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They Do Not Represent Us
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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10/22/07

Once again, charedi Jews worldwide were shamed and disgraced yesterday, by association, due to the actions of a few violent criminals dressed like charedi Jews.

This time, it was in Beit Shemesh, where according to reports in Israeli papers, a group of five chareidi young men assaulted a woman for refusing to move to the back of a ‘charedi’ bus where the front seats were ‘reserved’ exclusively for men. A male soldier seated next to the woman was reportedly also assaulted – “murderously” beaten, according to the soldier. When police arrived to arrest the individuals, dozens of other ‘chareidi’ men attacked the police officers and punctured the tires of a police car, according to the newspaper reports.

I hope beyond hope that this story, as reported, is inaccurate. But if it is true, it represents a colossal desecration of Hashem’s name, especially since the criminals who committed this despicable act claim that their violent actions chas v’shalom (G-d forbid) represent Torah values. Nothing could be further from the truth. They disgrace out holy Torah and bring shame to all of us. (Less than a year ago, a 50-year-old woman, Miriam Shear, was attacked and beaten by a group of charedi men on a Jerusalem bus for similar ‘reasons.’)

Eighteen months ago, when a police car was torched in Boro Park after an elderly Jew was treated roughly during a traffic stop, there were clear and unequivocal quotes of condemnation of those illegal acts and calls for us to act as law abiding citizens by the Noviminsker Rebbi shlita and Horav Rosenbloom shlita in a full-page editorial in the daily Hamodia newspaper and many rabbonim condemned those lawless acts in their Shabbos Hagadol speeches. I posted a Column on my website the day the shameful event occurred condemning the violence and a few weeks later wrote an essay about it that was published in Hamodia; Before the Next Time, where I asked some hard (still unanswered) questions as to why these events are occurring far too often in our community.

These are appropriate responses that ought to happen each and every time one of these horrible events that shame Hashem’s Torah occur.

I think that every parent and educator who hears his (her) children/students discussing this matter must forcefully state in unequivocal terms, “These people do not represent us!” Charedi publications should report this incident in the news sections of their papers and condemn them in their editorials. Additionally, we should treat these thugs like the ‘rodfim’ that they are and do our best to see that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

We should also stop using politically correct terms like “misguided youths” to describe the criminals who physically assault peaceful citizens – charedi or otherwise. We should use the same terms that were used in our papers to describe the horrific beating of a 40-year-old rebbi in Lakewood last week with a baseball bat by a non-Jew. “Misguided youth” implies that they engaged in a prank like a water fight or that they went overboard in pursuit on a noble goal. There is nothing noble about hitting people – especially when a group of men cowardly attack an individual woman. We must publicly state that violence is always wrong and it contradicts all the teachings of our holy Torah.

In the past ten days, I posted two columns on my website; Adults at Risk and Running out of Time describing the very real challenge that we face with well-adjusted adults and children leaving Yiddishkeit. There are few factors that contribute to this phenomenon (especially the adults who are leaving) more than the shame generated when decent Jews are asked by non-religious/non-Jewish colleagues or acquaintances to comment on or explain these thuggish acts purportedly committed in the name of our Torah.

I believe that the vast, overwhelming majority of charedi Jews worldwide feel as I do; disgraced and shamed when these events occur. We also feel frustrated; as there is little that we can do to remove this collective stain from our shirts. We do not seem to have a voice in this process at all.

Do you know what I would like to see happen? I would like the Rabbonim of Eretz Yisroel to use the platform of the charedi press to:

1) Clearly and unequivocally condemn the violence in the strongest language.

2) Issue halachic rulings that:

  • Violence is forbidden by our Torah under any circumstances
  • Those who commit violence constitute a real and present danger to the safety of the public and one is halachicly obligated to report them to the police, and
  • If one finds himself in the presence of a violent act perpetrated by criminals, he is halachicly obligated to defend the victim as the Torah says, “Lo sa’amod al dam re’echa”

I would also like to see all charedi Knesset members call a joint press conference where they repudiate all forms of violence and vow to bring to justice all those who perpetrated this cowardly attack.

Can’t happen, you say? Why don’t you take a minute and make a phone call, write a letter, or drop an email to the office of every charedi Knesset member respectfully asking that such a press conference take place immediately. (I do not have contact information of the charedi Knesset members. Please post them on this thread and my site manager will add them to the body of this post.)

If enough of our decent Torah observant individuals stand up, distance ourselves from these thugs and demand action from our elected officials, we might effect changes which will restore honor to Hashem’s name and end this senseless violence.

© 2007 Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, all rights reserved

Recommended reading:

My Grandfather and I

The Pierced Teen and I

A Response to The Pierced Teen and I



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1. clarification is needed     10/22/07 - 2:28 PM
zvi

many of these hooligans feel like they are emulating Pinchas & Shevet Levi ( who even killed their own relatives by the golden calf ). In addition violence has sometimes been used to procure a Get from an obstinate ex. Can someone explain to me clearly when violence maybe used as seen in the Torah & when not ?


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2.     10/22/07 - 2:28 PM
yoni

Rabbi, I think that to claim that they are not cheredim, or to say that "they do not represent us" is disenginious, and a lie. The truth is that they are products of a cheredi education, they have lived their lives in the cheredi world, and they have been so sheltered that I would be shocked if any of this came from anywhere other than the cheredi world.

Rather, I would rather see them denounced as what they are: abject failures, reshoim, and disgraces to their respective yeshivot, families, etc.

We should, as halacha demands, apply there cherem that they are in. We may not let them in to our shuls, they may not daven with us, they may not recieve and aliya, we may not do buisiness with them, I do not think that we may even give them tzaddakah, because they are reshoyim, and are under a clear ban. We need to kick them out of yeshiva, out of their homes, and out of their communities where they belong, and (preferably) send them to the isreali military.

Will they posibly become not even shabbos observant? Yes. However, as they are clear reshoim, we would be doing them a favor because from such a person hashem accounts mitzvos as sins. Every single shabbos they keep, they are bringing themselves gehenom. Everything they do good brings themselves gehenom untill they come begging and pleading for mercy from the one they wronged and the community, and until they have received the punishment in the courts.

We do them no favors by sheltering them. Better that they should go to the military and have these violent habbits litteraly beaten out of them in a way that jewish parents are not allowed to do, than for them to harbor these delusions of rightousness and further their personal contamination by any otherwise good act.


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3.     10/22/07 - 2:30 PM
yoni

The shulchan aruch harav, choshen mishpat has a very accessable compendium of the laws of niskei guf v'nefesh, aimed at the lay person.

I would sugest that you read it if you really want to know.

(even I was able to understand it. My hebrew is not the best, but most halachot I could understand either from my understanding of hebrew or context clues.)


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4. the community joined in!     10/22/07 - 2:34 PM
Dina

I agree with R Horowitz however your commentary does not address the fact that a busful of random, local charedi men joined in the attack on the police to prevent the arrest.

These cannot be considered "fringe" type criminals. These are typical residents of RBS. How does one explain that??!!


