Bigotry Watch

First things first: I learned while preparing this that one of the victims of today’s stabbing in Jerusalem is unstable and in critical condition. Whoever he or she may be, and I hope we’ll get his or her name for our Tefilos — please say a kepital (chapter) of Tehilim (Psalms) for his or her speedy recovery.

I hope I’m wrong. But I expect open displays of bigotry in the days ahead, after the “gay pride” parade in Jerusalem was disrupted by a terrorist stabbing.

I am, of course, referring to open displays of bigotry against the Orthodox community. Because if someone uses the actions of a single deranged individual to slander an entire community, to imply that the community somehow supported or abetted the crime via action or attitude, that isn’t fighting bigotry — it’s showing it.

And in this case, the terrorist who ran through Jerusalem’s parade stabbing people, though clearly mentally ill, (probably) grew up in our community and was dressed in the garb of an Orthodox Jew. That he thought this was somehow an appropriate act is evidence prima facie of his evil insanity. The idea that he represented any haredi opinion or school of thought is risible.

Yet sadly, I expect some newscasters, journalists and opinion writers to ignore the fact that there were no similar attacks since 2005, when this very same individual did precisely the same thing — clearly demonstrating that he does not represent any school of thought in the haredi community, as there was no one else to take his place while he rotted in jail.

I expect them to ignore the role of police in protecting the community from terrorists both foreign and domestic, who were clearly aware of this individual and his previous history, knew he had been released just weeks ago, yet apparently did nothing whatsoever to prevent this individual from repeating his terrorist violence:

Several weeks ago, an ultra-Orthodox radio station, Kav HaNeues, interviewed Schlissel after his release from prison, referring to him as a “Haredi terrorist.” Schlissel told the station, “If a single person comes and wants to hold the [gay pride] parade, then therefore in order to do something, something extreme is necessary.” Referring to members of the LGBT community, Schlissel also said that “these impure people want to defile Jerusalem,” and “the objective — I need to stop this parade.”…

Jerusalem District police chief Moshe Adri says police knew Schlissel was released from prison, but didn’t have any concrete intel he was in the area or planning an attack. He says the investigation is in its early stages. A reporter for Channel 2 says Schlissel didn’t hide his intention, and that he had written on the Internet that he would continue his efforts against the LGBT community. When asked whether the police had been aware of rumors on WhatsApp claiming Schlissel was planning an attack, Adri says the police weren’t aware of such rumors.

Don’t get me wrong. I do want to know what the broadcasters and listeners of Kav HaNeues thought he was saying. Usually, when a person says “I’m gonna kill him” we know it’s just words — but here was a guy who did this before. Did anyone think to report him? Did they ignore it? But failing to act without an explicit threat isn’t surprising, though one would hope we would do better.

Terrorism — including terrorism against those trying to promote to’eva in Jerusalem — must be stopped. It is the obligation of the police to stop terrorism, and they clearly failed in their duties in this case.

And we must stand against terrorism, bigotry and hate, in all their many forms.

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28 Responses

  1. Reb Yid says:

    Imagine if an Arab had been put in prison for previous violence and attempted murder for 10 years, gets let out of prison, and then right away does what happened here.

    His family’s home would be bulldozed and the usual crowds would gather, yelling Death to the Arabs, and a spate of “Price Tag” acts of violence would ensue.

  2. Yaakov Menken says:

    If it were necessary to deter similar crimes by bulldozing the home, that might be appropriate here as well. But there seems to be no pattern of similar behavior by others, nor have the police acted similarly when the crime appeared to result from mental illness.

    Are you suggesting that illegal “Price Tag” violence should remain illegal, or on the contrary, encouraging riots in this case? I’m going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that most readers of Cross-Currents would agree with the first of the two options.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    OK, criminals should be punished fairly and swiftly. But isn’t our continued residence in Eretz Yisrael contingent in part on not having such lifestyles and parades?

  4. Reb Yid says:

    No, I am saying what you are saying, that these should be denounced.

