Finance Minister Moshe Gafni

Dror Feuer, in Globes Magazine of 1/31/15, writes (my translation):

I think I have a good idea for this country: a Charedi Finance Minister. I am utterly serious. I suggest that in any government that may arise, under any constellation and any coalition pieced together, a Charedi Finance Minister should be appointed. I’ll try to convince you why.

But first, I would ask the non-Charedim among you to admit that you chafed at this. The first thing that came to your head, and if not the first then the third, is that a Charedi Finance Minister will steal all the money and give it to Yeshivos, because that’s how they are. Maybe this even comes fully packaged with a visual image. No need to paint it for you, right? You’ve seen this image a million times, you know the type.

Don’t be frightened, this happens to everyone involuntarily, I would almost say naturally. We’ve always wanted to be like all the other nations, no? So here. Anti-Semitism has always been part of the deal. When you think about it, in a world of PC identity politics, sector sensitivities and commando forces on Facebook, the only group in Israel that one can still hate publicly and relatively get away with it is the Charedim (and for the pedantic, the Ashkenazi Charedi; hating orientals is of a different feather). The Charedi is a blindspot on the spectrum of social sensitivity. You can say whatever you want about him, you’re welcome to try.

I thought about the word “burden” and about the fact that it is used twice in the context of the Charedim: equality of the burden and the burden on the state coffers. And I suddenly understood, the true “burden” is not about the financial expenditure and also not about army service. The real “burden” that is meant is the Charedim themselves…

I know what you’ll say: It isn’t the Charedim, it’s their politicians. Unconvincing. The Charedi politicians are certainly no worse than anyone else. They are not bigger fumblers, not more corrupt, not living it up more. Don’t hide behind politicians.

I, too, like many Israelis, am not innocent of all this. To my credit, let it be said that my grandfathers and grandmothers, of blessed memory, were Charedim and were really terrific. Overall I have a positive impression of the community. I like Charedim and enjoy their company. They make me laugh.

Now that we’ve cleared the elephant out of the room, I can explain why I’m interested in a Charedi Finance Minister.

1) The Charedim are not socialist by definition, but a healthy and intuitive version of socialism is ingrained in them: care for one another, concern for the poor, respect for the poor. They know poverty. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll know how to address it better, but at least they are not limited to having read about it in the newspaper. Compassion and chessed are at the top of their list of character traits.

2) The concept of a public emissary is deeply ingrained in Charedi society. That’s important. In the Shabbat prayers there is a gorgeous blessing addressed to “those who deal with the needs of the public with honesty,” and at the end, “all of Israel, their brothers” are emphasized. The emissary of the public is not above it.

3) One of the crucial problems with the Israeli economy, as is well known, is the consistent and uncompromising (not to mention stupid) obsequiousness before capital and capital owners. It is all about “market forces,” “competition,” and “removal of barriers.” Of course, this exists by the Charedim too. But the difference is essential: In their value system, rich is not the best thing you can become.

I’ll note that if I sin somewhat in idealizing the Charedim, it is just for the sake of the claim. They are people like you and I, including foibles, flaws, and faults. Besides, I have to admit that it is refreshing to write nice things about them.

4) The hasmadah (persistency), scholastic aptitude, love for fine print, meticulousness, lamdanus. I want a Finance Minister who delves deeply, and there’s no one like a Yeshiva graduate to delve deeply – into the smallest clause in the remotest footnote in the tenth appendix to the most hidden budget. Let him investigate the budget and plow it as though it were a page of Gemara. Oh, how I would like to see a Charedi Finance Minister sit opposite the Defense Ministry when it comes to demand the annual raise and lay out the usual laundry list of fearmongering. The way I feel about it, there would far fewer useless expenditures.

5) In this context, the word “Charedim” calms me down. It’s always good to know that there is someone who is more “anxious” that you, and I believe that anxiety is a vital characteristic for a good Finance Minister.

6) We’ve never yet had anyone like that.

