liberalism does not work. It encourages crime.

      • Rabbi Chaim Silver…. ” Gay Farfin”…. Your Logic, your Commpassion are mis-placed. Actually “non-existant”. Mr. Grossman had Low I.Q. …the officer Ms. Parks pulled her gun… on a individual with his drug & psychological problems. Face the facts FLORIDA is a blood-lust state. In most states serving twenty-five plus years is enough to satisfy life sentences AND allow people to be paroled. … In this case WE WERE ASKING TO LET MR. GROSSMAN SERVE LIFE…. Let him live his remaining years in prison!
        Look at the terrorist that brought down the TWIN TOWERS 9/11/2001 … They did not receive death sentences. Lethal injections in their veins and was not police officers, firemen, emt & health providers and let alone those innocent human beings in both office buildings !! ….. Oh, oh this did not take place in Florida.
        Rabbi Silver where is your ahavas yisroel ?

        • “Mr. Grossman had a low I.Q.” How do you know? Psychological tests? Well,
          the same test showed that Grossman was mentally competent. How can you defend
          the murder of a police officer? Your own Torah calls for the death penalty for
          murder. Rabbi Hoffman points that out and do other objective rabbis. “Give
          terrorists death penalty for 9-11?” Hey, no argument from me about that pal.
          I favor the death penalty. You don’t. Make up your mind. You write about
          ahavas yisrael? But you don’t mean it. Otherwise you would show more respect to your rabbis. Just because they support the death penalty and you don’t?
          Don’t forget the facts here: The murderer viciously beat an officer of the law.
          Then shot her in cold blood and covered his tracks. You feel sorry for him?
          Maybe you’re the one with a very low I.Q.

            • You’re a bigot who refuses to accept that Grossman was a vicious
              cop killer who was found to have murdered an officer of the law.The governor acted properly. Mental health professionals found the
              ROHTSAYAKH competent. Were you in that detention center?

        • “Compassion misplaced.” Yours is misplaced—misdirected to a psychopath murderer. Where’s your humanity? When you’re attacked
          by a criminal, you expect police to help you, don’t you? Where’s your
          compassion for the police officer who was brutally beaten and then
          murdered. Your religious convictions are questionable. Why don’t you
          listen to the rabbis who favor law and order with the death penalty?

    53. Most of us are familiar with the adage: “pick your fights carefully.” This is especially true for Jews in golus, where our reputations are often on thin ice. Orthodox Judaism’s top guns — both in the U.S. and Israel — came out on this one and were unceremoniously shot down. The sum total of our influence: GORNISHT. Whether the governor of Florida was right or wrong in his decision is not what I’m addressing here. It’s the fact that he could ignore a large segment of the Jewish population with impunity. We might like to think that we’re big shots in America, but it’s really self-delusional.

      I will speculate that one lesson from this incident is a reminder from the Ribbono Shel Olam that, when push comes to shove, we have (and should have) little influence in any land of our golus. We need to be reminded over and over again that we are only sojourners here (like Yaakov was with Lavan), and NOT permanent residents who have any say in matters (social or political). We are strangers in a foreign land and the signs and signals are coming with disturbing frequency that, perhaps, it’s time to go home.

      • It probably won’t be all that easy for all to see “the writing on the wall” but this should be another wake up call. Continue to get involved in politics of golut and see where you will go. The goym are getting tired and will start blaming wars on us etc. The plight of the fakestinians will likely change textbooks. The anti you know what is etched in the minds of the ignorant. There is no safe haven in the world except for in our land. Use your last amt of strength in banding together and heading out. The land is waiting for it’s people, Hashem’s chosen.

    54. A horrific Chillul Hashem was committed by Klal Yisroel, that of harassing the Park Family as well as harassing an elected political official.

      Shame on us all…We are living in a free democratic society where Torah has blossomed yet we are so myopic we cant see the forest for the trees.

      I only hope and pray that the general community will forgive us in our irrational zeal of trying to harbour a convicted brutal murderer.

      Chabad (a far cry of the Lubavitch of my youth) and the other Groups have failed us Jews.

      Its time that rational thinking minds take over these groups or they be ostrazised and disbanded. They have not served us well.

      This may well prove to be their undoing, and quite frankly I would not shed a tear for their deserved demise.

      • With all does respect to Harav Hagoen Reb Hoffman I humbly ask the following question:

        Why didn’t Rabbi Hoffman silent about this while the letter writing campaign was in full blast active here on VIN news?

        Surely Rabbi Hoffman is well aware of IN news and he has seen an advertisement on VIN that everyone should contact the Governor and at least 5 or 10 news articles about all this.

        Why only after Grosman was murdered, only then?

      • It would have been a much bigger Chilul Hashem if these same 50,000 Yiden were all Over on a Lav Min Hatorah “Loy Saamod Al Dam ReAcha”.

        Hashem requires us to keep the 613 Mitzvos.

        Our Obligation is to be Mekayem Loy Saamod Al Dam ReAcha.

        If we are successful or not is irrelevant but all of us, all 50,000 of us have all done what Hashem wanted form us.

        In the context of the above, all 50,000 of us were all 100% successful at doing Hashems Rotzon 100% successful.

        All those who appose the 50,000 of us, THEY are the real failures who have failed Hashem in what he requires us to do to make our best effort to save a Jewish life at all costs.

        To save a Jewish life it is REQUIRED to be Mechalel Shabbos.

        This requirement Torah says is MITZVA BeGADOL.

        if the Gadol Hador is Mechalel Shabbos and Mechale Yom Tov and on the day of Yom Kipur he goes in to a Hatzalah Ambulance to try and save a Jewish Life, and if that Jew Chas Vesholom ends up dying anyway, was this Gadol “Successful” in his 100% fulfillment of Hashems ratzon or would you call this gadol a “Failure” because in spite of the best medical treatment he died anyway.
        Yesterday, 50,000 of us succeeded 100%!!

      • You can’t take the exception and make it the norm by saying that a horrific Chillul Hashem was committed by Klal Yisroel. No, a Kiddush Hashem was committed by Klal Yisroel and a Chilul Hashem by a mere few stupid idiots.

        Anyone who harassed the Park family did us no favor and is plain wrong. I just wonder; out of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who showed concern, how man harassed the Park family? One or more?

    55. does anyone know what the gedolim have actually said about this? The Agudah is not run by Gedolim, it is run by Askonim who go to their gedolim for a shaalah if they have a shaalah, but often pasken for themselves. May also be true for UJO in this case as they were jumping on the band wagon. All the more so the OU and all the more so NCYI (who really do whatever they want all the time). I could be wrong, but it looks like the statements didn’t come from the CRC-Hisachdus, they came from the UJO; the statements didn’t come from the Gedolim of Agudah, they came from the askunim; the statements didn’t come from the Beis Din of Crown Heights, they came from Aleph; the statements didn’t even come from the RCA, they came from the baalei batim at the OU and NCYI. Was there really Daas Torah about this particular case or was it just daas baalei batim and daas askunim? I am not sure, that is why I am asking. Also, are there any gedolim who agree with this Editorial, which certainly makes a lot of sense to me (although I understand the ramifications of the Chasam Sofer’s drashah on Parshas Zachor which seems to be the opposite.)

      • The fact is that Rabbi Hoffman is 100% right. Imagine if Governor Cris would have voided Grossmans execution, how would he have ever been able to do another one, the goyim of all stripes would have shouted, if you did it fir the Jew then you can also do it for (this and that one).

        The issue here is why did the Jewish organizations like Agudah and Aleph wait till it was too late? Did they just want to be yotzei, knowing up front that it would not help? Did they do it only for publicity purposes? I can’t imagine. Facts are louder then words. They and others knew for ten years he was on death row. If Cris would have been asked a year ago, not to sign the execution paper, he may have done so and Grossman would have still been alive. My question to Rabbi Katz, can you clearly look into the mirror and acknowladge that you have not spilt this innocent blood?!

    56. when you find a dead body in a kehilla you must bring a korban . Why because we don’t how he died and by whom if killed and we , yidden should have had achreiis to help when he was alive. The yeshive velt does not even acknolwledge that side of Yiden the achre sitre and one popular magazine brings the geviiros of shiduchim, eerliche doctors and etc. There are many potential Grossmans out there but who will spent the fund or care for them. The Yeshive velt come alive when they can project a high profile

    57. It was an ill-conceived campaign from the get-go, with nothing to be gained and everything to lose. The most frightning aspect of it was to see how, in a temporary (lets hope) fit of mass insanity , one mainstream organization after another hopped on to this doomed bandwagon towards a public relations disaster that one can only hope won’t take us years to recover from.

    58. I understand what Rabbi Hoffman is saying. However, R’ Zweibel is no dummy! Obviously it is not so pashut that a governor in his political environment would definitely not grant a stay of execution for 60 days.

      • It was obvious that he would not grant a stay.

        He is currently running for the Republican nomination for US Senate. The Death Penalty is enormously popular with Republican voters, and the more so the more conservative you are. His opponent for the nomination is to his political right, and is a staunch supporter of the Death Penalty, who thinks we do not impose it often enough.

        Governor Crist signed the warrant in January. He had already considered the case before doing so.

        There is absolutely no political gain for him in suddenly extending the debate by 60 days, especially when in order to actually grant clemency, at least one of the two candidates for Governor would have to have been willing to spare the life of a cop-killer in an election year. Moreover, it would hurt him signficantly in the current primary campaign.

        The political tone deafness of the Orthodox groups in this has been breathtaking. For groups which have publically supported and defended the Death Penalty in the United States in the past to launch this kind of a ham-handed campaign, especially given that the political circumstances made it abundantly clear that it would not work, is just astounding.

        • your problem is that in your thinking, the only important thing is political expediency.

          If a fellow Jew is 99.99% going to die from an accident, should you be Mechalel Shabbos for the 0.012% that you might save him?

          ABSOLUTELY YES!!! and the exact same thing is here…

    59. I wasn’t a witness to the crime, so I don’t know how it happened, but from what I’ve heard, the “victim” confronted the “criminals”, and put them on the defensive. In the criminals struggle to save their skins, the “victim” escalated the fight via kicking and shooting her gun.

      If this was actually the case, it’s hard to understand the proportionality of the death penalty. I don’t think that most cases similar to this end with the death penalty.

      Grossman’s entire life seems to have been a victim of traggic circumstances. Being born with little intelligence, the loss of both his parents at an early age, etc.

      It is unlikely the Sanhedrin would not have put him to death – as there were no witnesses. If penalizing him with death is not the legal norm in the US, then we had the obligation to try and save him.

      Considering that there is no need for us personally to protect ourselves from Grossman, then of course we are forbidden to even suspect any evil in his actions. He recited the Shema, and died a Jew, bde.

        • Dave, if you were there, why didn’t you stop him?

          And if you weren’t there, then how do you know what happened?

          Did you hear his side of the story?

          Was he capable of presenting his side of the story?

          Was he provided representation that defended him capably in court?

          Our sages taught us not to be quick to judge our fellow Jew as guilty.

          If she pulled her gun out and shot at them, that could have been a justification for beating her, badge or no badge. And even though having shot at them is not a justification for using her weapon against her, it is however, a severe provocation, and murder under the circumstances of being provoked does not warant the death penalty.

          I put “victim” in quotes because she created the confrontation, and therefore isn’t entirely a victim.

          And I put “criminal” in quotation because he was cornered and provoked into defending himself, and therefore he wasn’t the instigater of the crime.

          • He was found committing a crime, while on parole.

            The officer went to call it in.

            He then chose to assault the officer brutally, and when she tried to defend herself, he killed her.

            You blame the victim.


            • The obligation of a Jew is to judge his fellow Jew to the side of merit. I recommend that you cultivate an interest in this mitzvoh.

              Keep in mind that G-d judges us according to our actions, and according to how we judge our fellow.

              In the circumstances of this case, neither you or I know what happened. Believing what you have heard happened is equivalent to passing judgment without evidence. This is in itself a moral crime.