    Just noting that any time someone an Arab or Palestinian commits a violent act against a Jew or Israeli, many are quick to condemn all Arabs, Palestinians, incite violence against them as a group, and on the official level actions are taken against that individual’s family and home.

    Al achat kama v’kama when that Arab or Palestinian has previously committed such a violent offense, been imprisoned for it, and upon release does more of the same.

    Is it really right to have this kind of collective prejudice or punishment? When you start speaking out about those cases, your protests here will have more credence.

    If you say that we should really go after such an individual, is it really true that the police or “mental health” are mainly to blame? People on these pages are very quick to talk about how many Arabs are raised to want to hate Jews, kill Jews, it’s part of the Arab/Palestinian culture, etc.

    But if you play that card, the same can be raised here–can we really believe that Yigal Amir, Baruch Goldstein and this latest rasha were not significantly influenced by their Orthodox enviroments to commit, and even justify, gruesome acts of murder?

  5. Ben Uziel says:

    I think that more time deserves to be spent speaking about the real victims of this attack before we turn ourselves into victims. The real victims are six human beings, each created in the image of the Almighty. They were violently attacked just for doing what they thought was an ethical thing to do. Gd-willing, they will all make a full physical recovery. But there is no doubt they will suffer from this experience for the rest of their lives.

    While it’s true that the attacker must have some mental issues, I doubt that our community is blameless, especially noting that the attacker targeted a gay pride parade. We must take this tragic event as inspiration to teach and practice compassion towards our fellow Jew, even when we know that some of their actions must be strongly condemned. The attacker may have been accustomed to hearing, as nothing more than empty talk, that the people at the parade are rasha’im and they deserve to be attacked. Chas v’shalom! That couldn’t be further from the truth. But such words can have an impact on a person, especially if they are mentally unstable.

  6. Derek says:

    Excellent and immediately necessitated article. Clear differentiation between a crazed and violent individual who should face the full wrath of the law, and the outward garb of clothing he was wearing which does not represent “Ultra-Orthodox Jewry,” nor Orthodoxy, nor Jews, nor Israeli’s. See The Guardian – already the mainstream media are screaming front page headlines emphasizing “Ultra-Orthodox man.” For many, a relished opportunity to drive their narrative and their disdain for religion in general. Seems many failures by the police. Chief Rabbi Lau correctly and immediately expressed utter outrage of this event and that his actions were completely forbidden by Torah. I cannot imagine that the pious amongst us would feel comfortable in “consoling” the values that many of those in the march represent. That said, these are our fellows Jews – and while these are very difficult and complex times for communities of faith, we have to find the means of expression and action which while not necessarily condoning this and that, still demonstrate a sincere love for one’s fellow Jew.

  7. L. Oberstein says:

    Based on what I just read, the guy who stabbed six people did so 10 years ago also at the Gay parade. He was in prison until 3 months ago. In hindsight, or maybe with a little foresight, he should have been watched carefully to make sure he did not repeat his act of attempted murder.
    I don’t accept the excuse that he was crazy. Unfortunately, the line between crazy and zealot is a matter of what you opine. John Wilkes Booth did terrible harm to the South by murdering Lincoln but he was a zealot, not insane.
    The Jewish People yell at each other,call each other names and excommunicate anyone for anything, but we don’t murder people (except for De Hahn and Arloserov in the pre state days).That is for zealots of another religion. It is not sufficient to say that this guy was crazy. That is like justifying terrorism by saying that we understand why they are aggrieved. Israel has to decide to take a strong stand against anti-state zealots who engage in illegal and often violent acts of sabotage and personal attacks. Now is the time to change the whole way these people are coddled and allowed to act out their harassment and violent interference with the day to day life of the decent citizens. You can’t call a little girl a slut ( Beit Shemesh) and you can’t beat up a 100 year old rabbi(HaRav Shteinmann) and you can’t stab another person because of his sexual orientation. It is a slippery slope.
    These people also burn down stores that sell sheitels that are too long, the burn garbage in the street and harass their neighbors if they are unhappy about a parking lot being open on Shabbat, and they don’t let a shopping center open in Beit Shemesh unless their rules are followed. Theyalso cause havoc on airplanes on a regular basis while refusing to look at the woman they want to make move. At some point, we can’t just coddle these people or justify their actions. Insanity is an excuse. A guy shot up a movie theater in the US and he got found guilty of murder, even though he claimed he was insane.These people are not nice Amish farmers who are a tourist attraction. They are violent sociopaths who need the full weight of the law to come down on them every time. When will it happen?

  8. Yaakov Menken says:

    Reb Yid,

    Your own “evidence” proves that you are driven by bigotry, a gross bias against Torah-observant Jews. You had to reach over two decades into the past in order to drum up even two examples of Orthodox murderers. it is obvious to any unbiased person that an Orthodox lifestyle mitigates against violence and against murder. In fact, per capita there are a vastly higher number of Reform Rabbis involved with murders — such as Rabbi Fred Neulander, who during that same period as the Goldstein murder arranged for the contract murder of his wife Carol.

    Goldstein and Amir murdered due to their own depraved notion of what would benefit the Jewish people. Amir was very blunt about rejecting guidance from Orthodox sources.

    Neulander, on the other hand, only cared about being able to marry the woman with whom he was having an affair.

    And, of course, this Schlissel comes from a totally different community from that of Goldstein and Amir. so if you lump the three together, it is clear that you are part of the problem.

    If you deny the Palestinians raise their children to hate, you are living in a fantasy world, which of course leads you to equate, in the real world, the worst of evil with the holy of holies. You imagine that Arabs teach their children to kill no more and no less than Westerners or Orthodox Jews teach their children to kill. The result of that is obvious: as our Sages taught, he who is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful.

    The Arabs do, of course, encourage the worst sort of violence from completely sane individuals. And thus totally different methods are completely appropriate.

  9. YM says:

    Slightly different topic: the parade apparently had non-trivial amounts of Orthodox participation.

    I was on Emek Refaim earlier tonite and saw a few people wearing shirts identifying themselves as דתי ססטרייט תומך (as well some people identifying with gay dati movements).

    To me this OO-ish trend is disturbing though I’m not sure how new it is.

  10. Nachum says:

    I don’t really disagree with a single word you wrote. But you’re not the only one to use cute circumlocutions like “dressed in the garb of an Orthodox Jew”, and I don’t think you, or anyone else, should be allowed to do that. That’s a “no true Scotsman” fallacy. He was, sadly, an Orthodox Jew, even if a deluded and mistaken one. I’ll go further- a perfectly peaceful person who dresses like an Orthodox Jew and keeps zero of the 613 mitzvot is also an Orthodox Jew, in a sense. We can’t really wriggle out of it by saying things like that. Saying that, say, of the two million or so Orthodox Jews in Israel, this is the *only* one to do anything like this- yes, that’s a good argument.

  11. Ari Rieser says:

    R’ Menken – in this article you appear to be offering an “Egla Arufah” for the Chareidi community, by essentially saying “yadenu lo shafchu es dam hazeh”. While it’s obviously wrong (or as you would put it bigoted) to condemn an entire community for the actions of one individual, I think it is vital to look at the many other instances where unfortunately “Torah-observant” Jews have acted in with aggression and violence towards their fellow Jew.

    Whether by throwing rocks at passing cars on Shabbos or attacking “women of the wall” ( or attacking Charedi soldiers (,7340,L-4650310,00.html) and many other similar occurrences in the recent past, it is clear that such events are sadly happening way too often. These acts do not happen in a vacuum and there is definitely a common thread that connects them and the people who perpetrate such violence.

    Clearly there is something really dangerous with a lot of the rhetoric being espoused in the “Torah-observant” community. Simple words used negatively against other Jews, unfortunately quickly turns into hatred, and hatred turns extremists to violence. So rather than seeking to absolve the rest of the Charedi community, it is far more crucial and vital that we seek to change the the rhetoric of hate towards our fellow Jew, no matter what particular “toeva” they are engaged in.

    Therefore, I suggest rather than writing against potential bigotry, a far greater cause would be to encourage all Torah-observant Jews to avoid all hateful speech and sinas chinam towards their fellow lesser-observant Jew. Aside for making a tremendous kiddush Hashem, such ahavas chinam would once-and-for-all remove many, if not all, the negative perceptions and bigotry against the Charedi community.

    May we be zoche to see no more violence amongst our people from now on!

  12. Yair Daar says:

    I’m curious why you felt the need to write this article today and how you felt it appropriate. I’m sure you have written plenty over the years and it’s not a big chiddush to say “don’t judge a group by an individual” that it needed to be said right now. I also don’t really see any benefit in you getting ahead of it; it’s not as if this article will prevent anything from happening.

    On the other hand – despite your disclaimer at the start (I don’t doubt its genuineness) – you are cheapening the pain of the victims by using their situation as a platform to defend the charedi community against bias. And doing this right after it happened. Same goes for the lack of sensitivity by calling the victims promoters of to’eva. You could have easily made your point without that. Feel free to disagree with Gay Pride and feel free to defend chareidim, but please choose the right time and the right way.

  13. Y. Ben-David says:

    I think you should look beyond Open Orthodoxy for trying to understand Orthodox attitudes towards “political” homosexuality.
    Some time ago, here at Cross-Currents a Rav said that societies that are tolerant towards homosexuality and the other forms of
    giluy arayot that are gaining official sanction in the US are (supposedly) more tolerant towards Haredi Jews. It is a fact
    that many Orthodox leaders are enthusiastic supporters of politicians who are in the forefront for pushing the homosexual
    agenda in the public realm. While these people might not have appeared at the parade where this attack took place, they
    are certainly seen as being supportive of its goals, at least to some extent.

  14. Avraham says:

    Rabbi Menkin- I fully understand why you wrote this piece and I share your frustration when the entire community is tarred by the actions of a single, disturbed individual. However, it is sadly not so simple. I think that your point would have been stronger if you had started with a fierce condemnation of this terrorist act accompanied by statements from Gedolim and Charedi politicians expressing the same sentiment. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

    More importantly the argument that this action was really beyond the pail and is not consistent with Charedi teachings etc. would have more weight if that was the view actually expressed by members of the community. I was hoping that would be the case but received quite a surprise when I turned to Yeshiva World News and found a strong minority – if not half – the commentators on the article describing the attack comparing the attacker to Pinchas in the tradition of being a true kanai. Put simply, we have created an atmosphere of hate and must take communal responsibility for what has happened.

    This phenomenon is not limited to the Charedi community. The terrorist attack (that happened today)against Arabs that killed a young baby reveals the same, if not even more extreme, problem that exists within the Religious Zionist community. Rav Amital ztl and Rav Lichtenstien ztl both raised this issue numerous times but were sadly not successful.We, the frum community, must do a real chesbon hanefesh to understand what has befallen us and work hard to correct it.

  15. Yaakov Menken says:

    Nachum, it is obvious that his actions were not those of an Orthodox Jew. That is all I intended and nothing more, and we are all cognizant of the fact that he came from our community. But I disagree with you: he was not simply deluded and mistaken. Have you seen his picture? There are some people who simply look mentally disturbed, and not coincidentally.

    Ari, you have it quite backwards. I have a son in yeshiva in New York. Let’s say he were to go to a Yankees vs Orioles game, sit in the Yankee’s section, and jump up in Orioles regalia yelling “lets go O’s!” Are you going to blame all the Yankee fans — or all baseball fans — or all American sports fans — or all the world’s sports fans — for what would happen next?

