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Feb 10, 2008

giving legitimacy to the hooligans

The hooligans in RBS B opened up a Kupa shel Tzdaka. Generally those who run the local Kupa have a lot of power, especially in these types of neighborhoods, because they control the money and the tone of the neighborhood.

In any case, some of the money from the Kupa went towards tznius signs (to intimidate the people of Sheinfeld), along with other signs protesting various breaches. They admitted as much to a number of people, because they were proud of what they did and they thought they would garner support for it.
Money given for a kupa shel tzdaka should be used to support the needy and not for these types of things. If they come asking for money, make sure to ask them what the money will be used for.

Rav Eidensohn, who heads the kupa of RBSA, spoke last Motzei Shabbos at the inaugural dinner of the hooligan kupa. (not last night's kupa shel Tzdaka dinner - this happened the week before) This gives them great legitimacy because he heads the Kupa of RBS A which does great work and already is a large organization with a great reputation.

When asked why he was going to be speaking there (someone present at the conversation told me) considering it gives legitimacy to the hooligans and they will use it to control their neighborhood even though they are a minority within it, he responded that he has to give them legitimacy because otherwise RBS will become too modern.

The Kupa of RBS A has nothing to do with this. They do not give money to the hooligans, they do not support them, they do not pay for the signs in RBS A or anything like it. The Kupa does great work.

I asked the Kupa about their policies. They do not give money outside of RBS A. They service the poor of RBS A only and act as a shliach to pass on the donations of residents to the poor of the neighborhood. As well, the Kupa does not support the signs or any of the other fights that happen. They are a tzedaka organization, not a business or organization with interests in other areas. The board members of the Kupa are all very busy and have no head for, and for sure no time for, narishkeit.

So, again, the Kupa shel Tzedaka of RBS A is not involved and does not get involved in these things. They do not support these people or their actions.

The question is why (some of) the people running it feel the need to legitimize the behavior going on in RBS B...

the latest from RBS B is from an email sent out on the Vo Violence in bet Shemesh email list. It described a story (not the same as the original story that happened a few weeks ago) where the "hooligans" were able to see into someone's window across the street in Sheinfeld and saw a large screen TV. Instead of putting up curtains or controlling yourself to not look in someone else's window, they went a different route. They also chose not to use the violent method. They went to a representative in Sheinfeld and told him about the problem. They all went to the guy and politely asked him to move his tv and adjust it so it is not visible from the window.

On the one hand it is very nice that they found a peaceful solution.

On the other hand, they are simply finding news ways to control the area to fit their desires. Instead of putting up curtains, they went into someone else's house and convinced him to alter his behavior for them.

So instead of knocking them down and telling them to live peacefully with others and do what they want in their own homes, they are being empowered and legitimized.

38 comments:

  1. "Rav Eidensohn, who heads the kupa of RBSA, spoke last Motzei Shabbos at the inaugural dinner of the hooligan kupa"

    shtika ki'hoda'ah is bad enough. amirah just contradicts what he said in the letter about lma'an achai. he obviously has no real sense of appropriatness.

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  2. it does not contradict what he said about lmaan achai. He condemned any negative statements about any organization, lmaan achai included. he spoke at the dinner for the other kupa. I do not know what he said there, but let us assume he did not deride anybody at in his speech. he spoke, let's say, how important it is to have a kupa and do chessed. He said how big a miztva it is. whatever he said does not matter. Just the fact that he spoke there gives them legitimacy.

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  3. It is very disturbing that the head of an important community organization would lend his (and arguably) his orgaization's name to a bunch of hooligans in Bet.

    At best it shows very poor judgement; at worst, active support & complicity.

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  4. Maybe the Kupa under Rav Eidensohn's control, is also spending public tzedaka money and resources on promoting a political agenda?

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  5. moreconcerned - I asked the Kupa and they say they do not. I believe them. I have had no indication otherwise and have no reason to believe that they do support such activities or that they send money to support people (these hooligans or other people) outside of RBS A.

