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May 15, 2015 5:16 pm

Jewish Man Shoots Bartender for Serving Non-Kosher Clamato

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A bartender in Montana was shot after he made a customer's red beer with Clamato, which is flavored with clam broth and is not Kosher. Photo: Flickr.

A Jewish man shot and injured a bartender in Montana on Saturday after the latter served him a drink containing a non-kosher ingredient, the Associated Press reported.

Monte Hanson, 59, was furious when his neighbor and bartender Joe Lewis made his red beer with Clamato instead of regular tomato juice, according to court records. Hanson said drinking Clamato is against his Jewish faith because the reconstituted tomato juice concentrate is flavored with clam broth, which is not kosher.

Hanson shot Lewis shortly after the bartender returned home from work at the Rainbow Bar. The gunfire would have been lethal if the bullet hadn’t hit the bartender’s pitbull first, according to the AP.

Lewis’ brother, Mike Lewis, said Tuesday that the gunshot hit the dog, Jackson, in the head. He said that if his brother had not been carrying the pitbull, who had a cast on one leg from having a toe removed, the shot could have hit his brother in the head.

The dog died from the injury while a second shot hit Lewis in the ribs and went out his back, missing any vital organs.

“He’s doing all right now,” Mike Lewis said of his brother. “He’s just in a lot of pain is all. He’s staying strong. He’s out of the hospital.”

“He’s pretty broken up about his dog,” he also said. “Joe’s alive today, because he was carrying Jackson to go to the bathroom, and when he was shot at, Jackson blocked the bullet that would have hit Joe.”

Hanson has been jailed and charged with attempted deliberate homicide and animal cruelty. His bail is set at $250,000. Joe Lewis’ family and friends are hoping to raise enough money to replace his dog and help with upcoming living expenses, The Montana Standard reported.

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  • Morty Mooze

    The Moozer says:

    The story was made up, but, almost believable.
    It’s a New Years’ joke and a farce.
    Monty Hanson does not exist, is not Jewish and is a fabricated character.
    Joe Lewis was never a bar tender, never shot and was never in the hospital. He is also a made up personality. Also no dog.
    There is no police report nor record of this manufactured incident. Their is no hospital report.
    And it is too late for Purim and too early for April 1st!

  • Tom Wood

    The bar tender is Anti-Semetic, and needs to serve 40 years in prison or be shot again.

  • David

    Firing a gun on Shabbos to kill someone is a much more serious violation of Torah than unknowingly during clam flavored juice…..

  • Yale

    A Jewish man who goes into a bar in Montana has no presumption that anything he gets will be kosher to any extent. Since he seems to have known the bartender, maybe there was something else going on?

  • A lot of baloney.

  • Sam

    Actually, if you dig deeper, you will see this person, Monte Hanson, is not what any of us would consider a “Jew.”

    The only “synagogue” in Hamilton, Montana where he lives is a Messianic Judaism congregation.

    Messianic Judaism is a Fundamentalist Christian sect that tries to reclaim what they think what it was like to live as a First or Second century Christian, before Rome and the Church took over.

    So they value all the prophets and teachings of the Jewish Part of the Bible on an equal plane with the Christian “New testament”.

    Religious extremist? yes.
    Jewish religious extremist? not so much.

    • Harald Thingelstad

      Not entirely correct. I’m quite sure there are zealots there too, the United States has it fair share of religious zealots as well as people of every other opinion.
      But while I’m fairly new to the term Messianic Judaism, I know very well what it’s about. It isn’t a sect more than protestantism is a sect, and actually Martin Luther wasn’t the first to go this path either. He’s just the most renowned one. Since then, it’s been back and forth.
      But trying to harm someone like this isn’t Christianity in any form, Christianity is a path away from the extremism and unrest that happened among Jews during the roman “jewish wars” – among that the destruction of Jerusalem.
      It gained traction among others in the roman empire too – especially among the lower classes – tired of the violent mess running rampant in the roman empire. Parallell to how the jewish nation grew out of Abraham and Moses.
      In the tradition of Yeshua (Jesus in greek), it rejects the jewish oral tradition, the “oral law”, but takes up and works further on the Tanakh.

      But as the christian apostles warned of, the roman empire gained power over christianity again, and changed most things jewish about it. All protestantism is, more or less, an effort away from that and back to its more original jewish roots. It’s just, it takes time and effort, and there are a lot of misconceptions and power struggles along the way. A common basis, however, is “don’t make a mess of it”. It’s okay to learn but violence is not a solution.