    Anat Hoffman is virulently anti-Judaism. Her campaign ads for Jerusalem City Council depicted its Orthodox population in a way that unconsciously mimicked the way Der Shturmer depicted the population of Jews in Germany. This is an attitude shared by the leading members of the “Women of the Wall.” For you to say that this “does not happen in a vacuum” uses an unconscionable double standard that you would not apply to any other community or segment of the population. By any neutral standard, the Orthodox population is less likely to respond to provocation and less likely to be violent. But it remains a population comprised of human beings. And yes, this extends even to people who disgustingly transform the opposition to Army service into outrageous and despicable actions against individuals who put their own lives at risk to protect those who attack them.

    Yair, in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings, not one major media outlet story that I saw used “Muslim” or “Arab” in a headline, though Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was a Palestinian born in Kuwait and a Muslim radical. By comparison, the headline in the New York Post was the first that I saw that did not say “charedi” above its article about the stabbing, except for those outlets that used “ultra-Orthodox” instead.

    This is a message that absolutely needs to be said. And no, it is not cheapening “the pain of the victims” to point out that anti-Orthodox bigotry is not an appropriate response. On the contrary, it is outrageous to claim that defending against bias is “cheapening the pain of the victims,” instead of condemning the misuse of this incident to express bias. Again — a double standard.

    Y. Ben-David, the most tolerant societies today are those dominated by evangelical Christians, e.g. states like South Carolina and Alabama, which share our values and respect our beliefs. Sadly, most of us live in states like New York, Maryland, Illinois and California. And in nearly all cases, choosing which politician to support is never about a single issue. We choose our battles.

    Avraham, you really need to read more. By the time I said anything, both Chief Rabbis had already condemned what happened. I did not say something so obvious that it didn’t need to be said.

    Meanwhile, what you said is absolutely wrong: no, we have not created an “atmosphere of hate.” And having reviewed the comments on Yeshiva World News, it is obvious that you did not read them or have consciously decided to distort the reality. The sentiments of “katzenbloogen” and “voosmachstee” came in for widespread condemnation — and, of course, their chosen handles give them away as trolls, which, as moderator, I can tell you exist even in Orthodox forums.

    Calling it the “Toeva parade” may upset some people, but I can tell why the editors didn’t want to use an alternate name. I’m sure you can as well, even though I used “gay pride” above. And let’s also acknowledge the obvious: the actions of this deranged individual do not somehow justify a parade promoting ma’aseh to’eva in Jerusalem.

    Remember one simple fact: Schlissel was in jail for ten years, and got out quite recently. If the community were encouraging this, someone who had been in the community during that time would have been much more likely to go do it. The reality is precisely the opposite.

    As it happens, I saw a very heartening comment from a secular Israeli on Israel’s channel 10: that what drove Schlissel crazy is specifically the fact that the Orthodox community did not encourage any sort of reaction to the parade, and in fact primarily ignored it.

    No, our objection to abomination does not mean we encourage violence. No we did not support this. No we did not lend our hands to this. And those who say otherwise are demonstrating precisely the bigotry and double-standard that I wrote about in my post. And the fact that some of those saying these things are Orthodox or even charedi does not change this — we can be our own worst enemies, turning our desire for genuine and proper self-reflection and self-improvement into a double standard of self-flagellation and condemnation. If one wants to say that “even the charedim could be doing better,” I would certainly agree. But that’s not what we are hearing.

  16. Ari Rieser says:

    R Menken writes that I “use[s] an unconscionable double standard that you would not apply to any other community or segment of the population. By any neutral standard, the Orthodox population is less likely to respond to provocation and less likely to be violent.” You miss my main point – that the language we use against other Jews has a tremendous effect and can easily propel those on the fringe to lash out with violence. This is true for both religious and secular Jews. It is incumbent upon those of us that are “Shomrei Torah u’Mitzvos” to set the right example – perhaps that is “an unconscionable double standard” but it a standard that we need to aspire towards.