    The Kupa is clean in this. The complaint is not against the kupa. It is bad judgment (in my opinion) of one person

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  6. rafi - there is a story/medrash about a man who comes into a lot of money and becomes a big baal tzedaka. at some point, "other " organizations hear about him and he gives to them too.jewws for j, budhhist j's, j's anon, etc....now the community just looks at him like a fool with no discrimination abilities for what legit and what isn't. it negates all his choices because he makes none.

    same here, by not avoiding giving legitimacy to the kannaoist kupa, he lowered the value of his words about LA, because all orgs are "worthy" in his eyes.

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  7. "When asked why he was going to be speaking there (someone present at the conversation told me) considering it gives legitimacy to the hooligans and they will use it to control their neighborhood even though they are a minority within it, he responded that he has to give them legitimacy because otherwise RBS will become too modern."

    So you mean to tell me that Rav Eidensohn, who represents a tzedaka organization here in RBSA that claims to be open to anyone is supporting a group that could be perceived as radical to keep RBS from becoming too modern?

    Could he explain what modern means? Does he also not want the money of these modern people for his own kupa?

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  8. Will the REAL Rav Eidensohn Please Stand UpFebruary 10, 2008 10:04 PM

    Yes Rav Eidensohn may sign a 3 line statement condemning negative remarks about Lema'an Achai and other organizations BUT:

    1) The timing was a little off. @ days before his "uniting the community" melava malka smacks of political motive.

    2) The Mora D'Asra, who makes no secret of his feelings about Lema'an Achai and other organizations, was given tremendous Kavod at the Melave Malka.

    Kupa can't say one thing from one side of their mouth and do another. If they are in fact distancing themselves from negative comments and feelings they should be careful all around including Rabbonim and other organizations.

    And Rafi, in all due respect, Rav Eidensohn DOES represent Kupa.
    He should be very careful of whom he associates with.

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  9. you guys are a bunch of obsessed hypocrits.
    you keep complainig about ahavas yisroel and people not respecting other's hashkafot. all you mean is that the "fanatics" and Rabbi Perlstein should love you and be accepting of yours
    you're not Interested in loving anybody else or accepting their hahkafot (except maybe the non-religious)

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  10. rafi,
    your post reeks from intolerance.
    why in the world is it logical and "civil" to ask someone to spend the next twenty years of his life hiding behind a curtain and keeping his windows closed in order to raise his children without having the constant flickering of televisions part of their chinuch?
    ecspecially when no violence is used and the other guy could just rearrange his furniture? it definitely pays to ask nicely. unless of course you were born in meah shearim in which case life in israel readers will just prefer you to drop dead or become religious zionist (probably yehareg v'al Yaavor in their eyes)

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  11. Sorry Rafi, I have to agree with Dayenu.

    TV is something that's not accepted by just about anyone these days in the Chareidi world, nor in many of the more right wing DL circles. Politely asking someone to please use it in the privacy of their own home in a way that doesn't affect the neighbors is basically saying, "we don't care what you do, but please don't do it in public."

    Once upon a time, tolerance meant letting people do what they want behind closed doors. Half of that is that the door is closed!

    I personally think it's a very reasonable request (even if there would have been subtle hints of "now we're asking nicely, don't make us ask again," which I don't think there were).

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  12. I offered both options and I do not know which is mor accurate. I said it is very nice they found a way to solve it peacefully.

    On the other hand, they could have put up curtains in their own house without even bothering to go into the neighbors house and ask them to rearrange their furniture.

    So i do nto know. I try not to be intolerant and I have no problem, and I have said so many times, with them living their lifestyle as they see fit. They are the ones imposing their rules n other people. That is what i do not like.

    Let me ask you - just like a peaceful soltion was found, in this situation, to adjust the furniture to make it less visible from the window, why could the peaceful solution not have been to put up curtains in the haredi house? Why did the DL guy have to change his situation, why not the Haredi guy who was bothered - let him change his situation?

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  13. Well, if we accept that the television is intrinsically assur, then I think it's clear ;)

    If we accept that it's not recommended, then again, the one who wants/needs to engage in this weakness should do so b'tzinah.