Between us – and truly without demeaning anyone – what, for Pete’s sake, does a Finance Minister need? Of course knowledge and understanding of the material, but no less than that he needs healthy logic, a heart in the right place, and a compass. I am sure that all these can be found in the Charedi Finance Minister appointed in the next government. And I even have a perfect candidate for the job: Moshe Gafni.

There are Charedi MKs who are more socially oriented than he, or at least like him. But there is none like him. Gafni’s tenure (21 years in the Knesset), his healthy sense of humor, his sharp mind, the respect accorded to him by all members of the house, and of course the courage and poise exhibited thus far, all those make him my candidate. I once saw him stand on a stage and school, just so, two CEOs, a journalist, and a politician. I was hooked.

“I am in favor a free market,” said Moshe Gafni, “but in favor of granting help in education, health, and welfare. Not everything is free market. I am in favor of an economy that is for the benefit of the public. On the other hand, the state cannot shrug off its obligations toward its citizens.” Who wouldn’t sign off on that?

No stain has clung to him. On the whole, Gafni is a sensitive, socially-minded, environment-friendly legislator. I went over his legislation and I felt that he fights for me. For his own constituents as well, of course, which is fine. You can find him in the fight over gas, in dealing with the aggressive tax plans, in a fight against haircuts and freelance employment. Fighting for reduction of management fees, limiting wages for the upper echelon. He is in favor of small business and the outlying regions of the country. He helps the poor. He is good at teamwork. He is a moderate on national issues. What can I say.

Moshe Gafni would be awesome as the next Finance Minister of the State of Israel.

In terms of vision for the country, I see no difference whatsoever between UTJ and Kahlon, the surefire candidate for Finance Minister. (Both, as it happens, refused to rule out sitting with either Likud or Labor. Some things are more important than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which will certainly not be resolved during this term, maybe even this millennium. People don’t leave the country over fear of Hamas; they leave over fear of an empty fridge.) The only difference is that Gafni, having served as a highly successful and respected chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, has far more experience than Kahlon.

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34 Responses

  1. L. Oberstein says:

    Whether or not Gafni has the personality to get along with people is a big question. I have seen videos of him screaming like a banchey in the Knesset, totally lacking in basic self control.

    [DB: We’ve been over his outburst at Calderon (see my comment at 4:01 here). He apologized.]

    Secondly ,does he have any secular education at all!

    [DB: 1) Lapid didn’t graduate from high school (okay, no proof; he was takeh a terrible Finance Minister). 2) I heard an interview with the Finance Minister before this one – Yuval Shteinitz, who worked with Gafni in his position as Finance Committee chair. Shteinitz was absolutely gushing with praise for him. (You can probably find a video of the peck on the cheek from Shteinitz to Gafni as he left his position at the end of the previous term.) Shteinitz was asked this question and he said that Gafni (and Itzik Cohen of Shas) were two of the smartest people he knows, and they lack nothing in terms of their abilities in this regard.]

    Thirdly, he can’t be a minister because the Gedolim have forbidden it. A member of the cabinet has to share in responsibility for decisions of the government it belogns to. If it cannot, then it must quit the coalition. The UTJ method is somewhat devious, by claiming to only be Vice Minister, the chareidi does not have a seat at the cabinet meeting,but ,in effect,he runs the ministry.

    [DB: So there’s your solution. Bibi is the Finance Minister in title.]

    The real problem is loyalty to the State of Israel. How can you have a minister who will not fly the flag, sing the anthem or even recognize the theological miracle of the rebirth of Jewish independence after 2,000 years of exile. Gafni and his group need to get over it and come to terms with the real world. They still don’t recognize the Zionist entity and we play along with that charade.

    [DB: Here, you have somewhat of a point (though you will never hear him call the state anything but Medinat Yisrael). He’s of two minds regarding the State. But at any rate, you’re living in the flag-waving proudly-Zionist previous millenium, not the multi-culti reality of this one.]