            • “Neither you or I know what happened…” We do know. All avenues of appeal
              were utilized. It is clear that this vicious murderer committed a most heinous
              murder in addition to assault and battery. You should not believe what you heard
              that nothing happened. A dedicated police officer was barbarically shot to
              death in cold blood. Your Torah demands the death penalty for capital punishment.
              Rabbi Hoffman, a scholar, writes very well on this subject.

    60. The most admiration should go to Rabbi Katz of Chabad who befriended the niftar and helped him raise his neshama toward shamayim. The Rabbi’s words were that it was a zechus for the niftar that for the sake of his cause so many Jews were acting in achdus. Maybe the leaders of this effort knew there was really no hope, but saw the opportunity to have the klal join united in a compassionate gesture of ahavas yisroel. Could be that we all really needed that zechus.

    61. And the Monday-morning-quarterbacks rear their ugly heads.

      If by some great leap of faith, Mr. Grossman’s death sentence had been commuted, all of you would congratulating yourselves for a job well done. I have never seen a people more obsessed with being on the right side an outcome more than the ones displayed on these pages. This editorial is symbolic of this two-faced nature. On the one hand…. but one the other… sure. Get over yourselves.

      The death penalty is barbaric, and unbecoming of a civilized people. It produces nothing of value, does not deter future acts of murder, and does not satiate the aggrieved. It is cruel, inhumane, and cowardly. And the inability of this community to take a principled position on this issue only confirms these points. It’s time to grow up.

    62. I also had mixed feelings about the whole thing. When you read about what he did it’s hard not to feel rachmanus for the woman killed and her family. On the other hand, there are mitigating circumstances.

      I wish I knew how Daas Torah worked. If the Gedolim have instructed us to write, call and email, do we have a right to publicly ridicule their opinion.

    63. I’m sure everyone has mixed feelings about this whole issue. But, a Yiddisha Neshama is FORT a Yid, everyone agreed that he should have life imprisonment. There are far worse criminials that him, that are eventualy FREED from prison. Why should he have to die?

    64. Most of you here on this blog are wrong. You are either too much to the right or to the left.

      It was and still is very wrong to call the governor a killer, etc. Only very narrow minded (I really mean STUPID) people can write like this. And to call the family Nazi? Are you people insane? This guy was a killer and the family wanted justice!
      On the other side, we have a חיוב to save a Jew no matter what! This is clearly the דעת תורה. We have to do all we can to save a Jew from being put to death.

      Now… Neither the Aguda, nor the OU argued that this guy is not a killer or that he did not commit a horrific crime. All they campaigned for was that he be given clemency. And that is our חיוב to do. Unfourtenly, as is the case with everything that is done in an extreme case, some people were not respectful by calling the governor a killer, etc. These idiots write on blogs that they hope the governor will have slow death, etc. There is an old saying that anti-Semitism comes from being narrow minded. In other words, a clever person is not an anti Semite. Only someone that is not intellectual. That is also true by people from our community who call the governor stuff like that. So next time we

      • Even Rabbi Hoffman disagrees with you.

        According to Rabbi Hoffamn in this article, the reason we should not have protested is because there was no chance that the Governor would have agreed to back down BECAUSE OF POLITICS.

        This means that Rabbi Hoffman agrees that Grosman was executed and the Governor would not stop it WHY?

        BECAUSE OF POLITICAL consideration by the Governor, says Rabbi Hoffman.

        Accordingly if the Governors motivation for making sure that Grosman is executed IS POLITICAL Motivation, then why isn’t the Governor deserving, to be called by all the names, which he was called?

        • Your foolish premise almost speaks for itself, but I’ll point it out for you anyway.

          R’ Hoffman is a brilliant man and his opinions are just that… OPINIONS. It is not FACT that it was politically motivated. You cannot take an opinion and make the basis for a factual argument. That is truly dishonest.

      • >On the other side, we have a חיוב to save a Jew no matter what! This is clearly the דעת תורה. We have to do all we can to save a Jew from being put to death.< Yet whenever the Sanhedrin executed someone (sometimes just for gathering twigs or, in pain, cursing Hashem, ‘Das Torah’ was killing someone!

    65. this is great for a future occurance r”l, but it would have been nice for rabbi hoffman to have said this a week ago, so we could have put double effort on tehillim, and allowed Hashem to be the vhu yechalkelecha!

    66. Rabbi Hoffman,

      Since when – as Jews guided by HALACHA ONLY – are we required to act solely based on POLITICAL expediency???

      What does HALACHA (and only halacha) say about this matter? As Jews, are we required to attempt (however low chance it has to bear fruit) to all in out power to save the life of a fellow Yid who committed a crime??? YES OR NO?

      It so happens to be that the ONLY one – at the time that this Hishtadlus began – that had the ability to stop the execution was Governor Charley Crist!!! You say that it would be a very difficult thing for him to do politicly, does this mean we should not even atempt – clearly knowing that this is the ONLY option to save the Jewish life?

      What would you say if this was YOUR brother, son Chas Veshalom!!

      This reflects BEAUTIFULLY on the Frum community in my opinion – maybe not in the eyes of the Governor, but certainly in the eyes of Hashem who sees his precious children working hard to save a fellow Yid – even one whose actions wasn’t always the most ‘beautiful’ – and work on his behalf as if he was a blood brother.

      Kol Yisroel Areivil Zeh Lazeh!!! Veohavto L’reiacho Kamocha!!!

      • Chaim, Please rewrite your comment in the context of molesters and then see if you would take the same zeal and course of action to help those victims who are innocent. Where is the activism? Kol Yisroel Areivil Zeh Lazeh!!! Veohavto L’reiacho Kamocha!!! The molesters are killing our children now and not a peep!

        • Anonymous,

          You are absolutely right. we ought to help out victims in EVERY WAY HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!!

          what is the connection, there may be many parties in need of critical help, but why does one cancel out the other? we have the obligation to help out BOTH.

          V’Ohavto L’reiacho Komosha!!! to EVERY SINGLE JEW.

        • The Molesters we complain about have a din Rodef and a Rodef it is permissible to Kill without Eidus without Hasraah and without Beis Din.

          Grosman was no threat to anyone if he remains incarcerated for life where he can do no harm to anyone.

      • The Baal Shem Tov teaches that true Ahavas Yisroel is to Love a fellow Yid, “even someone whom you have never seen”.

        All 50,000 of us have never seen Grossman and certainly have no personal agenda why to love him other than the selfless fact that he Bnoy Yechidoy Shel Hakodosh Boruch Hu just like all Yidden.

        This is and was the biggest Kidush Hashem.

        There is no other people or culture on earth that has ever shown so much caring.

        How much true love can any human being have for someone has murdered another human being, and in spite of the fact that he acted in a despicable manner, that fact that we had so much SELFLESS Ahavas Yisroel even upon someone on such a low level, is the ULTIMATE KIDUSH HASHEM, displaying the most powerful selfless Ahavas Yisroel we yidden have for someone we don’t even know at all and even for someone on the very lowest of low on the social status lader and the even for the lowest of the lowest on the humanity, the Ultimate Ahavas Yisroel even for a Killer.

        The greatest Kidush Hashem since Sheshes Yemey Breshis!

        Never before in history have Yidden ever made such huge Kidush Hashem with so much international Ahavas Yisroel and his call of HASHEM ECHAD!

        • >There is no other people or culture on earth that has ever shown so much caring.< You ought to re-think your point in light of Chazal’s maxim that, “Those who are merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful!”

    67. Rabbi Hoffman

      How can we teach our children hypocricy?

      In the Gemoroh they learn, that we are only Machshuv the Leben of a Yid, or perhaps a Ger Toishuv. And we’re only Machshuv the property of a Yid.

      When they listen to Droshos, they hear “lets hope that this winter should be a healthy and happy one, for the whole KLAL YISROEL”.

      But when they call the Governer they should suddenly not speak whats in their heart. By young Bochurum, if it’s Emes it’s Emes. And if it’s evil than don’t ever teach it to me. You got to be very careful.

    68. There was no aahavas yisroel shown here. Who are you kidding? THis is selectve ahavas yisroel. If that murderer did not put on tefilin, none of these rabbis would have jumped on his cause. There are other Jews on death row RIGHT NOW that are not being supported by these so-called rabbis. THis entire episode reveals a whole lot of weakness in the Orthodox community in its bully approach to crtical issues facing American Jewry

    69. I completely agree with the framework in which Rabbi Hoffman believes that we, as a community , should approach the questions, issues, tests, which confront us —> Is it good for Jewish people AND is it good for society?

      I do not agree with his final conclusion, however. What is good for Jewish people and good for society is a moratorium on the … Mostra tuttodeath penalty until the law of capital punishment is reformed, revised, and made to be just, because the unjust application of this law is not in line with Torah. Justice, Justice you shall pursue…

      Chillul Hashem to harass the victim’s family (vergogna!!!); those persons who participated in any such activity should be held accountable for their actions…We must strongly speak out against such actions, such behaviour as a community, and we should take time to remember, to send words of comfort to the victim’s family, to whom my heart reaches out. Martin Grossman’s death does not bring back their daughter, their sister…victims of murder can never be made whole again, because their loved one has passed from this world, and will never be with them again…

    70. Rabbi Hoffman,

      What do you find wrong in the fact that many Jews feel and look at their fellow Jews – even those with whom they have never met (and those who don’t add to their ‘prestige’ due to the fact that they are not the most upstanding citizens) – that they feel like Blood Brother, and will do all in their power (as You would undoubtfully do for your own son/brother) to preserve their precious lives?

      Is ‘looking nice’ in eyes of your goishe neighbors more important than your own brother? I hope not….

      I Love you like my own brother, actually ‘komocha’ – like myself!

    71. By law, only a very specific type of murder is punishable by death penalty. Other types are punishable by prison term (including life without parole).

      This case went through several courts including the US supreme court. The grounds for asking Gov. to stay execution for 60 days was that there was an error in choosing a death penalty as a punishment instead of a life without parole.

      Only 2.6% of murderers nationwide are sentenced to death penalty.
      8 people executed since 1989 were subsequently found to be INNOCENT(not wrong punishment type, but innocent). Let me remind you that every death penalty goes through ALL possible levels of courts. Having that in mind, what are the chances that there was a mistake in choosing a death penalty over life in prison for this man? Pretty high.

      Not to fight for one’s life, because your chances of success are very low does not make political sense. But who the hell cares about political sense when a person’s life is on the line?

      The guy who wrote this article has his logic and moral values messed up.

    72. I think this article has it completely wrong. There is nothing wrong with our klal LEGALLY advocating and lobbying on behalf of one of our own. Rabbi Hoffman, please take a moment to digest that. There will always be some people who don’t verbalize things correctly or are tacky, lack social skills or are a bit overzealous.
      We are always so concerned about how we are percieved and I agree that it is an important issue, but if our Klal decides to try to come together to LEGALLY advocate for one of our own, there is no apology needed! To safe a life, and yes, I’ll say it, a Jewish life, is a meaningful purpose, even if that life has been found guilty of a horrible crime. One other mistake, Rabbi, the Govener was merely being asked for a brief stay to permit a final attempts at a clemency hearing before the board, not to commute the execution. Even if the Gov. had granted the stay of execution, the wheels of justice would have rendered the final decision. Please don’t be in such a hurry to apologize for everything and take the time to get your facts correct. Our detractors have enough presence, don’t add to it.

    73. If the Orthodox leadership in America want to prevent the execution of Jewish murderers, the way to do so is to change their stance and join the Reform movement, the Conservative movement, and the Reconstructionist movement and oppose the Death Penalty in the United States in all cases.

      That would prevent Jewish murderers from being executed, without the astounding hypocrisy of lobbying for the Death Penalty in general, but against it when the killer happens to be Jewish. Moreover, it would give more credibility to their lobbying efforts.

    74. I suppose someone can say that the world was right for being silent when they knew Hitler Yemach Shemoy was Killing more than 6 Million Yidden, would protest have helped?

      Because you can argue that Hitler would surely never have listened to us, just like the Governor of Florida did not listen and “there was no chance he Hitler would have listened”.

    75. To Yonasan Herschlag:

      I cannot believe the preposterousness of your comment.

      I wasn’t a witness to the crime, so I don’t know how it happened, but from what I’ve heard, the “victim” confronted the “criminals”, and put them on the defensive. In the criminals struggle to save their skins, the “victim” escalated the fight via kicking and shooting her gun.

