Wednesday, December 28, 2011

// // 10 comments

You Get It!

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

We had some great comments and feedback on events in Beit Shemesh.  I’d like to point a few out, and a few other articles that highlight thoughts on what’s going on.

First Rav Slifkin at Rationalist Judaism, someone I’ve met and attended his lecture (and my daughter has babysat for him!).  He writes a deep analysis of why other ultra-orthodox rabbis aren’t standing up to counter the zealot-thugs.  His conclusion, they deplore the violence but aren’t completely against the goals of a “holy neighborhood”.

Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish has a completely different take.  He traces back the money trail of those who promoted a minor local disturbance into an international news event.  At the end of the trail he finds George Soros, who is consistently financing projects to fracture Israeli society.

On both accounts I’ll note the amazing fact that when 20 (seemingly) religious Jews misbehave in a large town in Israel, it becomes a number one world headline! 

Many of our reader comments were incredible and approached the issue exactly as I had been thinking about it….

shimonmatisyahu said “The rabbis who should be protesting against these zealots should refer to the Gemara in Gittin that is customarily learned on Tisha B'Av about the zealots who burned 22 years worth of food that was saved for the Jewish community in order to get the Jews to fight the Romans. Not only did this not work at the end for shortly afterwards, the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed along with murder and exile of Jews…”  Exactly.  Even worse, these modern zealots use the same name as the zealots of that time, and these events are occurring right before the fast of the 10th of Tevet – our reminder of the siege of Jerusalem!

Anonymous said “don’t these rabbis know the whole Torah is don’t do to your neighbor as you’d want your neighbor to do you???” 

Yishai said “Be among the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving all creatures and bringing them closer to Torah.”

Tzemer Upishtim said “The way we can fight this craziness is NOT by protesting. We have to learn the laws of Bein Adam L'Chavero (the Torah laws between man and his fellow).”

Yishai said “Pirkei Avot, 1:6 Judge every person favorably * This includes the national religious and even the chilonim!”

There is so much Torah about peace, unity, and the mitzvot of Bein Odom L’chavero (between man and his fellow), and so little about zealotry with absolutely NONE about attacking your fellow (unless he’s trying to physically kill you).  There is no Torah in what’s going on and no possible Jewish justification. 

This is thuggery in the name of Torah, a straight out chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d’s name). 

This doesn’t mean there are no negative actions happening on the other side.  There are people looking to take advantage of the situation, trying to start a fight with the ultra-orthodox and people who will jump into the situation for their own personal benefit.  And some of the organizations now involved are receiving foreign funding to damage Israel and the Jews.

But it doesn’t matter.  There is no justification for terrorizing elementary school girls.

Two comments were upsetting, and I’ll reply to them here:

Anonymous said on Bad Charedi, Bad! ... This is a ridiculous post written by someone who clearly doesn't come from Beit Shemesh. Who are you pointing your fingers at? How can you talk about the Rabbai'im in such a way? And this woman who went to the non religious press, this is the way a shomrei shabbos behaves?

The animals spitting at children are NOTHING to do with the Charedi community here and nor are the immodestly dressed mizrachi women who feels its appropriate to go to the non religious press. Both are as bad as each other and have nothing to do with the Charedim in Beit Shemesh.

It’s rather ironic someone commenting as “anonymous” criticizes a signed post asking “who are you?”  Further, when the post includes a video of the author directly confronting the charedi-dressed yiddish-accented zealot-thugs calling the 8 year old school girls inappropriate names in Beit Shemesh while guarding the girls walking home, it’s as if Anonymous didn’t even glance at it. 

“How can you talk about Rabbai’im in such a way?” – Where there are no men, be a man (Pirke Avos).

This woman’s child has been terrorized for 3 months.  The police didn’t deal with it.  The mayor didn’t deal with it.  The rabbaim she approached either didn’t deal with it or couldn’t deal with it.  Would you let your child continue to be terrorized or do ANYTHING you could to make it stop (like going to the press)?  I know my answer.

Commenter Abbi said on Live from Beit Shemesh, “This post (Rabbi Slifkin’s) explains your attitude to a T: ‘At every level in charedi society, there is a certain degree of intolerance towards non-charedim, which is never protested by those to their left in charedi society.’  This protest was the beginning of a tikkun. You are part of the problem, even if you pretend you're not.

