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Hafganos Begin at Home
Time to Stand up for True K'vod Shamayim
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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7/5/09

Let’s start with a simple multiple choice question:

What is a greater Chillul Hashem?

A) Non-observant Jews, who never had the benefit of a Torah education, driving cars on Shabbos?

B) Identifiably frum people throwing rocks at police officers on Shabbos and yelling things at them in full view of the media, like, “[anyone who desecrates Shabbos] "must die." And "You will burn in the fire of hell!" (Read this and weep.)

I cannot for the life of me understand how any decent human being, let alone an ehrliche Yid who was raised learning Torah and grew up hearing stories of the Chofetz Chaim can answer anything but “B.”

And I’ll take it a step further and say that anyone who answers choice “A” did not learn the same Torah and the same mesorah that my generation was taught by Reb Moshe and Reb Yakov, Reb Ahron and Rav Hutner, Rav Pam and Rav Ruderman, zichronom tzadikim l’vracha.

And if you feel that the images of a crowd of angry and violent people who dress like you and I, hurling curses at police officers broadcast around the world is a colossal Chillul Hashem and a true physical danger to the safety and security of frum Jews worldwide, I pose the following question:

What are we as Torah Jews obligated to protest first?

A) Non-observant Jews, who never had the benefit of a Torah education, driving cars on Shabbos?

B) Identifiably frum people throwing rocks at police officers on Shabbos and yelling things at them in full view of the media, like, “[anyone who desecrates Shabbos] "must die." And "You will burn in the fire of hell!"

So; let the next protest be called to peacefully and civilly proclaim loudly and clearly, first to our own impressionable children, and then to all decent citizens of the world that this tiny minority of violent radicals does not represent us.

You and I know with certainty that our gedolim shlit”a do not sanction nor support any expression of violence. But the public at large does not know that, and paints all of us with one broad brush. It is for that reason that I am once again writing about this topic.

Tens of thousands gathered a week ago for a beautiful and moving Kabbolas Shabbos to protest Chillul Shabbos in a responsible and peaceful way; while some irresponsibly rioted and burned garbage cans all week long.

We who know what true Yiddishkeit is all about, have a positive role to play. I feel with every fiber of my body that each and every decent Yid worldwide has an achrayus to write letters and emails to every media outlet informing them that these hooligans do not speak for us. For we have no right preaching to others until we have removed this horrible stain from our own kehilos.

And it will remain that way until we change things.

I respectfully ask my readers to take a moment to cut and paste the following text and send it to the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz; two newspapers with worldwide readership, which covered this story – and to pass this on to people on your email lists and ask them to do the same. It is my goal that each of the two newspapers receive a minimum of 1,000 emails within 24 hours, and that then, hopefully, there will be a news story that Torah Jews stood up for the values we hold so dear.

“As a Torah Jew, I am deeply distressed by the desecration of Shabbos in our holy land -- all the more so when it is government sanctioned. However, nothing can ever excuse the type of violence and wanton destruction of public property that has been reported in recent days such as the throwing of rocks at police officers and the burning of garbage dumpsters – all of which is diametrically opposed to the teachings of our Holy Torah. Lest our silence be misconstrued as passive acceptance of the violence, we condemn it in the strongest terms, as do the vast, overwhelming, majority of Torah Jews worldwide.”

UPDATE I was forwarded this link about the firsthand accounting of a reporter who was SPIT ON http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/06/2617502.htm by a mob of "hundreds." Note that she reported that the hooligans were wearing shtreimlech. So don't believe it when people say "it's only kids" (only married people wear shtreimlich except for a few who wear after bar mitzvah.) I would like to say that I don't believe it. However, I do. I have personally seen charedi hooligans spitting on women who were not dressed according to their standards. This report disgusted me beyond words and I am shamed that we have such barbaric savages in our midst. I have no other way to say this other than we need a total revolution at this point. The vast majority of us decent charedim need to peacefully revolt with every weapon in our arsenal. There is no middle ground. Whoever does not publicly protest these disgusting acts has a hand in allowing them. How dare we protest the sins of others when we have such uncivilized people wearing our levush and representing us before the world media? Whoever funds mosdos that have members of theirs committing these crimes like this is guilty as well. My friends, our gloves need to come off. There is no other way.



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