  2. Jewish Observer says:

    People should support this if only because it implies Haredi employment

  3. Bob Miller says:

    “The Charedim are not socialist by definition, but a healthy and intuitive version of socialism is ingrained in them: care for one another, concern for the poor, respect for the poor.”

    How is that set of values inherently socialist? The net practical effect of socialism, whether structured or intuitive, has been to damage its alleged beneficiaries, despite the smokescreen of concern. Rather, these are basic Jewish values.

  4. DF says:

    The writer lost me the moment he accused critics of charedim of being anti-Semites. Funny, I never knew I was an anti-Semite. He ought to know this is exactly the argument that genuine anti-semites make concerning what they call the blurred lines between anti-Israel and anti-Jew. For him to descend into that gutter marks him as un-serious and not worth reading further.

    [DB: Not even close. He said that the people whose knee-jerk reaction is that they’ll take all the money for the Yeshivos suffer from anti-Semitism.]

  5. joel rich says:

    So your positing that R’ Gafni would take less money then is currently allocated for the chareidi Yeshivot or the chareidi community?
    I seem to recall a post on this blog stating “explained Maran Rosh HaYeshiva [Harav Steinman] Shlit”a, with tears on his cheek. “A person might make petty calculations and miss the moment. He can act correctly, spur others to action, and vote only in order to save Yiddishkeit from those who seek its harm, and to save his household” Would his directions to R’ Gafni be materially different?

    [DB: Before I answer that question, I’d like you to research what percentage of the annual budget went to Charedi Yeshivos and community – before Yesh Atid’s cuts. The answer may surprise you. In a word, as Lapid discovered to his great chagrin, the big money is decidedly not there.]

  6. lacosta says:

    rabbi beckerman
    non or anti-zionism has never been a hold-back from ministerial status. Shas and UTJ have had a variety of ministries over the years–Health , Interior,etc

    any party deemed worthy of signing a coalition govt is entitled to proportionate ministries /spoils of victory , and neither Labour nor Likud historically made theological demands of UTJ and its preceding haredi parties….

    [DB: Shas has no issue with actually being part of the cabinet and having full ministerial status. UTJ demurs on that front.]

  7. Dovid says:

    Yes, he would be awesome — if your definition of awesome is someone who has openly announced his intent to take revenge:


    Haredi MK Moshe Gafni (Yahadut HaTorah) told Makor Rishon that, to avenge the Shaked law, as soon as he is back in power, he will destroy the Hesder Yeshivas — where students both study Torah and serve in elite combat units.

    [DB: Let’s get some context here. Bayit Yehudi promised up and down, practically swore, that there would not be criminal sanctions. Instead, Lapid and Bayit Yehudi closed a deal that would leave Hesder untouched while passing the criminal sanctions against the Yeshiva boys. This was the absolute red line that could literally kill R’ Aron Leib Steinman on the spot, and which was a purely declarative moment; Lapid flat-out lied when he recently said that he didn’t insist on it. That was Gafni’s heated response. In practice, just five days later: “Gafni chooses not to take revenge on Hesder.”

    I wonder if JP reported that.]

    MK Gafni also threatened to end all funding to the settlements, and to dry them out, as soon as he is back in a government role. For the record, his one government role so far has been, during the 12th Knesset (this one is the 19th): Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.

    [DB: Heat of the moment rhetoric for crossing that red line. And Gafni has been chair of Finance Committee (I think twice) which is a more powerful position than most ministerial posts.]

    In the past, in retaliation for budget cuts that hurt Haredi families, MK Gafni, who Chairs the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, also threatened to intentionally create problems the Finance Ministry would have to spend a lot of state money to fix.

    [DB: I don’t recall seeing that, but if he said it, chalk it up to heat of the moment rhetoric.]

  8. Dovid says:

    Regarding Feuer:

    Regarding your responses to the Gafni quotes, I guess attributing it to “heat of the moment” is one way of dealing with statements that are otherwise hard to defend and fly in the face of what you wish to prove.

    [DB: His actions five days later adequately prove that it was heat of the moment.