      The “victim”? The “criminal”? IN QUOTES? Is there really any doubt in your mind who the victim and criminal were in that situation?

      Did you forget that the “victim” as you put it was a LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL who was only doing her JOB? I don’t know what kind of training she received, and it does seem that it would have been more prudent of her to wait for backup rather than try to take on this character alone. But to conclude based on this that the roles of criminal and victim are therefore reversed, and Grossman was a victim of HER incompetence, is simply mind-boggling. I really wonder who is the mentally incompetent one here.

    76. There is a tremendous amount of soul searching and deep thinking that must follow this tragic episode. True, he was a yid. True, he was a ruthless murderer with a criminal background prior to the murder of this wildlife enforcement official. There are pros and cons for both sides of the issue.

      However, it was poorly handled by these Jewish organizations and the fact that this person was executed exposes many weaknesses in how these organizations go about carrying out their missions and their inablity to stop the execution may give some reason to question just exactly what is the mission, role and purpose of these organizations when it comes to such weighty issues such as Grossman, Haiti, Pollard,etc.

      Were these organizations in close contact with the gedolei yisroel? Not pulpit rabbonim, but gedolei yisroel? Why were the letters and communications not very clear that the gedolei yisroel were consulted on this matter. It would appear that these organizations jump onto the lamposts in Brooklyn and onto the computer screens to justify their existence. In their haste to make themselves known to the wider Jewish community, they may ignore or bypass the fundamentals.

    77. Articulate as usual, Rabbi Hofman. However, I take issue with this statement from the article: “– and it is a good and proper thing to enforce the death penalty for murders.”

      Rabbi Hofman equates proper punishment with the death penalty.

      The fact of the matter is that most gentile, civilized countries today FORBID the death penalty, yet they have much, much, much lower crime rates than exist in the USA and they don’t have murderers running in the streets.

      To equate justice with the death penalty is to buy in a Republican idea of justice. It is not about law, it is not even about American Law. So let’s not confuse the two.

      The death penalty remains a barbaric, outdated, uncivilized way of meting out punishment and it is not in accordance with Das Torah which requires edus AND hasraah On those grounds, we cannot support it religiously either.

      But my primary issue is the contention that somehow the death penalty is just. Look outside the US, there are virtually almost zero civilized countries that still practice this. It remains an outdated and barbaric form of justice.

      Perhaps it takes an outsider to see this. America needs to join the civilized world.

      • >The death penalty remains a barbaric, outdated, uncivilized way of meting out punishment and it is not in accordance with Das Torah which requires edus AND hasraah On those grounds, we cannot support it religiously either.< It seems to me that it’d be much easier to execute an innocent person under Bais Din than in the current American justice system. Just saying!

        • you clearly have no idea of how the US legal system functions!!!

          Especially if your up against cops or the system!! the mere fact that it went on for 25 years means absolutely NOTHING. they merely discuss technicality s, not the overall issue. the don’t re-examine all the facts!!! (there are many documented cases where executed inmates were later found to be totally innocent – mistaken identity! – this after all the “overwhelming” “clear” evidence and 25 years of “appeals”…)

          Torah requires 2 Eidim and Hasrooh – thoich kedei dibur!!! there needs to be 2 kosher witnesses (not blackmailed by the government to testify against his ‘friend’ in order to SAVE his own skin “Noigea B’dovor”!) the witnesses are required to warn the murderer and he has to acknowledge the warning!

          It is almost impossible to execute someone according to Halochos of the holy Torah. Learn your basic facts! How can you even compare – there isn’t even a remote! resemblance between the Halochos of the Torah and the US capital punishment system.

      • >>But my primary issue is the contention that somehow the death penalty is just. Look outside the US, there are virtually almost zero civilized countries that still practice this. It remains an outdated and barbaric form of justice.

        Perhaps it takes an outsider to see this. America needs to join the civilized world.

          • Actually, no.

            Saudi Arabia practices the death penalty. Friend of Israel? I think not. So does China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and Syria.

            Canada is a staunch supporter of Israel and has abolished the death penalty way back when…

            • In other words, the US of A is in very bad company when it comes to the death penalty.

              Most civilized and Western countries including Canada, Australia and Western Europe have abolished this practice.

              Most American Jews have not hand first hand knowledge or exposure of someone on death row. Now that they have met (albeit virtual this Grossman) they are likely to rethink their views on this subject.

              It is a barbaric and primal system of justice. End of story.

        • Let’s see if all those folks yelling about rachmanus raise their hackles over the following:
          “She survived the Holocaust, but a tenacious life story wasn’t enough for 92-year old Eta Eckstein to keep her Brooklyn landlord at bay.”

    78. There is no difference between a death penalty and jail. If you think halachically he should not have been put to death then we have a chiyuv of getting him out of jail too – no matter what he did. Are all you attackers of Rav Hoffman willing to say that he should be let out free? Why not? It is the zelba pidyon shvuim!!

    79. We are not “salespeople” for Judaism.

      If our obligation at that moment was to try to save this man, then that’s what we were obligated to do. Were not here to look politically correct or to look like weak sheep.

      Now of course , there are smart ways of going about it, including not calling the family Nazis.

      Now in defense of the Governor, with Florida having a big Jewish voting population, I would not think that he did this to further his political career.

      Abe S

    80. Rabbi Yair Hoffman you are like אברהם אבינו saying the truth no matter how people will accept it . If people will start thiking this way very soon we will be out of exlie.

      There is a stupid argumet circulating “Would you have the same opinion if the murdered lady was your daughter?”
      The answer is since its not my daughter i could look at the matter with out emotions and I could see the truth.
      The fater is worng when he tries to save hes son fron punishment.

      • “The fater is worng when he tries to save hes son fron punishment.”

        Where do come from? Yes a father should not shield his son from proportionate natural consequences, while trying to EDUCATE him – so to educate him to act correctly. but to save his LIFE? We are not talking about learning a lesson to act better!

        If ones son was sentenced to 30 years in jail or death – and this person dosent turn over EVERY stone possible to save him – this mans YICHUS must be carefully examined, he is probably not a yid (isnt this why Dovid Hamelech Paseled the Kushim, for thier lack of Rachmonus to be Moichel someone that caused them harm)..

        Yiden are Rachmonim B’ney Rachmonim, guranteed!!!! if not, you must come from another….

      • For your information, Avrohom Avinu went to WAR to rescue Lot – and it the process probably had to kill/injure scores of people from the army of the 4 kings.

        All this for whom? LOT – not the biggest Talmid Chacham or Tzadik….

    81. This is the way yidden have been doing it all the years in the galus. And to all the “sophisticated” brilliant, legal and cultural wizards let me set it straight: the intent never was to exonerate him it was to get a 60 day reprieve to review the case in the court of law. Sophisticated enough for all of you!? If you don’t care about him don’t excoriate all those who are trying to care to placate your insecure selfish self.

      • There was no review in a court of law.

        All Judicial appeals were exhausted.

        The “60 Days” would have been for a Clemency Board review. But since you have to get the Governor to agree to Clemency, why would he put the family of the victim through a 60 day delay when he knew that it wasn’t going to change anything?

            • I have my facts right.

              The request was for a 60 day delay from the Governor (who heads the Clemency Board) so that they could try to convince the Board to grant a commutation.

              There were NO judicial options remaining. Courts at every level had considered and rejected the defense arguments for two decades. The rulings are available online, and I urge you to avail yourself of them.

              The only option left was Executive Clemency, which under Florida Law requires the agreement of the Governor and two out of three of the other members of the Clemency Board.

              If you were under the impression that a stay was for a judicial appeal, well, someone misled you.

          • People assume that the governor received 50,000 messages pleading for him not to carry out the execution. What about those of us who didn’t say that to him? I believe they were counted in the same number. So who knows how many pleaded with him.

      • Very well said and written, could not have said it better myself. Bottom line is the Gov. Didn’t have the guts to do what’s right, just an other politician with his own agenda. Every elected official serves at the discretion of the people and I think the people have spoken and our voices will be heard on election day.

      • You were too late to the party, my friend. His execution had already been delayed for years due to the appeals process. You have your facts VERY wrong. There was no new evidence to be presented and no judge would even hear another appeal on the same arguments that had already been made 19 times before. What would a 60 day reprieve have done that 25 years couldn’t accomplish? No judge would even hear the case anymore.

        Even though I knew there was nothing that could be done, there was the hope that maybe some small shred of evidence would be seen at the last minute to create some kind of legal doubt.

        But it is you who is being selfish. It is people like you who let yidden suffer on death-row and then show up at the last minute trying to “help”. I’m so sorry that this man’s plight was not more convenient for you to have done something sooner when it might have mattered. YOU are the selfish one for thinking that your 5 minutes of effort in a 25-year mission means ANYTHING. You are selfish for patting yourself on the back for 5 mins of “trying” while others have worked for years. Well… be proud… you literally did the LEAST you could do and now he’s dead. BD”E

    82. This is a tragedy on so many levels. The name calling directed at the governor was wrong, misplaced, and frankly ignorant of the governor’s role in all this. Abusing the victim’s family in any way went beyond the pale and deserves our whole hearted condemnation. HYD is not an appropriate moniker here and disgraces the memory of our true martyrs. The bigotry manifested in this case is embarrassing to any level headed and objective person.

      The sad truth is that Martin Grossman sealed his fate the moment he pulled that trigger. The central facts of the case and the brutal death of Parks is not disputed. That she was a law enforcement officer, in my opinion, made this a case that could not be considered for clemency. No doubt there are many killers of little or no means and with minimal IQs on death row just like Grossman who will not have a cause or a rally or an email blast named after them. The sad truth is they will die too and under our breath we will be happy “another killer is off the streets who got what he deserved.”

      If we seek a double standard when one of our own is at risk, then that double standard can be applied against us just as easily. While we mourn

    83. you wouldn’t be talking like this if it were your brother, Rav blogger Rabbi! Get off your high horse (you’re obviously not one of the brightest candles in the box)

    84. Since when is Pidyon Shvuyim dependant on the fairness of his incarceration. We have to do our hishtadlus regardless of what the chances are that they will be sucsessful or not.

      • pidyon shvuyim must be interpreted in a rational way based on the facts of the case and not in a mindless way which presumes “a yid must never be executed regardless of the facts unless done in accordance with halacha”. If I am allowed to kill someone who I think intends to harm me or my family, there is no reason I cannot rely on the secular courts to do the job for me. We can debate over whether this guy was truly remorseful about what he did or whether it was a big scam to save his life but don’t think that most jews supported this futile effort.

    85. I have only one question (as opposed to some who have many questions) on this issue directed towards those who say that we should go the distance to save the life of a yid and that the life of yid takes precedence over Shabbos, etc. etc.

      If in fact that is true, why were not all the Tashbar, tenoikos shel bais rabon, citing Tehillim these last few weeks in a large asifa? Why was this delegated only to adults. We all know that the voices of Tashbar can pierce the clouds of shomayim. Why were these children not brought into the process??????

    86. This has nothing to do with the fact that this person was Jewish. This cause was taken up by Amnesty International a non Jewish organization and had this on their website. PLEASEWRITE IMMEDIATELY in English or your own language, in your own words:

      •Explaining that you are not seeking to excuse the killing of Margaret Park;

      •Noting Martin Grossman’s young age at the time of the crime, and that he has spent 24 years on death row;

      •Expressing concern that the jury heard no expert mental health testimony, noting the post-conviction assessment;

      •Calling for clemency for Martin Grossman and for commutation of his death sentence.

      • Amnesty International oppose the Death Penalty in all cases.

        Orthodox Jewish organizations (alone among Jewish groups in America) have argued FOR the Death Penalty.

        If you are an opponent of the Death Penalty on general principles, people may disagree with you, but they aren’t going to ascribe bad motives to you.

        If you are a supporter of the Death Penalty, but suddenly mount a giant crusade when it is one of your own who is facing it, then you are a hypocrite, and people recognize that.

    87. I was about to post a long rsponse,but i see there is no point.Careful reveiw of the article shows he only cares what the media says and some goyim(not all,loads of goyim attempted to help him).So arguing from a jewish and more important a halachic point of veiw is pointless.

