Nov 29, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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On Monday, Kyle Rittenhouse gave his first interview since his acquittal on Monday to Tucker Carlson on Fox network. The interview was quite revealing as the young man told the true account of the ordeal that led him to use deadly force to defend his life, his trial, and his aspirations for the future. In the interview with Tucker Carlson, Kyle related how he felt “God watching over him” while he was targeted as the archetypal Bible believer exercising the Biblical imperative to protect his own life.

“God has been on my side”

The interview covered many subjects but pivoted when Tucker asked Rittenhouse if he feels he has been “watched over.”

“I feel like God has been on my side through the beginning,” Rittenhouse responded. 

Rittenhouse told Carlson that he wishes the shootings in Kenosha “never would’ve happened.”

“I tell everybody there what happened. I said I had to do it. I was just attacked. I was dizzy, I was vomiting, I couldn’t breathe,” Rittenhouse said.

Rittenhouse’s trial was highly contentious. Though Rittenhouse and the assailants he shot while defending himself were all white, the shooting was presented in the mainstream media as being  racially motivated. Rittenhouse denied this, saying that he was not racist and telling Carlson that he supported the cause of Black Lives Matter. 

“This is this is something that I wish never would have happened, but it did, and we can’t change that,” Rittenhouse said. “But it did, and we can’t change that. But how… polarized it became is absolutely sickening, like right or left, people using me for a cause that should never have been used as a cause.”

Not racism

“I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement. I support peacefully demonstrating. I believe there needs to be change,” Rittenhouse told Carlson. “This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense.”

Rittenhouse said that in his opinion, the rioters were “taking advantage” of the incident and the BLM protest as a pretext to riot. 

“But I do not agree that people have the right to burn down, I don’t appreciate that people are burning down American cities to try to spread their message. I think there’s other ways to go around and do that.”

 

“I believe there’s a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases. It’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.”

Carlson asked, “Why do you think people were burning Car Source, what does that have to do with civil rights?”

“I thought they came to the correct verdict because it wasn’t Kyle Rittenhouse on trial in Wisconsin — it was the right to self defense on trial,” Rittenhouse said in the interview. “And if I was convicted… no one would ever be privileged to defend their life against attackers.”

Rittenhouse is learning off-campus at Arizona Sttate University and aspires to be either a nurse or a lawyer but feels that the incident has hampered his ability to lead a normal life.

“I was an innocent 17-year-old who was violently attacked and defended myself,” he said. “I feel my life has been extremely defamed … I don’t think I would be able to go out and get a job and not have to deal with harassment. But I’m at a place now … where I have to have people with me because people want to kill me just because I defended myself – and they’re too ignorant to look at the facts of what happened … I see some of the threats. Some of the things people say it’s absolutely sickening.”

 

“I feel my life has been extremely defamed by it. I don’t think I would be able to go out and get a job and not have to deal with harassment,” Rittenhouse said. “I’m going to go lay low and live my life and enjoy it,” he said.

Rittenhouse placed the blame for the incident on the city of Kenosha which didn’t provide “the support they needed. The National Guard should have been called … the city of Kenosha failed the community. The governor, Tony Evers, failed the community…”

Suing Biden is a possibility

Carlson referred to statements by President Biden claiming that Rittenhouwe was racist and a white supremacist. Rittenhouse expressed a message directed at the president who he believed had “defamed” him:

“Mr. President, if I would say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial, and understand the facts before you make a statement,” RIttenhouse said,  suggesting that he is investigating the possibility of bringing a court case against the president and the media who had misreported the facts.

“I have really good lawyers who are taking care of that right now. So, I’m hoping one day there will be some — there will be accountability for their actions that they did,” he said.

Kyle in prison; like Joseph in Egypt

Despite being 17-years-old at the time of his arrest, Rittenhouse spent 87 days in jail under harsh conditions.