    And these issues have no bearing on whether he would be a good Finance Minister. Would he abuse his power to try and crush Religious Zionism as Lapid did to the Charedim (with the support of Bayit Yehudi)? I highly doubt it. And even were he to try, the Moetzes (and MK Porush) would never let him.]

  9. Tal Benschar says:

    or even recognize the theological miracle of the rebirth of Jewish independence after 2,000 years of exile.

    So there are now theological tests to be a minister? Atheists need not apply? Never been an atheist Finance Minister?

    Reminds of a story (perhaps apocryphal) that when Golda Meir was appointed PM, some of R. Soloveichik’s students (others say R. Moshe) asked him whether a woman can be PM. The answer: if an apikorus like Ben Gurion can be Prime Minister, a woman can be Prime Minister.

    That should apply to the post of Finance Minister as well.

  10. Mike S. says:

    “… Hesder untouched while passing the criminal sanctions against the Yeshiva boys.” Are the Hesder boys not also Yeshiva boys? The casual assumption that the Torah learning of those who are not Chareidi is unimportant, or at least not as important as that done in Chareidi yeshivot and kollelim, is quite offensive.

  11. Dovid says:

    I’m glad I was able to put the viciously anti-settler Feuer’s enthusiasm for Gafni into proper context — unless you know something that Feuer does not.

  12. Shlomo r. says:

    These weak “heat of the moment “justifications for Gafne’s outbursts are maddingly outrageous. Maybe for a Likud, Labor,Yeah Atid ect Chiloni MK who we have very little expectation of proper behavior, one can justify with this excuse.However for a yahudus haTorah representative, these out of control vindictive outbursts are nothing short of a collasel Chillul Hashem which disqaulify him,not only from a ministerial position but from any form of representation of frum people.Rabbi Beckerman,it would help your credibility and ability to persuade in other matters if you would acknowledge his repugnant behavior instead of excusing it.

    [DB: I don’t think you understand. When it comes to the colossal Chillul Hashem of criminalization of those who remain in Yeshiva, and potentially causing RAYLS a fatal heart attack, I excuse it. The Chofetz Chaim is also known to have had a few angry outbursts in his life.]

  13. Ben Waxman says:

    I’d appoint him, on condition that he accept the title of minister, not deputy minister. The time has long passed for that ideological issue to have run its course. In addition, he’d be part of the security cabinet, every day he’d be touching issues affecting every single facet of life here. You can’t do that and at the same time say “I refuse to be part of the cabinet’s collective responsibility”.

    [DB: I think it’s more of an issue now, actually. Three decades ago a government could fall for public Chillul Shabbos.

    And I don’t think the Finance Minister (certainly not the deputy in title) is necessarily part of the security cabinet.]

  14. Ben Waxman says:

    Actually, MK Gafni’s biggest issue wouldn’t be this or that heated statement. His biggest issue (IMO) is Moshe Gafni himself. He always defines himself as the shaliach of the bachorei yeshiva; that is his job as Rav Shach defined it. You can have a mission statement like that when you’re an MK or a committee chairman. But a ministry is a totally different kettle of fish, especially the TM. For someone like Gafni (for whom ideology is so critical that he won’t walk onto the Quiryat Ono Campus as he himself stated) to be the minister of kuuuuuuuuuulam would mean a complete remake of himself.

  15. Nachum says:

    There are a whole bunch of points to criticize about both this article and the post supporting it. I’ll limit myself to this: Under the new laws, the number of ministers and deputy ministers is limited. Furthermore, one person can only hold one ministry. Therefore, in addition to being dishonest, the UTJ policy of being a “deputy” minister is now impossible. I’d like to see how that’s handled.

    [DB: The government is limited to 18 ministers and 4 deputies. If UTJ takes one deputy, what’s the problem?]

  16. Eli Julian says:

    בשלושה דברים אדם ניכר – בכיסו בכוסו ובכעסו.
    His statements in the “heat of the moment” speak volumes of his true feelings about limmud torah outside the Haredi community, and about the kiyum of mitzvas yishuv Eretz Yisrael. ‘nuf said.