    88. The fact that the Governer ignored us, our community and political leaders is where the Governer is at fault. He should have commuted this punishment for 60 days and met with our leaders, explained his position. His attitude amounts to arrogance.

      • Please refer to #86- When and if there is beit hamikdash, you can hammer out the laws. We are in Galut- we must abide by its laws and be thankful for the system. Because Martin was not his “brother” is not his issue. None of us want to deal with deathly issues, but believe me, when you speak from the heart to a brother, it enters his heart. The Parks family and the people of Florida are not forgiving.and justly so. The blood of their daughter screamed for justice. Martin just ended his tormented, guilty life. Yes, there are worse criminals who taxpayers have to pay for in maximum security prisons, but the taxpayers don’t have death penalty in those states. Thank G-d you didn’t murder anyone and did not dabble in drugs. Your time might be better spent on fixing what can be fixed without following down blind paths. These organizations are not always 100% kosher. Do some hitbodedut, you will see.

      • Another “late-to-arrive” fool. He did meet with many rabbonim, as did his predecessors. You seem to think this fight started last week when a few rabbonim decided to put out a letter. This fight has been going on for 2 decades. He listened, but the law was very clear here. Yes, we grasped at straws in the final days, but the law was not now, nor was it ever on our side.

          • Chabad has been working on this case for 2 decades you fool. I’m not about to name names of people who may not want their involvement known, but everyone in the Jewish community here in FL was well aware of the work being done. You’ll notice nearly all the comments are from out of towners who could not have cared less 3 weeks ago. Too bad you didn’t care enough to do anything until it was too late. Now you sit online like a Monday-morning-quarterback. Pathetic.

        • PMO, you usually are reasonable, but this time around you are lying. We have had a serious push on all fronts in the last two weeks to meet the Governer and he ignored us, our political and religious leaders.

          Who, exactly who, did he meet on this issue in the last couple of years? This just came to our attention three weeks ago and no serious community leaders were involved until now. He snubbed them, not by disagreeing, but by snubbing them. He showed arrogance, not leadership.

          • Chabad and MANY Jewish and anti death penalty organizations have been fighting for this man for YEARS. You are very wrong, sir. Those of us who live in FL have been aware of this man’s involvement with rabbonim for 2 decades, and FL communities have been asked multiple times to put up money for his appeals. I’m sorry to say that those who do not live here did not take notice until it was too late. By the time people outside of FL got wind of this, all the appeals were exhausted and all the pleas to the governor had already been made on numerous occasions, and he indicated several months ago that he would not hear any more pleas unless there was some new evidence to consider. By the time the story got beyond the borders of FL, there never really was a chance of saving this man.

            4 previous governors here in FL came to the same conclusion as Crist… that there was no legal reason for a stay or to overturn his sentence. Under FL law, this was 100% the right decision. Under Torah law, it was 100% not.

      • You have a lot of chutzpah, boy. The governor doesn’t owe you anything. Not an audience, not explanations, nothing. You are not one of his constituents and did not put him into office. I am amazed at how ignorant most people really are as to what was even being requested and what the law states — and just so you should know, the word commute is not the same as the word extend.

        A man committed a brutal murder and admitted to doing so, had more than two decades [that’s more than 20 years for those who don’t know what the word decade means] to have every facet of his case brought before a judge, and was judged according to the laws already in place in the state he lived in.

        If you don’t like the laws in the States, so move. If you want to have Jews judged by the sanhedrin, do tshuva and daven that moshiach should come very soon. But don’t think that the world is going to run on your terms.

        Kol hakavod to the person who wrote this article for standing up and putting forth the voice of sanity and true yahadut. As we learn, he who is kind to the cruel ends up being cruel to the kind.

    89. If the campaign had been succesfull, then what would the writer have written? If theres a chance at success, you must try. There was a chance, we tried. We didnt acheive our intended goals, but is that a reason to rub it in?

    90. So many of you rant about pidyon shuvyim, the halacha regarding when chiyuv misah is appropriate etc. All of that stuff is irrelevant since the decision here was NOT a function of torah law. The execution was properly done by the civil judicial system of the U.S. where we happen to live. Torah law has no direct impact on our legal system although it incorporates many torah concepts. While yidden have their first amendment rights to speak out on behalf of a convicted murderer on death row, the governor of Florida had the authority under state law to ignore those arguments and he did.

    91. All this is correct but you can’t help but wonder what would happen if the murder was done by a different minority member. Would they not protest and say that it was not fair. I mean look at the 9/11 terrorists are they getting better legal represetation than Martin Grossman?

    92. “A governor under significant political duress will never, ever commute a sentence. Once again to those who may have missed that previous sentence – a governor whose political future is in serious question will never alienate the civil service workers in his state – ever. Anyone with an ounce of political sense will know this to be true. One would have better luck selling Israeli Bonds at a Palestinian National Convention.”

      Howcome in 1990 clemency was granted after Governor Martinez siged the death warrant?

      03/08/90 Death warrant signed by Governor Robert Martinez
      04/06/90 Stay of execution granted by the FSC

      • You speak of the Jerry Taylor case. The guy could not have remained still for the execution. He was already months from death as a result of a neurological disease (he mother died from it too). He had no control of his bodily functions, could no longer speak, had severe diminished capacity as to what was going to happen (symptoms like Alzheimer’s) and was barely able to walk. He was as good as dead anyway and it was determined that the execution could not continue in a humane manner as a result of his uncontrollable, spastic movement, and he could no longer understand the sentence that was being handed down. Your comparison is a dishonest joke.

    93. Thank you Rabbi Hoffman for once again speaking out, even when the emes is unpopular. Perhaps we can get 50,000 or even 100,000 emails sent to the family of the murder victim Peggy Parks to voice our compassion for them as Orthodox Jews. This could be our attempt to undo the terrible chillul Hashem caused by the whole scenario.

    94. To all the tzsadikim & yefei nefesh one Q to you.If he would have kill ed a ” heimishe yid” would you have reacted the same way? If your honest answer is NO. rabbi hoffman is 100%correct & you are a HYPOCRITE creating a big chillul hashem.

    95. There was a petition to Governor Crist in a local weekly publication.

      These are the exact words taken from that petition:
      “…..he has shown that he is truly remorseful and repetitive of his grave mistakes of the past.”

      I say: rather be quiet and be thought a fool than speak up and remove all doubt

    96. My sentiments exactly!! I said this very thing ( in different words) just yesterday! This was a disastrous mistake, and is only bound to boomerang on us. The utter stupidity of people HARASSING THE VICTIM’S FAMILY???? Rebono shel olam!!!! vai is unz. This is bound to only create anti semitism. Shame on us. We have no wise leaders anymore. Like sheep without a shepherd.

    97. However, we as Yidden had a knee-jerk reaction to one of ours (regardless of his level of frumkeit) getting hurt – or worse – getting killed.
      I noticed that the OU and Agudah only asked to bombard the paid officials (governor, clemency board, etc), The idiots that harassed the Parks, or made idiotic statements to the public official are “rodfim”, besides being stupid.
      You are right, Rabbi Hoffman, we should consider the idiots ij our society when we ask everyone to get involved.

    98. a breath of fresh air,a voice of sannity in the insane asylum called chareidi blogs
      i could not have said it any better,KOL HAKAVOD.
      i have always suspected and realy felt,that 90% of antisemitism is self caused.
      us frum jews who either have no sechel or don’t want to use it are the cause of the gentile hatred to us,and this incident confirmed it for me

    99. Just to clear the record here,no one harrased the family from the askanim,period,and no such calls for such action were made.Perhaps some person on his own did so,but it could have been from non jewish groups.They only tried to talk and deal with them

      • If they tried to talk them out of letting this happen, it was harassment. The state executed Grossman, not the Park family. This was a deeply emotional time for them and the fact that ANYBODY tried to contact them for any reason except to express condolences and support is horrible.

        • What nonsense!They simply did not call without reason either,and we didn’t say cut out the deat penalty completly,and it’s not harassment at all.More deatails will probaly be released shortly.

    100. The Jewish People have allways been Bailie Rachmonos. However, it seems that the majority of readers here have decided to dispense with that attribute. The request was not for the punsihment of Martin Grossman to cease but rather for the death sentance to be commuted to life in prison.

      Martin Grossman was tried and convited in a court of law under the laws of the state of Florida and according to the constituion of this great country. That does not mean that our community must refrain from crititzing its imperfections.

      Martin Grossman has profesed remorse and has changed his life in Prison. He did not leave this world with comnplaints or evasion of responsibility but rather with the words “Hear O’Israel The Lord our G-d the Lord is One”.

      If a person states remorse and repentance in words and in action that should be examined. What purpose is a justice system that does not recognize repentance.

      Please be informed that the word “Penatentiary” comes from the word pentanence i.e. to repent. That is why the founding fathers of this country refered to prisons as penitententiaries, because, the idea was to cause repentance and not just punishment. The opportunity was waisted.

    101. Part # 1
      Before I read all the responses to Rabbi Hoffman POV, I decided not to read any of the posts, so I will have a clear view of why I disagree with your view and why before the execution I did encourage everyone to do whatever they could trying to save Grossman.
      Prior to my arguments, let me dispense with the areas I agree with.
      1. The Victim is human being and everybody needs to have empathy for the family and if you attack the victims family I am not one of you, and it tells me that you are not advocating for Grossman, you are just a lowlife zealot.
      2. I agree with the Rabbis assessment that there were no way that Governor Crist would give clemency to the convict in particular in the State of Florida where there is a strong consensuses for the death penalty.
      3. That to argue that Grossman deserves clemency because he is a Jew is a counterproductive argument.
      4. Calling the victims family Nazi is a disgrace to the six million Jews who died at hands of the Nazis.
      5. I am for the death penalty proviso that the circumstances demand it, in my next part I will expend on what I mean that circumstances demand it.

    102. Thank you, Rabbi Hoffman! I’ve been totally depressed at the kinds of things my fellow Jews have been saying and doing with this effort. Your editorial gives me hope that everyone hasn’t lost their minds.

    103. Part #2
      Now that we know where we agree, let’s flush out our disagreements, before we dissect the Jewish question, let me expend on the death penalty, as it has been executed in the south. First of all if the defendant, is man of color or poor they have a far greater likelihood to get the death penalty, it is because multiple reason.
      1. If the defendant is poor the defendant will not have the resources to mount a good defense not at the trial, I am talking about the mitigating facts which a defendant needs a real good lawyer to be able to reach the hearts and minds of the Jury and to sway them not to give the defendant the death penalty. The Legal Aid office themselves will say they are lacking the recourses needed, to do the job right.
      2. Every statistic will show that minorities will get the shaft from the Jury.
      3. Every study shows there is no correlation between enforcing the death penalty and criminal behavior, the studies show that in states where they have loose gun laws and the death penalty you have more violent crime, then states with tough gun control and strong penal system will do better. I am not talking about city’s only States.
      4. Because they system is rigged and innocent people do get sometimes convicted, if the penalty is death, it is irreversible, and so far more than 200 imamates were released from death row.
      Based on these arguments I would say that I would only apply the death penalty to a person who is convicted of a crime of epic proportion, i.e. a Nazi, Pol Pot, who anybody who was involved in genocide and it was proven beyond any doubt not just beyond reasonable doubt. Up to now I was speaking of the generalities relating to the death penalty; now let’s look at the specifics in this case.