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5.     10/22/07 - 3:16 PM
Anonymous

1)I agree with zvi - violence is SOMETIMES desirable (read Tanach for numerous examples).

2) I agree with Yoni - unless they were dressed up as chareidim to make chareidim look bad, they are a product of our schools. Tell our kids they don't represent us? Why would kids think they do? When a frum Jew is jailed for stealing, is it necessary to tell our kids, he doesn't represent us?

3)In your article you write: I would also like to see all charedi Knesset members call a joint press conference where they repudiate all forms of violence and vow to bring to justice all those who perpetrated this cowardly attack.

Did you call for a press conference of all chareidi Knesset members to denounce the violence being used against our children during the peaceful protests against giving away parts of our G-d given holy land? Why do you ask for a press conference now and not after the worldwide chilul Hashem of Amona? A picture of Jew hitting Jew won a Pulitzer! Because chareidim weren't involved, so who cares?

4) Yonason Rosenblum protested the violence of chareidim when they were objecting to a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem. He said it was a chilul Hashem. This was printed in Mishpacha magazine and surprisingly, subsequent issues of the magazine contained several letters that disagreed with him. They said the violence achieved the objective, the parade was severely limited.

In fact, months later, when they demanded to have their parade again, and chareidi leaders said that no, they would not send out a million (or whatever large number they had promised initially) of protesters, that they would pray in the beis medrash instead, the parade took place.


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6.     10/22/07 - 3:38 PM
Yakov Horowitz - Monsey NY

When those twisted individuals met and hugged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a few months ago at the Holocaust denial conference; there was a clear message from all shades of Orthodox Jewry – even Satmar – that these guys don’t represent us. They did not get aloyos, there children were not admitted in school, et al.

I guess I did not express my thoughts clearly, but I meant to say that we ought to do the same with those who use a twisted interpretation of our Torah to beat and assault women – over separate seating on a bus, no less.

I think that we need to find that same kind of moxie and place these individuals in cherem.

And if our leadership across the board denounced this violence with the same fervor as, say, chilul Shabbos, it would diminish if not stop altogether.


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7.     10/22/07 - 3:54 PM
yoni

Last I checked these same people frequently violate shabbos by throwing stones in cars, as well as endanger lives unjustly.

and I would point out that halachicaly the moment you raise your hand to another jew you are already in cherem. You don't even have to hit them, and noone has to pronounce the cherem, we just have to enforce it.


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8. very good suggestions     10/22/07 - 4:52 PM
Anonymous

People can and should do something to fix this situation. There are so many good torah Jews, it's sad when a bad situation like this happens.


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9.     10/22/07 - 8:17 PM
Anonymous

5) When frum Jews in the US have been in the news for illegal activities, you didn't call for a press conference at which roshei yeshiva would denounce them and say these criminals don't represent us, why call for a public protest now? 6)You would like to see rabbonim in E.Y. use the chareidi press to condemn the violence and issue halachic rulings. Why are you publishing for all to see what you think rabbonim in Eretz Yisrael should do?! A) why are you in New York mixing in? B) even if you lived in E.Y. - how about the rabbonim making their own decision without hearing from the public what they'd like to see happen?

7) You think Knesset members should hold a press conference. Have you discussed this with rabbonim? Should we phone, write a letter or email without consulting with a rav? Do rabbonim think that publicly denouncing Jews is desirable? Perhaps they think it compounds the chilul Hashem and we should remain quiet?

8) Do chareidi Knesset members care what I have to say or only what their "daas Torah" tells them to do? 9) Of course you're embarrassed, and rightfully so, but what would you tell parents of a child who publicly humiliates them by his behavior? Would you tell the father to announce in shul that his son does not represent him? Of course not. Why then, do you advocate it here?

10 I think a miniscule number of adults and children leave yiddishkeit because of incidents like this and your statement to the contrary is quite astonishing.


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10. to anonymous (posted 8:17)     10/22/07 - 10:39 PM
bk

Rabbi Horowitz, thank you for this article – what you wrote truly needed to be said!

To anonymous (posted 8:17 pm): it would be an understatement to call your post puzzling. I will not comment on the tone of your missive – unfortunately, no commentaries are needed.

As far as the content goes: You are surprised that a Rav in NY expresses an opinion about something that happened in EY. It is an axiom that all Yidden are responsible for one another- no matter where they live. When such a cosmic Hilul H-shem occurs, is there a reason not to protest? Will not staying silent just strengthen the lowlifes behind it? Or do you agree with these thugs and feel that they should be encouraged to continue their despicable acts?

You wonder should we discuss writing, faxing etc. with the Rav. Can I assume that you asked a shaila before posting your message? Did your Rav allow you to be disrespectful to a Rav (R. Horowitz)? Something tells me that nothing like that had happened. Maybe it is a good idea to start applying your own standards to yourself first?

You compare these criminals to the errant son, and klal Yisroel collectively to his father. You ask if the father in this comparison can be told to denounce his son in shul. Well, if this son presents danger to the rest of the children (equally to those he terrorizes and to those he leads in his dangerous ways), would you doubt the necessity of such declaration? (BTW, one of the gedolim of 19 century publicly denounced the ways of his son, who turned into Maskil.)

The most shocking is your comment that only small percentage of yidden go of the derech because of such occurrences. What about all those tinnukim shenishba, who maybe forever turned of to Yiddishkeit because of them? Are they worth nothing in your eyes? (Also, is small percentage insignificant to you? Don’t you know that every Jew is precious?)

Please think about the above points!


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11.     10/22/07 - 11:03 PM
Anonymous

"10 I think a miniscule number of adults and children leave yiddishkeit because of incidents like this and your statement to the contrary is quite astonishing."

They don't leave because of this or that incident. They do leave because of tolerance of policies that have pernicious effects.

A main, underemphasized reason that there are increased numbers leaving is that people make a connection between Islam and Judaism, and question all religion. Islamic violence is in the news, and Islam is partly modeled on Judaism and has similarities with it, and as a community, we have not stressed that we are different and more balanced and dracheha darchei noam.

Instead, we have a spate of claims that the z'chus of Arabs is tznius - the same tznius that leads to beating of women in the Arab streets. The line Ms Shear rode on decided to segregate because there was a terrorist attack on the line, and they decided they needed the extra zchus of tznius to counteract the alleged zchus of the Muslims. A book on tznius is now used in batei yaakov that calls for an increasingly rigid dress code, based on all manner of subjective judgements, and what does the author say? That we need a new higher standard in tznius to compete with the Muslims.

(Incidentally, chazal see yishmaelim as mushka bearayos - I wonder how it is that scientific claims that contradict chazal must be rejected, but we dont accept chazal's sociological observations about arabs and instead hold them up as models of tznius?)

