© AFP/File, Menahem Kahana
A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court's judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday.
According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs.
Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises.
One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously.
Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer's spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.
Clearly still offended, one of the judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children.
The canine target, however, managed to escape.
"Let the Animals Live", an animal-welfare organisation filed a complaint with the police against the head of the court, Rabbi Avraham Dov Levin, who denied that the judges had called for the dog's stoning, Ynet reported.
One of the court's managers, however, confirmed the report of the lapidation sentence to Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot
"It was ordered... as an appropriate way to 'get back at' the spirit which entered the poor dog," the paper reported the manager as saying, according to Ynet.
Certain schools of thought within Judaism believe in the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation.