Thursday, March 07, 2013


Jewish? Home

Rabbi Lazer Brody, shlita, wrote a powerful letter to Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party in Israel a little over a week ago. 

For Shaymius HaAretz, for keeping of the whole Holy Land, many among Chabad in Israel voted for Bayit HaYehudi.  The (reported) results are quickly become FAR from what those voters envisioned.

Here’s Rabbi Brody’s letter, with which we strongly agree.  Some bolding added by me.

Et Tu, Naftali?

The following is a personal letter to Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Hayehudi party:

Dear Naftali,

In Shakespeare's classic play, Julius Caesar is stabbed and killed by the person he considered to be his best friend, Marcus Brutus. As Brutus sticks him with the knife, Caesar says, "Et tu, Brute?" - or, "you too are betraying me, Brutus?"

Many people, including a substantial number of English-speaking immigrants, regarded you as a breath of fresh air in Israeli politics. You promised to bridge the gap between all sectors of the population. You promised to honor the Torah and the world of Torah learning. You promised to strengthen the Jewish settlement in every corner of our beloved homeland.

There have been political parties that have been staunch on Torah. There have also been political parties that have been staunch on our right to every square inch of our G-d given Land of Israel. Three great tzaddikim - the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Sadigora Rebbe, and the Bostoner Rebbe, all of blessed and saintly memory - were uncompromising in both areas, for in essence, the Torah and the Land of Israel are inseparable. All three tzaddikim had limitless love for every individual. Naftali, you had us believing that you were walking in their holy footsteps.

You and I both know the values that one learns in Israel's elite units - dedication, loyalty and reliability. We know that we are no better than the integrity of our word. We also know the values one learns in Torah - emuna, and once again, dedication, loyalty and reliability. No wonder that so many of us who grew up without Torah backgrounds found our way to Torah after serving in one the IDF elite units.

Naftali, where are those values in your pact with Yair Lapid? Why have you taken the cheap populist stance of drafting the Haredim, as if thousands of them aren't already serving today? Why are you strengthening Lapid's hand in limiting deferments to 2,000 Torah learners? The Mir Yeshiva alone has 3,000 students! Was it the Iron Dome that protected Israel in the recent round of hostilities, or all the Torah lerning in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot, Ofakim and Beer Sheva? How many Katyushas did the Iron Dome miss right here in Ashdod? Yet, rockets fell in parking lots in the middle of the city rather than on highrise condos, Heaven forbid. That was the power of Torah...

On Purim, we were required to drink wine until we can no longer differentiate between cursed Haman and blessed Mordechai.

Unfortunately, Israeli politics is now a Purim joke. Naftali, without drinking a drop, we can no longer differentiate between you and Yair Lapid. We have few expectations from Yair - the poor guy never tasted the sweetness of Torah. But you? And this is the chevruta (partner) you choose? And now, you too are sticking a knife in the world of Torah? Et tu, Naftali?

You could have been the individual that forced the IDF to be more sensitive to the needs of Haredi soldiers. You could have been the one who tripled the size of the Nahal Haredi and the IAF programs for Haredi hi-tech specialists. You could have been the one to make sure that a soldier doesn't get kicked out of officer's school for refusing to listen to women singing, or other ridiculous anti-religious excuses. You could also have been the hero that puts an end to the delegitimization of the holy Yeshivot and those who truly learn Torah.

Don't ruin your opportunity of a lifetime, Naftali.

Naftali, talk is cheap; your "unbreachable pact" with Lapid shows exactly who you really are. We all make mistakes. We can all correct them, too. I urge you, for the sake of Torah and Eretz Yisrael, to reassess your position. If you choose, you can be Hashem's messenger in bringing Moshiach. Sure, let's make sure that everyone serves the country; but Heaven forbid, let's not diminish one minute of Torah learning. I implore you to rethink your position. Go out to the field and talk to Hashem for an hour - ask Him if you are doing His will. Seek His help and He'll be glad to guide you. If you make your "unbreachable pact" with Hashem, you're bound to succeed.

With respect and blessings, Lazer Brody


  1. This is a complicated issue to say the least!
    Rav Dov bar Leib of End of Days blog sees Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennet as forces for good.
    Rav Dov too is a friend of and has great respect for Rav Lazer Brody.
    So let's all pray for an outcome of negotiations that brings us to Geulah Shleimah.

