From the Mother of the Meah Shearim Attack Victim

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74 Responses

  1. Harry Maryles says:

    I wrote about this on my blog today. As long as this community continues to be indoctrinated to hate the Medina; consider its leaders Amalek; its police Nazis; and its army denizens of iniquity, this behavior will continue.

    True – the people that did this are the ‘street gangs’ of Meah Shearim. I’m sure that most people there do not approve of what they did. But that does not absolve their leadership from some of the culpability. They set the tone. And these miscreants use that to justify their ‘zealotry’.

    The only way this will begin to change is if the leadership of institutions like the Eida HaCharedis cooperates with the police, asks their followers to report known ‘gang members’ to the police; tells witnesses to come forward and testify in court so that these ‘gang members’ can be put away in prison for maximum sentences. If they don’t do that, it’s just a matter of time before it will happen again!

  2. Raymond says:

    What happened is a natural consequence of the extreme antagonism that too many of the Chareidim have toward the very soldiers who are protecting their lives and enabling them to study Torah in relative peace in the first place.

    There really is nothing that can more discourage a person from living a religious Jewish life, then when representatives of that very lifestyle, behave in such a thoroughly despicable manner. What good is all their Torah learning, davening, and doing mitzvot, if they also do not hesitate to engage in such behavior? And while it is true that only a relatively tiny handful of Chareidim actively participated in what happened, the fact is that they represent only the most extreme, active end of an entire sub-culture that feels just as they do, even if most do not act on it.

    We have such an over-abundance of enemies in this world, so many countless millions, even billions, of people who want all of us Jews to do dead. Do we really need to have enemies even among us? I am still mystified by those religious Jews who cannot seem to appreciate just how special it is to finally have our own Jewish State of Israel back in our hands after almost 2,000 years. Is it not better that we can now physically defend ourselves, rather than be helpless victims in Auschwitz or the Gulag? Can we really count ourselves as being morally superior to the rest of the world, when some of the most religious among us, behave in such a manner?

  3. L. Oberstein says:

    My son Yoni served with distinction in Netzch Yehudah and made aliyah. He spent a few months back in the states but always felt Israel was his home. The army contributed greatly to that sense of being an Israeli, not an American who happens to live in Israel. I know a family that kept two days yom tov for many years because his Rosh hayeshva told him that if in his mind he would return to the US if he had a job there, he needs to keep two days. None of his many sons is an Israeli citizan.Every one was born there but renounced it as soon as they could.
    On the other hand my children and grandchildren have embraced their opportunty to be Israelis and to live in the Jewish State.
    We are very proud that Yoni started a very good job today and this solidifies his ability to make his life in Israel. I feel such disconnection to these Meah Shearim crazies. I am thinking why do we even bother with them, their only connection to me is that they come here and collect. There are a number of such rebbes who don’t recognize the State but put on a good show when they are collecting from Zionist Jews. Why doesn’t Israel put these hooligans in jail and force them to serve three years in the IDF. In the end, all of them would thank us for freeing them from their prisonof the mind.

  4. Uriel Levi says:

    The three comments above, including Rabbi Maryles, did not fully distinguish between the Chareidi world who follow Halacha and the Meshugaim or Shotim who may look Charedi but who clearly dont follow Halacha. What these hooligans did was totally against Halacha. I very much sympathize with the Mother of the attack victim but maybe the onlookers were too shocked to fully comprehend what was going on. We all do a disservice to Klal Yisrael if we impugn an entire group for the actions of those within the group who clearly don’t represent in any shape or form, the values of that group

  5. dr. bill says:

    I wish dialogue would have significant impact; sadly, it will not. The av beis din of the Eidah and leaders of chareidi political parties are not immune from both physical and verbal attack. The core issue remains the rhetoric that is heard from both rabbinic and political leaders of chareidi society, which creates an atmosphere where such behavior (on the part of fringe elements) should be expected. Chazal cautioned (rabbis) to beware of the consequences of words spoken. Not even condemnation of such behavior would have impact. Turning a new leaf in terms of civil discourse may take a generation or more to filter through society, but until it begins, I do not expect any improvement.

  6. lacosta says:

    i hate to say this , but maybe it needs to happen– maybe lo aleinu a soldier needs to be killed by such jews , yemach zichram, in order to once and for all , have the non-haredi society [which in the name of political correctness does not treat them as they deserve] will finally take off the gloves…. and we know that the haredi establishment [ which at most gives a half-hearted de rigeuer rebuke to such characters–since one never criticizes to the Right, and always against the left ] can only react when blood is shed , lo aleinu…

  7. SA says:

    Isn’t Rabbi Beckerman going to again post the link of Harav Gershon Edelstein condemning such attacks on soldiers?

    Or has he realized that having to post the same link again and again and again and again — because there are no other examples available — actually proves the point some of the comments are trying to make?

  8. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Uriel, these people dont distinguish between “real” and “fake” charedim because its very hard to do so. Are the gangs of Ponovitch “charedim”? Is the eidah charedis, whose virulent anti-zionism fuels this sort of behavior charedi? What about newspapers and charedi politcal leaders who call zionists “nazis” for seeking to limit draft deferments? Have R. Steinman or R. Chaim Kanievsky ever attacked the “kanoiyim” with half the zeal in which they attack zionists or Iphones? If the difference were so clear, these “Crazy’s” would have long ago been shut down and taken off the streets.

  9. Reisy says:

    Let me introduce myself -I am a very religious woman, proud wife and mother of a large as you would call “blackhatted”- CHAREIDI family.
    I am horrified at what transpired in Meah Shearim and condemn the act furiously. Believe me, would I have stood there I would have intervened, if needed physically ( maybe I still need some lessons of Karate or Krav Maga before..)and believe any of my sons would have too.
    I deeply emphasize with the parents of the attacked soldier, and the soldier himself-
    such acts are not allowed to happen!! EVER.
    I wonder if people really understood what’s going on or saw what’s happening and didn’t mix in. It’s clear to me that the attacker was a fanatic extremist who doesn’t understand his own actions fully and only acts out of pain and trauma-like all psychopaths.
    A righteous religious G-d fearing person would never act like that.
    I don’t believe every person who wears black necessarily is really religious and representing that, like I don’t believe every person wearing a kippa seruga is. There are people who don’t wear a kippa at all and are G-d fearing individual.
    Some people have been “born into” and never learned to make choices for themselves, and to think individually- that you have in every circle of humanity, every nation.
    The chareidi people are not different.
    We have also different groups and different beliefs between us-and many ideals.
    Some are similar for all groups, some are very different.
    I think within all people of Israel, the first thing that will help all of us, is to learn to let go of judgment of each other.
    To learn to tolerate and after that love each other.
    Since really, we all are brothers and sisters, AM ECHAD BAARETZ.
    We do not need to necessarily understand each other’s ideals, but respect them.
    Let’s not wait for other nations to remind us that we need each other. We ALL need each other. Let’s not wait for Chamas, Hizbullah or Iran to have to remind us in wartimes to stand together, let’s stand together NOW.
    My father was in Yeshiva here in Jerusalem in Katamon when the Yom Kippur war broke out.
    The soldiers came running into the Yeshiva asking the bochurim to pray for their success, and pray they did- they didn’t move from their prayer books until victory.
    that is Achdut!
    Every one with their ideals, yet respecting it and working together!
    Do we need to be reminded by yet another war-since than it’s all of us together against the enemy.
    I beg all of you brothers and sisters, let’s unite. It has to start in our hearts. Let’s make room for the other.
    Let’s consciously decide to leave judgement and hatred behind, cross the bridge into each other’s land and try to see what we can see there.
    There is other worlds, other pieces of the puzzle that actually make a lot of sense to some very intelligent logical deep thinking people who are very sane and very “normal”- you would be surprised to get to know them closer.
    If we just follow what every one else is saying, we are being similar to that extremist fanatic psychopath who attacked the soldier.
    WE FORGOT TO THINK FOR OURSELVES, TO INQUIRE, TO FIND OUT-MOST OF US!
    I’m inviting all of you-
    let’s stand together!
    Only together we are standing strong-since Achdut was always our strength.

    I’m inviting the pained mother of the soldier to write to me.I want to personally share in her pain and dialog with her!
    I want to validate her and hear her.

  10. Doron Beckerman says:

    Which is what? That Rav Steinman and Rav Chaim Kanievsky secretly approve of it? That if only Rav Steinman would condemn it, they would stop assaulting the IDF soldiers, Rav Elyashivs, and Rav Sternbuchs of the world? These people consider Rav Steinman to be a pusillanimous satanic Rasha. Even Rav Edelstein didn’t bother to directly condemn it – he called on the Eidah Chareidis to condemn it.

    Meah Shearim and RBS B don’t need condemnations from us Amalek incarnates. They HATE us. They need a raid by 300 Mishmar Hagevul people to make arrests and throw these terrorists in jail for as long as the law will allow. If I were to see violence perpetrated by these hooligans I would ask for a witness protection program of some sort before testifying, because I believe them capable of murder.

  11. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Uriel Levi: “I very much sympathize with the Mother of the attack victim but maybe the onlookers were too shocked to fully comprehend what was going on.”

    Ori: If they cannot stop a few hooligans, and won’t call the police to do it, how do they expect to keep a civilized society?

  12. dovid2 says:

    I read the comments above with incredulity. Have you read the mother’s words? Her main complaint was not what the zealots did but what the onlookers didn’t do. You all come with suggestions as to what to do with the zealots. You come with suggestions as to who should do what. All that is טפל. The real issue is: Would you have tried to shield the soldier from the blows of the hooligans?

  13. dovid2 says:

    A commentator writes: “Why doesn’t Israel put these hooligans in jail and force them to serve three years in the IDF.”

    Following your argument to its conclusion, you should be also thrown into jail and forced to serve maybe less than three years in the army for voting for Obama. Have you heard of the concept of conscientious objector? In addition, who needs them in the army?

  14. Bob Miller says:

    If community leaders can’t find the will and means to throttle this madness, they need replacement.

  15. dovid2 says:

    “The real issue is: Would you have tried to shield the soldier from the blows of the hooligans?” If not, then the blows the soldier got didn’t really hurt you and all your words are hot air.

  16. Eli Blum says:

    Similar to the city of Chicago demolishing the projects to remove gang violence and give the people who live there hope of a better future, perhaps it is time to demolish Meah Shearim, turn the place into a park, and resettle the residents somewhere in the Negev. That or add it to area A of the Palestinian Authority and let like deal with like.

  17. Dr. E says:

    Dr. Bill hits the nail on the head. A logical consequence of overt rhetoric of “Amelek” and “Gezeiros Hashmad” is incitement and violence. And among those less “radical” and quite mainstream, the consequence of not showing respect to the IDF or the Medina is the collective bystander effect towards that incitement and violence. The convenient defense mechanism is to marginalize the “extremists” and thus absolve any responsibility for their behavior. When fundraisers come to the U.S. to collect for various Yeshivos and organizations, they too openly decry the draconian cuts of the Medina in their pleas for naive Americans to open their checkbooks–totally ignoring that the largest funding source has always been the Israeli government. So, unfortunately this is all being continuously subsidized by American dollars.

    I would add that many people get confused between Torah luminaries and leadership. They are not the same. Leadership means something quite different from having reviewed Torah sources thousands of times.

    The combination of high percentage of Chareidim not cut out for indefinite full-time Torah study (and subsequent underachievement in learning/downtime) and Chareidi unemployment has created a whole subculture of people who obviously have plenty of time on their hands. The Medina is a convenient scapegoat for this reality. The external blame game, as opposed to taking personal ownership, occurs during election cycles as well as between them.

    “SA” is also on the mark when he points out the tendency for some American Chareidi writers to recount a few meiselach from 1 to 3 generations ago when some legendary Torah personality had a soft spot in his heart for the Medina or IDF. Too little and too early.

  18. cvmay says:

    Yes, murder for sure!!

  19. Ben Waxman says:

    Just like to note: The officer’s unit stopped a terrorist attack Monday morning in the Golan.

  20. Ben Waxman says:

    Let’s say some radical secular man were to physically attack a maggid shiur from the Mir. The PM, Chief of Police, Minister of Internal Security, the Mayor of Jerusalem are all silent. At most their spokesmen released a statement saying something to the effect of “Of course he doesn’t like the violence or agrees with it in any way. But nothing he says or does is going to have an effect, so what’s the point?”

    How would that play in the Chareidi world?

    Lacosta: No way, no way.

  21. AMK says:

    R Doron, as someone who is also inside the Yeshiva community, we know these crazies have nothing to do with us. But to those outside our community it is not so clear. Do you not see any benefit in approaching the leaders of the community and explaining this so that they will publicly (and unequivocally) condemn this behavior? Even if it is nothing more then a PR move I think it will be very helpful..

  22. D Saker says:

    The answer from Rabbi Beckerman does not detract from the reality that it is not a vast leap of faith from those in the “regular” anti-State, anti-Police, anti-IDF but non-violent Chareidi camp and those on the fringe who embrace violence.

    The fact as we all know, is that for the vast majority of less affiliated, the actions of these individuals is Orthodoxy.

    No one is saying that outspoken and repetitive statements of denunciation from the likes of Rav Steinman and Rav Chaim Kanievsky might cause these individuals to stop in itself.

    Their actions are nurtured and ingrained from an early age within the confines of (State-funded) schools.

    But outspoken and repetitive statements of denunciation would very importantly help 1) To divorce Orthodoxy from such actions in the eyes of less affiliated and 2) Instill a sense of admired leadership for many in Orthodox observant community who see silence as equally damning. For when good people do little to nothing…

  23. Rafael Araujo says:

    “If the difference were so clear, these “Crazy’s” would have long ago been shut down and taken off the streets.”

    Really? Sorry, but this an assumption without any basis. I keep seeing non-Chareidim post this like this is some gospel truth, but there is no evidence to suggest these kanoim would ever stop what they are doing. Nothing the Gedolei Torah you mentioned would say or do have any effect, unfortunately. The only forces that can take care of these scum are law enforcement. These are gangsters in chareidi dress.

    Its true but sad reality.

  24. Rafael Araujo says:

    Ben – it probably wouldn’t play well in the Chareidi world, but I would agree with that. However, one key difference is those in power would be able to take law enforcement measures, ordering the Mishatarah or IDF to do something. That is a quite a difference, no? Case in point: post-Rabin assassination and the laws written and/or enforced to end “incitement”. Can The Gedolei Torah mentioned by Moshe do that?

  25. Avi6 says:

    It would be helpful to publicize translations of the incendiary pashkevilim, who signed them, and which yeshiva and other organizational affiliations they have. This “sunlight” would help American Jews make more reasoned tzedaka decisions around them and the umbrella groups that financially support this incitement.

  26. lacosta says:

    to rabbi beckerman and others

    i wonder how it can be explained that to a certain segment of judaism the worst sin imaginable is zionism. i guess because it is not only the Big 3 [ atheism/murder/freesex ] , but also the root cause of the Holocaust . if that is the explanation, then maybe they are right and the other 99+ % are all wrong….

  27. lacosta says:

    to ben waxman

    i don’t chas vshalom want to see dead chayalim. in fact, i doubt the haredi establishment would be moved even in the face of such appalling sinah. but they certainly don’t move with less. so , absent a community uproar from the rabbi beckermans of israel [ which frankly even if it mounted to the thousands, would anyone care?] , such an event might rouse chilonim, already accused of nazi behavior, to enter those cesspools of “judaism” , and say ‘Ratte, Raus!’ and show these persons what fascist behavior actually would entail…

  28. Toby Bulman Katz says:

    Did all you guys condemn Al Gore and the whole environmental-illnist movement because the Unabomber — the most famous environmentalist — was inspired by Gore’s book? Do you blame Obama and his “America is racist” rhetoric for black crime and black riots? Did you ask Al Gore or Obama to change their core beliefs because of the actions of criminals?

    OK but having gotten that out of the way, I must say I am haunted by this young religious soldier’s words to his attackers: “Guys, you are confused, I fought in Gaza nine months ago so you could study Torah.”

    (See http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-officer-attacked-in-jerusalem-ultra-orthodox-neighborhood/#! — The Times of Israel)

    Young men who have so much time and energy on their hands that they have nothing better to do than gather in violent gangs on the street should lose their draft exemption.

    I wish I could remember which chareidi leader it was — a contemporary, not from the past — I recently read about, who would not kiss his own grandson while Israeli soldiers were fighting in Gaza. He said, “There are mothers who cannot kiss their sons today because their sons are fighting away from home, and they don’t know if their sons will come home alive.”

    There are no words strong enough to condemn young Jews who will physically attack a fellow Jew for no good reason. Jewish soldiers should be afraid of Jews who are allegedly bnai Torah?! This is simply heartbreaking.

    I would like to see this headline emblazoned on the front page of all the charedi newspapers: “I fought in Gaza nine months ago so you could study Torah.”

  29. Steve Brizel says:

    The real issue is why such shenanigans are tolerated by the leadership of the Charedi world. Perhaps, such misplaced tolerance will end when summer programs for American charedi teens incorporate a view to an IDF unit and a hesder unit in addition to their current agendas.

  30. mycroft says:

    “Did all you guys condemn Al Gore and the whole environmental-illnist movement because the Unabomber — the most famous environmentalist — was inspired by Gore’s book?”

    Ted Kaczynski by 1971 had already moved to a remote cabin without running water. He had sent his first bomb by 1978. Al Gore published his book Earth in the Balance in 1992.

  31. Doron Beckerman says:

    The heads of both Charedi parties unequivocally condemned the attack. They are the public emissaries of their spiritual leadership.

    In terms of the PR benefits, if I were an official Charedi spokesman toward the secular media, I would offer this: You’ll get a condemnation, which we both know is superfluous. But let’s put this to bed once and for all. The condition is that, henceforth, any acts of violence coming out of Meah Shearim or RBS B are not attributed to Charedim without a bright-red modifier that sets them apart. Something like חרדים מקבוצת הסיקריקים. Or even better, just call them סיקריקים.

  32. Ben Waxman says:

    There are two (at least) issues here and they are being mixed up. One is the effectiveness of a protest. The other is the protest itself. I’ll agree that nothing that the Yeshiva leadership can say will influence these folks. Does that mean that nothing need be said? We expect Muslim clergy in all parts of the world to condemn ISIS or terrorism. Yet what pull does some iman in Kansas have over Al-Quaeda in Pakistan? When some ultra-DL writes graffiti on a mosque, the normative DL leadership doesn’t hesitate to condemn the act. Does anyone think that Rabbi Riskin has any juice with these young men? Why are they speaking out if their words have no effect? Is this a waste of time? OK like Rafael Araujo pointed out the Minister of Internal Security can do something. But imans in America and clean shaven rabbis? What can they do?

    Rabbanim, chareidi columnists, don’t hesitate to protest any type of secular activity that is tamei, like photo-shoots at the Dead Sea (if you don’t know what I am talking about, don’t worry about it). They do this even though they have no reason to believe that the activity will be cancelled. Same too here.

  33. Toby Bulman Katz says:

    “Did all you guys condemn Al Gore and the whole environmental-illnist movement because the Unabomber — the most famous environmentalist — was inspired by Gore’s book?”