Abbi, you’re obviously looking to pick a fight.  As with the previous comment, I wonder if you even read the articles as we took direct actions to stand against the zealot-thugs actions against the school and the girls.  If you want to completely alienate the charedi community and define every Jew who wears a black hat and long coat as a problem, then you’ll be helping the zealots who go around telling everyone in the charedi community that that’s the case. 

Israel is going to be more religious, more ultra orthodox whether anyone likes it or not.  That’s a fact of demographics that can no longer be avoided (and previous governments took actions to starve the community, reducing child and poverty payments).  The government has done everything it can to stop that, keep the charedim segregated and limited in economic capacity (yes, there are 2 sides to the story and I’m telling the other one.) 

Now the government and society should be working to moderate, make some accommodations, and integrate them into the operational aspects of society.  (No, you’re not going to get them to integrate into Israeli culture – trying to force that is part of the isolation response of today.)

I attended the protests to defend the girls as a charedi standing against charedi zealot-thugs with my dati-leumi (modern orthodox) brethren.  And I attended yesterday’s anti-violence protest as a charedi who is willing to stand up and say this is not ok, and confront it when necessary.

I don’t pretend.  “Where there’s no men, be a man” is part of my Torah.  So is “v’ahavta l’rayecha ka’mocha” – love your fellow.  What’s part of yours?

10 comments:

Gibbo said...

where has all the human decency gone?? what a perversion of judaism, can you even imagine how these people deal with goyim!!??Hashem help us

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Rabbi Akiva, please get together with Jonathon Rosenblum. He also wrote a very good article on this issue.


We know that this issue is being blown up by the media as part of a general bash the religious (I'm not saying that it is not happening but that when something similar happened by non religious against a hareidi school, who ever heard of it?). Nonetheless, what we need is a public statement signed by 100 prominent rabbis deploring this, and fully supporting appropriate criminal charges to be brought against the thugs. The failure to make a public statement of this kind is also a statement. It means that this behaviour is tolerated, maybe not welcomed, but tolerated nonetheless.

Like we don't have enough problems. Gadaffi's daughter has taken an Israeli lawyer to request asylum in Israel.

Anyway keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Akiva, please get together with Jonathon Rosenblum. He also wrote a very good article on this issue.


We know that this issue is being blown up by the media as part of a general bash the religious (I'm not saying that it is not happening but that when something similar happened by non religious against a hareidi school, who ever heard of it?). Nonetheless, what we need is a public statement signed by 100 prominent rabbis deploring this, and fully supporting appropriate criminal charges to be brought against the thugs. The failure to make a public statement of this kind is also a statement. It means that this behaviour is tolerated, maybe not welcomed, but tolerated nonetheless.

Like we don't have enough problems. Gadaffi's daughter has taken an Israeli lawyer to request asylum in Israel.

Anyway keep up the good work.

Daniela said...

Anonymous, can we have the name of your teacher? Thank you.

Shiloh said...

No, no, no Akiva, you are dead wrong. Israel will not be more ultra orthodox once the Mashiach is publically revealled. Even the late Rav Kaduri said that the religious will have a problem accepting him. Yehovah will pull the plug long before He allows this to go much further. He, blessed be He will not allow His Name to be desecrated by the idoltry much longer. Do we know when, certainly not. But at the end of the day this will, including the derech that for the last 2300 years has caused every ounce of our exile will finally get the major tikun we need. Sorry it goes so against your traditions of men that you personally are so afraid to loose as you have admitted. see Isaiah 29:13

You don't like what I say, but when one cannot see the forest for the tree's we can only expect kick back, that's human nature.

What is your point of Slifkin? said...

Hi Akiva, i read you r blog all the time and I think that its great.

I think your article is once again right on the mark. However it seems that Slifkin is directly opposing you on this analysis. So why do you seem to be condoning what he is saying?

Neshama said...

I want to write more, but now I don't have the time. However, Reb Akiva, the integration will only happen gradually as the true halachic frum people allow it to happen, by being the example for it to occur. It will take new generations ... unless Moshiach arrives ... raised with respect for all yidden. By example and with kindness it can happen. Rav Aryeh Levin had a way with people, he knew to pull close with the right hand but influence with the left. How about your own Rabbi Gutman? Rav Kook had the right idea, but the then zealots quashed that for good.

smb said...

We need to reverse the situation from negative to positive. Be careful with middos and say and do positive acts. And realize that eventhough people disagree with each other, we should respectfully talk through it. Let's show people our ahavas yisrael and thereby bring people close to Torah and have unity bezrat Hashem

Related Posts with Thumbnails