The skeptical hassidic blogs are full of questions on just how, exactly, are we different than the taliban other than that our murder rate is lower? Are men making decisions for and controlling women? How many women really want to sit in the back of the bus? How can men even see if pregnant women are standing if they are sitting up in front so as not to see them - no wonder the press keeps reporting that there are women standing when there are empty seats in the mens section. Do you not see how instances like these, in which men make clear they will hit women to get them to sit in the back, lead people to question whether the religion is really sexist and patriarchical? When there are so many issues the haredim want to press in Israel, ranging from shabbat to support for talmud torah to shmitta, can they really afford to alienate even other torah observant Jews with separate seating on public buses? This makes people question everything from the judgement of the powers that be that run haredi society to the core of the religion. One act of violence isn't what makes people skeptical. It's a general sense of unease with the environment that makes people question.

People also want to know how it is that gedolim from R Chaim Shmuelevitz to RSZA rode mixed buses, but suddenly separate sections are needed. Pesticides may change the metzius with bugs, but how is it that so many halachot have changed, so that we now need to enforce separate seating and no denim skirts and no "Bright colors" with violence, when none of these things were unacceptable as little as fifteen years ago?

That brings us to the other source of skepticism. A simple observation: prior to the Slifkin ban, most of the skeptical bloggers were hassidic. In the wake of the Slifkin ban, there have been a lot of new blogs, some addressing science and torah, and an increased rate of frank skepticism among mainstream OJ types, at least online. I dont think that all of this is due to the fact that the ban got people to think about science/torah conflicts. I believe that in other circumstances more of the skeptics would have found resolutions that allowed them to remain within the fold. I believe what we see is due to people questioning the yashrus of the process and the banning of positions that were previously considered acceptable and marginalization of a large group for reasons that were never properly explained...

These two issues IMO are what is causing most of the adult at risk phenemonon.

Leadership would be to say: We don't care what Muslims do, we do what Jews do. Tznius also includes not insisting at every opportunity that your way is better and frummer and imposing it on others. But whatever we do, we certainly don't hit people!!


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12. Tolerating violence     10/23/07 - 3:07 AM
AK

Hi, Anon-11 , thanks for your insights. I agree with you on the Arab Tzinius issue , when Arab men are not to particular about Tznius , takes 2 to tango ....

We can shout that the thugs don't represent us , but the way we tolerate violence , it does not get the same response as chilul Shabbos , in fact little response hoping that tomorrow's news will remove it from the public agenda, we condone the violence and by association , it is us. This is how we are peceived. The same goes for corruption , Baruch Hashem , the frum MKs or ministers are not in trouble now, but in the past the impression given was that corruption was tolerated.


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13.     10/23/07 - 6:54 AM
yoni

anon 8:17

I think that the reason why this violence earns so much more condemnation is because torah considers so much as raising your hand to another jew as being a huge, tremndous sin, far outweighing almost anything else I could ever think of. Even for those who are mechalel shabbos we do not impose the same kinds of condemnation as we do for those jews who dare hit others, be it their wives, children past bar daas, or any other person in the world.

It is simply assur, to a degree that the other things you mentioned are simply not.


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14. for the bloggers?     10/23/07 - 9:43 AM
Anonymous

The question was raised elsewhere on this blog as to whether R'Horowitz should be concerned that cynics on other blogs admire him and quote him. #11 writes that on these ugly blogs they compare frum Jews to the Taliban. Is this why you posted this article, R' Horowitz, so that the leitzanim see that you condemn acts of violence ostensibly perpetrated to uphold the Torah? That would explain why you, in NY are writing so forcefully about this news item.


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15.     10/23/07 - 10:04 AM
Anonymous

#14 I can tell you are trying to knock R Horowitz, but beyond that do you have a point?


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16. Good Points     10/23/07 - 1:47 PM
Baruch Horowitz - Brooklyn, NY - borhowitz@yahoo.com

"People also want to know how it is that gedolim from R Chaim Shmuelevitz to RSZA rode mixed buses, but suddenly separate sections are needed..."

"...I believe what we see is due to people questioning the yashrus of the process and the banning of positions that were previously considered acceptable and marginalization of a large group for reasons that were never properly explained..."

Anonymous #11:

You raise points which deserve a fair discussion, as they can account in part and for some, but not all, of the phenomena discussed(negative aspects of blogs, adults at risk). My own partial solution has been to speak to rabbonim in private where the private nature of such discussion makes it easier to give the entire issue an airing, instead of only seeing a presentation or a defense of a single side.

On a somewhat related note, Zev Brenner interviewed R. Shaya Cohen of Priority One this Motzoie Shabbos, and the latter responded to one of ZB's points by saying , "I'm prepared to meet you half-way". That is so refreshing, instead of a conversation where each person only presents their side, or worse, when one side censors out another view. Obviously there are limits to the views one can present in a Torah discussion, but "not everything is a 10", and not all publications need to be the same.


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17. Difference between this an ordinary criminal     10/23/07 - 2:38 PM
Mike S

When an Orthodox Jew is arrested for some personal criminal behavior, like stealing, he does not claim to be acting in the name of the holy Torah; these thugs do so claim. That is why they need to be denounced far more forcibly.


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18.     10/23/07 - 3:57 PM
motty - pissedevil@gmail.com

rabbi horowitz is there any you way i can contact you personly?


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19.     10/23/07 - 4:32 PM
Akiva

Rabbi Horowitz,

Thanks for this great article! Please keep writing these articles. They serve 2 purposes.

1) It has a dominoe effect. People who read your article and hear about it will be more conscious of avoiding bad "frum" behavior.

2) If you wouldn't write this article, people would think that you aprove this behavior, and in their own lives commit bad "frum" behavior.

Keep up your good work!


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20. Wise solutions     10/24/07 - 8:25 AM
Yardena - EY

How nice for someone like bk to finally ask the anonymous defamers whether THEY consult a rav before they castigate and malign Rav Horowitz about whether he consults daas Torah!

I also agree with Anon 11 and AK about competing with the Muslims for tsnius. In general, Charedi leaders need to stop taking stuff from the Muslims and the Christians in order to prove their points. We have "die beste sechoireh" or however you say it, and we don't need the examples of others, who use it to kill women, not to enrich them.

As for riding the Mehadrin lines, many women do like it, especially nursing women, as it gives you a lot more privacy. Also, women often set the quantity of room for the "ezras nashim". Meaning that if one woman sits in the fourth row, that leaves tons of room for the women and only three rows for the men. Reverse discrimination. On the downside, it is a big problem for women who suffer motion sickness. They truly get nauseaus if they don't sit close to the front. Pregnant women and women carrying small children also suffer because the bus often starts moving (and careening crazily) before they are properly and safely seated. But that happens on non-mehadrin buses, too. Having said all that, I do not think Mehadrin lines should be forced on non-Mehadrin communities.

I think R. Horowitz's solutions are right on target. We need to protest against this disgusting violent behavior in the strongest legal manner possible.

While the frum community is the most beautiful in the world, we certainly have our problems. It's hard for me to accept that the "reason" for the bus bombings is due to the unintentional inter-gender bumping that MAY occur during the ride. Perhaps it is because of the predators who seek out unaccompanied children (or girls)and follow them off the bus and..? Perhaps it is our collective and appalling lack of derech eretz, i.e. not giving up a seat to the elderly or the pregant, aggressive and harmful pushing (I've been elbowed in my pregnant stomach, and once a secular teenage girl just plopped herself down on half my lap as a joke for her friends. I was also pregnant at the time), or the totally irrepsonsible driving? (A pregnant women went into premature labor when she fell because the bus sped off before she sat down. Another time, I witnessed the back doors close on the arm of an elderly lady as she got off the bus, and the bus drove off like that, with her hanging out. My husband and I ran after it screaming. It stopped pretty quick, thankfully.)