    Mycroft wrote: “Ted Kaczynski by 1971 had already moved to a remote cabin without running water. He had sent his first bomb by 1978. Al Gore published his book Earth in the Balance in 1992.”

    Gore’s ideas were common currency on the left already in the ’60’s. And Ted had a well-loved copy of Gore’s book in his cabin, dog-eared and underlined. Those ideas really spoke to him. There have been quite a few anti-technology bombers and terrorists over the years. Now are you ready to blame the entire environmental movement for the actions of left-wing criminals? No?

    The enviros are not to blame for leftist criminals, but a hundred thousand beautiful charedim in Yerushalayim, the finest and holiest Jews in the world, are all to blame for the actions of the Meah She’arim hooligans?

    You understand that “Obama is to blame for the Baltimore riots” is a stretch, even though his leftist ideas of black resentment and entitlement are the lingua franca of the rent-a-mobs that tear up black neighborhoods. But that same critical thinking ceases to operate when you look at charedim.

    I note that Steve Brizel is still echoing that favorite MO meme: “The real issue is why such shenanigans are tolerated by the leadership of the Charedi world.” I think the real issue is why are the Baltimore riots tolerated by Obama? “No one thinks he approves of them, so he doesn’t have to say it.” Hm, that’s a thought….

    >>>

    I am haunted by this young religious soldier’s words to his attackers: “Guys, you are confused, I fought in Gaza nine months ago so you could study Torah.” He at least understood what was worth fighting for, what is worth defending. Those guys, the hooligans with payos, who cannot benefit from the opportunities given to them to learn Torah, should be drafted. They should at least physically defend their coreligionists who can and do learn Torah full time. The ones who are most proficient at rock-throwing should be sent to Arab areas where they can put their skills to good use. May Hashem bless, protect and defend His people.

  34. Bob Miller says:

    Doron Beckerman wrote above, “The heads of both Charedi parties unequivocally condemned the attack. They are the public emissaries of their spiritual leadership.”

    Condemnation after the fact means nothing unless effective steps are taken to prevent similar acts in the future and to uproot the mindset that causes them. If perpetrators who self-identify as Chareidim are not disciplined by leaders and communities who self-identify as Chareidim, nothing is solved. Calling the bad apples by some new name won’t do it.

  35. Rafael Araujo says:

    “Their actions are nurtured and ingrained from an early age within the confines of (State-funded) schools.”

    State-funded? You have no clue what you are talking about. These elements attend institutions that DO NOT receive state funding.

  36. Zadok says:

    I would like to suggest a reason no one called the police. Having learned and lived in Eretz Yisroel near Meah Shearim for three years I can attest that when the police do come to demonstrations they don’t discriminate between who they attack with clubs and who not.And if they do arrest people they usually release them a few days. Therefore calling them isn’t perceived as helpful in Meah Shearim

  37. dovid2 says:

    “the hooligans with payos, …… should be drafted.”

    Toby, the IDF is not a jail and service in the IDF is not a jail term. These fellows need to be beaten to the pulp and thrown into jail with common jailbirds for a year.

  38. Doron Beckerman says:

    If perpetrators who self-identify as Chareidim are not disciplined by leaders and communities who self-identify as Chareidim, nothing is solved.

    Short of the leaders organizing vigilante posses within their communities to put these criminals in the hospital (which has been done on occasion) or cemetery, I don’t see what you would want them to do. The solution is firm law enforcement.

  39. Bob Miller says:

    Doron Beckerman wrote above, “…The solution is firm law enforcement.”

    In that case the communities and their leaders should support that enforcement. What a novelty!

  40. DF says:

    Toby Katz – “a hundred thousand beautiful charedim in Yerushalayim, the finest and holiest Jews in the world”…

    That statement is ludicrous. And in your (misguided) zeal to defend one group of Jews, you’ve gone and insulted every other Jew in the world.

  41. Rafael Araujo says:

    “The solution is firm law enforcement”

    Doron – get with the program! We are supposed to beat the living daylights out of these kannoim, extrajudicially, and condemn them in all forms, because nothing less means we are in cahoots with them and we should only blame ourselves if all Chareidim are lumped together and are identified as one monolithic mass of violent, anti-Achdus, Chumra-imposing, obscurantist, economy-draining, non-contributing, Scandal-intensive, budget bloodsucking, ISIS-modelling, ban-inducing, less Jewish than Open Orthodoxy, tznius-overboarding wastes of space.

  42. Steve Brizel says:

    Mrs. Katz-one need not be either MO or Charedi to recognize that the actions that generated the subject column constitute a terrible Chillul HaShem.

  43. Y. Ben-David says:

    The question of violence by members of a group with a strong sense of identity separating them from the surrounding society has been extensively discussed lately in contexts other than this one. If a minority, even a small minority of this group engages in acts like this, the response by the other members of their group will cover a wide spectrum of attitudes. They are:
    (1) I completely support and identify with those who are doing these things. They are tzaddikim and I would participate if I could.
    (2) Those who are doing these things are good, dedicated members of our group but they are going a little too far because their actions could cause a negative response against us by the outside socieyt.
    (3) Those who are doing these things are good, dedicated members of our group, but they are misunderstanding the message of our ideology, but it is not my place to correct them.
    (4) Maybe those doing these things shouldn’t do them, but we should never publicly criticize members of our group no matter what they do. We don’t wash our dirty laundry in public.
    (5) Indifference
    (6) Those doing these things are bad but it is not my place to correct. Maybe I am too afraid to confront them.
    (7) These people are despicable and we should do everything to confront them, delegitimize them and work to ensure that the youth doesn’t follow them.
    I don’t have any figures as to how the larger Haredi community fits into these categories. However, those who incite and instigate the violence are doing it in order to mobilize the larger community, feeling that basically they support these extremists but are too weak to get involved, so incidents of violence are good at mobilizing their support, and when the non-Haredi community responds, the extremists hope that it will bring about a siege mentality among the larger Haredi community which they hope will radicalize them (“see, they all hate us”!).

    That is why condemnations by the moderate leadership are useful and so they should be encouraged to do so They know the extremists won’t listen to them, but it is not to them the condemnation is to be directed….it is to the larger Haredi community in order to dry up support for the extremists and to educate the youth not to follow them.

  44. Ben Bradley says:

    “…The solution is firm law enforcement.”
    That’s just sophistry. You know that law enforcement is impossible in Meah Shearim due to a whole host of historical resentments and antagonism. For which the perecentage blame on each side is arguable but nonetheless, that’s the fact on the ground. If “300 mishmar hagevul people” turn up to arrest these criminals you know very well that the whole area will erupt in violence and arresting the culprits in question will be impossible. It’s happened before and there’s not a single reason to suppose it wouldn’t happen again. Meah Shearim looks after its own, especially against the authorities, even if they themselves can’t stand the sikrikim in quesion.

    And talking of sophistry, the argument against condemning these people since they won’t listen anyway has no merit at all. When Charedi leaders criticise those to the left, outside their direct sphere of influence, do they think that they’ll directly impact on the behaviour or ideas of those they criticise? Of course not. They criticise to forcibly clarify their values to their own followers, as a counterbalance to the incorrect values and/or behaviour they perceive over there. Which is well and good, but of course that reasoning applies with at least equal force here too.
    On the communal level you criticise because you care deeply about the values being distorted, not to get short term tangible results. If you don’t criticise, it would seem to indicate that you do not care very deeply about the infringement.

    Honestly, the drive to defend your own against criticism simply because they are your own must be one the biggest threats to the resolution of problems in the Charedi community. Tochacha is good! Accepting tochacha is vital to spiritual progression, that’s Judaism 101. Can’t we just drop the reflex defense mechanisms and listen?

  45. Baruch B. says:

    Y Ben david,

    It seems that you put Chareidim into one community with varying additudes. It is confusing for us why people do this. Are you so far removed from the Chareidi world that you don’t realize that we are many distinct communities? What would you say if a chiloni lumped all Orthodox Jews together. There may be nothing wrong in some matters we are one community, but in many situations it shows a lack of familiarity with the subject matter. I feel the same way here.

  46. Yaakov Menken says:

    As you probably know, video surfaced Sunday of an Israeli police officer (with a second only helping him, if anything) viciously and senselessly beating up an Ethiopian soldier. A comment from Daniel Sass makes a comparison:

    I find it interesting that when a fringe group of disturbed charedim beat up a soldier, the Israeli public boldly condemns the entire charedi community, but when police officers (assigned to protect) act in similar fashion, it is deemed an isolated incident with no bearing whatsoever on the entire police institution.

  47. dr. bill says:

    Rabbi Menken, You made a comparison between two events. Let me offer a distinction. List all rhetoric by charedi leaders and by the heads of the police force that are viewed as excessive by the Israeli public. I believe, that is the long and short of it.

    [Actually it wasn’t my line, but either way you’re proving his point. That “rhetoric by charedi leaders,” none of which calls for violence, would be tied to acts of violence by a fringe sect “by the Israeli public” is a sign of bias, not reason. –YM]

  48. dr. bill says:

    Rabbi Menken, Please read again. I said “excessive” not “calls for violence.” I continue to believe that excessive talk, especially by leaders, creates a climate that is conducive to violence.

    [You sound very much like those who claimed that Yigal Amir was following guidance from rabbis — which he explicitly denied. No statement by any charedi leader has included a call for violence, and none of those engaging in the violence could be identified as even close followers of any rabbi making what you would call a statement involving “excessive” rhetoric. That their rhetoric is “viewed as excessive” in a way that could be tied to violence is pure bias. And by comparison, we do know that the Israeli police, especially border police, are trained (or were, at least in my day) to throw their weight around beyond what the law allows. –YM]

  49. Doron Beckerman says:

    In that case the communities and their leaders should support that enforcement. What a novelty!

    I am still not clear on what, exactly, you would like Rav Steinman or Rav Edelstein to do. If law enforcement lacks the will or gumption to exercise the State’s sovereignty over Meah She’arim, they should give guidance to soldiers not to enter that area in uniform, at the risk of injury. They should put up a sign on the southeast corner of Kikar Shabbat similar to that which appears at the entrance to Ramallah. Either you take this seriously or you don’t.

    Some people here are missing something rather fundamental. Why do Charedim condemn those to their left if there’s no connection to them? It’s simple. When an ideology claims the mantle of Orthodoxy, its effectiveness, influence, and power waxes and wanes in direct proportion to its perceived legitimacy . The ideological movements of the left crave and seek legitimacy; that is their coin. The way to defeat them is by vocal delegitimizing them, by all authoritative voices from within Orthodoxy, regardless of stripe. Absent legitimacy, they are dead.

    Not so with those engaging in violence borne of ideology. ISIS is an example. Their influence is not born of legitimacy, but of ability to be violent. They need to be defeated not by delegitimizing them, but by force.

    People take moral turpitude in the name of an ideology as license to tar the ideology – and how wide to paint the circle of those tarred is a function not of truth, but of antagonism. After this attack, some might tar a group within Neturei Karta (who are violent), others at Eidah Charedis/Satmar (who are not), others at all Charedim (who send Mishloach Manos to bereaved IDF mothers), and others at Bible-based monotheists. Charedim as a group have no sway over those who attack soldiers, nor any thoughts of doing so. It is against their religion – and you all know it.

  50. Raymond says:

    I hope that nobody here has even entertained the idea that even the most extreme of Chareidim, literally support the violent actions of those Jewish thugs. Perhaps some of us need to be reminded that we Jews are overwhelmingly not a physically violent people at all. Having said that, however, I still do blame some Chareidim, for creating an atmosphere such that those Jewish thugs felt justified in physically attacking that Jewish soldier. Just think how hostile some of the leading Chareidim are toward the Jewish State of Israel, how too many of them refuse to serve in the army, refuse to work, oppose the Jewish State of Israel, yet collect welfare and experience other benefits of living in the modern Jewish State of Israel. I hate to say this, but on of course a far gentler scale, I see a parallel between such anti-Israel propaganda, and the world of islamoNazi terrorism. Just as islamoNazis only commit acts of brutal terrorism because they know that their co-religionists will applaud their behavior, so perhaps did those Jewish thugs think that their violent actions would somehow be approved of by some people in the Chareidi community. I am reminded of an example of this in American history, when John Wilkes Booth was so convinced that the South would approve of him murdering President Lincoln, that he did not hesitate to carry out his terrible deed. Of course, he was subsequently shocked to learn that his action was universally condemned by the South, and I am sure that the actions done by those Jewish thugs, have also been universally condemned by Chareidi leaders. But it is too little, too late. The action has already been done, and it brings terrible shame to our Jewish people.

