Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iran Taking Lessons from Sedom

Wall Street Journal:

TEHRAN—The family, clad in black, stood at the curb of the road sobbing. A middle-aged mother slapped her cheeks, letting out piercing wails. The father, a frail man who worked as a doorman at a clinic in central Tehran, wept quietly with his head bowed.

Minutes before, an ambulance had arrived from Tehran's morgue carrying the body of their only son, 19-year-old Kaveh Alipour.

On Saturday, amid the most violent clashes between security forces and protesters, Mr. Alipour was shot in the head as he stood at an intersection in downtown Tehran. He was returning from acting class and a week shy of becoming a groom, his family said.


At the crack of dawn, his father began searching at police stations, then hospitals and then the morgue.

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.

Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn't amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran. Kaveh Alipour's body was quietly transported to the city of Rasht, where there is family.

It looks like the Iranians have mimicked the justice of the 4 judges of Sedom (from Sanhedrin 109b): שקראי ושקרוראי זייפי ומצלי דינא

The Shema Yisrael site has a translation of how justice was done in Sedom (according to the Maharsha's interpretation):

(a) The MAHARSHA explains that these four judges represent the four examples of "Sedom justice" that the Gemara describes immediately afterwards. The name of the first judge, Shakra'i (which comes from the word "Sheker," or "lie," which refers to a perversion of justice) represents the judgement in the case of the person who hit his neighbor's pregnant wife, causing her to miscarry. When the judges accept the perpetrator's claim that he should not have to pay for the loss of the fetus since he can replace what he damaged by impregnating the woman, that is an injustice.
The Maharsha asserts that the name of the second judge, Shakrura'i, should actually read "Sheker Vadai" -- meaning absolute injustice. This represents the judgement in the case of a person who hit his neighbor's donkey, causing it to lose an ear. The judges would tell the victim to keep the ear until it grows back. This is absolutely unjust, because the ear of an animal cannot grow back.

The name of the third judge, Zayafei, represents the way the judges of Sedom would rule in a case in which a person hit another person, wounding him and causing him to bleed. The judges would rule that the *victim* must pay the perpetrator for causing him to bleed, because he perpetrator performed the service of bloodletting for him! This is falsified logic ("Ziyuf," or "forgery"), because the victim did not need bloodletting at the time he was wounded.

The name of the fourth judge, Matzlei Dina, corresponds to the judgement in the fourth case that the Gemara mentions. The judges of Sedom instituted a higher fee for one who crosses the river by foot than for one who crosses the river by bridge. This was a corruption of justice done for personal benefit ("Matzlei Dina," or a "bending of the law" for one's own benefit) done simply to raise revenue, fraudulently, for the city.


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