  17. Avraham says:

    I will respectfully disagree. The Chief Rabbis are hardly seen by the Yeshiva Wolrd as the leaders of our generation, and I do believe that this is precisely what needed to be reapted many times over. I am not an expert at detecting trolls and would be delghted if you are corect regarding the Yeshiva World News commnetators. Finally the term “hate” may have been too harsh on my part but I do think that we in the frum community speak in an intolerant mnanner about homoesexuals, African- Americans, Arabs, non-observant Jews etc. way too casually. (Each of those categories are different but there is a commnality of our not condcuitng oursleves in a refined manner as required as Torah obserant Jews.) Cirlcing the wagons and placing blame on others – even if deserved – does not ultimatley help our cause.

  18. Toby Bulman Katz says:

    Ben Uziel wrote:

    “While it’s true that the attacker must have some mental issues, I doubt that our community is blameless”

    When was the last time you heard an environmentalist say about the Unabomber, “While it’s true that the attacker must have some mental issues, I doubt that our community is blameless”?!

    I don’t know who you are referring to when you say “our community” but the community of which I am part — the entire Orthodox worldwide community from left to right — is in fact blameless.

    We are the least violent of any cultural, religious or ethnic group in the world. In fifty years you are hard put to name even three Orthodox “terrorists” or killers. Every time an Arab terrorist does his dirty work, the name “Baruch Goldstein” is dutifully trotted out for “balance.” (Like Emanuel Goldstein in the book 1984, he’s good for the daily Five Minutes of Hate.)

    They have at least three million active terrorists and 75 million more Muslims who believe in, defend and support terrorism, but we have Baruch Goldstein and the current nebach lunatic who should have been locked up in a mental hospital long ago. (Yigal Amir was not frum so leave him out)

    We have much, much less than one percent of our total population who commit acts of violence and at most one tenth of one percent who excuse or advocate violence.

    We are in fact as blameless as any human community can possibly be. Angels might do better, but not humans. How can any human community of millions of people assure that not one individual will ever commit a violent crime in the throes of mental illness?

    I’m not holding my breath waiting for liberals to admit that their hateful propaganda causes people to commit violent crimes — e.g., environmentalist terrorists, black rioters in Baltimore egged on by the media, abortionists like Kermit Gosnell who was convicted of severing the spines of seven born-alive babies (and those are just the ones that could be proved).

    We Torah Jews are as blameless as a community can be. I refuse, refuse, refuse to accept that if we uphold the Torah’s strictures against homosexual degradation and toeva parades, that makes US the immoral ones, the guilty ones. We are right, we are just, we are moral. We have a right and an obligation to teach Torah and not distort it. All of those who are trying to shut up religious people — THEY are the ones who are complicit in moral degradation. And chas vesholom if the Holy Land kicks us out again chas veshalom, THEY are the ones who will be complicit in the deaths of their fellow Jews.

  19. dr. bill says:

    I will grant the premise that the acts in Israel this week were the work of the lunatic fringe. however, to deny the culpability of the leadership of both the chareidi and ultra – zionist segments, is to deny the validity of chazal’s warning about the care that responsible leaders must take lest their words be misinterpreted. Similarly, I am not surprised that many in the OO leadership were students of Gush, generally and RAL ztl, specifically. Statements have consequences; one must carefully weigh both their positive and negative consequences. In the case of RAL, his measured discourse allowed many to confront modernity and deal with its conclusions. I leave it to others to explain the positive benefits the rhetoric often coming from some in the ultra-zionist and chareidi streams.

  20. Yaakov Menken says:

    Ari, that’s great. Now do you have an example of a leading Orthodox Rabbi actually inciting hatred against gays, or are you just presuming that such exists and calling for the entire community to improve based upon your conjecture?

    Avraham, PR is not in the job description of a Gadol. They are not going to say something that educates precisely no one in order to make you feel assuaged. And there is no one who listens to them who believes that violence is the answer, who will be educated by their condemnation of this insane (in the most literal sense) act.

