Sunday, August 09, 2009

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Disappointed Reader & Frustrated Blogger

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

In this post I speak for and represent myself. Not R. Nati, not all religious Jews, only myself.

We received the following email, titled "A Disappointed Reader"...

I am writing to express my disappointment at the complete failure of the haredi media and haredi bloggers to condemn the shooting attack at the community center in Tel Aviv last Friday. Today we just found out that a Nahal haredi soldier was responsible for several calls threatening activists. In the call he threatened to throw a grenade at participants of the rally in memory of the victims (zichronam l'vracha). And he went as far as to desecrate Shabbat, mind you! He was so blinded by hatred that he made the phone calls on Shabbat. Hashem Rachem aleinu!

I think the haredi community as a whole should take a more active role in decrying ANY form of hatred.

It deeply saddened me and frustrated me not to read ONE single word on this issue as opposed to the several vocal calls for solidarity that I've read here and on other well-known haredi blogs when other tragedies befell the Jewish people.

Thank you kindly for your attention.

B'kavod rav


In Israel, this is a DANGEROUS topic to write about. Since the Rabin assassination, Israeli security forces have been on the lookout for forms of "incitement" that THEY judge may lead to violence or influence any single person in the country in a way that may lead them to express themselves physically towards others.

Because the same-gender community is a hot button issue, and certainly given recent events, anything I may write that is not 100% positive will be construed as a negative and lead to consequences.

Really really.

However, since the reader expressed his disappointment, I want to give a guarded response...

A - As far as I have heard, no one from the religious community had anything to do with this. Further, very very few among the charedi community have weapons or army experience / training. The charedi community pretty much never goes around blowing people away.

B - Hate the sin, not the sinner. The ancient Sanhedrin (great Jewish religious court that hasn't existed for 1,200 years) had the religious authority to apply the death penalty for specific serious sins from the Torah. We, however, DO NOT have the authority to apply ANY penalties to ANYONE, certainly never ever to kill.

C - An amazing facet of life in Israel is that as much as multiple ethnic communities sometimes don't get along and sometimes go out of their way to annoy each other - basically no one is going around seriously hurting or killing people.

In my opinion the charedi community is not discussing this because they don't go around with guns or shooting people, and the same gender community tends to be loud and provocative. Now they certainly shouldn't be shot or hurt for that, but they seem to be trying to rally people against the religious - when there is no evidence that I've heard about that it was an orthodox shooter - and use this horrible event to push a marginal agenda that the vast majority disagree with and as a highly public lifestyle conflicts with the sensibilities and religious feelings of a large percentage of society.

May the families of those murdered be comforted by Hashem, may those injured have a full recovery, and may the murderer(s?) be captured and punished.

Let us support those who were hurt and killed. Leave the agenda for later.
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