Adar Blues and the Beit Shemesh Election

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32 Responses

  1. eliezer eisenberg says:

    I am thoroughly confused. didn’t Harav Feldman just fly over davka to argue the opposite?

  2. kalman says:

    Amen.

  3. Gershon says:

    eliezer eisenberg, I don’t know what Rav Feldman said, but assuming you’re correct, the fact that you’re confused says a lot!

    Our dor seems to need to have only one way of looking at things. “All the gedolim signed on the …..” “There is only one da’as Torah.” – But actually there can be many daos. and they can all be making a good point.

  4. lacosta says:

    the previous Medina fell [ and the Mikdash was destroyed] with milchemet achim and kano’us leshem shamayim , though not then by the chareidi team … why should 2000 yr later there be any difference —why should we think frum jews can live together — and why shouldnt shomrei tora umitzvot be portrayed as the son’ei hashem—whether wearing a streiml, a shlapa , a kipa sruga or a bare-head? …. if that’s all we’ve accomplished in 2000 years, the great grandchildren of the great grandchildren will be commemorating yet another few 100 tisha bavs– but doubtless back in chutz laaretz….

  5. Baruch Gitlin says:

    Rav Adlerstein, you straddle a very difficult line in writing about these issues. Thank God there are people like you and Rav Solevechik out there trying to maintain a sense of rational and respectful dialogue in an atmosphere that has become conducive to anything but.

  6. BeitShemesher says:

    What should be more interesting to Rabbi Adlerstein than Rav Feldman’s speech is that of Rav Avigdor Neventzahl, who rarely leaves the confines of the Old City of Yerushalayim and yet did just that to forcefully advocate for the Charedi candidate.

    [YA You guessed right. It was more interesting. Convinced me of what I already knew – that I could not have a firm handle on the situation from the distance. But I am convinced that the Eli Cohen side should be heard. Too many people I like, including talmidim, on that side.]

  7. Baruch says:

    “How could I not take part in a gathering of so many Torah Jews, united in their love for Torah?”

    My answer to that question is a very tragic and painful one: because the Torah they love is not my Torah. My Torah is not only about learning, and my Torah requires common sense, sensibility and decency before everything else. The shocking rhetoric coming out of the “atzeres tefila” camp unfortunately bespeaks a woeful lack of all of the above. I have always genuinely tried to maintain respect and even reverence for the charedi world despite identifying as dati leumi. But it’s been almost impossible to do so over the last few weeks/months.

  8. Ari Heitner says:

    B’kavod to R’Chaim and to his father, my Rambam says the following in Hilchos Melachim chapter 1: וכל מי שאין בו יראת שמים אע”פ שחכמתו מרובה אין ממנין אותו למינוי מן המינויין שבישראל (“Anyone who has no fear of Heaven, even though he is very wise, we do not appoint him to any position in Yisroel”).

    I live in Ramat Beit Shemesh A. We moved here last July. I walk past R’Chaim’s shul every Shabbos. And I also haven’t enjoyed the hatred and negativity that has characterized elections here.

    But I have not seen a word from the Eli Cohen/secular camp about the elections except, “We can defeat the Hareidim,” or, “We’re the majority here.” Nothing about what Moshe Abutbul has done that he would have done differently. Nothing about what he would like to accomplish. Just, “Vote for us as an expression of being anti-Hareidi.”

    For the record, I daven in shuls that are a mix of colored shirts and white shirts, kippot srugot, hats and shtreymels. Contrary to what you may read in the newspapers, I have never seen anyone yelling at anyone else. When the occasional car mistakenly drives into the neighborhood on Shabbos, no one pays it any mind.

  9. Y. Ben-David says:

    Rav Adlerstein, as much as I respect and admire you, I can not fathom how honest people like yourself can do something like join such a demonstration which such vile messages.
    One the one hand there is the ideology of Torah, which is supposed to make people better. But, on the other hand, as you yourself point out, many people who claim they are in the “Torah camp” believe, as you state, that “the ends justify the means” which is the most ANTI-TORAH attitude that can be. Does your group identification (“my people right or wrong”!) override ethics, decency and common sense? Sure, every ideological, ethnic or religious group has its bad apples, but this phoeomenon is becoming more and more widespread. Isn’t this a sigh that something is VERY wrong? Aren’t there conclusions that decent people like yoruself should reach beyond merely wringing one’s hands?

    [YA- There are conclusions, and there are concrete actions based on those conclusions. Most of them have to do with conveying truths to your talmidim and people in your sphere of influence. I hope I am still doing that.]

  10. joel rich says:

    Had I been in Yerushalayim or New York, I would have attended. How could I not take part in a gathering of so many Torah Jews, united in their love for Torah? And tefillah is always appropriate. HKBH can sort out all of the different requests; mine would have been for a solution to the problem that allows for Torah to thrive, for people to extricate themselves from their poverty and dependence if they wish, for people not to drown financially as this is happening, and for healing the rifts between us.
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    It would be interesting to know the multiple motivations of the people who attended and the multiple motivations of the organizers. more importantly, what were the results of the gathering. Judging by the reaction in the American press, the average reader assumes these were anti Israel expressions by religious jews. within the orthodox community, I doubt the reaction was “what a wonderful opportunity for prayer”
    KT

  11. Avrohom says:

    It is truly a great honor to know Rav Soloveichik and work together with him for the less fortunate in Eretz Yisroel. His organization, Lema’an Achai, has helped thousands of families employing the same wisdom he brings forth in his letter.

  12. L. Oberstein says:

    Soon,we will know the outcome of the re-election. I have children and grandchildren in RBS. First of all, I have little if any contact with Rav Aharon Feldman.The most is that I shook his hand yesterday when I waited in line to greet Rav SimchaKook who gave a guest sicha in the Bais Medrash.
    Rav Kook is a highly respected person and from his speech one would gather that the survival of Torah is on the lne in Israel. As far as Beit Shemesh, this is a tribal war, similarly to one going on in Syria,tragically. At least,at present, it is limited to words. We “cultured”Amerians and immigrants from the western world like Rabbi Soloveitchik are appalled by the political culture in much of the rest of the world. We don’t have fist fights like in South Korea’s Parliament,etc. Look at Ukraine. This election is all about power. If Aryeh Deri loses this election and his Shas mayor is defeated, he will have been shown to be far less smart and effective as he once was. His rival may come back in Shas. The lies and shenanegans of the holier than thou people just shows how far from us they really are in their mentality. All is fair in a war for jobs, largesse, and self respect. I hope someone over there will answer this quesion, why did Rav Shteinman go to Beit Shemesh ? Is it simply because his group and Shas are in this together . If I do see Rav Feldman, it may come up but I do not think that those who live in a different world than we do really have a common language on such issues. Israel is in the Middle East and this is how they do politics. Labor wasn’t so nice back when they ran the country as Mapai

  13. Bob Miller says:

    Rabbi Adlerstein, do you believe the local residents of various camps would be relating better to each other now if various local and outside leaders had stood aside and not provoked them continually?

    [YA Impossible to know from a distance. Keep in mind that we don’t get along any better on this side of the Pond, and no one is provoking us.]

  14. RBS Resident says:

    RA- Why would you attend a rally when you do not agree with what the rally is all about? You said you would daven for “for people to extricate themselves from their poverty and dependence if they wish, for people not to drown financially as this is happening, and for healing the rifts between us”. But if the the rally was formed to
    ‘daven’ against all of those values wouldn’t it make more sense to just stay home? I know you will say that the rallies were just a gathering for tefillah, but I think that’s a bit naive. Would you gather to say tehillin with Neteuri Karta at one of their gatherings? Does the the recitation of tehillim kasher the whole event?
    It sounds like you feel an allegiance to the psak of Daas Torah even though deep down you know it is just plain wrong. As someone who was once there, I know the feeling doesn’t sit well in one’s stomach. Hazlachah in finding the emes one day!

  15. Harry Maryles says:

    When people who are supposed to represent the finest among us – the most dedicated to Torah values, the most learned in Torah, the most Chareid L’Dvar HaShem – start lying and committing vote fraud to get their way… all is lost. Of what value is such behavior to God? How can anyone look up to these people as role models?

    I should add that I know a lot of Charedim in Ramat Bet Shemesh personally. In every single case – as individuals they are among the finest people I have ever met. They are modest. They are Ehrlich to a fault. They are of impeccable character. Their Midos are exemplary. They will give you the shirt off their back if there is even a hint that you need it. I spend Sukkos there every year and it is an exhilarating experience for me. As individuals they truly are role models. But as a group, they seem to be failing miserably!

    This is yet another depressing fact of life in the Jewish world… as was that Atzeres Teffila both here and in Israel. And frankly, R’ Yitzchok. I’m surprised that you would have attended even as your heart was heavy. How can you attend an event where the Teffilos did not include a plea from God to protect thos members of the IDF that put their lives on the line every day for Klal Yisroel? How can you attend an event where the people fail to have any Hakoras HaTov to the Medina that protects them and has supported them financially for decades… and where the unspoken word of hatred for Medina was louder than their prayers?

    Even though there were no such words uttered at the Atzeres in NY, there were placards to that effect all over the one in Israel. And their venomous mischaracterizations about what Israel is doing to them attitude was shouted from the rooftops prior to this Atzeres!

    This Atzeres was one of the most divisive moments in Orthodoxy in my lifetime. I can’t remember where I was more depressed about the state of Judaism. I would not have attended that Atzeres even if I were paid to do so! Can you tell me exactly what the Kiddush HaShem was there? Was there a single report in any of the media that painted it this way?

    [YA – I will admit, Reb Harry, that friends I greatly respect agree with you about this, and think that I was nuts for saying that I would have attended. Perhaps they are correct. I will offer a few points to chew on:

    1) How could I attend when the tefillos did not include what I would have liked to see included? The tefillos of no two people are ever the same. The stated goals of the asifa were not treif. The haredi community of many hundreds of thousands of neshamos is at a crossroads, and needs Divine assistance. Nothing wrong asking for it. Everything wrong in NOT asking for it. I have no problem davening side by side with someone who envisions the form of that assistance coming in a very different way. In the end, as Chovos Halevavos emphasizes, every one of our tefillos comes with a reservation: We don’t know what is really good for us, and leave that up to Him. If the stated goals – not just the slogans in the run-up – had been treif (as would be the case if organized by Neturei Karta), I would not join in.

    2) Much more importantly, how could I daven with them, if the views of many were so different from my own? Because I have not begun to give up on reasoning with as many of them as possible – or as few, if necessary. But you lose your voice of reason if you walk out of the community

    3) One of the strongest influences in my life was R. Nachman Bulman zt”l. I’ve written this before. He expressed deep disappointment with aspects of the haredi world on many occasions. Nonetheless, I have not forgotten his advice to me. “Give yourself the space, the right to maintain your own opinions. But don’t abstract yourself from the strongest community of lomdei Torah.” It’s been hard at times, but I have tried to honor his request. Not attending, had I been in NY without a good excuse, would have been a form of walking out.

    4) I don’t know if it should be termed a Kiddush Hashem. But there is something positive in 500,000 people coming from all over the country to declare their love of and devotion to Torah.]

  16. Moshe Potemkin says:

    How could I not take part in a gathering of so many Torah Jews, united in their love for Torah? And tefillah is always appropriate.

    I’m pretty sure this wasn’t your intent, but you’ve just articulated the motivations of many partnership minyan attendees.

  17. Shmuel says:

    Rav Adlerstein,

    Yishar Koach for this article; for the nuance, the sentiment as well as the expression and clarity of your position.

  18. douHonig says:

    During World War 2,many believe that the Jews should have united every step of the way to fight.Certainly there were situations where this was impossible certainly there were situations where it was possible but the Jews could not get together ,even in a line of thousands,to fight the few with rifles. Many Jews accepted the deportation of their own children, much less the children of their fellow Jews, without a fight. One must ask if the Haredi state of mind that they should accept Israeli tax dollars(from people in whose homes they would not eat) based upon how many kids they have and /or their inability to integrate into Israeli economic life because of Torah study,and not send their sons to defend even their own families,is a continuum of the state of mind that allowed themselves and their kids to be slaughtered without lifting a finger.They could only fight the germans if they organized. Many would not or could not organize because of self interest and false hope.THe refusal to fight the enemy and then these welfare recipients criticize a government who feeds them is despicable. Why do Torah Jews defend this ungrateful behavior? Putting them in jail for not enlisting is not the correct punishment. They should put a gun in their hands and teach them to be men so that have a better torah perspective on the concept of a torah taught precept-what do you do to a rodef?

  19. Y. Ben-David says:

    Rav Adlerstein-
    While I greatly respect your attempts to convey to your talmidim the truths you believe in, it seems to me that you are missing the inevitable contradictions this attitude will lead to. For instance, a prominent moderate Rav wrote at another blog that he was unhappy when his grandson came to him and said “my rebbe in school told me that the creation of the state of Israel is the greatest misfortune ever to befall the Jewish people”. Now, you as an educator based on your philosophy of trying to correct mistaken views created by the ideological extremism found in parts of Haredi society, would say to him as his father “no, it is not a misfotune, it is a great miracle”. That is nice, but now you have said up a conflict in the child’s mind. You have forced him to have to choose sides between his rebbe and yourself. What happens when the child then goes back to his rebbe and ponts out what his father says and the rebbe responds “but Gadol Rav X says I am right. Who are you going to believe-the Gadol or your father who is not on his level?” This undermines the father’s standing with his own child. Further confusing to the child is the fact that he walks around, sees Haredi Jews going about their business, studying Torah and being left alone by the supposedly evil Zionist state. Thus, if he is perceptive, he will see the conflict between what he is being told and what he sees with his own eyes. This will lead either to him evetnually reaching the conclusion that “I see my rebbe was telling me something that is untrue. What else has he lied to me about?”, or the child may go the other way and develop a view of the world that is completely at odds with reality and which will have to come crashing down eventually in any event because he will not be able to cope with the problems that reality will force him to encounter.
    For me at least, I would find it difficult to spend my life trying to correct all the negative information and values being imparted by the educators and surrounding society that is so imbued with these extremist views. To me, the only option is to find a new framework where all these conflicts can be avoided. Thank G-d, here in Israel at least, such frameworks do exist. As I understand, this is not the situation so much in the US and that is very unfortunate, but this seems to be part of the inevitable degeneration of Jewish life that is unavoidable in a Galut community such as that in the US.

    [YA – Not sure at all where you are going with this. Schools seldom give parents everything they want – including hashkafic fit. Do you believe that this area is the only source of conflict? What about schools or rabbeim that disparage non-Jews, or undervalue preparing for parnassah, or attach too much or too little value to secular studies or hobbies, etc.? Parents routinely have to find ways to let their kids know about competing hashkafos, without underming the authority of the rebbi. If you have found schools for your kids that conform entirely to your preferences, you are part of a very small minority – whether in Israel or in chu”l. ]

  20. Natan Slifkin says:

    “The stated goals of the asifa were not treif. The haredi community of many hundreds of thousands of neshamos is at a crossroads, and needs Divine assistance. Nothing wrong asking for it.”

    Rabbi Adlerstein, with the greatest respect, you are fudging the nature of the asifa. It wasn’t merely about Divine assistance with neshamos. It was about a protest against Torah students sharing the burden of military service. This wasn’t just a “run-up slogan” – it was the clear message of the rally. At the Jerusalem rally, the Gedolim present stated emphatically that no charedim (apparently even referring to those not in learning!) may go to the IDF.

    [YA – Yet that message could not have been the defining one. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau attended, and he is the moderate pro-State haredi par excellence. For me, his attendance was the defining statement – alongside members of Tzahal, past and present, and roshei yeshiva from the more right-leaning parts of the DL community]

  21. Ellen says:

    “and why shouldnt shomrei tora umitzvot be portrayed as the son’ei hashem—whether wearing a streiml, a shlapa , a kipa sruga or a bare-head?”

    To be fair – just because one party used the slogan ננצח על שונאי הדת (we will prevail over the haters of religion) doesn’t mean they meant it about everyone. They were using it in response to Eli Cohen’s ננצח על הקיצונים (over the extremists) and the intention there was to set up an administration that will not yield to extremist protests and pressure.

    “…I have not seen a word… about what Moshe Abutbul has done that [Cohen] would have done differently.”

    There were pamphlets with such information in every mailbox. Last time and this. But the Religious War theme was too deafening. Especially if you recall how nasty the first round was, and what relief we all felt with those touchy-feely heart posters from Moshe Abutbol and the RBS-based Charedi party Chen that dominated the English-speaking Charedi message this time around.

    “All is fair in a war for jobs, largesse, and self respect.”

    One can question the politicians’ own intentions, but the messages from Rabbanim were concerned with a bigger picture. Some examples:
    *If more chilonim from Old Bet Shemesh come out to vote this time and swing the vote, no one will look at the numbers they will only look at the results and say – it must mean that the first time the Charedim only won because of the fraud.
    *The local politics aren’t the issue. Yair Lapid has declared war on the Charedi way of life, and a political loss in Bet Shemesh will bolster Lapid, the Supreme Court, and other internal enemies of Torah ch”v.
    *Choosing a Charedi candidate over someone who does not call himself observant is appropriate because we choose Torah over materialism.

    “do you believe the local residents of various camps would be relating better to each other now if various local and outside leaders had stood aside and not provoked them continually?”

    I have witnessed tremendous efforts on the part of the “zionist” block in Bet Shemesh to keep their messages free of hatred or anti-Charedi sentiment – including campaign rallies and internal emails and even the protests against the fraud. No easy task when hundreds of the volunteer force are young college students who are unlikely to stay in a city that is falling to disrepair and being politically dominated by a group they do not understand. Surely this is a merit.

    And yes B”H Ramat Bet Shemesh A is still a pleasant bubble of tolerance, only pierced somewhat when elections roll around.

    “Labor wasn’t so nice back when they ran the country as Mapai”

    Democracy doesn’t seem to work well when any party involved sees the other as actual enemies. There becomes no chance at compromise, so the only option is to do whatever they can for a majority win, or become a minority obstacle. No easy answers.

  22. L. Oberstein says:

    The reaction to the passage of the Shaked committe law is fascinating to read in the chareidi media.
    If you can read Hebrew,notice the inflamatory language and the incendiery accusations of the UTJ repreentatives. As someone who loves the Hebrew langugage , it was fascinating to see which delegate could use ancient phrases to describe their dismay over passage of this law.רדיפת הדת והתורה בארץ ישראל,etc. The language is over the top. The curses they shower on those who voted to gradually and with a lot of compromises create a way for very religious men to finally after 65 years do what very religious men have done for thousands of years, support their families. The Charedi Knesset members are disingenuous when they say that Torah scholars will be thrown in prison. They know it is not going to happen, it has nothing to do with Torah scholars,it is a question of equality under the law for all Israelis. If the case is so strong, why the theatrics and why the hyperbole?The solution is to recognize the legitimacy of the State of israel, serve in the army or national service and join the economy. This will make Torah stronger than ever as fewer will live in dire poverty. If they all move to the US they will have to work, so why not work in Israel/Something is missing from their logic.It is hysteria and the Jewish People deserve better.

