Monday, October 14, 2013


I’ve Been Insulted, and Threatened…

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

My review of Beit Shemesh politics (Beit Shemesh hits bottom…and digs) quickly generated some strong responses.  Here’s the best (or rather worst)…

“יוסף‎ wrote: "So you side with the Meretz/Lapid/BY guy. Anglos like yourself and that fag Lipman are truly traitors in our midst, and a good ol' fashion purge is in order".

It’s always a problem when facts interfere with hardcore beliefs, which is exactly what makes the political campaign approach in Beit Shemesh (vilifying the non-ultra-orthodox) so dangerous.

Let’s take apart the statement above:

1. I said the campaign on one side is throwing mud, I did NOT say who to vote for or against.  Yet because I didn’t endorse the bearded kippah wearing candidate (the existing mayor), I’m assumedly a traitor to my cultural segment and to be associated with the most virulent (political) enemies of that segment.

2. Because I’m a traitor to my cultural segment, my sub-sub segment (English speaking ultra-orthodox Jewish immigrants to Israel) is worthy of being the victim of mass murder led by the author.

3. Making such a statement the author positions himself as part of the “authentic” charedi Torah based ultra-orthodox segment of Israeli society.

4. The author therefore makes an implicit statement that the path of the authentic charedi Torah based ultra-orthodox in Israel is to threaten and lead events of mass murder.

This is of course ridiculous: the ultra-orthodox Jews of Israel have NEVER lead or performed any events of mass murder, nor ever been accused of planning or even thinking about such.

Let’s go into slightly more detail:

- This is a local political race.  The author bringing in the specific national parties that are changing the status quo with respect to the ultra-orthodox in Israel is EXACTLY what I stated in my article, making a boogeyman out of the local candidate via guilt by association with the national political groups.  Meretz (a national anti-religious party in Israel) has no presence in Beit Shemesh.  NEITHER does Yesh Atid (the secularist party national party that won big in the last election and is driving the push against special status situations for the ultra-orthodox), though their one black-yalmuke wearing MK is from Beit Shemesh.  By the way, Likud is the leader of this government, why isn’t the author railing against Likud and Netanyahu?

- “the fag Lipman”.  MK Lipman, a local rabbi and graduate of an ultra-orthodox yeshiva in Baltimore (meaning his ultra-orthodox credentials are at least equal to the average charedi guy) is married to an opposite gender spouse with a house full of children.  Both this and the fact that he is neither made of wood nor stuffed with tobacco and rolled in paper seem to indicate he is not a “fag”.

- How can an ultra-orthodox Jew call himself even slightly religious, wear a yalmulke or pray in synagogue while threatening mass murder?  This is derech Torah?  This is the affect of learning and davening?  A Jew would threaten murder?????

And this is where using divisive campaign techniques that pit societal segments against each other leads.  Inflamed passions that even lead to threats of mass murder.

It’s hard to put ugly back in the bottle after spraying it around during a campaign.

P.S. – let me be perfectly clear, I am not publically endorsing ANYONE nor directly supporting either candidate in the mayor’s race in Beit Shemesh, Israel.  Each voter should decide what facts matter to them and/or who's advice they care to follow and vote their conscience.


  1. I thought of the Beit Shemesh election fight as I listened to @joshyuter's shiur on Daas Torah this morning.


  2. BS"D

    This whole thing affirms the premise of the book I just read online. I don't know if you've heard of it or not - called To Eliminate the Opiate by Rav Marvin S. Antelman, zz"l (he just passed away; see the End of Days blog). I read part 1 and if I can ever get part 2 it will have my interest as well.

    In one sentence: It's about the determination of certain individuals, beginning in the 1700s and still ongoing today by their spiritual and physical descendants, to activate a multifaceted plan to destroy Judaism - and with it all true belief in G-d - either by killing all Jews or assimilating us to death.

    This group of individuals includes mostly non-Jews and some Jews, even prominent ones, as well.

    Basically, what you describe here are some of the results of their scheming and actions: You cannot describe a complicated political situation in Beit Shemesh, without being accused of being on the totally opposite side of where you really are, and the accuser can't see how someone who doesn't hate religious Jews doesn't wear a kippah or peyoth -- and he proceeds to call fellow Jews names and threaten murder. Those who wish to divide us are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams!

    But - and I'm speaking to יוסף now - we need to be much more level-headed when we read. If we decide to respond, we need to think, and be sure our response is relevant. Yom Kippur wasn't so long ago, and it will come around next year!

    If I remember correctly, we Jews are supposed to give each other the benefit of the doubt, particularly if the person we're reading or speaking with is known to be righteous. I stand with Reb Akiva on this one.

    And don't get me started on the issue of the Sepharadi candidate. We just lost Rav Ovadia, for crying out loud. Have some respect.

    CDG, Yerushalayim

  3. Akiva, I agree with both your two posts: the 1st one, which was a greet analysis of the current campaign, and the second which shows how far hate is going to drive our fellow jews crazy.
    Despite all that I'm very surprised that you dare write that you're not endorsing anyone... What about the chabad list ?

  4. Akiva, I agree with both your two posts: the 1st one, which was a greet analysis of the current campaign, and the second which shows how far hate is going to drive our fellow jews crazy.
    Despite all that I'm very surprised that you dare write that you're not endorsing anyone... What about the chabad list ?

  5. Anonymous, "dare"? Don't be bashful, if you think I'm a liar call me out on it. And if I've made a mistake I'll apologize and accept the correction.

    THESE articles were about the mayor's race - and I have not endorsed either candidate nor has the Vaad Kehilot Chabad.

    Regarding town council, a separate race for the 19 seats on the council, Chabad does have a candidate on a party list and I have endorsed him. But given this blog readership is minor for my home town, I generally don't bring local issues onto this blog.

  6. I am not from Bet Shemesh, but have sent some time in Ramat Bet Shemesh Aleph. The people I met were "Frum", black trousers, white shirt, kippot wearers. Houses without a television, went to Yeshivot, then did army service and now work.
    How are they any less or more Jewish than the Haredim?
    Answer: They are not.
    This horrible distinction between types of Jews is a moral weakness and futile one. I fear it will take an Iranian nuclear threat and Maschiach to bring us to our senses.

  7. FYI only. Now the JPost is running an article saying that both candidates are accusing each other. The application of "moral relativism" at work again.


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