  17. Yoni says:

    Wow, the comments on this post are (almost) all so besides the point.

    The question is not whether he is the greatest guy on the planet, but whether he could do the job well. Bibi is hardly the world’s greatest jew, but he is a competent prime minister (in my opinion anyway). “‘nuf said”.

  18. dovid2 says:

    Floating the idea of MK Gafni as Finance Minister is another affirmative action initiative after (1) making a community organizer the president of the USA by dint of his being black, despite his lack of suitable qualifications combined with some really worrisome associations with people and groups that hate America and mainstream Americans, and (2) advancing Hillary Clinton candidacy for president by dint of her gender despite her disreputable character, lies, misrepresentation, political opportunism, etc.

    Gafni is as unqualified to be Finance Minister as Lapid for the same reason, plus a few more reasons.

    [DB: Other than decades of experience, the respect of outgoing Finance Ministers, actually caring about poor people, superior intelligence….]

    Lapid’s agenda was to stick it to the charedim. Gafni’s agenda is to protect the charedim. Such narrow agendas don’t make one a finance minister of a nation.

    [DB: Did you read the piece?]

    In addition, you acknowledge Gafni’s tendency to go into rage when things to go his way. You know, in ancient Greece, a candidate for office who was seeing agitated, or running in the streets would be immediately disqualified. Chazal regard a person who cannot restrain himself and goes into rage as worshipping idols.

    [DB: They also say one more thing (Taanis 4a) – a Torah scholar who gets angry, it is the Torah that makes him angry, and we are thus obligated to judge him favorably. Considering that Gafni is a former Rosh Kollel, and all instances cited are from this term, during which he was fighting, as per RAYLS, for Kevod Shamayim and Kevod HaTorah, I think some commenters here are not cutting him enough slack.]

    Gafni as Finance Minister is a no go.

  19. Bob Miller says:

    I like to see a Finance Minister who has enough intelligence, technical skill, and rapport with the key sectors of society and industry to manage the economy in the best possible way. No matter what group the minister hails from, that group should not be unduly favored in policy decisions and execution.

  20. Tom Lowinger says:

    6 mandates are not enough for the finance ministry, perhaps education or religious affairs or possibly tourism ?

    [DB: You’re definitely correct that it’s not happening for a while. This is Saturday morning quarterbacking, if you will.

    It’s pretty much a given that Litzman and Gafni are going back to their old posts: Deputy Health Minister and Finance Committee chair, respectively.]

  21. Nachum says:

    Under the new law, the Prime Minister can’t be a “caretaker” minister for the deputies, so if a UTJ “deputy” was appointed there’d be no minister, which can’t be.

    Look, let’s be honest: The whole charade is a farce. R’ Rakeffet alleges that it teaches kids that it’s OK to be dishonest, and I’m not sure he’s wrong.

  22. Doron Beckerman says:


    I’ll check the law. But in terms of dishonesty, I dunno. I wonder if he says the same thing about RAL’s position (as cited by Dr. Shoshan on the thread to Rabbi Gordimer’s post): ‘”in his letter to RCA about the possibility of women rabbis, Har Aharon Lichtenstein, yibadel lechaim, stated that all of the potential issue regarding women rabbis could be resolved, save for actually granting the title “rabbi”’

  23. Moshe Shoshan says:

    RAL, for reason’s I dont understand thinks that there is a technical halakhic problem with granting women the title rabbi. What is the technical halakhic problem with taking the title minister? Its just a way of getting all the benefits of being a minister while creating plausible deniability lest anyone accuse them of being part of the evil Zionist regime.

    [DB: That isn’t the reason. It is because of collective ministerial responsibility for all government actions, some of which involve violations of halachah.]

  24. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Also Gafni’s out of control attacks began the criminal sanctions. In the end Ayelet Shaked worked very hard to negotionate a deal that was would not force anyone to leave the major litvish yeshivas. Allowing theoretical criminal sanctions that will not come into effect for 5 years was a small price to pay.