    If you believe that it's completely OK, and there's no halachic preference for either side, then I would start to look at the numbers. Given that I suspect many people would prefer the TV not be visible, then perhaps we should accommodate them.

    We're doing hilchos nizkei sh'cheinim now with R' Rubanowitz in KSY, and it appears that halachically, when a solution to a damaging situation (really physical damages, but I think we can extend it somewhat) can be easily found, we often require that the one who can solve it easiest do so; regardless of whether it's the mazik or the nizak (damager or damagee).

    I understand that politically, it might not be right to be a friar, but you know what? If someone asks me to do something to accommodate me, and it helps him, and doesn't really bother me... why not? I'd like to think I'd just the request "b'asher hu sham" and not necessarily "haro'eh es hanolad".

    Maybe I'm just too nice :)

    Why not publicize some of the other good news; progress in a "mixed" melave malke, shalach manos, etc?

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  14. As someone who lives on Rechov Gad (the epicenter of the "TV" issue) I have mixed feelings about the solution that has just occurred.

    On the one hand I was very heartened and hopeful that the dialogue channel we set up with these people actually worked.

    Something Rafi didn't mention, is that the family with the TV is Chiloni and their response was extremely respectful and accommodating.

    This is all fine and good. However, we all know that this worked because the Chareidim got their way. At some point, they will call to complain about something (say Israeli flags on Yom Haatzmaut) and the answer will be no. That will be the real test.

    Unfortunately, as hopeful as I am, deep down I know that Rafi (and a psychologist friend of mine) is right. All we are doing is giving fanatics another method to achieve their fanatic ends and by coddling them this way we are reinforcing their anti-social behavior.

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  15. People were talking about Eidensohn showing up even before the event.

    For more info about this kupa, see
    http://hydepark.hevre.co.il/topic.asp?topic_id=2354145

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rabbi Eidenson is known throughout the chareidi community as a dedicated individual who has given his life for the concern of others. he I respected and considered apolitical (even among the inner - politics of the chareidi community) he is a wonderful speaker in three languages (hebrew english and yiddish) and has the ability to stir people to action through his words. he therefore is invited to speak in many venues across the city, the sole purpose of which is to inspire. you guys are making too much of an issue of nothing.
    poor yerushalmim also deserve the help of their neighbors (ecspecially since none of you care too much for them) to speak by a tzedakah org. (before it was known for spending their money on questionable things) is only natural and nothing to do with politics.
    maybe some of you should try spending a fraction of your days involved with the caring and concern that Eidesnson does and life would look different for you. give credit where credit is do. and chill out already. there will always be people that don't agree with everything you feel and you won't agree with everything that anyone in the world says.
    let people that give their lives for others breath a little bit

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  17. anon of 12.29

    tis comment hdden in your soapbox speech says it all "ecspecially since none of you care too much for them"

    you show YOUR bias, and maes us woder where your chesed is. noone said r' eidensohn is a bad person, just questioning the reason why he chose to give legitimacy to an organization that is looking to control others. halachically, one is allowd to question. as well, one is allowed to say someone made a mistake. noone said burn him at the stake.

    get a grip and stop drinking the kool-aid.

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  18. Mike Miller:

    Accomodation is a wonderful thing. But...
    These hooligans didn't just take the TV owner to a din Torah.

    They threatened the people of Sheinfeld with violence and destruction if they don't capitulate. This is not a compromise, by any means.

    Unfortunately, it seems like some people in Sheinfeld -- out of good will -- have played right into the hands of the hooligans.

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  19. Dear Gad [is that a real name, nickname, a geographical ID, or are you just a delusional mispeller?]

    We're not referring to the first incident, but to the second. To the best of my knowledge, there were no threats or anything else.

    FWIW, in a din Torah, odds are, the chareidim here would have lost (don't forget, the defendant gets to chose the beis din... (and kal v'chomer a secular court)).

    Part of being a polite neighbor is not doing things that are offensive to the majority of your neighbors, especially if it costs you nothing.
    Another part is keeping your nose out of things that don't affect you, your family, or people who will listen to (properly given, of course) tochacha.

