by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
Commentor “Dovid from Modiin” wrote:
Maybe the zealots are to blame for Mattityahu’s change of hashkafa. Maybe the Charadim Rabbanim and their handlers are also to blame for Mattityahu’s change of hashkafa.
I think most readers and contributors here would agree that what the zealots are doing by the girls school in Beit Shemesh is completely wrong.
It is also wrong that the Charadi Rabbanim don't actively protest the zealots corrupt torah life style. I know there has been a handful who have in the past mentioned that it was wrong, but that is not enough. They need to speak louder, they need to make tapes, video and actively condemn and protest the zealots. They need to send 10,000 men to the zealots own community and protest against them so it is loud and clear for the entire Jewish community to hear. They need to stop worrying making arguments against other charadim and show the other Jews and the world that the zealots have crossed a line and gone to far.
In this case you are either for or against and if you don’t speak up you are against the school girls and for the zealots. It is as if all the Charadi Rabbanim have called that girl names and spit on her.
I don't think anyone is perfect and we should work on following real Mitzvot and not make up new chumrot that have no torah basis or past customs, especially when they effect other people who may not want to follow those made up chumrot. The Charadim Rabbanim need to fight against crazy made up chumrot that have no Torah source and put a stop to it.
This situation is a mess. I’ve directly confronted the zealots and participated in community protests against the zealots actions, doing both in my own “full charedi garb”. And I didn’t do so alone, but rather arrived (all independently) with many other charedim from Ramat Beit Shemesh. There are people standing up.
The people doing this are thugs and as a group acting as a gang. That they dress as ultra-orthodox Jews is irrelevant. As I’ve said before, the yezter hara, the evil inclination, doesn’t come to the ultra-orthodox and say “eat treif (not kosher)”. He comes and screams “defend the Torah! defend your rav or Rebbe!”. There is absolutely no Torah, halacha or Jewish basis for what they are doing!
That said, have no doubt that the news is throwing gasoline on the fire. This has been 10-20 very problematic ultra-orthodox dressing thugs taking actions that should be responded to by the authorities.
The Israeli news and leftists anti-religious Israeli politicians are using this situation to promote their own agendas. For example, this has become a “women’s equal rights issue”??? Yet a year ago there was a similar protest against a new boys school 2 buildings down from the girls school. (It faded away after a few months and some charedi-thug vandalism, which also wasn’t handled seriously by the authorities.)
Whether people make up chumrot (extra stringencies in their Torah observance) or not is not yours or my business. We can have a long and Torah based discussion of whether chumrot are appropriate or not.
The mistake being made here is taking these people taking their personal chumrot and trying to enforce them as a public standard. If they, as a group, choose to do that in the isolation of their synagogue and don’t welcome anyone in their synagogue who doesn’t keep their (extra) standards, again that’s their business.
When they try to physically enforce their personal standards in public, then they are violating Torah law and secular law. When violating Torah law in such a fashion they should be isolated and certainly not supported! When violating secular law the secular authorities have to take appropriate action or they will empower the thugs to increase in such actions.
Like any gang when they see they can get their way, they exercise it more to carve out their turf. And that’s exactly what’s happened.
I should note I’ve been advised, multiple times, not to write such things. The thugs may come and get me, they don’t like people taking positions against them. And this is exactly part of the problem, they’re acting like a gang threatening (and taking actual actions) against those who stand against them. Your average rabbi is not prepared to deal with a gang.
But the News is stirring up a riot!
#1 – Rav Nati was assaulted in the neighborhood in question today! He was waiting to meet a friend and pulled out his netbook (mini-laptop) inside his car, which does not have a cell-internet-connection, to jot down some Torah thoughts. He was harassed, which reached the point of 2 (supposedly) ultra-orthodox thugs attempting to pull him out of his car and hurt him. (This did not end well for the thugs, Rav Nati is a trained self defense professional. but did degenerate into rock throwing against Rav Nati – who is a charedi rabbi and dresses as such!)
#2 – To give an idea of the area in question, I prepared this map of Beit Shemesh, neighborhoods Ramat Bet, Kiryat Charedit and Sheinfeld which abut each other…