  51. Y. Ben-David says:

    Rav Beckerman-
    Unfortunately, you didn’t address my comment above where I pointed out that the extremists (i.e. the ideologues in the leadership, the rank and file may not be aware of this) use violence in order to mobilize other Haredim whom they feel need some sort of stimulus in order to come over to their way of thinking. Thus, your comment that “Haredim as a group have no sway over the attackers” does not address this. We all heard the harsh language the MODERATES used during the public dispute over IDF conscription. That is exactly what the extremists wanted to inflame and it seems they had some success. The moderates may not have any influence on the extremists but a group like the Haredim who put a great premium on education and ideological solidarity certainly can do a lot to prevent the youth from being swept up in this and to prevent the extremists from getting new recruits. That is why the moderate leaders must speak out. I also think that you are aware that there is a strong tendency not to publicly criticize other Haredim even if they feel what they are doing is wrong….. “We don’t air out dirty laundry in public”…”we always have to rally around a Haredi who is in trouble”….”all the non-Haredim hate us”…..

    Baruch B-
    Actually what I commented shows that there is a spectrum of views within the Haredim world, as you stated. The difficulties arise in the fact that Haredim where a very distinctive mode of dress (this really only started in recent decades as the recent film posted on YOUTUBE showing the Hafetz Hayyim at the meeting of Agudat Israel in 1923 clearly illustrates) in order to strengthen group solidarity. Also you are no doubt aware the the official spokesmen for the Haredi political movements always emphasize that Haredim are a disciplined ideological group loyal to a specific group of spiritual leaders. Thus, when the average non-Haredi sees a person who is wearing this style of dress acting in a negative manner, it is quite likley that the non-Haredi will reach the conclusion that something is wrong and that if such a disciplined group is ignoring actions like this and refusing to educate their young people PUBLICLY to condemn this type of behavior that it doesn’t really bother them. That is why there is such a concept as “Hillul Hashem”….when a religious Jew behaves badly it is not only bad for his soul, it affects everyone else.

  52. David Ohsie says:

    As you probably know, video surfaced Sunday of an Israeli police officer (with a second only helping him, if anything) viciously and senselessly beating up an Ethiopian soldier. A comment from Daniel Sass makes a comparison:

    I find it interesting that when a fringe group of disturbed charedim beat up a soldier, the Israeli public boldly condemns the entire charedi community, but when police officers (assigned to protect) act in similar fashion, it is deemed an isolated incident with no bearing whatsoever on the entire police institution.

    1) “[I]t is deemed an isolated incident”. By whom? There are protests going on now resulting investigations.

    2) The authorities and politicians are in fact condemning the incident and considering this to be perhaps a systemic problem:

    “I unequivocally condemn the striking of the soldier from the Ethiopian community and those responsible will be brought to justice but nobody has the right to take the law into their own hands,” Netanyahu said.

    “Immigrants from Ethiopia and their families are dear to us and Israel is making great efforts to ease their integration in society,” he added.

    Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Thursday evening spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and briefed him on the goings on in Jerusalem, where some 200 Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia protested in front of the national police headquarters, following several recent incidents of police violence against Ethiopians including the shocking assault of an Ethiopian Jewish soldier.

    Netanyahu accepted the recommendation of Aharonovitch regarding the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee whose members will meet with representatives of the Ethiopian community and examine their claims.

    “I condemn the behavior of the police officer and volunteer police officer in the beating incident of an Ethiopian soldier, and I’ll see to it that those responsible are brought to justice and will not continue in the Israeli police,” said Aharonovitch.

    Jerusalem Police Chief Chico Edri told the protester leaders that he understood their rage and that the police was going to investigate the grievances raised by the protesters, and work tirelessly to assure that its ranks are not involved in any unethical deeds.

    Zionist Union Knesset Shelly Yacimovich condemned the conduct of the police in Holon, and in a Facebook post said the darker one’s skin is the greater the racism is. “It wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect that if [Fekadeh], the soldier who was hit, was a light-skin soldier, preferably with an Ashkenazi appearance, he would not have sustained harsh blows without consideration from police.”

    Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat arrived at the scene and spoke to the protesters trying to lower the flames. “Do you doubt that the prime minister, ministers, and 120 Knesset members want to embrace the Ethiopian community?”

    So indeed, this incident is quite instructive and demonstrates what responsible leaders do when dealing with intolerable behavior: they condemn it and attempt to root it out.

    These are the kinds of responses that people would like to see from Charedi leadership.

  53. Avraham says:

    Doron Beckerman and other Charedi apologists refuse to acknowledge the obvious. The rhetoric that comes out the established Charedi world (including Gedolim and those who speak for them in the Knesset and in their newspapers)is extremely negative, if not simply hateful, regarding secular Israelis, serving in the army etc. These words matter and a cheshbon hanefesh regarding the impact of this type of speech is what people of real integrity would engage in.

    Yaakov Menken must have a short memory because that is exactly what Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt’l and, yibadel l’chaim, Rav Yoel Bin Nun did after the Rabin assassination. It did not matter to them if Yigal Amir directly asked a rav for guidance; they correctly believed that the hateful rhetoric that emerged from the Religionist Zionist camp created the atmosphere that led to Yigal Amir’s actions. Both of them paid a tremendous personal price (Rav Yoel needed bodyguards for years -literally) but that is what great leaders do. The failure of the Charedi leadership to respond in a similar fashion is glaring.

    Finally, Doron’s explanation is another red herring. The people who behave abysmally in Meah Shearim do so out the same mistaken belief of legitimacy – they think that they are acting l’shem shamyim – that those on the left do. Open Orthodox leaders do not expect or want the approval of Rav Shteinman; they do believe that they are on a legitimate path just as the inhabitants of Meah Shearim do. The difference is that it easy taking on the left but taking on those to the right is hard and takes real courage.

  54. Dr. Yitzchok Levine says:

    Why is it that these sorts of things occur primarily in EY? Dare one suggest that there is something fundamentally wrong with right-wing Orthodoxy in EY?

    I personally feel that the answer is that there is something fundamentally wrong with right-wing orthodoxy in EY. In my opinion right-wing Orthodoxy in America, which far from perfect, is superior to its counterpart in EY.

  55. Raymond says:

    I hope that nobody here has even entertained the idea that even the most extreme of Chareidim, literally support the violent actions of those Jewish thugs. Perhaps some of us need to be reminded that we Jews are overwhelmingly not a physically violent people at all. Having said that, however, I still do blame some Chareidim, for creating an atmosphere such that those Jewish thugs felt justified in physically attacking that Jewish soldier. Just think how hostile some of the leading Chareidim are toward the Jewish State of Israel, how too many of them refuse to serve in the army, refuse to work, oppose the Jewish State of Israel, yet collect welfare and experience other benefits of living in the modern Jewish State of Israel. I hate to say this, but on of course a far gentler scale, I see a parallel between such anti-Israel propaganda, and the world of islamoNazi terrorism. Just as islamoNazis only commit acts of brutal terrorism because they know that their co-religionists will applaud their behavior, so perhaps did those Jewish thugs think that their violent actions would somehow be approved of by some people in the Chareidi community. I am reminded of an example of this in American history, when John Wilkes Booth was so convinced that the South would approve of him murdering President Lincoln, that he did not hesitate to carry out his terrible deed. Of course, he was subsequently shocked to learn that his action was universally condemned by the South, and I am sure that the actions done by those Jewish thugs, have also been universally condemned by Chareidi leaders. But it is too little, too late. The action has already been done, and it brings terrible shame to our Jewish people.