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21.     10/24/07 - 9:43 AM
M

People who read your article and hear about it will be more conscious of avoiding bad "frum" behavior.

You think so?

2) If you wouldn't write this article, people would think that you aprove this behavior, and in their own lives commit bad "frum" behavior.

Speaking for myself, I would NEVER have thought R' Horowitz condoned this behavior if he hadn't written about it. His blog is a Chinuch blog and I expect articles on chinuch here.

MikeS - I think that's a good point

Yardena - with all due respect to R' Horowitz, it is not rude to ask him whether he consulted with anybody when asking his readers to take action. And yes, it is very off-putting to me to read in this article and others (like Rosenblum's) what they think rabbinic figures should do. I think it undermines respect for these rabbis.

An analogy - what if the students who put out the school newspaper included an opinion piece about what they think the principal should do about a certain situation? Would that be crossing the line from derech eretz to chutzpa? Should they be allowed to drum up support among the student body to get the principal to do what they think is best? Wouldn't the correct approach be to approach the principal directly and ask whether they could express their views privately?

Rabbi Horowitz - despite my criticism, I like many of your articles and admire your willingness to hear your readers' opinions


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22. The Agenda     10/24/07 - 12:39 PM
Ak

Hi, I remarked to a Rosh Kollel here in EY , that the Americans are more bothered by the chilul Hashem than we are. It could be that we understand the perception that little can be done about a fringe NK element in Beit Shemesh , let the incident die, violence is not on the Agenda and the worst part , chilul Hashem no longer bothers us. Chilul Shabbos bothers us , because it is on the Agenda , there are people who with mesras nefesh keep it there. That is how it works , that's the dynamic of what issues get addressed. So Rabbi Horowitz's article does that , and more important makes sure that we don't become desensitized to the chilul hashem and acts of violence. There are many important issues , but they don't have the shlechim that will put them on the Agenda. When the Tzibur is angered and not prepared to tolerate the violence , there will be more resolve. The same goes for educational issues , things will change when there is more awareness . I heard from a Rov , the Gedolim are against competitions and prizes , but nobody is listerning to them. Yardena - I appreciate your insight about the lack of derech Eretz , but unfortunately when the approach is one of controlling people , chinuch is not an issue. So it is easy to control how people dress, where they sit on a bus , what they eat , what they read, who they mix with, ban this and that etc , it is a different approach to help people become more respectable ,responsible and caring. We do the same with chinuch , manipulate kids with rewards and punishments to get the right behavior without any regard to what values are being internalized. Rabbi Horowitz , IMHO these articles for me are educationally significant and it is important that these issues are on the minds of the public so they get onto the Agenda.


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23.     10/24/07 - 5:59 PM
Anonymous

"As for riding the Mehadrin lines, many women do like it, especially nursing women, as it gives you a lot more privacy"

Men are getting on and off the bus. I dont see how this is an improvement in tznius.


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24. i'm still looking for clarification     10/24/07 - 8:20 PM
zvi

could someone explain to me when & if zealotry is required by the Torah. This issue is also confusing becuase i have been told many times by Rabbi's that if my lifestyle is not a good example for the neighborhood for ex. having girls over & i'm a single guy that i should move out, cause i'm leading others astray. so where does one draw the line?


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25. having an effect on others     10/25/07 - 3:08 AM
Nechama

To Zbi,

It is not only super religious communities that try to impose limitations on the behaviour of people who live there. For example, Alon Shvut, in the Gush, is a Modern Orthodox community of people who want to maintain a religious atmostphere. Thus, people who want to live there need to take a written "religion test", and I believe, also commit to following the religious value system of the people there. (you are allowed to be more "frum" if you want!).

The reason that people in a community may care about the the religiousness of other people in their community is that they believe in a principle called "invisible influence". A long time ago, Rav Shach zt"l, (I believe) told the people in B'nei B'rak: Do you know why there are cars in nearby Ramat Gan on SHabbos but not in B'nei Brak?" They expected him to say because many people in Ramat Gan are not Frum. He continued "It's because of US. We have a certain love for Shabbos that is enough to create an atmosphere of Shabbos around our town. But it is not a strong enough love to provide that atmosphere in Ramat Gan".

Whatever we do has an invisible influence - particularly on the neighbors, even if they do not realize it.

In other forums, people complain of an atmosphere of children-not-respecting-parents nowadays, when it used to be that the atmosphere itself was conducive to kids respecting their parents.

So if you choose to live in a religious community, perhaps because of the zero crime rate, or simply that you enjoy being amongst your brethren; and yet the Rabbis are complaining that this activity of yours is not fair to the neighbors, maybe you can understand why they are saying this.


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26.     10/25/07 - 2:02 PM
Anonymous

This is the latest of the series of "Charedi-Bashing" articles on this site. Is there any wonder that the number of posters has decreased significantly? Can't we see something more substaintal than a whitewashed reprint from blogs which represent the antithesies of Torah? Most readers of this blog seemingly would like to see something constructive; the "Asei Tov" part; not these articles which magnify a problem which affects a small minority of the general Charedi population.


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27. Paradox of Self-Criticism     10/25/07 - 2:31 PM
Baruch Horowitz - Brooklyn, NY - borhowitz@yahoo.com

"This is the latest of the series of "Charedi-Bashing" articles on this site. Is there any wonder that the number of posters has decreased significantly? " The other side of the isssue is that if there is silence, people might say that the Charedi world:

1) does not care about its own image

2) allows itself to be taken hostage by fringe elements

3) is not open to honest self-criticism

We would then have to apply the same standards to other groups, and would have a harder time telling the responsible elements in such groups(eg., African American and Muslim communities)to bravely take charge with "the buck stops here" attitude, instead of denying responsibility and shifting blame.

Of course, there are distinctions("reu mah bein bnei l'bein chami") and there is complexity to Ramat Beit Shemesh fringe zealotry, but if the default Charedi response is to not take a strong public stance, then it becomes harder to argue any cogent pro-Charedi position, because Charedi defenders wouldn't be able point to honest, public self-criticism as part of a larger position which they have staked out.

This is in addition to people *within* the Frum/Charedi world--children and adults-- who will question, saying, "what in the world is going on?".


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28.     10/25/07 - 2:43 PM
Monsey, NY

Unfortunately, there are similar incidents in Monsey, NY commuting to and from Manhattan. I'll be nice and leave the name of the bus company "Anonymous", but the locals know too well who I'm referring to. People just don't get it, they think that davening is more important then being rude to people and making a Chilull Hashem. Does anyone wonder why we're stuck in Golus for eternity?


