Rabbi Eliyahu Calls For Teddy Bear Dismemberment

In another example of insanity in the guise of rabbinics, former Sefardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has called on Jews to dismember teddy bears:

In a tough break for the children of Orthodox Jewish
families, a former grand rabbi of Israel has urged parents to amputate
their dolls to avoid the perils of idolatry.Rabbi_mordechai_eliyahu_1

Basing the move on a Biblical ban on the possession of idols, Mordechai
Eliyahu, a Sephardic rabbi, broadcast his edict on a religious radio
station calling for an arm or a leg to be dismembered.

In the case of a teddy bear or other stuffed animals, the children will see their beloved toys lose an ear or an eye instead.

"It is very important that these toys do not remain intact so as to remove the element of idolatry," said Eliyahu.

Better the children should deface their gedolim cards.



Filed under Modern Orthodoxy, Sefardim

19 responses to “Rabbi Eliyahu Calls For Teddy Bear Dismemberment

  1. shmaisser

    mord eliyahu ,
    pushing jews into agnosticism !

  2. rebeljew


    Now we have all had it with you. Teddy bears infect the childrens hearts and minds with thought so of nonkosherness. Why, even the Rebbe MHM Shlita zol zein gezunt un shtark has banned these evil little furry mind control toys as nonkosher enticers. Even Rashi mentions the bear (as an example of things that walk on four paws) in the unksoher section, transforming it, via mystical approach transfiguration of an infallible saint, into one of the most evil creatures to walk the face of the earth.

    Because they look small and cuddly, you think they are SAFE????!!!! They are avoda zara for goodness sake, a violation of some our top ten cammandments, incidiously sneaking into our minds as mere babies!!!!!!!! We cannot play around when it comes to avodah zara, can we????? Or do people like you, Shmarya, support avodah zara??? Now if you’ll excuse me, my yoga class is starting right next to the shul.

  3. Warren

    Damn, if this had happened before Purim (maybe it did, but I didn’t hear about it yet) I could have put in my mishloach manot gummy bears with missing limbs …

  4. Yochanan Lavie

    Judaism is now beyond parody. Amulets are not avodah zarah, but Teddy bears are?

  5. rebeljew


    You need to get a grip on reality.

  6. Yochanan Lavie

    Thanks, Reb. I needed your reality check. But doesn’t the Constitution support the right to arm bears?

  7. Yo

    I will be the first to agree that Rav Eliyahu does sound a little out-there. And there has never been a time when I have gone to him with my halachik shailot.

    However, the disrespect of some of the comments forced me to speak out.

    How much do you know about this issur? How applicable is it today? What is the geder? While I may be mistaken (and if so, I apologize) I would venture a guess that no one in the above comments has the faintest clue!

    Here is a rabbi, one of the most honored Sefardic rabbis and Kabbalists in the world, a former chief rabbi of Israel, hundreds of devoted followers, but because this sounds foolish, you all think you know better. Ignorant children.

    My Rebbe went to Rav Elyashiv to ask about a stuffed sun that their child had as a toy!

    How many people know about the problem of drawing a sun? Nothing fancy, just a circle with lines coming out of it. Ask a rav – It is possible that this is also under the issur. Some advice my Rebbe got was to color the sun an unnatural color and to draw it incomplete, out of the corner of a page.

    At the Talner Shul in Boston, while for years there were statues of Lions on top of the Aron, when Rav Meyer Twersky took over from his father, Rav Yitzchak (Isadore) Twersky Zatzal, he took them down because of this problem.

    This is a real issue, and should be looked into. I would suggest you research it, or contact one of the people I mentioned above for clarification. I think a more useful post would be to discuss the issues and present Rishonim and Achronim on the topic instead of just posting in a sneering fashion.

  8. Jerome Soller

    Some real fundamental halachic questions:

    1)can you maim and blind your child’s teddy bear if it is wearing a kabbalistic amulet?

    2)Can you dismember your nephew’s Barney the dinosaur toy on Shabbas?

    3)If your local orthodox rabbi does not agree with this position, should you behead your rabbi’s infact son’s stuffed lamb during your synagogue’s Passover seder?

    4)Is dismembering a teddy bear a reenactment of violations of the torah/noahide laws preventing removing limbs from live animals (and should therefore be discouraged as it encourages such action)?

    5)How should a mother react if they find their child praying to Hashem for the resurrection of the dismembered teddy bear?

    6)How should a father react if the child starts affectionately calling the maimed teddy bear “Baal”-bear and makes sin offerings of stale cholent?

    7)Did the Godolim have teddy bears?

    8)Is this whole rabbinic position really part of a sinister plot to convince Jews to become vegetarians?

  9. C-Girl

    “I will be the first to agree that Rav Eliyahu does sound a little out-there.”

    Sorry, take a number. Line’s to the left…

  10. harbona

    the teddy bear and the chabad line
    learned from our (pretend) friendly chabad kindergarden teacher (quite a few years ago).
    no toy (stuffed or otherwise) should represent a non kosher animal . No puppy, no pussy cat , no elephant , no mouse , of course no little-or large- piggy .
    exposure to the sight of these animals would contaminate the souls of our young yidden kids . we have nothing to do with non edible animals, those edible had to be potentially kosher .
    there was no talk of amputation but who knows ? may be such chumros, were reserved to anash . mordechai eliyahu is fond of quoting rabbenu zalman (of the plagiarised shulchan orukh) and might have picked this bit of dvar torah from the midrash of his fellow messianists .
    of course, barney was banned in the cheder chabad for reasons to do with the recent persecution of r’ slifkin !

  11. Isa

    If the stuffed bear factory would only gives checks each month to rabbis, (just as Postville does) then these stuffed bears would be 100% kosher

  12. Yochanan Lavie

    Here’s a good way to protest. Send your favorite gadol a Vermont Teddy Bear Beargram. There is even a Bear Mitzvah, complete with kippah & tallit.

  13. harbona

    Gadol ?
    Yochanan, let’s not go overboard .
    We can protest , sure. but that does not make any of those a Gadol in any way or shape. 🙂

  14. rebeljew

    Respect for what? These people are messing with bears? How about REAL AZ? How about a major movement with people hovering just below this?

    We have kosher magic medicine, kosher oriental AZ, kosher yoga, kosher Ayurveda (see last issue of B’Or HaTorah 14E). We have the mystical approach which turns our sages into miraculous infallible supermen. We have all knowing and all seeing Ba’al Shem tovs and magical golems for REAL!

    And we are supposed to take away some kid’s teddy bear and call this gadlus? Beam me up, there is no intelligent life here!

  15. Harbona

    besimana taba
    him and his friends , were just flushed down the gutter where they belong !

  16. aj

    Do we know that this story is true? It hasn’t been picked up by any major Israeli, Jewish, American, or European papers, only by two South African and an Egyptian. Doesn’t he deserve the benefit of the doubt?

  17. “Here’s a good way to protest. Send your favorite gadol a Vermont Teddy Bear Beargram. There is even a Bear Mitzvah, complete with kippah & tallit.”

    What a great idea! can they ship to Israel? If so, why not send a dozen or so to Rabbi Eliyahu. Now that would be fun!

  18. Aviel

    This story was picked up in a Swedish newspaper. Talk about making judaism look foolish. This is a far cry from the nations recognizing the wisdom of the Torah and the Jewish people.

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