  56. Doron Beckerman says:

    Avraham’s comment begins with a pejorative “Charedi apologists” as a particularly low, if perhaps effective among the Charedi antagonists, form of leitzanus designed to sound-proof against any sort of open-minded conversation.

    Avraham’s first paragraph is hereby challenged. Here’s his chance to provide quotes from Rav Steinman, Kanievsky, Edelstein, or Karelitz – the four Marans of the mainstream Yeshiva world – or the MKs that represent them, that are extremely negative, if not simply hateful, regarding secular Israelis or serving in the army. I wonder if Rav Neventzahl – mechutan of R’ Chaim Kanievsky – must also engage in this Cheshbon Hanesfesh. Maybe R’ Zalman Nechemyah… Rav Asher Weiss… Rav Aviner for respecting Charedi Gedolim too vocally… maybe I can get all the way to Mike Huckabee here.

    Yigal Amir came right out of Kerem Beyavneh and Bar Ilan – the heart of hearts of the Religious Zionist world. And there was nonetheless a measure of klapping Al Cheit on yenem’s heart when the “cheshbon hanefesh” came out of the LW camp of RZ. There was absolutely none of it in Kerem Beyavneh itself, because there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that there was nothing ever said or done in the Yeshiva that could have possibly made Amir think what he did was legitimate.

    Avraham’s final paragraph is demonstrably false. See entry: R’ David Stav’s crestfallen demeanor in the wake of Rav Ovadyah Yosef’s condemnation, and see entry: Dealing with the Rav Auerbach faction.

  57. Avraham says:

    Calling me a Charedi antagonist is a convenient way to deflect criticism but it does not answer my critique and would be a bit of a surprise to my Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel whom are Charedi and with whom I remain close. I appreciate greatness in all parts of the Orthodox world but respect integrity more. If I write critically it is out of sadness and frustration – not blind antagonism.

    You don’t seriously need me to provide quotes that have emanated from the Charedi world about the subjects I noted as anyone who has spent time in Charedi institutions (as I did for many years) have heard of the evil secular Zionists trying to destroy the Torah world and know that for a yeshiva bachur going to the army is Y’hareg v’al ya’avor. Do you disagree that these sentiments are routinely expressed? Is the latter message not one that Rav Auerbach – whom you may not care for but is hardly a lightweight – state regularly? Did not you yourself deal with a host of these types of quotes in your recent post regarding MK Gafni?

    As to your other points – I do need see life as being black and white and therefore one could be a great talmid chachom, even a gadol, and still be flawed. As such, your comment regarding Rav Neventzahl and the others is simply irrelevant to our discussion. (Greatness does not mean perfection and therefore their admiration of Charedi gedolim has no bearing on our topic.)

    Finally, your comment about Rav Stav reveals a glaring lack of understanding regarding Open Orthodoxy and a sad hypocrisy as you willingly paint all in the non-Charedi camp with a singular brush. Rav Stav and Tzohar in Israel, and the Open Orthodox movement which is an American phenomenon associated with Rabbi Avi Weiss, are not connected so your observation not only reveals a lack of knowledge regarding both camps (and is, by extension, disrespectful of Rav Stav) but it means that my final paragraph remains fully, and sadly, true.

  58. Avraham says:

    Sorry for the slight typo. Here is a corrected version of my comment.

    Calling me a Charedi antagonist is a convenient way to deflect criticism but it does not answer my critique and would be a bit of a surprise to
    my Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel whom are Charedi and with whom I remain close. I appreciate greatness in all parts of the Orthodox world but respect
    integrity more. If I write critically it is out of sadness and frustration – not blind antagonism.

    You don’t seriously need me to provide quotes that have emanated from the Charedi world about the subjects I noted as anyone who has
    spent time in Charedi institutions (as I did for many years) have heard of the evil secular Zionists trying to destroy the Torah world and know that for a yeshiva bachur going to the army is Y’hareg v’al ya’avor. Do you disagree that these sentiments are routinely expressed? Is the latter message not one that Rav Auerbach – whom you may not care for but is hardly a lightweight – state regularly? Did not you yourself deal with a host of these types of quotes in your recent post regarding MK Gafni?

    As to your other points – I do not see life as being black and white and therefore one could be a great talmid chachom, even a gadol, and still be flawed. As such, your comment regarding Rav Neventzahl and the others is simply irrelevant to our discussion. (Greatness does not mean perfection and therefore their admiration of Charedi gedolim has no bearing on our topic.)

    Finally, your comment about Rav Stav reveals a glaring lack of understanding regarding Open Orthodoxy and a sad hypocrisy as you willingly paint all in the non-Charedi camp with a singular brush. Rav Stav and Tzohar in Israel, and the Open Orthodox movement which is an American phenomenon associated with Rabbi Avi Weiss, are not connected so your observation not only reveals a lack of knowledge regarding both camps (and is, by extension, disrespectful of Rav Stav) but it means that my final paragraph remains fully, and sadly, true.

  59. Bob Miller says:

    Doron Beckerman,

    Have you considered how more effective the police would be in areas like Meah Shearim if both the police and the hoodlums under discussion sensed a community and leadership united against hoodlum behavior?

  60. Ben Waxman says:

    Why is it that these sorts of things occur primarily in EY? Dare one suggest that there is something fundamentally wrong with right-wing Orthodoxy in EY?

    How about because there is no Zionist Army in Brooklyn? There is no ideological issue for American Chareidim to fight against.

    In my opinion right-wing Orthodoxy in America, which far from perfect, is superior to its counterpart in EY.

    Do we really want to get started on the various scandals involving American Chareidim that have made front page headlines in the American press? Are you really sure that the American Chareidi community would come out on top?