    You guys have zero hakaras hatov.

    [DB: His attacks did not begin them. And you don’t know (nor does anyone else) how the 1,800 gets decided – maybe it’s all the Chassidim? Sefardim?. And “theoretical” criminal sanctions are an epic Chillul Hashem. Bibi recognizes it. Herzog recognizes it. But you guys don’t.]

  25. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Sorry, that was his attacks “began before the criminal sanctions”.

    [DB: As in “We will take revenge”? No.]

    the 1,800 can come form anywhere, it was changed so that no one yeshiva or sub-sector to insure that the litvish yeshiva would be protected, every one knows that it will be mostly sefardim and chabadnickim.

    [DB: You’re not even close to 80% of a given recruitment year. Not even close.]

    As for chilul hashem, herzog netanyahu and myself all agree that criminal sanctions were a bad idea politically. the term hillul hashem is not in their vocabulary.

    [DB: No, Bibi and Herzog both said that it is intolerable that the law on the books states that Lomdei Torah might go to jail.]

    Personally i dont understand who the term CH is used either in the Charedi or much of DL community. It seems to mean “any time our interests are attacked- because we represent God” I follow the Gemara in Yoma- a chillul hashem is when the non-Jewish/not frum world looks at frum Jews and loses respect for the God they claim to follow. Like when Charedim act like holligans and criminals in the name of Torah and no charedi rabbi is willing to unequivocally condemn them. Do you think attacking charedim attacking soldiers in shul or spitting on little girls is a chillul hashem? do you think that they failure of charedi leadership to vocally condemn this behavior in a way that makes it clear to the wider public that most charedim reject such behavior compound these chillulei hashem? If you dont, I am not sure that we follow the same Torah.

    [DB: It is simply not true that they don’t condemn it.

    And the very thought that Charedim as a group support, are apathetic, or even mildly disapprove of spitting on little girls is a figment of the imagination of the despicable, rabid Garbuz-oriented media, led by Yair Lapid at the time. The same anti-Semites who imagine that a Finance Minister would take all the money for the Yeshivos similarly associate spitting on little girls with Charedim. I have no words for it other than Der Sturmer refuse. And that’s mild. By the same token, Kippot Serugot support slapping shopkeepers across the face.]

    To be clear I have similar issues with the DL world. But at least there, there is a significant population that publicly and unequivocally condemns chillul hashem in the name of eretz yisroel.

  26. barrygoodlife says:

    What about Meir Tamari? He has the credentials as an economist and a chareidi.

  27. Brooklyn Refugee Sheygitz says:

    Doesn’t this piece by Dov Greenboim, the editor of “BaKehilla” really put to the test many of the claims made in the above article? Under this guideline of charedi chessed organizations “weeding out” those who didn’t properly support the charedi parties, or who made voting decisions without listening to their rabbis, can a charedi finance minister really be tasked with representing the economic interests of the populace as a whole, and not look only to supporting charedi sectoral needs?

    [YA – Not really. It shows that Greenbaum should not become Finance Minister. IIRC, a number of charedi MKs who had semi-portfolios did quite well in serving the entire country, and won the respect of their colleagues.]

  28. L. Oberstein says:

    I guess we can discuss who should be in the coalition,etc. The real negotiations are going on in private and only time will tell how much of recent legislation regarding chareidim will be reversed. I think there were enough loopholes in the “criminalization” legislation to drive a tractor through. It was an excuse,not the reason for Chareidi opposition to “shivyon banetel”. Chareidim in Israel have been fighting a war for survival against secular zionism for generations and they view change as threatening.They are correct.But, the leaders have to stop ignoring the many young men who are hanging out at the Knesset,sitting in lobbies that have wi fi and playing computer games,etc. These young men need self respect and a future and they need a society that respects those who are not full timelearners. Netzach Yehudah is a gateway to opportunity. We here in the Diaspora have children whose differences can be accomadoted,one is a full time learner, aother goes to night college and becomes a professional, etc.Only in Israel is this war so pronounced that even teaching basic secular studies in school is considered like being drafted by the Cantonists into the Czar’s army.
    Yes, Gafni and Litzman are smart men and could hold cabinet positions but they also exemplify a culture that is under siege and I think today much of that siege is in their heads. Where are the leaders who can lead the chareidim out of this corner they have boxed themselves into?