    104. Part # 3
      Yes Grossman was convicted by a jury of his peers, and the assumption is that the Jury did the right thing when they convicted him, and by no means can I or will I, condone any bad mouthing the jury system, I am willing to bad mouth the legal aid, that during the penalty phase they failed and that is not new, a few years back the FL Supreme Court ruled that in a death penalty case the defense attorney must have previous death penalty case experience, but that was only enacted in the mid 1990’s, suffice to say I believe that Grossman didn’t have the proper representation, as required in today’s court. Additionally as Jew I have a special relationship with another Jew, that when he is in pain I sense it more than if I just read a news story, it goes to my core beliefs. And when a Jew is at a point that his life is on line, I must speak up, yes speaking up is not an issue, if the Pope feels that it is not an issue then for sure I as his brother should feel the same. To argue that it was a lost cause therefore what is the point? The point is that as a Jew and human we have a duty to try to help our brothers, even if it won’t help, let me expend with one example, it is a known fact that in the gas chambers mothers would take their infants and press their faces onto their bosoms, so they would stay alive and from time to time infants did survive the initial gas but were killed anyway. The point that we will try to do whatever it takes to do, maybe one of a thousand infants survived for only a few more minutes. Sure we care about the outcome but that is for God not us we just do what we think is right. And if you Rabbi Hoffman think that because it is a lost cause that is your prerogative don’t do anything, but don’t assail us who did pick a phone or wrote a letter trying to save Grossmans life, and just because there were a few idiots who argued stupidly, but remember there were tens of thousands who did beg and asked for clemency with dignity just because their heart was full of pain, and when you are in pain you cry. And now after the fact instead of maligning tens of thousands, cry with us don’t condemn us all.

      • With all do respect. Only a few weeks ago you were more then glad to send six innocent Yidden/Jews to jail. Here you are doing everything you can to stick up for the “poor Jew”, who by the way actually killed somebody.
        Where was this “benefit of the doubt for the Shomrim Six (also Jews)”?


        • Never ever did I pass a judgment as to the veracity of the charges against the six individual, as a matter of fact, I refused to make any judgment as you could go back and see the following post.
          Post # 33
          I don’t want to accuse you that your story is a lie but it sounds to scripted to be true, regardless I am not familiar with this episode therefore I wouldn’t comment on the specifics but if I got beaten by six individuals Jewish or not I would report them to the police and after a criminal prosecution I would file a civil action without blinking twice
          Post # 70
          again as I said before I didn’t follow this particular case, therefore I will not render a view, they only thing I am saying is being there and listening for a few hours to justify your preconceived notions is a load of crap, and I am sticking to my previous description.
          Post # 100
          What do you want me to do? Bang my head at the wall? I never claimed that I know what happened I never even made any judgment neither for the victim nor the alleged attackers, I don’t know.
          Inasmuch, in the Grossman case we agree that he is guilty, and I don’t know of even one person who even suggested that he should be released, we were just begging that the Governor should give him clemency, what does that have to do with the Shomrim Six?
          You lying sack of crap,I am open for apologies.

      • well….well…..well…….
        a hartzige yid or yiddine
        my kind of thinking..
        I truly wonder if in fact there was anyone harassing the Parks family or is it something someone uttered and it became fact?
        I don’t know – just questioning. Oftentimes people make statements – someone may have said ..”oye they are asking for trouble, all the idiots are going to come out of the woodwork and for all we know they could even go so far as to contact and harass the Parks family” and some such statement becomes fact.
        But as you point out – if this did occur why not look at all the dignified requests?
        I for one wrote (with great respect) to the Governor and to the Clemency board.
        If there were harassing calls and disrespectful calls made to the Parks family and the Governor I want to take this opportunity to apologize. Being we are all one and therefore any one of us can do the apologizing.
        I hope the Parks family can find some comfort knowing that Martin was executed. If it accomplished that then at least something good came out of this.
        Please everyone at least admit there was something amazing that resulted from this – the incredible achdus from yidden from all different groups!!! OMG I think that Martin Grossman had some amazing zchus to have accomplished this amazing achdus.
        Please – to all those who believe there is need to find fault – please please don’t?
        Let Hakadosh Baruch Hu see the achdus and not that it evoked negative ch’v. Let’s not tip the scale the other way – we need zchusim – let’s work on collecting zchusim – this will surely result in bringing forth the rebuilding of the final beis hamikdash.

        • I will not venture to speculate if some idiot did or didn’t harass the family, yes it is possible and if the family says so I believe it, there is no reason to dispute the family. But that will not negate my right and duty as a Jew to petition my Governor to show mercy. Thank you for your kind words.

      • Judging by the comments I’ve read prior to, and since, the execution, I wouldn’t say the Jews are so smart individually, nor especially kind. Wishing the governor to die a “slow and painful death,” because he carried out the law. Saying unkind things about the victim’s family. Making ridiculous comments about anti-Semitism. It appears that, in the last few generations, the collective IQs of the Jewish people has dropped quite a bit.

    105. The political aspect is right, but…. the point is that In the Torah’s point of view the nations deserve Death Penalty for murder by their laws, but a jew only with Kosher Witnesses etc, therefore since the truth was to save his life, and one was supposed to be Mechalel Shabbos to save him that has to be done, and of course even with Political damage etc. Now that said, it was supposed to be done smartly, like by strssing the Point the Cheif Rabbi stressed there were new aspects of Evidence to examine,or points like: he bacame a new person etc, and since this is all about Politically correct it should have been dealt with Politically, meaning using media, advertisement experts, on how to stress the points we want to stress, and how not to stress the points we don’t want to stress, But we don’t have to give up the truth and surely don’t have to be ashamed of the Truth!

    106. To add to #227, according to din torah, a goyish court never has the ability to put a Jew to death. Also, according to some shitos, once the Sanhedrin left the Lishkas Hagazis, not only can Jewish courts not put someone to death, BUT NO COURT IN THE WORLD HAS ANY BUSINESS KILLING SOMEONE.
      Basically, the State of Florida murdered a man who did not deserve to die.

      • that’s not true – they killed someone who deserved to die but the question in halachah is was it mutar for them to do so (probably not, but we cannot impose halachah on the world – only try to help people if it is reasonable, which it was in this case when people had some sense, but not calling the family or saying halachic arguements to the governor – that’s just stupid)

    107. BDE. This is the emes. Chabad lacked wisdom and so did the others who fought this battle publicly. The only thing that might have worked was to say that the execution was scheduled for Mardi Gras day. Sadly, they did not and it failed. Fools. Fortunately, the Yid did teshuvah and his misa was mechaper. Therefore, he paid with his life as he should have. His maaseh was a brutal murder. That shocked me. Are we sure he even was a Yid? Was his Mother’s yichus checked? HaShem Yirachem Aleinu.

    108. As someone who was very active to try to save him from death, I feel that Rabbi Hoffman is talking to me.

      First let me say that I have great respect for Rabbi Hoffman and I am not upset with his column at all. He is absolutely right that we are a thinking people and we do need to discuss if we were right or not. Instead of writing an article, I’ll try to dissect his column piece by piece.

      His first question is: “Did we do the right thing in inundating Florida Governor Crist’s office to stop the execution”? My answer is YES, because we had a Chiyuv to save his life and there was only one way to do it, by inundating Governor Crist’s office to stop the execution. So what we did was the Rotzen Hashem exactly what G-d wanted from us.

    109. As for the issue of Ahavas Yisroel, yes it’s extremely important. Yes he did do a horrific thing to snuff out the life of his victim; but what about his remorse and regret, what about his IQ? What about his troubled childhood? What about that he was drugged at that time? And most importantly what about that he changed into a different person in the last 26 years? As to the Meshech Chochmah; what does it have to do with this? Do we execute every murderer? So why Davkeh allow him to die? We weren’t asking that he go free, only to instead stay in jail for life.

      True that a governor will never alienate the civil service workers in his state – ever; but most governors wouldn’t ignore the plea from an entire community either. Our job was to try and to make as much Hishtadlus as we can, and then leave the rest to the Ribboinoi Shel Oilom; and for that we should be proud.

      • “Yes he did a horrific thing to snuff out the life of his victim, but what about his remorse and regret, what about his IQ? Pal, stop your liberal mumbo jumbo.
        What is this a soap opera? What’s wrong with you? Can’t you read what your rabbi
        wrote about the obligation to execute murderers? (Yes, your rabbi quoted
        a source for you—what is it? Meshech Chochmah. In response you write:
        “What does it have to do with this”? Knucklehead! What do you mean: “What does it have to do with this”? Rabbi Hoffman is teaching you Torah.)
        You must have flunked out of Hebrew school. Don’t you understand that the
        rabbi is citing a source which mandates that evil murderers are put to death.
        So it is an appropriate reference which justifies the actions taken by the good people of Florida and refutes your liberal rationalizations on behalf of a murderer.

    110. Regarding this campaign, the way I see it, it was organized only by the Alef Institute and Rabbi Katz who I didn’t have the pleasure to meet. From there on, lots of people like me volunteered as a one man/organization and worked on our own. That’s when I heard that all Orthodox Jewish organizations joined the effort. It wasn’t necessarily the best and brightest, but the ones who always feel for a fellow Jew. So we didn’t think if of how much chance of it coming to fruition; we left that to G-d.

      As to the political damage to Orthodox Judaism; I would humbly disagree with you. I truly think that in the long run and maybe even in the short run, much good is going to come out of this. In many ways; too many to enumerate.

        • I don’t see it as misguided and if it should happen again I will do the same thing. Had this succeeded, everyone would have taken credit for it; now that it failed no one wants to take credit for it. As the saying goes, success has many fathers and failure is an orphan. The only question we have to ask is did we do the Rotzen Hashem. I will proudly answer “yes”. I have already asked that a copy of the letter I sent the governor be placed with me after Me’oh Ve’esrim Shonoh, as I hope it will give me one Zchus more.

    111. As to the harassment to the victim’s family, done by a few Mishigoyim, I condemn them in the sharpest words: You had no right to be Metzaar the victims family that suffered so much. You had no right to call them Nazi’s. If anything you should have begged and pleaded with them to support clemency of the death penalty. But I would have not advised you to beg them either because they are the “Goeili Hadom” and we have should leave them alone.

      So let’s not blow this out of proportion. The acts of so few while still a Chilul Hashem shouldn’t have any bearing on our attempt to save his life.
      Why focus on what one insane phone caller said to Governor Crist? I spelled it out in my letter and in my phone call and in numerous comments here that if he wouldn’t be Jewish I would have also said that his life should be spared; just THIS was brought to my attention as a Jew. So this is NOT an issue.

    112. Dear R. Hoffman,
      Hindsight is always better than foresight. Had the gov. of Fl. commuted his sentence would you still have written your article? Sometimes we as frum Jews have to make our Histadlus, even if things don’t work out perfectly and some people end up doing stupid things. The goyim’s opinion of us isn’t as important as trying to save a life. You and the other negative posters should remember Mr. Grossman’s A”H last words -“Ahavas Yisroel”. If we all work on this -we will Imy’h will be zocheh to Moshiach and Techias Hamaycim Bemeheirah B’yomainu and Hashem will wipe away all our tears.

    113. It might seem that the prospect of receiving a death sentence would deter would-be murderers from committing such offenses. However, many studies on deterrence and the death penalty do not support this idea, nor does the rate of murders in states with the death penalty.

      The murder rate in states that do not have the death penalty is consistently lower than in states with the death penalty.

      The South, which carries out over 80% of the executions in the U. S., has the highest murder rate of the four regions.

      Again: The South, which carries out over 80% of the executions in the U. S., has the highest murder rate of the four regions.

    114. As to your question: why didn’t our organizations reign in the Chilul Hashem makers? I really don’t understand this question. Do our organizations have police to watch every idiot? Especially that it wasn’t the organizations who initiated this but hopped on the last minute. Most had no clue of this just days ago. When we were asked to take to the phones, emails, and letter writing; did they have to think that some people are going to say what they shouldn’t? More importantly, what about the Ninety Nine point something percent who made the right calls and said the right words?

      I cannot disagree with you anymore that what we did was Yoisher, and many non-Jews now respect us more then they did before. NO we did not place our interests above the public good, because we didn’t ask for him to be released only to be incarderated for life. Yes, what we did should show our Yashrus and further enhance Yoisher and appreciation of the Darchei Hashem.

    115. Wow! I am beyond shocked regarding the opinion of this article but even more so regarding the comments complimenting it. With all due respect to Rav Hoffman I think we should all value the opinion of Torah above your greatly limited one. PIDYON SHIVUYIM comes before everything even shabbos! Nobody was asking for him to walk the streets just not to be murdered. It’s disgraceful that someone with the title of Rav can print an article with opinion in direct contradiction to Torah!!!!