  • Dan Friedman

    Sad that this appeared in the Algemeiner. Must have been a slow news day.

  • Steve Loeb

    This story is BS …

  • Dots

    Where is the original source for the story. It appears to be a spoof.

    • Mikael Weinstein

      The links have been provided by Algemeiner (in blue type parenthesis) Try clicking on the “Associated Press” link or the “Montana Standard” link for further information.

      By the way, struggling your way through a headline is nowhere near as informative as actually reading the story.

  • Cindy

    This behavior goes directly against Judaism and would be condemend by all sane Jewish-and orthodox- people. The man’s prioritization of ‘kosher’ over violence in such a setting is not the hallmark of rational behavior. The word ‘kosher’ means fitting, appropriate. Who cares about the drink–this behavior had nothing to do with ‘kosher’.

    Every sect in the world has a few crazies who distort it and get it wrong unfortunately, mixing up ‘zeal’ with rationality, the crazy just masks itself in zealous garb. It really has nothing to do with the religion or it’s people. It is not majority (or even significant minority) voice.
    No religious Jew will tell you this guy is normal. His behavior does not represent Judaism or Jews. It is just not sane, it has nothing to do with Judaism or God; the Jewish law system would hold him liable.
    No matter what happened to this drink, this behavior is not ‘kosher’.

  • Pinchos

    sound very strange, if this guy was kosher only, why would he be in a bar drink anything not under rabbinic supervision.
    sounds fish, no pun intended

    • Yaakov

      Because it’s perfectly fine to drink in a bar without a hechsher? I do it all the time. Just know what beers you can drink and most hard liquors are fine regardless.

      Why is it that shomer mitzvot Jews have to be haredim that follow humra after humra just to get an edge on their neighbors? It doesn’t need a hechsher to be kosher!

  • American

    This is what extremism does to a person’s brain. One must respect life. 🙁

  • David

    This is not a reason to kill a man.. though it is to sue him for malpractice against customers. There must be something else underlying previously between the two of them, something the reporters aren’t telling.

  • Pinchas Baram

    is this story for real? is Monte Hanson really Jewish? something is unkosher in this crazy story…

  • Genghis Cohen

    If Monte Hanson believes that he has earned points with the Lord by shooting Joe Lewis over some clam juice, he is worshiping in vain. Attempted murder is a much more grievous offense than unknowingly drinking clam juice. Deliberate violation of one of the 10 Commandments does not sit well with the Lord.

  • Jerry Henderson

    Very interesting, but methinks this is not the essence of the entire story. There is only one way to make sure that personal dietary preferences are consistently met and that is to prepare your intake yourself. When you reply on others to cater to your self-perceived needs, you are definitely opening yourself up for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Why should something important to you be important to the next guy who may neither be aware of or understand or even be sympathetic to your needs? I recall many people at parties throughout the years telling me to have a piece of cake when they see I am quite overweight and at first glance decline the receipt of this piece of cake or ice cream! Why do I have to explain my preference? I do not. Nor do I have to rely on others to cater to my needs. That is not fair of me to transfer this responsibility to another! It is MY job to take care of myself, not my neighbor’s! And if I choose to walk away from this responsibility to myself, I cannot transfer my anger to another person by assaulting and injuring him! Shame on Mr. Hanson! He sounds dangerous to me and others and by the time he has aged to the age he is, he should have learned how to cope with situations such as this was, without playing the fool, as he did!

  • Milhouse

    Ironically, clamato is tecnically kosher, since the clam extract is less than 1/60th of the total, and, at the request of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, is added last, so as to keep the equipment kosher.

    • thatguyfrom514

      Using your logic Reb’ Milhouse, cheese made with non-kosher rennet should then be kosher.

  • Leah1

    Not to diminish the seriousness of the offense by the Jewish man, if it had been a Muslim he would have gotten off scott free with an apology for being discriminated against. And then this hypothetical Muslim would have filed a lawsuit against the bartender, the owner of the bar, and against the dog.

    • thatguyfrom514

      Except… Muslims do not drink alcohol.

  • shloime

    maybe that’s the way things are done in montana, but it has nothing to do with jewish halakha.

    no, clamato isn’t kosher, obviously, but human life (piquah nefesh) is more important than keeping kosher. and it’s sad that a jew, even in montana, wouldn’t know something that is so very basic.

  • Sofia

    The world is mad!

    Sad, sad indeed. One doesn’t need this kind of news.