    Dr. Bill, I cannot comment about the ultra-Zionists, their rabbis, or the arson attack. Why? Because I do not have any relevant knowledge. To me it seems unlikely that anyone who listens to rabbinic guidance would have done this, even a follower of Meir Kahane would not have arsoned an Arab residence. But I simply don’t know. I certainly won’t condemn their rabbis or assert culpability, but I don’t know.

    I claim to know the charedi world a little better. Yet I do not recall a single time that I have heard of Rav Aharon Leib, Reb Chaim or any other Gadol (shlit”a) talking about to’eva. Even with regards to making parades about it, I know it’s taken for granted that this is a horrid desecration of the Holy Eretz Yisrael, but basically it was left at that, years ago.

    Schlissel far more likely got his understanding of homosexuality and what to do about it from the Chumash, but for whatever reason you (and Ari) seem reluctant to blame HKB”H for the obviously outrageous “language He used” calling it to’eva, an abomination, and calling for violence by saying that the perpetrator should be put to death — if he received warning, and acknowledged the warning, and did it anyway, and it was witnessed, and he was tried before a Sanhedrin, none of which, to my knowledge, applies to anyone who participated in the parade. But I digress.

    I know that false accusations about this run rampant. Remember when there was a shooting at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv? The immediate verdict was that the “Ultras” were to blame, especially the MKs and leaders of Sha”s. In actuality, the shooters were after the director of the center, who had had a relationship with their younger brother, a minor.

    So, back to the Gedolim. The example that comes to mind of anyone speaking about it at all was when Rav Aharon Feldman shlit”a was interviewed for the film Trembling Before G-d and gave an extremely compassionate and understanding response. It seems you blame them for believing the words of the Chumash, even if they haven’t so much as quoted them. That’s the only time I remember a Gadol speaking about it — yet you accuse them all of culpability. Please present a few quotes from Gedolim about to’eva that same individuals might “misinterpret” as a call for violence. Please show us that this wasn’t simply vile slander. Please prove to us that you’re actually a religious Jew after all.

  21. Steve Brizel says:

    The bottom line is that while such a march is certainly offensive to the Charedi and RZ populations, there is no license for ad hoc criminal behavior, which R Aryeh Derie emphasized. The notion that the Torah’s description of such conduct as Toevah was a trigger in any manner should be rejected as ludicrous.

  22. Nachum says:

    1. By “deluded” I guess I meant mentally ill. You are correct. (Let’s just say that someone who serves ten years and then does the *exact same thing* has to more than a bit “off.”)

    2. I guess you can say that his actions make him non-Orthodox. But lots of things make people non-Orthodox- violating Shabbat, cheating people out of money, murdering mob-style, marching in gay pride parades- and still we consider them “Orthodox” because that word is broader than what the Torah strictly states. Again, “came from our community” is a bit of a circumlocution. Again, I see your point, but…

  23. Rafael Araujoberg says:

    Two brief points:

    1) only act of violence at the parade is committed by the same person, TWICE!

    2) only other major presence at the parade, as far as I understand, was Lehava, which to the best of my knowledge is not even a Chareidi organization.

    So for all here decrying Chareidi intolerance and education, you can only point to Schlissel and that’s it. I would argue that criticism is unwarranted and out to proportion to Chareidi have actually done vis a vis violence against homosexuals.

    [Actually, Refael, you are mistaken. There was one other charedi organization with a major presence at the parade: Hatzalah. –YM]

  24. dr. bill says:

    Rabbi Menken, I am not talking about legal incitement and tend to agree that no prominent rabbi would speak in such a tone regarding homosexuality or about Arab houses. I am also not surprised that a RY with hands on knowledge would be compassionate when dealing with an issue with which he had to undoubtedly deal. However, inflammatory language about area X, can have consequences in areas different than X. If you do not acknowledge that such inflamed speech is heard on numerous issues, from multiple leaders and spokesmen of both chareidi and ultra-nationalist RZ circles, we are at an impasse over what constitutes civil discourse.

