Rabbis of an ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim, Jerusalem religious court, bothered by a stray dog hanging out, realized the dog must be the reincarnation of a secular attorney who had defied the court 20 years earlier. Knowing just what to do, the rabbis ordered neighborhood children to stone the dog to death as a tikkun, repair, for the lawyer's soul – or did they?
I saw this story a couple days ago in Hebrew on B'hadrei Haredim. It was completely believable. But it also could easily be fake.
B'hadrei Haredim cited a Yediot Achranot article as its source, so I decided to wait for Ynet – it's English language site – to publish the story. Nothing happened.
But it was a comment by Rafi G on his own post that clarified the matter for me:
this story has made the rounds, as it clearly would. In Walla's report they say they spoke to the head of the beis din, Rav Levin, and he denies it. he says it never happened. there was a dog near the entrance to the beis din, and one of the people in the waiting room mentioned that they had tried to chase it away, That is as far as the story goes, according to the walla report. They never told kids to stone the dog.
In other words, if we take the head of the religious court at his own words, what happened is that neighborhood ultra-Orthodox children stoned the dog on their own, presumably for fun.
So we have a choice: believe haredi children are cruel, and could stone the dog without interference of haredi adults – who are also presumably cruel – or believe that the head of the rabbinic court is lying, that he ordered the dog stoned, and that he and his colleagues believe in a primitive theology and are cruel, as well.
And the answer is?
I don't know.
Both possibilities could easily be true, and both illustrate deep problems with ultra-Orthodoxy.