“I had a desk, I had a shower, I had a toilet, I had a TV, I had a tablet but I didn’t have running water”, Rittenhouse said. “I had a phone also, but I did not have running water until November 20th. From October 31st to November 20th, I did not take a shower. I smelled terrible, I felt sick, I lost weight, my health was degrading. If I was in there for a month longer, I probably would’ve ended up in a hospital. When I showered, I took like a three-hour shower. My skin was bleeding because my skin was coming off my body, it was just the nastiest thing ever.”

The Biblical commandment of self-defense

The case of Kyle Rittenhouse was a battle for the legal precedent of self-defense but it also touched on Biblical precepts. Though Judaism does not permit hunting as it precludes ritual slaughter, bearing arms has many strong Biblical precedents. Abraham was proficient at war, emerging victorious in a battle against four kings. The Jews left Egypt with weapons and used them effectively many times before arriving in Israel–where God required they conquer the land. David established his reputation by using a sling against Goliath. But the need for citizens, most especially Jews, to bear weapons against a capricious government was illustrated in Shushan when the Jews chose not to wait for divine intervention and rose up in arms against their enemies. 

Halacha (Torah law) most clearly requires a Jew to carry, or be prepared to carry, weapons, as stated in the Biblical precept:

 And you shall very much safeguard your souls Deuteronomy 4:9

This is enacted as law in Exodus:

If the thief is seized while tunneling, and he is beaten to death, there is no bloodguilt in his case. Exodus 22:1

This is also implicit in the Ten Commandments which prohibits murder (לֹא תִּרְצָח, lo tirtzach Exodus 20:13) but not killing (אל תהרוג al taharog).

The Talmud (Berachot 58a) requires every person to protect himself and, in another section (Sanhedrin 57a) the sages applied this principle also to situations where someone other than yourself is in danger. 

A stong precedent for the Second AMendment is found in the book of Samuel in which the Philistine conquerors had absolute control over the production of metal implements and, as a result, no Jews had weapons.

Thus on the day of the battle, no sword or spear was to be found in the possession of any of the troops with Shaul and Yonatan; only Shaul and Yonatan had them. I Samuel 13:22

Perhaps the clearest expression of the right to self defense came in the Book of Esther when the Jews, faced with annhilation by order of Haman. Though King Ahashuerus could not rescind the order, he granted the right of self defense to the Jews, who utilized it to its full extent:

So the Yehudim struck at their enemies with the sword, slaying and destroying; they wreaked their will upon their enemies. Esther 9:5

The Rittenhouse story

Rittenhouse came to national attention in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August, 2020. On August 23, 2020, a 911 call reporting a “domestic incident” brought police to a home in Kenosha Wisconsin. The female caller told police that Jacob. Blake had a history of violence and had a warrant for his arrest based on charges of third-degree sexual assault, trespassing, and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse. Blake was not permitted on the premises and the woman claimed Blake had sexually assaulted her. He had taken her car keys. Blake fought with the police who shot and killed him as he entered the vehicle. He had a knife in his hand when he was shot. He was seriously wounded in the incident.

Massive riots broke out in response to the shooting. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17 years old at the time, went to Kenosha on August 25 on the second day of rioting to help his friend protect his business from the violence. Rittenhouse, a volunteer medic and fireman, also brought a first aid kit and rendered assistance to people injured at the scene. He was armed with an AR-15 style rifle that he was legally permitted to carry. He was attacked by a man who lunged at him and tried to take his rifle. Rittenhouse shot and killed him. He was then chased by a crowd or rioters, one of who kicked Rittenhouse, driving him to the ground. Another man attacked Rittenhouse, hitting him several times on the head and shoulders with a skateboard. Rittenhouse shot and killed him. Yet another man, armed with an illegal handgun, fired in the air and pointed his gun at Rittenhouse, shouting that he would kill him. Rittenhouse shot him, wounding him in the arm. After the shooting, Rittenhouse surrendered to the police who were at the scene.

Rittenhouse was tried from November 1-19 for two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, two counts of reckless endangerment, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, and one count of curfew violation. Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the unlawful possession charge and the curfew violation charge during the trial. The jury acquitted Rittenhouse, unanimously, of the remaining charges.