    116. Lastly, no we haven’t lost our judgment in what was an appropriate Hishtadlus and what is not. This has nothing to do with “What is it good for the Jews?” but what is right and what is wrong. Society wouldn’t have suffered at all had we succeeded. Yes, I agree with you that those who commit crime need to be punished, Jewish or not, but every case is different and every situation should be judged on its own merit, this one was a just cause.

      True that an innocent young woman who dedicated her life to the betterment of the world – was brutally murdered with a bullet to her head, and crime must be punished, and vicious crimes must be punished even more. But in this case as I have tried to explain and as others have explained, what we did was right. G-d be the judge.

    117. rabbi hoffman, common sense yes, but many halachich and hashkafa points you make are incorrect, for example tzzelem elokim isnt there by a gentile see medresh shmiel Ovos and Tosfos yom tuv and nootzeer chesed, other points you make are also incoherent with halacjh

    118. Isn’t interesting that the execution came just when we finished reading Parshat Mishpatim.

      It does our people harm when we publicly request a double standard in the case of murder.

      Nevertheless my heart hurts that a human life was taken.

    119. saying “svoros” not to attempt to rescue someones life is wrong and irresponsible.The torah relates that Batya stretched out her hand to save Moshe without any logical chance for success.The “Chofetz Chaim” says that it is a lesson for us to learn from! Quoting some irresponsible individual who was ludicrous in addressing the governor proves nothing.should we never campaign for anyone because some people are going to be inappropiate?

    120. Great article….I think the Askunim had nostalgia for the past. the old stories of eastern europe where shtadlunim would go to kings courtyards and advocate for their fellow Jews who were unfairly beaten and put to death..
      Drove them to be heroic like that.
      Sorry..wrong time..wrong place.

    121. There was a psak din from Rav Tuvia weiss and rav Shar Yoshiv Cohen about this case and they cleared this according to Halachah. If Rabbi Hoffman thinks the halachah should be different why didn’t he discuss it with them instead of discussing it on the internet after the fact.

    122. It’s refreshing to some extent to listen to voice of logic, for a change not trying to sweep anything beneath the carpet. so let the debate go on between equally reasonable people. at least, I don’t want to hear some idiot say that we aren’t self-critical enough. even though, we organized a campaign to help a fellow jew, we check our deeds, and we aren’t yet sure that we did the right thing. bravo…

    123. Most rishonim and achronim and contemporary litvisha roshei yeshiva hold a goy is tzelem elokim (see Sefer HaBris). Also to those attacking the author of this column – there are many achronim who hold that a Jew in prison for an issur lehachis is NOT PIDYON SHVUYIM and it is ASSUR to help him. So #262 – maybe you should reconsider your post..

    124. Rabbi Hoffman makes a great & very important point…

      But this still doesn’t take away the chiyuv of every Yid to do everything he can to save another yid’s life.
      Yes, we could of done this in a way more polite and smarter manner, so that the terrible chilul hashem wouldn’t of occured.

      But this still brough out the Power of our great achdus, may we be zocha to use this power for a lot of other Good things!

    125. With all due respect the main point is missing here and that is as follows:
      Everything in the world must be looked through the eyes of Torah. Even a death and a death sentence; including how to react to such a sentence. According to Torah the Goyishe courts have no right to kill. While we do not get involved in their business, as soon as that affects us we must step in.
      This man had killed. Although Halachikly there is not enough proof, in the case of murder we are commanded to take things to an extreme and keep the threat off the streets. Therefore when faced with such a sentence we, as frum Jews, MUST do all we can to save his life. At the expense of every political favor we have. The life-in-jail sentence is not against the Torah and he could have served that without qualm.
      As Rabbi Hoffman is a rabbi, I would have expected Torah to be his frame of reference, not the political/social atmosphere. Nu, nu. Pnei Hador Kipnei…

      • “According to Torah Goyishe courts have no right to kill.” No, you’re wrong. Under
        the Noahide Code, non-Jewish Courts according to Torah Law are obligated
        and certainly entitled to impose the death penalty for murder.

        Shfeekhus Domim iz khayev meesah far Benai Noach (BT. Mas.
        Sanhedrin )

    126. Just seeing all these posts in alarming…a nation that can never agree on something…always finding different ways to “understand” and develop halacha. This is why we fail to have the geula come.

      Second, I feel absolutely terrible for Mr. Grossman, not only because he failed to follow the commandment of “lo tirtzach”, but because now his soul is in complete “back and forth”. Ever look into what sources suggest gehanum is? Knowing that your name caused a split amongst a nation that’s already in trouble…and has a long way to go. Now he’ll never be at rest from prison on this world – – and even in the world to come.

      We must learn to repent for the fact that one of our kind committed a murder. And if there is someone among us who is “mentally ill” or prone to violence – – it is our duty as neighbors, to find that they get the proper care.

      And on a final note, as citizens in the USA – – living off of religious freedom, and all the good it does, we must adhere to the Judicial system. If anyone has a problem with this – – make a beit hamikdash, san hedrin, and beit din.

    127. I read emails begging all of us to get involved and write or call the governor. I could not bring myself to do so. Rabbi Hoffman articulated the issues very well. If the 50,000 calls had no other effect, they added to the tzaar of the Park family. Enough is enough.

    128. The person who wrote this article and all those that agree with him are the reason Moshiach is not here and why we are still in Golus . Hashem Yerachem . Now I understand how Jews put their brothers and sisters into the ovens in Hitelr’s (yemach Shemo)Germany..

      • Who knew that somebody could point to the exact reason that Moshiach is not here! However did you find out?

        I don’t even know what you mean. Do you mean that Moshiach won’t come as long as we expend all of our energy to try to get a murderer released from prison instead of focusing on all of the people who are suffering and dying EVERY day from hunger and neglect? Because that may be true.

      • “The person who wrote this article and all those that agree are the reason Moshiach
        is not here….” No, you’re wrong. You disobey Torah Hakdohsha and perpetrate
        a Chilul Hashem. “Ovens in Germany..” Are you meshigeh? How dare you compare
        the USA with Hitler yshom? Your defense of a cop killer is disgraceful. You
        should study Rabbi Hoffman’s article. If you’re good, you might learn something.

        • He didn’t defend a cop killer, only argued for the commutation of his death sentence based on numerous mitigating arguments; please don’t distort the truth.

          He didn’t compare the USA with Hitler, only compared those who wanted Grossman dead to the Kapos in the concentration camps.

          Study Rabbi Hoffman’s article and you’ll see that he doesn’t agree with you either. Rabbi Hoffman argued if it was prudent to stick our necks out for Grossman, but nowhere did he insinuate that those who did, disobeyed the Torah Hakdosha.

          • You distort the truth. A malicious comparison with Kapos and concentration camps
            was made. And you admit that yourself: “he….only compared those who wanted Grossman dead to the Kapos in thte concentration camps….” For that statement
            alone, the writer should be condemned for his ignorance.

            Furthermore, your ridiculous defense of such stupidity only reveals
            your extremism. Are you suggesting that the Governor of Florida can be
            compared to Kapos in the concentration camps?

            Are you suggesting that the jury can be compared to
            Kapos in the concentration camps? Such extreme insinuations
            violate Torah Hashkafa. “It was prudent to stick our necks out
            for Grossman.” Speak for yourself. Your views are discredited.

            • You create my views and then say that they are discredited. I made no such comparisons you suggest. Go back and read again what Rabbi Katz said in #287, and what you said in #368, and what I said to that in #373. The words speak for themselves, but don’t take it personally.

              As far as being an extremist, I would say that I go to extremes when a fellow Jew is in danger, but in real life I like the Libertarian point of view to live and let live; only that I apply that to religious Jews too.

          • Fool!. You mean to say that it is ok” to compare those who wanted
            Grossman dead to the kapos in the concentration camps?” Are you
            defending such a malicious comparison? This is an example of the extreme
            fanaticism of the Grossman faction. These rabble-rousers stoop so low
            as to demonize their opponents—Rabbi Hoffman included. As is evident in this
            exchange, blogger “Askupah” has the audacity to defend those who compare
            what happened in Florida to the crimes committed by kapos in concentration camps.
            Such sentiments violate basic Torah ethics. Your so-called activism is
            counterproductive. Your defense of such bigotry is a reflexion of your own hatred.
            You should read Rabbi Yair Hoffman’s article which offers a timely reproach
            to bigots of your ilk.

            • As a son of parents who both survived the holocaust, and were I personally lost over one hundred family members including a bother and two sisters, let me take a stab at what Askupah intended to say, for years some of us wondered and looking for answers as to how is it possible that a Jew would turn on his own people and become a kapo, the answer is playing out right in front of our eyes. When you have Jews who are so gung-ho on killing a human and yes a deficient human and using every deceitful excuse to justify the lust for blood, the same *mentality* must have been used by the kapo when they used justification in their own mind as how they could do the gruesome job. But that doesn’t equate any of the bloggers with actions of the kapo’s; it is an explanation how the human mind works. As to Rabbis Hoffman’s views it is steeped in political views not Torah even though he cloaks it in the Torah.

            • Thanks OMG for explaining it; which is exactly what I meant. Chas Vesholem, I would never ever call those who have legitimate (and even non legitimate) arguments “Kapo’s”.

              As to Rabbi Hoffman, I clearly stated in comment #250 that I have great respect for him. So to now come and make believe as if I’m attacking him is purely malicious. Arguing with someone is not the same as attacking, as Rabbi Hoffman wrote here that “nonetheless, discussion and thought are items that have always characterized who we are as a people”. So please don’t shoot the messenger.

          • Blogger Rabbi Katz #287 makes a chilul Hashem lumping all those who agree with
            Rabbi Hoffman together with those throwing Jews into ovens. According to blogger
            Katz #287, “the person who wrote this article and all those who agree with
            him” make it possible to understand how Jews were thrown into ovens in
            the concentration camps. Well, the author of the article happens to be
            Rabbi Yair Hoffman and many good people agree with him. You think it is
            proper to compare Rabbi Hoffman and those who agree with his viewpoint
            to Kapos in concentration camps? I hope you do not. Therefore, you should
            not defend Katz’s inappropriate reference to the Holocaust. The Holocaust had nothing to do with the fair trial given to the cop killer in this case. Katz is out of line.
            People should condemn blogger Rabbi Katz #287 for his malicious
            concentration camp comparison with American justice properly administered in
            Florida. Such rash rhetoric increases discord and hostility and therefore
            deserve a stern reprimand.

      • “The person who wrote this article and all those that agree with him are the
        reason Moshiach is not here and why we are still in Golus.” Rabbi Katz, you
        attempt to demonize Rabbi Yair Hoffman and “all those that agree with him”
        exhibits a shocking coarseness and impropriety that all decent Jews must
        condemn. Actually, Rabbi Hoffman wrote a thoughtful essay.
        Rest assured that many of us share Rabbi Hoffman’s viewpoint. Your irrelevant and
        counterproductive messianic musings and ideations should be avoided.
        Thereafter, you make a reprehensible assertion: “Now I understand how Jews
        put their brothers and sisters into the ovens in Hitler’s Germany.” All decent
        people are absolutely shocked and dismayed at you. How dare you
        stoop to such an abject level of lunacy? How dare you insinuate that those
        who either disagreed with you or questioned the wisdom of Grossman’s
        advocates enabled you to understand how Jews were put into ovens
        in Hitler’s Germany? How can you compare justice done in Florida with the
        execution of a cop killer to the genocide committed by Nazis in the concentration
        camps? You owe many people an apology; you certainly owe Rabbi Hoffman
        an apology.

    129. The author is WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!We have the obligation to save each JEW NO MATTER WHAT!!!! This man was mentally ill-documented and should have served the rest of his life in jail to be with his thoughts of the disgusting crime that he committed. I hope the author of this disgusting and well-thought out response rethink that each neshamah is precious and we should have not deminished the soul of Mr. Grossman. What we have done here is unspeakable-killing a man who was mentally ill and knew he was wrong. How many criminals and garbage do we let walk on the streets who are real criminals. May this author and Gov Cristie deal with themselves and when G-d offers them the same mercy in shamayim I would love them to be judged with the same attitude they gave to this man. Baruch Dayan Haemet-
      The motives of elected officials for political gains sickens me—political game

    130. I’m currently listening to the earth shattering, tear-drenched eulogies being delivered at the funeral of Martin Grossman in Monsey and — If I didn’t know better — I would have guessed that they are mourning the loss of the Vilna Gaon.