  23. RBS_YID says:

    RE: BeitShemesher’s invoking of Rav Avigdor Neventzahl’s (R”AN) visit to Ramat Shilo neighborhood in RBS A.
    a) No community Rav in Ramat Shilo (whether Ashkenazi/Sefardi, Charedi/Dati Leumi, Anglo/Israeli) accepted to host R”AN in their shuls – they felt the visit was likely to be divisive (bringing in a Rav that many Dati Leumi people look upto to come and say to vote for Moshe Abutbol) and not further shalom.

    b) As the Rav of our shul explained it – he agreed with everything R”AN said – it’s just that it was not relevant to the Bet Shemesh elections!
    The elections were not about having a Torah city vs. a city with chilul shabbos – but that was the information fed to R”AN and that is what his speech addressed.

  24. Michael Halberstam says:

    To L Oberstein,

    The reason for the hysterics is that the people are terrified of changes being made which will effect the status quo, and what will happen to them It is common in cases like these to equate “what happens to me” with ‘what Hashem obviously wants” despite the fact that this is usually not the case. What will happen to mosdos hatorah when people do not feel constrained to be there, learning or not. What will happen to people who have rationalized that their obligation to support their families and plan for the future of their children is satisfied by their political or social affiliation only. These types of things have happened before and will happen again. The tragedy is that those who do not prepare themselves are looking for disaster.

  25. binyamin says:

    just wanted to report that there were signs up today in bet shemesh with the aboutbul campaign that were basically a call for achdus. don’t know if he put them up in ramat bet shemesh

  26. Bob Miller says:

    This was a note to my earlier comment:
    [YA Impossible to know from a distance. Keep in mind that we don’t get along any better on this side of the Pond, and no one is provoking us.]

    I’ve noticed that certain leaders and wannabes foment enmity among Jewish groups here. Is that something other than provocation?

  27. Ben Bradley says:

    As an RBS A resident I’m really wondering how it can be that we disagree over whether the same outcome is kiddush hashem or the opposite. Fairly important to be able to define such terms, no? From where I’ve been sitting, walking and otherwise going about my business since the first election it’s been mighty clear to this charedi-leaning anglo that the whole charedi campaign has been an abominable exercise in lies, distortion, emotional blackmail and other choice acitivities. This supported and encouraged by lots of local ‘talmidei chachamim’. It’s certain that almost the entirety of the non-charedi population of the city have a far lower opinion of the charedi world than they did. Nonetheless I was being told that to vote Abutbul would be ‘kiddush hashem in the most literal way’. Well, I’ve never been witness to such a sky-high chillul hashem.
    Well for the first time in my baal teshuva career I’ve been considering jacking in the charedi levush due to sheer nausea at the thought of being connected to a community which sees no self blame in all this. Anyone blame me?

  28. Beit Shemesher says:

    RBS YID:
    Frankly, I think it is very closed-minded and actually disgraceful that they would not host one of the true Gedolei Hador in their shul. Not to have a Charedi Rav, I can hear as pointless at best. But to refuse to host Rav Neventzahl, whom people deeply respect, just because he has a different viewpoint is just awful! “Wouldn’t add Shalom” = some might rethink their position, G-d forbid.

    Are you honestly telling me that the election had *nothing* to do with the religious flavor of the city? You can say there were other elements to it, but to say this had nothing to do with it is simply not true.

  29. c-l,c says:

    Unbelievable !

    In every election during the years of and prior to the medina BAR NONE,there HAS been and is Fraud,going back at least to ’31,when Jabotinzky himself stood up and tore up his Zionist membership card in disgust at the Mapai’s machinations!

    When Will they redo all those votes?!

    The Marxist scoffing at law,and the policy of Power justify any means,has been part and parcel of the State atmosphere,

    means that for decades vote tampering (by everyone) or worse by the Labor/Left was laudable as long as it remained hush

    I recall in one election, in Bat Yam alone 4 different arrests for vote tampering ,still did they feign a new claim for new election?!