  61. Doron Beckerman says:

    Avraham’s comment leaves me astounded. A request for quotes about “the seculars” becomes an oblique reference to the secular Zionists seeking to uproot Torah. Well, the early Labor Zionists sought exactly that. The only contemporary context in which this can be understood as it relates to the attack in question is reference to the previous government. The sentiment that the Lapidniks – not “the seculars” – sought to uproot Torah is one expressed not only by the black-hat Charedim, not only by the Charedi Leumi, but even – yes – by one Rav Aharon Lichtenstein just about a year ago.

    A request for a quote about serving in the army gives us Rav Auerbach. I am amazed. Easily, the most aggressive campaign of intra-Charedi delegitimization in my lifetime is that waged against the Rav Auerbach faction over this very issue, and Avraham still insists, wildly, on including not only those who wage it, but even those associated with those who wage it, among the bristles on his tar brush.

    I understand the left very well. But your thesis that a left-wing faction views itself as acting leshem shamayim and therefore does not crave legitimacy from the right is demonstrably wrong. What betrays a lack of understanding is proving your case from OO not seeking approbation from Rav Steinman. There’s simply no nexus there at all.

    Bob Miller,

    I don’t expect to convince the Eidah Charedis to accept that the State of Israel with its arm of law enforcement is the sovereign power over Meah Shearim. The State has to either assert it or guide its soldiers away from it.

  62. Avraham says:

    We do not agree that Lapidniks were looking to uproot the Torah which is why comments by MK Gafni – the one aspect fo my remarks that you conveniently ignored – or quoutes from Rav Shteinman that were reported as follows “Rav Shteinman spoke about the wicked, those who work to harm Am Yisrael [the Jewish people; in this case meant as the haredi community, which is the only ‘authentic’ Jewish community in haredi theology], their name should be wiped out, using the loshon [language; term; phrase] ‘yemach shemom’, inserting a tefilla [prayer] that HKBH [HaKadosh Baruch Hu; God] should save us from these evil people. The gadol hador once again spoke out against Minister Yair Lapid, using the loshon ‘yemach shemo’ regarding his name,” (Yeshiva World reported) take on very different contations. You may feel that they are justified but I do not and, either way, they still contribute to a poisoning of the atmosphere which has always been my basic point.

    Saying that you understand the left, when I showed that you do not, is hardly a strong response. Putting words in my mouth does not help your case either. I never claimed that Open Orthodoxy sought approbation form Rav Shteinman. I said that his approval was irrelevant to them and even your fellow Cross Currents writer – Rabbi Gordimer – who writes extensively on this subject will confirm this point. They crave accpetancy in other quarters of the Jewish world but not from the Charedim so to say that Gedolim have to speak out against them to deny them legitimacy is not an answer. We both know that the Gedolim speak out for a multitude of reasons including to warn their own followers of the dangers of various perceived evils. I noted that with rare exception ( for example Rav Elya Svei zt’l simply said what he felt was neccessary without fear) those crticims are always directed towards the left, which is an easier target, and never to the right which is far more difficult. That point, which really deals with far more than hashkafic issues, remains unchallenged.

  63. ben dov says:

    “Meah Shearim and RBS B don’t need condemnations from us Amalek incarnates. They HATE us [mainstream charedim].

    Rabbi Beckerman, isn’t there ample precedent for gedolim speaking out even when the alleged offenders will not listen? Doesn’t this have the effect of distancing their followers from the alleged offenders?

  64. dr. bill says:

    As a student of RAL ztl, I am curious to get a copy of what he said about Yair Lapid, about a year ago. Rabbi Beckerman, can you provide the complete quote or a link?

  65. Doron Beckerman says:

    The way it was conveyed to me was “This government is not attacking Charedi society, it is attacking Torah itself.”

  66. Bob Miller says:

    Doron Beckerman wrote,
    “I don’t expect to convince the Eidah Charedis to accept that the State of Israel with its arm of law enforcement is the sovereign power over Meah Shearim. The State has to either assert it or guide its soldiers away from it.”

    If the State asserts its control there, it invites more scurrilous attacks that encourage hoodlums. If it doesn’t, it creates a situation where no one has police power, since the community is clearly not up to that.

  67. Avraham says:

    Is there a source to the quote attributed to Rav Aharon Zt’l? As someone whose family was extremely close to Rav Lictenstein and never heard him express this sentiment, a direct source would be greatly appreciated.

  68. Doron Beckerman says:

    A well-known Rav in Ramat Beit Shemesh, who told this to me at the end of June last year, and repeated it in his shul this past Shabbos.

  69. dr. bill says:

    Rabbi Beckerman, your unnamed source for a quote by RAL ztl attacking Lapid is second-hand, not specifically about Lapid but about something being an attack against Torah not chareidim. Those who have known Rav Lichtenstein over a lifetime, need a bit more to understand the full context in which whatever was said occurred. Knowing RAL from a distance over the last years but speaking weekly with one of his closest friends with whom he would discuss such matters, I would need a great deal more specificity.

  70. Avraham says:

    Not to overstate the case but I fully agree with Dr. Bill. Is the unnamed Rav a close talmid of Rav Aharaon zt’l or is he merely saying something that he in turn heard from someone else etc. which sadly deprives the statement of any value.

  71. Doron Beckerman says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the source is of impeccable integrity. If both of you are as close as you say to the family/close friend, you can make contact and determine this. To give you a lead, it was apparently said in the presence of one of RAL’s daughters.

  72. Doron Beckerman says:

    And it was most definitely about the previous government.

  73. Avraham says:

    I will not belabor the point but that is a sad response. We asked you for concrete information and rather than divulge the name of the rabbi – who made the statement in public so clearly he was not embarrassed about it – or how he received that information, you answered by giving us hints as if we are children. I hope all the readers of Cross Currents recall this exchange when you request verification of a statement quoted that you find difficult. Clearly saying that I stand by my source is all that you require.

    For the record the larger point that I believe Dr. Bill and I were making (although I do not want to be presumptuous and speak for him)is that for those of us who knew Rav Aharon zt’l well knew that he did not speak in sound bites. Rav Aharon gave thoughtful, deep, and often quite lengthy analyses of situations. As such, taking a line of his (which he may or may not have said)without the context is a terrible injustice and ultimately not trustworthy.

  74. Doron Beckerman says:

    Look, Avraham. It doesn’t matter to me at all whether you trust my say-so or not. You are an anonymous person who, for all I know, has absolutely no relationship with RAL and couldn’t care less what he says. I’m standing by the information with my name to it, and I’m not interested in splashing the Rabbi’s name here, though it is extremely easy to figure out. If it matters to you – and you have the relationship with RAL’s family – go ahead and find out. If it doesn’t, don’t. Zei gezunt.

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