  2. Since when does "unbreachable pact with Heaven" mean doing exactly like the charedim want you to do? Did anyone consider Bennet's other options? If he wants to actually make a difference and not just be a "breath of fresh air" to be tearfully admired, he must enter the coalition, otherwise very dangerous desisions can be made in the government. How can he enter the coalition if Bibi dislikes him, Sara hates him, and Shas and UTJ won't give a hoot about him (or will they give a hoot about anybody who's not charedi exactly like them)?
    So whats better, having a government make decisions which will DIRECTLY AND PHYSICALLY endanger jewish lives, or having more chareidim serve their nation in ways which everyone can relate to?
    Are you out of your mind to think that if more charedim serve all Torah learning will stop? You're just repeating the old charedi party line without giving it much thought, I'm surprised at you Akiva...
    As to forcing those who really don't want into the army, Naftali already said that he'll make sure military police will not storm Mea Shearim, and I truly believe he will try all in his power to prevent that. In any case it's not too hard in Israel to avoid military service if you really don't want to serve.
    What's really disgusting is that the charedi polititians are now willing to aid in expelling jews from their homes just to show that they can give it back to Naftali!!! Oy vey!

  3. The rockets fell in empty spaces in Ashkelon and Ashdod and Ber Sheva because "that's the power of Torah"...
    Rabbi Brody, you have to be G-d to know that. How come then most yeshivot in those cities EVACUATED during the war? I guess they were still providing protection to Ashdod and Ashkelon while learning Torah elsewhere? Perhaps jewish people have other zchuyot that protect them, like doing chesed, putting your life on the line (like soldiers do while yeshivas prefer to evacuate) or even our suffering for 2 thousand years?
    Is having people learn Torah while relying on others' financial support (sometimes coerced) really a zchus? I don't know, can anybody answer? May be not only chilonim need to be chozer bitshuva?

  4. Moshe and David, great comments. Find me any based on the written Torah that anyone sat in the Yeshiva milking ths system. Torah is all about living in this world. It's about our behavior in this world. It's how to share the Light about Yehovah and His instruction manual to the entire world. It's not about living in the getto and keeping the Torah to ourselves. This is exactly what the Erev Rav are. So Bennet and Lapid are sources for good, maybe not all the way there yet, but we have to crawl before we can walk. It is specifically the stance of the Charedim, the stance of those like Brody who are in fact preventing and delaying the geulah. It's all talk people in order that they maintain control over the sheep. To ensure the money keeps rolling in. As soon as their schtick is exposed completely is when their lies come crashing down and we at that point will enter the geulah.

  5. Shiloh, you don't have to deny the Oral Torah to agree with me, the Oral Torah also doesn't approve of milking anybody. It's a real pity that today's mishigassin have driven you crazy enough to try to throw out the baby with the bath water...
    Perhaps check out you'll find a common sense approach that doesn't end up too far...
    With denying the Oral Torah all you'll do is make up your own religion, is this what you're looking for?
    Wishing you all the best.
    David (from previous commnent)

  6. David,I agree because I see the hypocrisy among the religious who fear God based on the takanot of men. Commentaries are fine. But these commentaries are not from Moshe, nor are they from the time of the giving of the Torah. Living by the Tanach is not a new religion and has been around much longer then the 2200 year old pharisee movement. Shabbat Shalom

  7. It's still unclear what his plan actually is. It looks like it's going this negative direction, but it also has to do with his Bennett's personal fight with both Shas and Netanyahu. Agreed, he should get over it and do what's right for whom he's supposed to be representing, but he's been painted into a corner. Hope he can come out of it. Keep in mind that Lapid's plan doesn't actually draft any charadim for five years, so this all may just be politics and kicking the can down the line.

  8. Baruch Hashem, I did not throw my vote away to the pach of Bennet and most Chabad new ahead of time not to waste their vote on him either.

    I would have felt deep embarrassment and disappointment to see him take the Bayit Yehudi on the same hashkafa of the old Mafdal which was not Haredi friendly. The equality of burden is not the main issue facing Israel right now, but Bennet and the BY made it their flag as well, essentially disenchanting most Haredim who were used as a scapegoat for him to join the coalition.

    Nonetheless, I am still embarrassed. As a national-religious person, I did much kiruv work with haredim to explain and show that not all national-religious are parve and 'mizrohi'. Hours and days of effort to show that there is a more torani side, many yeshivot that take Torah seriously, but it all went down the drain with Bennet and the new Mafdal. B'ezrat Hashem, they will do tshuva.


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