    For example

    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THIS (it was IMMEDIATELY HUSHED UP):

    “In his press conference on Tuesday 16 Adar 5773, Bayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett explained “unfortunately we are not immune” in addressing allegations of voter fraud in his party’s primary election race. Bennett has also been addressing the ongoing police investigation on his Facebook page.

    The news of possible voter fraud involving veteran NRP MK Nissim Slomiansky seems to be snowballing, and Bayit Yehudi is in the midst of the election fraud storm. Bennett has admitted that during the primary election period he had suspicions of inappropriate activities, which led him to hire a private investigator. He adds that the issues were addressed and correct, and in his effort to exhibit an air of transparency, he added that “thousands of voter ballots were tossed” to make sure any ballot that was questionable was not counted.

    Police seem to feel there is sufficient evidence to push the case against Slomiansky, who continues to maintain his innocence, expressing his commitment to cooperate with police in any way possible, confident of his innocence. Nevertheless, what has so many people baffled is the fact that Slomiansky, who presents the old guard National Religious Party was not only successful in landing a realistic slot on the party ticket, but he came in first place against many of the more popular newer generation MKs..”

  30. Yisrael Asper says:

    How about disengaging work from army service? That will be putting people in the work force. So how about having Yeshiva exemption and conscientious objector status for those whom the Israeli army is in its present state not up to their religious standards? In the U.S. there has been Yeshiva and seminary exemption, religious clergy exemption and conscientious objector status. Saying that the numbers are different as a way of countering that argument is only good if the military in Israel needs them. It is a red herring otherwise. How about more recruitment for Chareidi units. All this is what is going to be happening in the end anyhow once the pointless specter of putting thousands in prison trounces the currency of denouncing exemption as inequality and it looks like what it really is, an ideological war at best and a political one at worst. Equality would be a matter if they would be be saying just don’t have them serve but have others serve because we don;t feel like serving. No one is really saying that. Israel has exemptions even for secular reasons as does any country. Objectively speaking it looks pointless to be raising the specter of arresting thousands of Jews or to argue that it will change the economic situation of those amongst them who believe in lifelong Torah study as their occupation which would put them right back where they would be when out of the army. Maybe don’t have a draft but in any event wait and see what will be when the majority of Israelis will be Orthodox and then see what to do when the issue may be practical rather than ideological and political. The fact is when the time came that everyone needed to fight in the War for Independence everyone did.

  31. Ben Bradley says:

    Beit Shemesher: One of the saddest aspects of the BS shinanigans is the manipulation, and there is no other word for it, of gedolei torah to say what local activists want them to say. This process has been recorded for posterity in a youtube video showing BS activists slandering the other candidate to R Steinman. When I say slandering I mean a mixture of lies and half truths. When Eli Cohen supporters wanted to put their case to him they were prevented from doing so by those around him. These manipulators are causing a true crisis in Torah leadership. R Nevenzahl shlita was got to by these same manipulators, and in any case has said that he follows R Kanievsky’s lead in all such issues. R kanievksy in turn defers to R Steiman. And R Steinman is on Youtube being misinformed as above.
    The whole process is nothing less than a corruption of the time honoured, mesora’dik process of seeking advice from torah scholars. The sheer busha of schlapping elderly talmidei chachomim around to such an end is astounding.
    And you want the local rabbonim to support it by allowing the corrupt process into their shuls?

  32. Beit Shemesher says:

    Ben Bradley:

    You’ll have to do better than that. Even if everything you said is true (and I haven’t seen the video – which lies and half truths were told to R’ Steinman? How do you know Eli Cohen suppoters were prevented by manipulators? How do you know the same manipulators got to Rav Neventzahl?) it doesn’t hold water for one very simple reason: Who stopped the DL Rabbis who are Eli Cohen supporters from presenting their case to Rav Neventzahl? Not letting him into their shuls is an unimaginable disgrace.

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