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29. news from beit shemesh     10/25/07 - 2:54 PM
malka - Paris France - catherine.garson@tiscali.fr

This e-mailwas sent to people in beit shemesh Two days ago a woman was attacked on a bus; I was told that Friday, before Shabbat, some fanatics put rocks on Rechov Herzog, which could be very dangerous; yesterday they sprayed graffiti around the area of Orot Neria on Rechov Herzog (signs and fences). After speaking this morning to the Chief of Police, Jerusalem region (under whose jurisdiction we are) I realized that we cannot rely on them and we have to start acting. On Monday evening at 18.00 (29.10.07), we will, be"h hold a mass demonstration on Rechov Herzog in front of the buildings who think that it's their shecunah, telling them "Ad Ka'an" "?? ???". If you want to live peacefully with us, good. This is our city, our neighborhoods and we plan to stay here and we won't let you ruin it! I hope that all good people in Beit Shemesh, especially Scheinfeld, Aviv and Rama Aleph residents will be there on mass. We are planning a meeting of activists on Friday morning - if you would like to join or help, please e-mail or call me (see below). We have waited long enough (maybe too long) and now is the time to take action. All the best, Shalom Lerner Deputy Mayor Beit Shemesh


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30. Ad Kahn !     10/25/07 - 2:59 PM
Baruch Horowitz - Brooklyn, NY - borhowitz@yahoo.com

"On Monday evening at 18.00 (29.10.07), we will, be"h hold a mass demonstration on Rechov Herzog in front of the buildings who think that it's their shecunah, telling them "Ad Ka'an" "?? ???". "

Kol hakavod!


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31.     10/25/07 - 3:06 PM
Anonymous

To # 27 I believe the previous poster would agree with you; he just wants to see something else for a change.


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32. Very disingenuous, to say the least.     10/25/07 - 3:50 PM
Anonymous

I agree with the person above who pointed out that these "youths" are not "misguided" in any way except by their Rav and their other teachers, who have taught them that only cheredi Jews are "real," that everyone else, even other sects of Judaism, are somehow sub-human. It's a pervasive racism that is instilled from their first day of kindergarten - cheredi are better than everyone else. That arrogant attitude then gets added to the very pervasive idea that Jewish communities are a law unto themselves and secular laws and authorities mean nothing - and speaking to them is betraying your own "real" people to sub-humans who are all out to get "us."

Pretending that these ideas are outside the norm is extremely disingenuous, as the writer above protested. These are not aberrant teachings - they are the standard, normal teaching, most especially in the Yeshiva culture. These kids are taught that they are above work, above having to earn a living, above everything that normal people consider to be important parts of teaching kids how to be responsible adults who are productive members of the community. Their education is oozing with a "superiority syndrome" from day one - and therefore they think nothing whatsoever of using violence to enforce their "superior" and "absolutely correct" stringencies on other people. It's "for their own good" and to "raise their soul" to a higher level. They aren't sorry and they're not going to be. They don't even know how to be.


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33.     10/25/07 - 4:38 PM
Anonymous

"Shalom Lerner Deputy Mayor Beit Shemesh"

hatzlacha!

Does anyone have contact names for the haredi knesset representatives?


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34. Don't do it Shalom Lerner     10/25/07 - 4:56 PM
Nechama

Nice idea to have a rally of your own, but it doesn't seem to me like it will be peaceful. Most Charedi normals will not pit themselves with you against Charedi Meshugo'im. Charedi Meshugaim may get violent. Riot police will be brought in. Tempers may be terrible, damage will be wrought. If the point is to teach them that their Derech is WRONG, it doesn't seem helpful to be party to a move that encourages it to happen.

You seem to be saying: in Bet Shemesh, it is us or them. Either they knuckle under or they leave. You don't have the political clout to enforce this. Thus you are just fanning the flames, and increasing devisiveness. As Boruch Horowitz suggests, there are quieter, more effective methods of dealing with these things.


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35.     10/25/07 - 5:29 PM
livingintherealworld

there are quieter, more effective methods of dealing with these things.

Yes, I love that old charedi "quieter more effective ways of dealing with things". That worked so well to protect hundreds of Jewish children from the hands of molestors for decades, so of course it will work to protect women from being physically assaulted in broad daylight! Can you name one social problem in the charedi community that has been solved through "quiet methods". Domestic abuse? Child abuse? Child molestation? Please, enlighten me.

Sorry, these people gave up the right to quiet 'more effective' methods the minute they raised their hands to assault a woman. This has been going on for too long and it must be stopped. I wish Lerner and all the residents of beit shemesh much hatzlacha. Don't let Nechama's veiled threats scare you!


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36. Breaking Point     10/25/07 - 6:02 PM
Baruch Horowitz - Brooklyn, NY - borhowitz@yahoo.com

"As Boruch Horowitz suggests, there are quieter, more effective methods of dealing with these things."

I mentioned it on Mrs. Shear's post as a consideration; it was certainly a strategy regarding Soviet Jewry, so I thought there was something to that since there is "complexity"(eg, factors such as different Charedi groups, secular-religious kulturkampf), even if the situations are obviously different.

It is also true that things will reach a breaking point if nothing is done, and whatever efforts which are made are not clearly communicated. Maybe there should be a symposium where people can bring these things up in a no-holds-barred way without fear of criticism--I would want to be at symposium open to the public, as it is no less important than any other community issue.


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37.     10/25/07 - 7:21 PM
Anonymous

"As Boruch Horowitz suggests, there are quieter, more effective methods of dealing with these things."

See comment #30


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38. quieter, more effective     10/25/07 - 7:21 PM
Nechama

When you get a whole load of people involved in a demonstration, you do two things. You make a point that you do not like something about THEM. You also invite THEM to start saying what they do not like about you.

As soon as you have a gang of people involved, I believe a perfectly legitimate goal will deteriorate into a fighting match, dredging up all past offenses on both sides. The original, legitimate goal only gets addressed a year later when everyone gets over the wounds inflicting by the anger.

I would not like for one woman to get hit while people discuss effective ways to stop the wicked behavior of these Meshugaim. The proposed demonstration may not be effective, and based on past RBS M.O. versus Charedi relations, is likely to *cause* a lot of unnecessary animosity, and may stop efforts to improve communication. What it will certainly NOT do is help the Kannoim climb down from the dangerously high tree they are in. It will also make people take sides, and this is very dangerous. I have a friend who lives in teh same building as a suspected Kannoi. She said, that aside from his suspected Kannoism, they are the nicest, kindest people in the block.

There is a group of people to whom Tznius is so important that some fringe members resort to hitting, and the rest of the group does not adequately condemn this extreme.

Bringing a demonstation against the specific people who do wrong may be effective, but against the whole group (several hundred families with young kids) may miss the point.


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39.     10/25/07 - 7:25 PM
yoni

My suspicion is that most of these kannoim abuse their female children, and possibly male, and many, many abused children are "nice" and "people pleasers" because they are afraid of getting hit.


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40. Comment #37     10/25/07 - 7:49 PM
Baruch Horowitz - Brooklyn, NY - borhowitz@yahoo.com

I just mentioned on the other thread that there may be something to a quiet approach which should be considered, in theory(I recall reading that there were efforts which were made in private). At the same time, I'm happy that someone is standing up to the kannoim, and using their own methods against them.