  25. cvmay says:

    Ari – in agreement.

    Toby – there are many definitions of violence & violent behavior, you have chosen to focus on physical brute violence. Words are daggers, words are insidious, words are poisonous, words are destructive..

  26. Bob Miller says:

    Words aimed indiscriminately against any group, even chareidim, can be destructive.

  27. cvmay says:

    There are abundant of hateful writers and journalists that live on both sides of every issue. It is painful, hurtful and incomprehensible when you (anyone) finds themselves in firing range of the other shooter. YET it has become the norm of speakers, writers, lecturers, and those in leadership roles.

    I just returned from a delightful, world wind trip of Israel where I visited and met with people from Nitzan (refugees from Gush Katif), Lachish, Raanana, Old City, Jerusalem Post writers, Bet Shemesh Big Mall residents, Gush Etzion families, Begin Heritage Museum visitors, tourists and Israelis at the Knesset and the Israel Museum. IOWs – AMCHA ERETZ YISROEL!!!! The diversity of thoughts, actions and behaviors of Jews in Israel, no matter what camp they are aligned with is far far far from homogeneous.

    For example, the typical Charedei hardline (& usually hateful, painful & J’Accuse) against the Religious Zionist is their approval, encouragement and continued ascent to the Temple Mount. NOW, I attended a lecture in Mishkenot Sha’ananim between Rabbi Dr. Meir Solovetich (Reb Aaron’s grandson) and Rav Stav, Rov of Shoham and Rosh Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah about the Temple Mount and the future of Yerushalayim. To quote, (since I was there & heard him) the words of Rav Stav, “I am a talmid of Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zTT”L and he stated, “We are like Neutrei Karta when it comes to the Temple Mount” – no ascent, no connection, no legitimate hold, no tefilah at that site” & then he quoted Rav Shach ZT”L “For Yiddim, Torah is our life and Torah only” to emphasize that at this moment in Jewish History our aim is to bring Jews closer to Yiddishkeit and not to ‘Avodas Beis Hamikdash”. YET it has become a fact of life, in the written and verbal arenas that ALL RZ Rabbonim believe & agree & encourage their kehillos to visit & ascend the Mountain. THEREFORE, we, you, them, all of us…..generalize, judge and place people in square boxes assuming that every action and behavior belongs to a Mob Mentality of that specific group.

    So why, Reb Menken, are you in pain or feeling accused?
    I am a tziniudik women with yeshivish leaning, love for Tzion, hashkafa of Gedolim and a legacy of Bnei & Bnos Torah with zero similarity/camaraderie to Mr. Shlissel and his horrendous & horrific behavior. This is the way of the 21st century, whether the finger pointing or poison arrows are aimed at Bnei Torah in Eretz Yisroel, or holy settlers fulfilling the mitzvohs of the land, or the kipah srugot communities….this represents today’s SINAS CHINOM…

    BTW: “What if Jews had nothing to do with the arson in Duma?” AND WHY DO WE IMAGINE THEY DID!!!! (I asked the Jerusalem Post editorial staff, secular & Charedi people)
    Two former terror attacks against Arabs, one that destroyed half of the headstones in a Jaffa/Arab cemetery was found to have been committed by fellow Arabs and a huge destruction of olive trees that belonged to a Shomron Arab farmer was video taped & committed by Arabs in order to CORNER, MALIGN and INCITE hatred towards Jews.

    BTW: “As I’ve said, I have insufficient knowledge of what Religious Zionist Rabbis say” – so therefore minimize reports & assumptions about that segment of Torah Jews until you are better knowledgeable of their thoughts, goals and ideals. (& why always the “Our Community and Them” – Many of the them are upstanding members of our and several of the our are aligned with the them)

  1. August 7, 2015

    […] being “extremely defensive. To the point of paranoia,” when I posted that I suspected a wave of bigotry would come our way in the wake of this atrocity. Within hours, though, he’d been proven wrong […]

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