  29. L. Oberstein says:

    [DB: I don’t think you understand. When it comes to the colossal Chillul Hashem of criminalization of those who remain in Yeshiva, and potentially causing RAYLS a fatal heart attack, I excuse it. The Chofetz Chaim is also known to have had a few angry outbursts in his life.]

    I find this totally wrong.If the chareidi world insists on forcing a man of 102 years old into the position of sole arbiter of every thing, then they are the ones threatening his health. Don’t blame Yesh Atid by setting up an abnormal and cruel burden on a very old and weak person. Even if his mind is as clear as can be, there should be a functioning Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah that shares the burden. Why is the Litvishe world centered around one sole arbiter and why is this burden put on his shoulders? Who tells him what is happening and how available is he to anyone who would tell him something different.
    There is something really wrong with making Rav Shteinmann into someone who will have a heart attack if he is told one interpretation of the meaning of “criminalization”.
    Honest peopkle who really have kovod hatorah and don’t misuse elderly rabbonim know that the only meaning of “crimnalization” was to make the law pass Supreme Court muster. you cannot jail a Tel Aviv draft dodger but say a Kiryat Sefer draft dodger who doesn’t show up for tzav rishon is free and clear. That is not how laws work. The mass rally was as phony as a three dollar bill because all the people with a brain in the chareidi world knew it would never get to the point of putting lomdei torah in jail. The exception is when Rabbi Auerbach’s handlers force naive young men not to show up for tzac rishon and get arrested on purpose-like in the civil rights era or the soviet Jewry fight. There is tgoo much hypocricy and not enough real kovod hatorah. My rabbeim were never misused this way.They were treated with real kovod hatorah. Someday those who put this burden on men over 100 time after time will have to answer for it.

  30. Doron Beckerman says:

    This has nothing to do with being the sole arbiter, but with being the one in charge of preserving the vitality and honor of Torah study in this world. If you did not at least cry over the insult and injury in passing the criminalization bill, there is something wrong with YOU, not with him. Bnei Torah in the Religious Zionist world also came to the rally (and far more would have come if not for the last minute altercation with Rav Druckman). Apparently, they have a chord in their heart that you lack.

    And no, the criminalization was not to pass the Supreme Court. It is time to put this to rest already. It was about Yesh Atid insisting on it, over the protestations of Bayit Yehudi (and Netanyahu). The legal advisors of the Shaked committee were themselves involved in drafting an alternate bill.

  31. L. Oberstein says:

    Doron,let’s not get personal. I object to placing the blame for an elderly man’s health on the shoulders of people with honest and valid differing points of view. I think the violence perpetrated by Rav Auerrbach’s camp ,the slander and the calumny and personal insults against Rav Shteinmann are a bigger chilul Hashem. The fact that despite Rav Shteinmann speaking for less than one minute at a rally ,which shows how actually involved he was in the whole thing, the majority of chareidi Jews did not follow his psak and vote Gimmel. Had they done so, there would have been at leaazt 10 or 15 people elected on that slate. he fact that Agudath Israel was destroyed and we can never ever have another Knessiah Gedolah is a bigger Chillul Hashem. Why was the creation of the Chofetz Chaim ,etc. rent in two and why was 1980 the last time in history that all of the Gedolim and Rabbeim could come together and make a Kiddush Hashem. Why does the Moetzes in Israel never meet , maybe a symbolic meeting but no real collegeality. The fiction that one person is the man and all of klal Yisroel must follow what is said in his name is just not the way Yiddishkeit ever was and it is a distortion. Real kovod hatorah would allow Rav Shteinmann to say out loud and clearly what he is rumored to have said in secret, that boys should go to Netzach Yehudah and that men should have job training. What kind of world do you live in where fist fights and vandalism can divide Ponovezh and we still claim to have the moral high ground.Is that “torato umenato”. Real Torah Judaism is not what is happening in all of the above, it would give the Chofetz Chaim agmas nefesh to see what this generation does in his name.