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41.     10/25/07 - 8:12 PM
yoni

I still say do what halacha requires you to do: use a tazer on him. That way he's out cold and noone can stop you from getting him arrested.

When he wakes up in jail we'll see if he starts thinking he has to do teshuva.

(and its probably not like he works, so his family wont be loosing much, baruch hashem.)


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42.     10/25/07 - 8:27 PM
Anonymous

"There is a group of people to whom Tznius is so important that some fringe members resort to hitting, and the rest of the group does not adequately condemn this extreme."

So extreme, that haredi women, as you and another commenter attest, are now nursing on PUBLIC BUSES? Come on!

I don't believe this is about tznius (it may be for some isolated individuals, but not as a phenomenon). Consider: In RBS, there was a move to keep out all hilonim from public buildings. On the tv clip I saw online, the haredi who was interviewed said that they don't want men without a kipa. Not a tznius issue! This is about marking a territory as "ours."

Haredim in Israel feel that they are an oppressed minority. The press and elites are anti haredi, true. But they are a growing demographic with ability to influence. They should be hearing the message that the way to do that is by ensuring that their interactions with the larger public are as positive as possible. There are many things they cannot compromise on. They can't compromise and get rid of mechitzas in shuls so as to attract more people. They can have mixed seating on public buses, the same buses they had all the years.

We have no business inventing all kinds of new, previously unheard of issurim, that primarily serve to make others, including other religious jews, unwelcome in haredi neighborhoods and resentful of haredim. It is basic common sense that IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE, haredim should be ensuring that they are as welcoming as possible to others. The fellow without the kipa who works in the post office will not lead your kids off the derech, and barring him from your neighborhood is a way to ensure hostility and bad relations, and removes possiblity of having any kind of positive effect on him.

This is elementary common sense, and it is worrisome in the extreme that so many people - ones who dont condone the violence - have lost the perspective that would tell them that mehadrin buses are a takala, even if no violence occurs on them, even if pregnant women are not standing (bound to happen), even if the steady women customers who ride them really want them (I dont really believe that either).


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43. Disgusting, sickening, vile     10/26/07 - 6:21 AM
Mikha'el Makovi - Jerusalem Israel - mikewinddale@gmail.com

This is sickening. The fact that several men together beat a woman is self-evidently evil, I should hope.

But their requirement that she sit in davka the BACK??!! Since when are women to be second-class? I don't know what their Torah says, but mine says that G-d created man, male and female alike, in His image. See Rav Hirsch's perush.

If they want separate sex seating, they ought to put a mechitza down the middle of the bus so that it is truly separate but equal. To insist that women sit in the back like the blacks in pre-civil-rights America, is absolutely vile and disgusting.

As it stands now, however, until such an official division (viz. mechitza etc.) is in place, they have no right at all, whatsoever, to insist that she get up from her seat. If they don't like her there, they can move, not her.

And of course, beating her is one of the most cowardly and sadistic acts I can think of.

Mikha'el Makovi


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44. My own personal experience     10/26/07 - 1:21 PM
Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. - Long Beach, NY - efpasik@aol.com

Over the past few years, as I've been agitating against child abuse, at one point I reached a dead end. So I brainstormed with myself once again, and I came up with a new idea - a rabbinic resolution. I knew nobody at the RCA, but I called nevertheless. I was asked to write the proposed resolution, and back it up with the documentary evidence supporting my position - articles, government studies, etc. It was a lot of work, but I did it, and I actually got two Resolutions, in May 05 and May 07, supporting child abuse prevention legislation that will reach the nonpublic schools. With these two Resolutions, basically a hechsher from 1,000 rabbis, no small thing, I've made some progress in the N.Y.S. Legislature, and elsewhere. In fact, I credit these two RCA Resolutions as the source for much of the sea change in our collective Jewish thinking about child abuse. There is now a widespread consensus that change is inevitable.

I relate the above because it proves the wisdom of what many of our parents taught us: if you want to do something right, you better do it yourself. A Resolution from the senior Chareidi rabbis can break the back of the violence fomenters who do what used to be the unthinkable - Jews hurting Jews, Jews punching Jews, Jews kicking Jews, Jews, G-d forbid many times, even killing Jews, and it already has happened, and will happen again if good people don't stop it.

So as I toiled for my Resolutions, let another "meshugana", so to speak, come forward, and write an anti-violence Resolution for the senior Chareidi rabbis, and present it to them, one-by-one, for signature. And if the first Resolution doesn't work, then you'll do another - until the problem is solved.

We should also not think this is exclusively an Israel problem. We've had incidents here too, including a very stupid one in Borough Park, where a man was arrested on a traffic violation issue, and the local youth took the occasion to riot. Rabbi Horowitz wrote very properly about this.

I don't want my children hurt, your children hurt, and I don't want to get hurt myself. So let someone step up to the plate, and write the next Resolution.


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45.     10/26/07 - 4:49 PM
Anonymous

what of the tana that ripped a womans clothes off because it was red?


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46.     10/26/07 - 5:23 PM
yoni

anon, read the rest of that particular aggadata and you'll have your answer.

Noone praised him for his act.

also he thought that the garment was shatnez, which was the reason why he ripped it off, not because it was red.

Please, don't misquote the gemorah.


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47. shatnez, red     10/27/07 - 9:22 PM
Anonymous

The Gem. is at 20A in Brachos

Ada Bar Ahava saw a "Cutit" in the market wearing a Karbalta. Thinking she was Jewish he got up and ripped it off. When it turned out that she was not Jewish he had to pay 400 zuz [for embarrassing her].

What is a Karbalta? Rashi, a Chosheve garment. Maharshal on this - it's not nice to wear such an expensive garment outdoors without covering it.

Aruch - A red garment (a.k.a. not Tzanuah).

another view - it was shatnez (which a non-Jew can wear)


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48.     10/27/07 - 11:43 PM
Anonymous

#47 - The achronim say that a d'oreisa must be involved. See Shut divrei chaim YD 2:30 that it is only mutar to do this for a d'oreisa (bchukoseyhem or shatnez). It is not mutar to do for "tznius" of wearing red or any other tznius infraction.


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49.     10/28/07 - 12:09 AM
Anonymous

"YD 2:30" should be 1:30


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50. Re: returning to chinuch matters (comment #26)     10/28/07 - 4:24 AM
faige - jerusalem

i would like to respond to the request to stop the "chareidi bashing" and the call for more chinuch articles and more "asei tov" as comment #26 writes.

If you believe that R. Horowitz is on a chareidi bashing rampage, i sincerely ask that you re-read the essay again, and ask yourself, is that what R. Horowitz intended and is implying with this article? Do you think for a minute that R. Horowitz does not cringe at the fact that he MUST write about these abominable actions? that he enjoys writing about the lowest level our society reaches? do you not think that R. Horowitz would much rather spend his time writing about how to say no to your two year old and matters of that nature?

