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It is early fall 2013. Almost 50 years have passed since the killings of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald. Most of the rest of the Dallas power players of that era are long dead, unable to bear further witness to the truth; the legacy that survives them is one of skepticism and intrigue. The Warren Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the Assassinations Record Review Board, Oliver Stone’s movie, J.F.K., all produced various theories about what really happened. Was Jack Ruby — Lee Harvey Oswald’s killer — a helpmate to the mob? Was he enlisted by them or others, perhaps the CIA or Naval Intelligence, to kill Oswald and erase forever the truth about who really killed President Kennedy?

The Warren Commission, appointed by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, and chaired by U.S. Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren, said Oswald alone killed the president and that Ruby was also a deranged single actor. Polls show a minority of Americans believe them.

Remaining faithful to the Warren Report is one of the last men still alive who knew Jack Ruby personally, knew him both before and after he killed Oswald, visited him in his Dallas jail cell for months, and testified at his trial. His name is Hillel Silverman. He was Jack Ruby’s rabbi. Today he lives in San Diego.

Video:

Rabbi Silverman, the Kennedy assassination's last insider

An interview with Hillel Silverman, Jack Ruby's rabbi and friend. Topics include his love for baseball, his time as a soldier in the 1948 Arab--Israeli War and rabbi in the US Navy, his thoughts on the JFK assassination, and his experiences with Jack Ruby before and after the killings of JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald.

An interview with Hillel Silverman, Jack Ruby's rabbi and friend. Topics include his love for baseball, his time as a soldier in the 1948 Arab--Israeli War and rabbi in the US Navy, his thoughts on the JFK assassination, and his experiences with Jack Ruby before and after the killings of JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Three miles up the road and over the hill from where mid-century Dallas oil tycoon Clint Murchison’s Del Charro hotel used to be before it was torn down for condos in the 1970s (see sidebar), Silverman gingerly puts down his cane and eases into a chair for yet one more take on the truth. He is 89 years old, but his memory of November 1963 is still firm, if sometimes, as might be expected at his age and after so long a time, wavering on some of the details. If anyone can speak with authority about those tragic days in Dallas, he can, though the mystery remains formidable, he admits, even for himself.

The bright sunlight of early fall streams through the windows of the upscale apartment complex near University Town Centre, where he has lived with his second wife in retirement for 12 years. After a career in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Greenwich, Connecticut, he moved to University City in 2001, becoming interim rabbi at La Jolla’s Temple Beth El. He still serves at B’nai Shalom, a small, conservative congregation in Vista.

Silverman says he is still convinced, after the many years of dispute, that the Warren Commission was right, that Ruby acted alone and there was no conspiracy with the mob, the CIA, or anyone else to silence Lee Harvey Oswald. Then he admits that there is still an argument.

“I think it was a bona fide commission,” he says. “I think they did a beautiful job of research, but they’ll never put it to bed; there will be people who are saying it’s a conspiracy a hundred years from now.”

Silverman, the son of a renowned Jewish scholar, went to Yale to play baseball, and then to the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan. In the middle of his seminary training, Silverman went to Palestine to study the Talmud. When war broke out in 1947, he joined the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary group, seeing deadly combat against Arab enemies. A legendary force for Zionism, the Haganah carried out anti-British operations in Palestine, liberated interned immigrants, and sabotaged British bases and radar installations. Silverman still carries the emotional scars, as well as the fierce pride of having been present at the explosive birth of Israel.

“I went to study at the Hebrew University and I wanted to be a farmer,” he recalls. “I wanted to work on a kibbutz, one of those agricultural collectives, but then the war broke out and the Hebrew University closed. And I was not a hero — I did what anybody would do: I joined.”

At the end of the fighting, he returned to New York to complete his seminary degree and become a rabbi. But Silverman’s military career was not over. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, he joined the Navy and ministered to sailors and Marines. As the sole Jewish chaplain of the Sixth Fleet, he stood on the deck of the carrier Coral Sea and watched fighter jets launch on perilous, top-secret missions. He traveled in Europe, going to Germany, where he says he came face-to-face with fresh images of the Holocaust.

Hillel Silverman, Jack Ruby’s Dallas rabbi at the time of the Kennedy assassination, now lives in the University Town Centre area.

Silverman says he loved the Navy; he would remain an officer in the Reserves for another 30 years, seeing active duty again in Hawaii during the early days of the Vietnam War before retiring as a commander in 1974.

In 1954, deciding it was time for a change, he left full-time duty and for the first time sought a civilian pulpit.

A friend and mentor from the great Warburg family of Wall Street whom he had worked for at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York put him in touch with a Dallas lawyer for Del Charro’s Clint Murchison, who arranged an interview with Shearith Israel, a prosperous conservative congregation that wanted to build a new synagogue in the burgeoning suburbs of North Dallas. He got the job. That’s where he would find himself face-to-face with Jack Ruby.


Silverman was born to Morris and Althea Silverman. Of his father, Silverman says: “He was in Hartford, Connecticut, for 50 years, and he was the editor of a prayer book, a holy day prayer book that’s used all over the world. It’s a little out of fashion now but still is used, so he’s very well known.”