      The SHEER RETARDEDNESS of some our fellow tribesmen is simply beyond the capacity of words to describe.

    131. Following this debate closely there are numerous questions which need to be addressed 1)Does a NOT premeditated murder deserve the death penalty? 2)Does someone with a proven extremely low IQ deserve the death penalty? 3)Does someone who has shown remorse and good behavior deserve the death penalty? 4)Should the governor have at least met with communtiy organizations to discuss the death penalty?
      Just some things to ponder about

    132. What if we found out that his mother was not really jewish. Can anyone verify this truthfully before this whole case began? Just because there was a bar mitzvah it doesn’t kosher it. We know that rachmanut is a sign of bnei Avraham, but murdering another in that fashion is also unjewish.

      • And what if he wasn’t Jewish? So what, if the Rabbonim had rachmonus on him and asked everyone to do the same and we did, so what? Does that change the fact that we pleaded to help a young man who was literally brought up without parents and without good role models who made a huge and horrific mistake and then had charatah and remorse over what he did? Does that change the fact that a child with an IQ of 77 committed a horrendous crime and should not have been put to death and so many Jewish and Non-Jewish individuals begged to save his life, not free him, but just free him from death?

        In the long run does it really matter? He is still Hashem’s child, and you still get points for doing a good deed.

    133. Martin Grossman was presented to the Jewish public as a Baal Teshuvah. All reports say he ordered a chicken meal from the prison canteen. Does anybody know if this was a Kosher meal? The public may have been hoodwinked by those who believed in the agenda of saving Martin no matter what.

      • Ordering a chicken sandwich does not determine his Jewishness. You were not their to supply him with food. You don’t know if kosher food can be brought in. So why open your mouth and make stupid comments when a life was on the line.

    134. Governor Crist was hard-hearted, and the Jews were shrill and tin-eared. How was he hard hearted? Florida is second only to Texas in numbers of executions. In fact, Grossman a”h was the 69th person executed in the last several years in FL. (How many people have been executed in NY, NJ, CT and California? Answer: None. And how were we tin-eared? When the mob sets its sight on a goal, there’s a crude, unreflective and unrelenting pushing, as if we’re all one big hammer. The whole thing is deeply upsetting.

    135. I think that Grossman has a din of a “tinuk shenishba l’bein hanachrim.” In the gemara of masechta makkos tosfos explains an “omer mutar” as a tinuk shenishba l’bein hanachrim, who does not have a din of misah, or galus(it’s a machlokes between Abaye and Rava of whether an omer mutar is karov l’meizid or karov l’oneis).

    136. on an intellectual basis the michaber R. Hoffman is right on. However, in terms of the heartzela of a “yid” this tzaar for entire klal yisroel has created an opportunity for achdus not seen all that often. His last words of “ahavas yisroel” absolutely need to be a rallying cry for all of us not in the box to michazek all yidden regardless of shita, yichus and overall mishegas. we all need a big time ” tikkun”

    137. Rabbi Hoffman

      Here is a scenario that will offend everyone but it does have a grain of truth to it.

      The punishment under Torah Law for Martin Grossman’s crime is Meesah Bedei Shamayim.

      It can be argued that yesterday that sentence was carried out. It was not Governor Crist who had the power to overturn the verdict; he was simply the instrument of Divine Justice,

      Shefichas Daamim is not someting that can be swept under the rug,. The blood of the victim cries out heavanward. from the earth for justice. I learned that in cheder.

      • I agree 100%.

        However it is mashma from the rishonim that the way he was niftar clearly gave him a full kaporoh, and being that he became a Ba’al Teshuva I think that may be the reason why Hashem led him the way he did (although perhaps he need not have been executed).

    138. I would respectfully disagree, and say that we have to do hishtadlus and make efforts to save a Yid’s life whether you think it will change things or not. Of course there will be morons that will say stupid statements and even call the family Nazis etc but that doesn’t justify for not appealing and trying our best to save someone’s life.
      Don’t be worry for Hashem about the goyim will look at this when we do tbe right thing. No goy will like you better when you are quite and no one hears from you, halocha bayodia sheisov soyna layakov, that’s a fact and you can’t change it. I admire the achdus of klal Yisroel coming out together and appealing and asking for merit (with legit reasons) in this zachis should Hashem help us and take us out from this Gules very soon.

    139. I basically wrote the same thing as the author of this article, yesterday. Look at comment #17 which I wrote yesterday in the article regarding Park’s mother. The author of this article is absolutely right.

    140. why dont we just come out and say it…
      orthodox jews want a double standard..

      if a gentile heinously kills someone in cold blood, we are openly for the death penalty and law and order.etc…..we quote all the conservative mumbo jumbo about law and order and justice and the bible….
      if a gentile kills a jew.. well wow… the we are on the streets calling for blood as well as the death penalty… (also usually accusing some people of anti-semitism)

      when a jew kills a gentile then we are all for saving his life regardless.. we blame rednecks (they must be anti-semites) as well as a politically selfish governor..
      we quote all the liberal munbo jumbo about why to abolish the death penalty..
      just look at 100 or so blogs here..

      maybe its time to tell the gentile world there is and we support this double standard…afterall this is our teaching…

    141. The reason that I am angry is because the Governor turned down so many request that I am shock from a politician do turn down so many request. I do not agree what Mr. Grossman did, but why such a harsh punishment when others just walk away from there crime after serving less years then Mr. Grossman did.

    142. Excellent article. I had this exact conversation with my 9th grader at Bais Yaakov, when she told me they announced the campaign at school and encouraged students to engage their families.
      I asked her to imagine, lo alainu – chas v’shalom, how the family of this young woman, must still feel having been robbed of her life in such a selfish and senseless manner. And that dinei malchusa, in our just and fair country, must be respected and upheld.
      Thanks for validating my feelings, I was beginning to feel very alone in the realm of sane yiddishkeit.

      • So in other words… R’ Hoffman feels that we should have done exactly the opposite of what the Torah obligates us to do?

        Its simply abhorable that anyone would have issues that we embarrassed ourselves pleading for mercy for saving a human being’s life.

        I disagree. I’m quite proud that I stood up for him.

        Did I call to deny he committed the crime? No.

        Did I ask for Martin Grossman to be exonerated of his charges? No.

        Did I ask for him to be released into society as a free man? No.

        I simply pleaded that Martin Grossman, a man who was reported to have the IQ of 77, be allowed to serve time for the crime he committed, and long since repented for , alive.

    143. An eye opening editorial.
      I have followed the request of the askanim and wrote and called all the people they asked us to contact.

      This was not the first time i got involved in such campaigns. A few years back i called 311 and Mayor Bloombergs office many times during the Metzitzah b’peh campaign.

      I will never again be fooled to blindly call (and harass) Government officials (or in this case victim family members).

      Thanks for putting some common sense on the table, but please next time post such eye opening cloumns a little bit earlier so people can actually refrain from Chilul Hashem and bad effects (and wasting their time)

      Thank you Rabbi Hoffman

    144. #328 you are alone within the realm of yiddishkeit for several reasons. Look up the facts regarding the case to see why, and considering the feelings of the victim’s family blurs judgment. That’s the hepach of Torah where justice is totally objective.

    145. RABBI……you wanna create a controversy with your writing skills…so your -IGNORING the fact that we were asking for a 60 day exhaust properly the issue of him doing this on 53 5DRUGS ….and you’re. Right he should be punished for drugs but not KILLED, BTW all attorneys agreed that if this should have happened by a gentile. Thy would’ved definitely properly air this issue to make it clear for all that it was indeed a punishable crime…so ? VICE VERSA ……because he’s a YID YID YID he didn’t get his fare share M……..also because he nebech didn’t have close family to defend him…like the police. Officer that was Killed…..please read this again and again and you’ll see you’re left with ,NOTHING…….next time use your skills on more truthful subjects….

      • When you use half-truths to create a lie, you damage the community’s ability to do anything in the future.

        No lawyer worth a penny could argue that this is antisemitism. In FL cop-killers get the death penalty with almost no exceptions.

        Secondly, as I’ll say again, people like you seem to think this all started 2 weeks ago. People have been working for YEARS AND YEARS on getting this death sentence overturned. You have no CLUE as to what you are talking about. The things that were being asked for (60 day stay) require some REASON for it. All of the possible arguments had already been made and those involved were told months ago that no further discussion would be had unless there was actually NEW evidence to consider.

        Chabad has been working on this man’s behalf for many years. You have no clue as to what you are talking about. But congratulations to you for literally doing the LEAST you could do in the last 2 weeks of the fight when it no longer mattered.

        Your argument is based on a lie and does not even remotely hold up to the slightest scrutiny.

        • PMO, although, we usually disagree on politics, we come from a different end of the spectrum, but most of the time I respect your view which usually has a strong foundation and yes even logical. But myself as a Floridian I belong to a temple which has more the nine hundred members and I didn’t hear the particulars about the Grossman’s case until it a few weeks back, yes I knew of the case, but not the particulars, in no way am I implying that your community (speculating that you are either in Miami, Hollywood, or Boca) didn’t know or acted on his behalf for years, I would believe your assertion. But my point is that as a constituent of the Governor I have a right to petition the Governor of behalf of anyone and as a Jew I feel a duty to petition. And to write an editorial after the fact is counterproductive. Please take note that this case had brought together both of our communities for the first time in my lifetime and I am pushing sixty.
          In conclusion, my view is very simple Rabbi Hoffman’s arguments would merit discussions before the leadership decides to act or not to, but not after the fact. Finally to argue that we should not petition the Governor because some idiot might make some idiotic statement, that by itself is not the brightest statement, or the second argument is that it is a given that the state would execute him, therefore don’t waste your resources, that is akin to someone who is working on some medical breakthrough to say the odds are small therefore, he or she should never try because 99.99999 percent of all tests fail in the lab, we wouldn’t say that, the same is with our case, we don’t just walk away because the odds are against us, it has always been tough to be a Jew and the odds were never in our favor for the last two thousand years.
          With respect OMG

          • You are right OMG that this case had brought together Jews from every community. This is one of the things I had in mind in my comment #253 where I wrote that “much good is going to come out of this. In many ways; too many to enumerate”.

            Let’s not lose momentum, and the goodwill genererated shoud be put to good use in the future, with you OMG partaking in this noble cause.

            Thanks brother for the many good and crucial comments you made and all the best to you and your family.

    146. B”H
      Rabbi Hoffman,
      You are a nice guy… but way wrong on this one.
      First of all.. maybe if YOU would have called and gotten your friends to call Gov. Crist would have changed his mind.
      Second, Don’t you think its EXTREMELY arrogant and rude for Gov. Crist to not atleast meet with the Rabbis/Leaders who asked for a meeting last week?
      I realize Gov. Crist has busy schedule but he needs to make time when so many major players are asking for his ear…
      This is not the first time in history we have seen politician choose to not meet with Rabbis… Pres. Roosevelt did it during the holocaust when he snuck out back door of White House.

    147. Starting from Julius and his wife Rosenberg, and many others, there are countless times when people were executed only to find out wrongly so. Unfortunately there is no reverse execution.

      • Yer mixed up, man. All serious people agree that Julius R was indeed spying for the Russian government. With all the evidence that has come to light in recent years only a paranoid could say otherwise. Even his sons admitted this. With respect to Ethel R there are those that claim that her role was marginal, but this is debatable. But I guess you enjoy your paranoia.

        • You are right since the fall of the Soviet Union; there are ample documents that surfaced that validated the charges against Julius Rosenberg, however, Ethel is a whole different story, all the documentations point to being involved in an indirect way at the most.

    148. Funny how rabbi hoffman completly ignored a key point.The testimony which made such a powerful impression,on the jury,that they called for the death penalty, was from someone who testified to get himself a much better sentence which he did.And he admitted later that he did not say the truth.