Ask yourself this... is the nature of this article not, in fact one of the highest levels of chinuch we can teach? this essay is calling for a hard look at our community and the chinuch that we are imparting to our children and to the world at large.

I ask you the following question... how many stories have we heard of an "off-the-derech" jew who reformed because of a harsh yelling, a teacher, parent, school, or community imposing stricter and harsher measures upon the individual? or is it that one frum rebbe, parent, neighbor, or friend who puts their arm around the individual and says i love you because you're a jew, come let us learn together the beauty of yiddishkeit?

Can you honestly say that you disagree that far from chareidi bashing, R. Horowitz is BEGGING and imploring of our community, let us show what it means to be a G-d fearing jew.... let us teach our children (for we reach our children much more by what we do than what we preach) that violence and hate are not the torah's way, and rather love and gentle guidance, peace and humility are it's ways... deracheha darchei noam.

Look at the thread of community issues R. Horowitz has been writing on lately and ask yourself.... is this not the message he is trying to convey?


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51.     10/29/07 - 2:03 PM
M

Excellent article. The type of response by leading Rabbonim in Eretz Yisroel suggested by Rabbi Howoritz is certainly needed to prevent similar incidents in the future and long overdue. Regrettably, this sort of kooky extremism (and this is but a single manifestation) appears to be on the rise. It is not difficult to see the connection between this sort of deviant behavior and the trend, described a few months ago by Rabbi Teitelebaum in his excellent piece, on the proliferation of bans on healthy and legitimate outlets for one's energies. Disturbingly, whether rightly or wrongly, an impression is conveyed that among the few things left that haven't been 'assurred' are riots and the type of hooliganism exempliefied by this incident.


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52. not me     10/29/07 - 4:46 PM
M

the previous comment by "M" was not written by me

this gets confusing :) I've posted frequently on this blog using the letter M to identify myself

new M - please pick another letter :)


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53.     10/30/07 - 10:31 AM
Q (not M)

To 52: no problem -- M is yours.

Unfortunately, a lack of forceful leadership on the part of leading Rabbonim concerning vigilante hooliganism by self-appointed guardians of the flame is at the core of the problem. Although as Rabbi Horowtiz describes there certainly have been statements by Rabbonim condemning some of these acts, these statements have not been promulgated by enough Gedolim, nor sufficiently forcefully, to stem this disturbing and apparently increasing trend.


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54. Missing the Key Issue     11/1/07 - 1:32 PM
Eliyahu - Yerushalayim, Ir Hakodesh - yosher@juno.com

I commend R' Horowitz for enabling a vigorous and candid debate. This kind of forum has been long overdue and frankly discouraged by the Yeshiva world who prefer to ignore rather than confront issues.

That said, I believe the core issue here is not that a segment of the frum world are Chasidei Shota - performing aveiros in the name of tehara. The core issue is that L'tzaareinu, we have NO leaders. And THIS is the real problem. It is also for this reason that you will NOT see a public assembly or press conference by the Chareidi parties or leading Rabonim related to this event. It is for this reason we have not seen a public denounciation of the evil perpetrated on the peaceful communities of Kush Katif and the youth of Amona. It is for this reason that the average chiloni (and plenty of daatim) in Eretz Yisrael consider the religious parties (and sometimes by extension the constituencies they represent) to be prostitutes - as they sell their land and dignity for shekalim for thier institutions.

The real issue here is the lack of strong leaders that demonstrate that there are principles to Torah that may not and must not be abrogated. And so, when a bunch of Chareidim violently enforce their beleifs on others - it is viewed as just another demonstration that there are no principles that stand in the way of Charedi petty agendas.

Listen carefully and you will hear deafening silence from the gedolim on substantive and critical existential issues facing our nation.

Last summer 8,000 of our brothers and sisters were forced out of their homes. I am ashamed to say that the Chareidi leadership tried to play both sides of the political game. What is the opinion our leadership, I wondered? We in the chareidi community needed guidance! Should we be making calls, protesting, giving money? I asked people: what does the OU say? What does Agudath Israel via Moetzeth Gedolim say? What about R'Eliyashiv? If they think that it is OK to uproot Jews let them say so!

Unfortunately the religious through their political parties went along with and voted for the expulsion. They accept Israeli government money for their institutions and give the clear impression that they go along with whatever the government decides – in this case they were complicit in a world shaking Chilul HaShem. Silence....

Approximately 2 decades ago, R' Meir Kahane Z'L H'YD proposed a bill in the knesset to ban intermarraige. That is, the State should not recognize the union between a Jew and non-Jew. The language in the bill was a quote verbatim from the Mishne Torah of the Rambam. Although I do not agree with everything R' Kahane said, I was shocked and disgusted that the religious parties (every one of them) did not vote in favor of this bill. They all abstained. Could you imagine that? I asked one very prominent chareidi MK directly how they justified this disgrace to the Torah. He answered that they decided that since the law would not have passed anyway they did not want to hurt their status.... And the good Rabbi Horowitz wants to hear a public outcry from our leaders...

There are many other examples unfortunately that underscore this core issue: Our leaders have no backbone and little faith in the King of the all Kings. May we each take upon ourselves the yoke of Heaven and act and speak for the good of Klal Yisrael and for the glory of His holy name. B'makom Sheayn Ish.


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55. 2005     11/1/07 - 3:12 PM
Anonymous

It was actually two summers ago, not last summer that Jews were evicted by Jews from their homes which were given to our murderers.


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56. Correct - a leadership problem     11/2/07 - 11:45 AM
Q

Can anyone doubt that there is a serious failure of leadership when our leading Rabbonim do not come out forcefully to condemn this type of conduct and do what they can -- which is quite a bit -- to put an end to it.

The famous Gemara that we learn on Tisha B'av does not hesitate to put the blame on the leading Rabbonim of the generation. As the Gemara states; 'ho'il v'havu yasvi Rabbanan v'lo michu bei shema mina ka nicha l'hu'


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57. We're the leaders     11/2/07 - 11:59 AM
Elliot Pasik, Esq. - Long Beach, NY - efpasik@aol.com

There's also a famous posuk, klal Yisroel is a goy kadosh, mamleches kohanim, a holy nation, a nation of priests. Rashi says it means we're leaders. So we're all leaders. Just grumbling about our leadership does little good. We each need to act like leaders. The Torah says nice things about Yisro because not only did he make some constructive criticism, but he also proposed a plan. As Rabbi Horowitz writes in another column, people can at least start making small steps towards becoming leaders by signing their actual names to letters. You will feel empowered, and from there you will go on to bigger and better things.


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58. To Mr. Pasik     11/5/07 - 10:39 AM
sh

I would recommend that you be carefull where you are going. Korach also started this way. He also said Kol ha'eida kulam kedushim...


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59. I've lost track....     11/5/07 - 1:05 PM
Elliot Pasik, Esq. - Long Beach, NY - efpasik@aol.com

sh -

I've lost track of how many rabbis I've consulted with, from all spectrums, directly and indirectly, including from the Aguda Moetzes, on various issues. That means letters, emails, phone calls, and face-to-face. If you don't like my dvar Torah, that's fine, but to trot out Korach, basically the atom bomb of argumentation, is really unfair, and not just to me. You're Exhibit A for the reason why people don't sign their names to letters. Its the politics of intimidation.