    [DB: I apologize for the personal tone of my comment; it was not meant personally. This comment seems like random musings and unsupported opinions; it is hard for me to address that coherently.

    Whose differing view? Lapid’s?

    How does the length of RAYLS’ speech indicate anything?

    I’ve been through the numbers of Gimmel voters on a different thread; with 210,000 votes, the majority certainly voted Gimmel (other than the Eidah and Satmar of course – but that has nothing to do with Agudah).

    All the Rabbeim and Rabbanim got together just over a year ago, about the draft bill.

    Agudah was rent in two over Lubavitch.

    Rav Shach (and Rav Elyashiv) were even more of a one-man leadership.

    You need to understand that there is a massive gulf between tacit approval on a case-by-case basis and explicit approach for the Klal.

    Netzach Yehudah is currently an unmitigated disaster.

    The fight in Ponovitch is a Chillul Hashem. What can I do. Even Radin had a terrible, terrible machlokes after the petirah of the Chofetz Chaim. The harshest words RAYLS has likely ever enunciated were against the askanim of the rival faction.

    I very much doubt the Torah world in EY overall would give the Chofetz Chaim agmas nefesh. He would undoubtedly be a part of it.]

  32. Shlomo r. says:

    A machlokes between Rabbis Beckerman and Oberstien is like 2 guys arguing if the world is a sqaure or a triangle.

  33. L. Oberstein says:

    Hodu LaShem Ki Tov. People following this stream will agree that Hashem runs the world. We are thrilled to announce the engagement of our youngest daughter Rivka to Noam Milrod of Bnai Brak,Israel. He is a student at Ner Yisroel. His family is very close to Rav Kanievsky and lives down the street from him. His mother was one of those who assisted the Rebbetzin with the many women who came to bake challah. The father is a social worker and Rav Shteinmann refers people to him , they have a relationship.

  34. Brooklyn Refugee Sheygitz says:

    I don’t understand. Are you suggesting that Greenbaum and his “bakehilla” magazine are not really charedi? that most of the charedi leadership doesn’t feel that way?
    My understanding is that these types of charedi magazines are subject to rabbinical editorializing. so if this piece made the cut, I can only assume that it is representative of the charedi leadership’s view of the world.
    prove me wrong. you always seem to have an answer for everything….]]

    [DB: באלול תשס”ח התפרסם ב”בקהילה” ריאיון עם הרב ישראל אליהו וינטרוב בנושא ההכנה ליום הדין. בתגובה פרסם הרב וינטרוב ביומונים החרדיים מכתב חריף נגד “בקהילה”, שבו האשים את השבועון בהשגת הראיון אתו על ידי התחזות ומרמה‏. לדבריו, לא ידע שהאיש ששוחח עמו הוא עיתונאי ושבכוונתו להכניס את דבריו לעיתון: “הכנסת דבריי בתוך טומאה זאת שימש להם גושפנקא על חשיבות השבועון הנ”ל. והחזיר פשט טלפיו והכריז טהור אני

    בסיוון תשע”ג פורסמה כתבת דיוקן על האדמו”ר מחסידות טשרנוביל רבי מנחם נחום טברסקי. בעקבות זאת פרסם האדמו”ר לחסידיו הודעה שבה כתב: “צריך להבהיר כי השבועונים דוגמת אלו שפרסמו מאמר אודותינו בשבוע זה, הינם אסורים במגע ובמשא ומטמאים ביותר את כל הקורא בהם, ונאסרו כבר על ידי גדולי ישראל, ואל יהיה חלק – אפילו יחיד מאנ”ש (=אנשי שלומינו) בשייכות עם עיתונות אלו]

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