    149. I;m sorry, but I have to STRONGLY disagree with Rav Hoffman, especially on issues of supporting the death penalty for murderers in a secular court. As Jews, we know just how the Torah safeguards its capital punishment by being so stringent on how guilt is assumed. A beis din that killed just once in 70 years was considered a Beis Din that shed blood. American law isn’t Jewish law, and we cannot compare apples to oranges, we cannot say we support the death pentalty where far far less safeguards are in place, when so many non deserving people have gone to their deaths. Martin Grossman may have murdered someone all those years ago, but considereing the facts of the case, a man who has been under the influence of drugs at the time coupled with an beneathe average IQ – Lo Ta’amod Al Dam Reiacha made it impertive that we stood up on his behalf. Whether or not a governor is pressured by re-election, no matter the abysmal chance we had to change his mind, WE had to to do OUR part,. I’m saddened that Rav Hoffman would feel otherwise.

    150. Yes,rabbi hoffman,i understand.A jury convicts someone and calles for the death penalty on the basis on someone’s evidence,when that person is trying to get out of a big sentence himself,and later admits he lied.And the sentence is good and proper justice.That’s not torah values,even for gentiles.

    151. I think that the wife should divorce her husband for making a fuss about the change. He is a disgrace, and probably a cheapskate.

      As far as Martin Grossman, it amazes me that we have 300 poskim on dinei nefashos on vinnews. I haven’t seen much halachic reasoning here. Rambam speaks of a case where the gentiles say give me this person or we’ll kill everyone, and says we can hand over the guilty party. The Gemara also has a machlokes if you can give him over even if he is innocent in such circumstance. I don’t know where the source for this case is. If anyone knows halachic source for the case of martin, please post

    152. Rav Chaim Brisker would move mountains and spend much needed funds in order to save Jews who one would think are moridin vlo maalin.
      As far a from a political standpoint
      There are no shortage of nuts contcating the govenors office on a daily basis they are used to this.
      They will recognize the unity of the klal as a voting bloc and as far as a politician is concerned thats all that counts.
      For those who acted properly the corrrect thing was done.
      To jump on the soundbytes is just Monday morning quaterbacking

    153. Kol HaKavod to Rav Hoffman for trying to restore some sanity.

      It’s a pity that people don’t stop and reassess there opinions before attacking Rav Hoffman, especially those who are too ignorant to even write a coherent and grammatically correct sentence.

    154. In the absence of Halacha, Hoffman’s logic would be flawless. However, since, from a halachic persective, Grossman was not chaav meesah (be it for procedural reasons or otherwise), we have an obligation to save his life…and not just any obligation, an obligation that would trump the laws of Shabbos…

      All that being said, query whether the approach that was taken was correct, and prested Am Yisroel in the best light — I think the answer is a resounding NO. But for Hoffman to lecture about the value of life, or the Meshach Chochma’s hashkofic approach to a murderer, insults the inteligence of the VIN audience

    155. No one can really ‘pinpoint’ what makes or doesn’t make mashiach (our ‘redemption’) come – – however, it certainly doesn’t come when a nation isn’t unified (although, it is noted that it can by force as well, when we reach such a low standard). We have charedim fight with main stream Jews – – or even in Queens/Crown heights, where you walk past yeshivot and find out about the riots that happen even amongst them. We have a lot of Tikun ahead of us.

      This should be a lesson that if we have or know of someone in trouble – – a friend that we see is prone to drugs, suicide, molesting children, etc – – turn them in to a psychiatric ward! Get them help. Teach respect!

      As far as the notes comparing this case to the Holocaust, you must understand, the Holocaust was a wide range fight against religion (& not only Judaism – they also killed homosexuals, blacks, gypsies, & handicap people). There was also a lot of corruption in the camps among the Jews – stealing from each other, calling out on each other on hiding places. This isn’t at all something you can compare.

      Grossman killed a Patrol officer. Not because of religion. Not because of race. It was his own fear & violent psych.

    156. I would like to make an observation. Having read through all the comments, it is clear that most commenting here agree with Rabbi Hoffman. BTW, Rabbi Hoffman is not alone. Last night Rabbi Yakov Spivak in his talk show on the radio agreed with Rabbi Hoffman. But for the fairness of the issue I need to point out that there were many articles here on VIN before the execution where we argued back and forth. The arguments were mostly, should we have Rachmoness on him or not. NOBODY argued Rabbi Hoffman’s arguments then. The debate was mostly split with the ones with a Jewish heart like OMG on one side and the ones who showed zero emotion or open animosity on the other side.

      Now that Rabbi Hoffman has written this column it goes to reason that all those who showed zero emotion or open animosity are commenting here that they agree with Rabbi Hoffman, but from my side except for OMG and a handful few, all those who lent a hand are nowhere to be found to defend their action. On the Spivak show, hardly a different view then his was presented.

      My point is that the comments here (after the fact) do not reflect the feelings of the communities at large, and it needs to be noted.

    157. The next scheduled execution if Melbert Ray Ford, on February 23. Like Grossman, it is a felony murder case. Also like Grossman, Ford has found religion in prison and has been a model prisoner for 25 years. Unlike Grossman, Ford claims he did not murder the victims, but rather was made the fall guy by his partner in crime who rolled over on him in exchange for a lighter sentence. You can send your faxes and emails to his attorney, who will present them to the board for clemency, at:
      Mr. Brian Mendelsohn
      Federal Defender Program
      (404) 688-0786 (fax)

      Let’s see how many Jewish groups take up this cause.

    158. To all the posters who said that justice must be done and we are the ones who are truly caring about the true victim etc…I have a simple observation,when VIN posted the story that a goy who killed a jew in staten island got off very easy,and he said he was so sorry.Where was your compassion and caring then?!I was shocked that so few posts were posted condemming the lightness of the sentence or saying that the guy’s remorse is a bluff.(i posted).No slew of posts saying how they feel the victim’s family anguish.Almost nothing!Compare that to your reaction here.It seems obvious that it was not compassion to the family that motivated you to say how much you care about her family.It was either that you don’t like agudah or the other mainstream groups,or you care more about that you look politcaly corrcet etc.. Shame on all you hypocrites!

    159. We are mechuyav in pidyun shiviem no matter the chance
      also when klal yisroel does a mitzvah we are not supposed to be worried about chilul hashem
      example:when you where a hat and jacket in the street are you worried
      also according to royv poskum chilul hashem only applies to yiden not guyim

    160. Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof

      This past week Martin Grossman was executed for the cold-blooded murder of Peggy Park. He had gone through the entire appeal process and he even had a little extra help that none of the other non Jewish, death row inmates have in any state of the union: the lobbying of Agudah and other Jewish organizations including a last minute plea from the Chief Rabbi of Israel to the Governor. Nothing helped. He was executed on February 16 by lethal injection in payment for a brutal murder committed on December 13, 1984.

      Until a few weeks ago I had never heard about Martin Grossman. I took an interest in him like I take an interest in every other murderer sitting on death row. As a matter of fact I had just finished reading an expose on another gruesome murderer, Christian Longo (who murdered his wife and children) waiting for lethal injection that appeared in Esquire’s January 2010 issue. Funny thing, I don’t recall Chabad, Aleph or Agudah taking an interest in his case.

      As a matter of fact, I can’t imagine any of these Jewish organizations taking a humanitarian stand for anyone unless they were Jewish. And there is the rub! Their credibility as principled petitioners for the sanctity of human life has been squandered, unlike Professor David Protess of Northwestern University who crusades against wrongful convictions, seeking out justice for those who have been victimized by the system.

      Professor Protess is a very principled man. For the past twenty years he has been dedicated to crusading against those wrongfully sentenced to death first as the research director for the Better Government association and for the past eleven years as head of the Medill Innocence Project associated with Northwestern University. His efforts were probably responsible for Governor George Ryan to suspend the executions of all those inmates sitting on death row in Illinois until their cases can be reviewed thoroughly out of concern for the possibility of a wrongful execution.

      Our illustrious rabbis representing Agudah, Chabad, Aleph, Young Israel and other Orthodox institutions flocked to Martin Grossman, not because he was innocent but because he was Jewish. Grossman admits to the murder and assumed full responsibility. The merits of the case were irrelevant to them. In their parochial minds the only thing that mattered was that he was Jewish and therefore entitled to some special consideration. Special because these same rabbis haven’t petitioned the Governor for anyone else who actually may be innocent, as Professor Protess would have.

      What is disturbing in this entire sad chapter is that our rabbis have exhibited once again a strong affinity for the abstract rather than a deeper appreciation of text which could actually be applied to the here and now. Rather than be committed to the issues, they have concerned themselves with the superficial. They took up the defense of Martin Grossman for all the wrong reasons. He was Jewish, but he was a murderer nevertheless, an embarrassment to the Jewish community and the civilized world. On what basis does being Jewish entitle someone to special treatment? Rather than expend energy on a confessed murderer our distinguished rabbis ought to be joining ranks with crusaders like Prof. Protess and seek out justice where justice is lacking: “tzedek tzedek tirdof”.

      • “Christian Longo (who murdered his wife and children) waiting for lethal injection that appeared in Esquire’s January 2010 issue. Funny thing, I don’t recall Chabad, Aleph or Agudah taking an interest in his case.”

        How dare you compare these two incidents. In matter of fact I have reviews all the other death row inmates and none, none of them can be compared to Martin Grossman. They are all cold blooded premeditated murderers, not compulsive, afraid children (as Martin Grossman)

        Besides, the issue with Crist is that he showed indifference to our community, he showed total lack of respect. He should have given a 60 day stay meet the community leaders and than decide fairly.

        • Wow, you have reviewed all the cases of death-row inmates in the US, or just FL? FL alone has 393 (as of today). Your extensive knowledge of all 393 cases must be incomplete if you could not find even a single one that was spurred by a drug-induced multiple offender who shot a cop while violating his parole. I have found quite a few actually on

          Obviously your story is a lie as you do not have any knowledge of specific cases at all. Secondly, Crist and his predecessors have been actively listening to our pleas for decades. YOU and groups outside of FL clearly just became aware AFTER it was too late. Your complaint about him not meeting community leaders is a bold-faced lie. He just wasn’t willing to have ANOTHER meeting unless there was new evidence to consider. There wasn’t any. He had already had MULTIPLE meetings in the past where the same (shoddy) evidence was put up again and again.

          So no only do you slander a great Governor and friend of E”Y, but you begin your comment by lying to all of us about your supposed “knowledge”. No wonder goyim hate us.

          • I beg to differ. Almost all of Klal Yisroel, found out only in the last few weeks and it was BEFORE it became too late. As long as he was alive it wasn’t too late for the governor and (the two signatures he needed) to change their mind. There are facts I didn’t even know until today which I would have argued on his behalf.

            You keep on saying over and over again that the governor “just wasn’t willing to have ANOTHER meeting unless there was new evidence to consider” and because “he had already had MULTIPLE meetings in the past where the same (shoddy) evidence was put up again and again” that’s why he didn’t want to meet us once again.

            Are you telling me that after getting fifty thousand requests he wasn’t even willing to meet one more time to tell them what he thinks? No my friend, he didn’t want to meet them because he couldn’t look them in the face, so he waited until it’s over and hoped that it will go away.

            So to slander your own people but stand by your governor tooth and nail because he is a friend of E”Y, is quite frankly idiotic. Before worrying that the goyim hate us, we should first worry that our own hate us. That bothers me much more, and it should bother you too.

          • Yes we understand,did he promise another tax break.I checked with chabad and jews in florida about your claims and they are lies.And chabad didn’t make up the iq either,as you had the audacity to say.It was goverment place.Stop lying.

    161. With all due respect,rabbi,i must take issue with your article.1)You have contraidicted youself, first you say it’s a good thing that a court enforces it’s laws then you say there are mitigating factors(without addressing them).That’s the point, we are arguing that the court should take factors in account.And you said that other people are treated better and it’s unfair.Exactly,if a court is just it’s just for all,otherwise it’s not called enforcing the law, it’s called a unjust law court.2)You said people might disagree, but still there was no point.According to the torah,if there is a issue to save a jews life.You don’t look at such things,you do all you can to save him,no matter how little chance there seems.And what about the gemara that even if a sword is on someone’s throat you should not depair from Hashem’s mercy.


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