Please think about what I've written: that Jews who are disturbed by Jew-on-Jew violence should not merely grumble on the sidelines. They should get involved, and approach their gedolim, and even submit crystal-clear Resolutions condeming the violence. This is Korach?

I've seen this before. A few months ago, a lengthy article in the Jewish Week featured a well-known modern orthodox rabbi's complaints about the decline of his rabbinic authority. His congregants were going elsewhere with their questions, instead of to him, the synagogue rabbi. Sure enough, another rabbi wrote in and said, You're traveling down the same road as Korach. That set off a round of protests against the excessive rhetoric.

Its a sad day when frum people can't discuss topical issues, without someone mentioning, "Korach", it seems for the sake of scoring a debater's point. Nevertheless, you can be assured that I and many others will NOT be intimidated from saying some things that need to be said.


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60. To Mr. Pasik     11/5/07 - 1:31 PM
sh

Please think about what I've written: that Jews who are disturbed by Jew-on-Jew violence should not merely grumble on the sidelines. They should get involved, and approach their gedolim, and even submit crystal-clear Resolutions condeming the violence. This is Korach?

I have no problem with that. But I do think what you wrote So we're all leaders. Just grumbling about our leadership does little good. We each need to act like leaders. came across like we are to be instead of our gedolim, we are all just as great as them. I don't think that is appropriate.


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61. Rav Moshe used to stand....     11/5/07 - 2:35 PM
Elliot Pasik, Esq. - Long Beach, NY - efpasik@aol.com

sh -

Somebody observed a few times that when Rav Moshe Feinstein, ztl, was seated in his yeshiva, Mesivta Tifereth Yerushalayim, and was approached by a visitor, he would always stand, no matter for whom. The observer asked him, Why, Rav Moshe, do you stand for people of obviously less stature than yourself? Rav Moshe, answered, How do I know they're not greater than I am? That Jew may be fulfilling the potential for greatness that G-d gave him moreso than me. So I stand.

I think very highly of myself. I actually have a neshama from Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Not only that, I think very highly of you too, sh. You have a neshama too, and that's why I take your comments very seriously. G-d put each of us here for a purpose.

Anyway, I've made my points. Kol tuv.


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62. Gedolim     11/6/07 - 4:47 PM
David A Willig - nyc - daw0416412@cs.com

This is sure to get me in trouble but it has got to be said. If I have an halachic question, I will ask someone who I consider to be a Gadol. If he feels the question is not one that he feels comfortable answering, he might as someone higher up the chain, or may tell me to ask someone else. However this process starts with my having a question. I may not know much, but certain things I do know, and if I know something, I don't have to ask a question to a gadol. One of the things that I do know is that you are not allowed to hit a fellow jew. You are not even allowed to hit your children, because of lifnei eever, let alone a stranger. If I see someone hitting someone else, I have an halachic obligation to intervene. "Al Ta'amode al dam re'echa, do not stand on your brothers blood. Another thing I know is we do not make psak from a story in the gemara. We do not know all the circumstances, and the story may be a daas yachid, an opinion of one individual. So if Ada ben Ahava had to pay for the kuti' garment, who is going to pay for my niece's garment which was ruined by bleach? My niece dresses very tzniusdik and is studying at a seminary in Yerushalayim. Finally, I know that Rav Moshe ZTL' left his phone on all night in case there was an halachic emergency. He used to get calls at 3 and 4 AM by people who were protesting a controversial psak. I think that part of the reason that the "gedoloim do not protest the conduct of these "Tznius squads" is that they themselves are physically scared. Therefore as is stated in Pirkei Avot, in a place where there are no men, (no leadership) then we must strive to be men (to be leaders) a Yasher Koach to Rabbi Horowitz who is trying to provide leadership to a dor almon, an orphan generation.


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63. twenty your old yehsiva guy     11/6/07 - 5:29 PM
Anonymous

obviously i am not a parent so i am talking with no knowledge of any parenting skills, however after reading rabbi horowitz's advice i agree with everything he is saying. as a child, i think that is 100 percent the way a parent shoul negotiate with a child. and yes i think that negotiation is the right word. i just wanted to say in case there are parents that do this, that hitting is the worst thing you can do for you child. thank god i am not talking from experience, but i have friends who did expereince it and their hatred, and lack of respect for their parents is horrendous.


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64. Religious Knesset members     5/8/08 - 3:20 PM
Anonymous - Brooklyn NY - chspitzer@yahoo.com

While violence is horrible and should never be condoned, since when have the so called Frum Kenesset members been interested in anything else, other than stuffing their bank accounts and lining their pockets???

You really expect something from them????

Something is desperately wrong with our Chinuch, or the lack of it. On the other hand I am sure the vast majority of Frum people would never resort to any violence, so let's not blow this out of proportion..


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65. weak argument     4/20/09 - 5:49 PM
Tani - Jerusalem

I do not understand why you dont identify these hooligans as chareidim. They only dress like chareidim, according to you. What other standards do you have for someone to qualify as chareidi? Do they have to send their children to chareidi schools? Do they have to daven in chareidi shuls? Do they have to follow chareidi gedolim? These people qualify in all ways as chareidim.

Secondly, you call for a proclamation from Israeli chareidi gedolim. I admire your call, and I strongly agree with you. But what if they do not issue condemnation? Does this mean they condone what is happening? When would admit that they do not see the issue as you do? Their silence is deafening to people such as you and I. But to the general chareidi public of Israel, their silence is a clear message.


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66. Invitation     5/15/10 - 7:28 PM
Anonymous - RBS

I wish Rabbi Horowitz would come to RBS and talk to the Charedi Rabbinic leaders in Bet. I wish he could convince them to follow his advice and bring peace to this area. The violent incidents are ongoing, not just once every few years. People are attacked just for walking or driving on the major street (which goes through Bet)in order to go from one part of the city to another for no apparent reason - people who are dressed and behaving according to Halacha, minding their own business, not bothering anyone, not making noise, etc. It is unfortunate that people have to walk through Bet, but it is really the only way to get from one neighborhood to many others. If the people who live in Bet don't want others going through their neighborhood, let them move somewhere else. They moved into Bet knowing that this is how the city is set up and that they were very close to a non-religious neighborhood. The city planned an alternative road for people to take, but Bet extended their neighborhood to include the area of the proposed road before the road could be built! Many people in the city are afraid to go to parts of the city on "the other side of" Bet because of the potential violence.

Every year there are attacks on cars and people going through Bet on Israeli Independence day, yet neither the city officials nor the police will do anything to stop it. This year at least 15 youngsters ended up in the local emergency treatment facility due to attacks by adults ages 30-45. Most of the kids reported police being in Bet and just standing around watching the attacks. The police here are too afraid of the people in Bet to try and make arrests and there is nothing like the national guards to call in and help.

Maybe Rabbi Horowitz could do some good here.

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