Though his father was a scholar, Silverman says he was still surprised when he got admitted to Yale. “It was a miracle. I couldn’t get in today, I guarantee. I don’t know how I got in, I really don’t. My marks weren’t that great, though my senior year I did well and I did some summer work. I wanted to build myself up for football, so I was on a construction gang with a pick and a shovel.

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Comments

monaghan Nov. 21, 2013 @ 10:29 a.m.

What a great story. Jack Ruby's rabbi-- alive and well and charming, living in La Jolla.

I remember every day of that weekend after the murder in Dallas of President Kennedy and the shock of watching Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on live television. Thank heaven for the passage of time.

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johnnyfever Nov. 21, 2013 @ 10:29 p.m.

Have you noticed with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK that the mainstream media sounds like a broken propaganda record? Quote from a USA today article a couple days ago. "Conspiracy theories are nonsense. There is no credible or convincing evidence of a conspiracy," link text

Lump the Rabbi in with the " scant 25% of Americans that believe the official version that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, according to a recent poll."

I knew this article was going to be anything 'BUT' a "REAL" "INSIDE" story when I the Rabbi stated: "Silverman says he is still convinced, after the many years of dispute, that the Warren Commission was right, that Ruby acted alone and there was no conspiracy". "they couldn't interrogate Oswald, and they never could find out what it was all about. I’m 100 percent convinced there was no conspiracy."

How can a man who should know by his own race that there is a JEWISH conspiracy to wipe Israel off face of the earth, swallow the official government story? The blind loyalty to the establishment of a veteran?

A majority of this story is basically the Rabbi's bio and the other third of the story he claims Ruby, or as he calls him "a misguided Patriot" didn't want to shame the Jews with a conspiracy killing of Oswald on his death bed so he wanted to clear his good(lone killer) name with a lie detector test? About the only incite I gained is that Ruby was more mentally unbalanced CIA informant than I thought in his last days.

In my opinion this country has been in a downward spiral ever since JFK was killed as if industrial military complex (Bankers,Elite) can take out the President, then they can get to anybody. It's been puppet presidents every since, ( a 2 sided coin) where if it's a DEM/REP the overall agenda get's pushed through either way, headed for a one world government.

http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/13-documents-you-should-read-about-the-jfk-assassination/Content?oid=3192028

Writer,political consultant, strategist, and lobbyist Roger Stone delivers s interview. He knew Nixon and Jack Ruby personally with the real DIRT.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Who-Killed-Kennedy/dp/1626363137

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banned from broadcast in the USA or DVD.

The Men Who Killed Kennedy - The Guilty Men (youtube) link text

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johnnyfever Nov. 21, 2013 @ 10:51 p.m.

In 1976, the U.S. Congress authorized another investigation into Kennedy’s death. This one, done by the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, took three years and was largely done in secret. It concluded that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy — but it eliminated as suspects many of the groups most Americans felt were likely culprits.

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johnnyfever Nov. 21, 2013 @ 11:15 p.m.

(see next link for must hear recent interview)

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johnnyfever Nov. 21, 2013 @ 11:16 p.m.

Writer,political consultant, strategist, and lobbyist Roger Stone (pictured with Nixon) delivers a JAW DROPPING interview. He knew Nixon and Jack Ruby personally and delivers the REAL inside story.

week old interview starts 40 min into youtube clip

http://jandeane81.com/threads/1480-Coast-to-Coast-LBJ-Behind-JFK-Killing-16-November-2013

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Diogenes Nov. 22, 2013 @ 8:50 a.m.

Here is another another case-closed type of guy. His knowledge of forensics is limited. He has established his own biases more than any real first hand knowledege.

He is an amazing person, however.

Why is it that we "must heal the nation" rather than to seek the truth every time there is an assassination or events such as Watergate. Sunlight would eliminate these events. That is why truth-seekers are labeled as conspiracy theorists and the assassins are lone nuts acting alone.

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Derek Ray Nov. 26, 2013 @ 7:01 p.m.

My great-uncle, Lloyd Ray, was in charge of the CIA office in New Orleans during the time of the Kennedy assassination. His assistant, Hunter Leake, was interviewed by historian Michael Kurtz in 1982. Leake said that Oswald came to New Orleans in April, 1963 to be used for certain operations with the CIA. Leake claimed that he personally paid Oswald for his services and, after Oswald’s death, drove a trailer filled with documents connecting Oswald with the CIA to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia where they were destroyed.

My parents, who loved JFK, gave Lloyd a book about Kennedy as a gift after the assassination. When they didn’t receive a thank you note, as was customary, my father asked my aunt if they received it. “Lloyd hated Kennedy” was the response.

More information about my uncle’s activities with the CIA has trickled out over the years. The extent of his involvement with any conspiracy is still unknown but, as my father put it, “Maybe one day the whole sordid story will be revealed.”

http://coverthistory.blogspot.com/2007/08/cia-officer-confirms-oswalds-cia.html

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PrescottAuburn Dec. 25, 2014 @ 2 p.m.

CIA involvement is very much confirmed in the book, Family of Secrets, by Russ Baker. Well researched, and documented.

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