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  20. Rafi,

    Please don't refer to these people as "hooligans". That adjective belittles the seriousness of the crimes being committed and the evil of those committing them.

    Hooligan conjures up an image of Bowery-Boy-like lovable but mischievous delinquents. These people are, in a word, terrorists. They easily and accurately fit the definition of that word. They certainly are criminals guilty of assault, vandalism, and even attempted murder.

    No, "hooligan", just doesn't cut it.

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  21. ok, menachem. I am not tied to the word "hooligan". can you suggest a more appropriate word?

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  22. shaya g
    is it true or not?
    and if they are controlling (like you assume) does that take away from the poor people's oppurtunity to receive help.
    at this point these are the only people standing up to help them and if by appearing at thei melava malka a few more aniyim get helped maybe that is enough of a reason to put politics aside and inspire people to give tzedaka.

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  23. Lack of Judgement?February 11, 2008 9:34 AM

    Anon of 12:29..I have some questions on your post:

    "he I respected and considered apolitical (even among the inner - politics of the chareidi community)"
    ***********************************
    Excuse me but his strong affiliation with Rav Perlstein does not make him apolitical. Period.

    "he is a wonderful speaker in three languages (hebrew english and yiddish) and has the ability to stir people to action through his words. he therefore is invited to speak in many venues across the city, the sole purpose of which is to inspire"
    ********************************
    The fact that he is a good speaker in 3 languages doesn't permit him to speak for just anyone who invites him. He should use discretion.

    "poor yerushalmim also deserve the help of their neighbors (ecspecially since none of you care too much for them)"
    **********************************
    They come to my door all of the time and I give them. I give them although I know that my flag, my kids school, my Rav and my kitchen are all treif to them. I give them because I care for them. I overlook our differences and reach out. Do they do the same if I drive through their neighborhood with a flag on my car? (not on purpose but there is no easier way to get home)

    After speaking to someone I heard that Lema'an Achai has been trying to get a meeting with Rav Eidensohn for years. He rebuffed their overtures. This was for a meeting of 2 organizations that should work together for the good of RBSA. I don't know why he didn't want to meet but I do know now that he accepted the offer to be the guest speaker for a new Kupa out of our neighborhood and with possible goals to the detriment of local citizens.
    (I also understand that after Rav Solevechik's speech there was a scramble for Lema'an Achai and Kupa to meet...I wonder why?)

    If Rav Eidensohn has time for a new Kupa in Bet Shemesh I would think that a meeting for RBSA requested a long time ago would take precedence.

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  24. rafi,
    how about refering to them as "misguided Yerushalmim" and skip all the hate.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Lack of Judgement?February 11, 2008 9:39 AM

    "and if they are controlling (like you assume) does that take away from the poor people's oppurtunity to receive help.
    at this point these are the only people standing up to help them and if by appearing at thei melava malka a few more aniyim get helped maybe that is enough of a reason to put politics aside and inspire people to give tzedaka."

    Anon 12:29...those are dangerous words!
    We must be careful with whom we associate and give credence.
    Your philosophy could give justification for many fringe groups both in and out of Klal Yisroel in their ways and means.

    No the end does not always justify the means!

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  26. the word hooligans has nothing to do with hate. I do not think "misguided yerushalmim" is the right word to describe people who break car windows, slash tires, rip flags off people's cars threaten to kill people for having seating in a pizza store, etc.
    I think "hooligans" is a much mroe accurate word. Again, if you come up with a better word, I will be happy to use it. I do not think "misguided yerushalmim" makes the cut.

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  27. lack of judgement said=
    Excuse me but his strong affiliation with Rav Perlstein does not make him apolitical. Period.
    #######
    why not. if he personally feels comfortable being close to Rabbi Perlstein it can be because he feels that he has a lot to gain from his guidance. it doesn't mean that in issues of politics he always takes his side. as far as I know he wasn't at the meuchedet concert in the park as part of the protest. and I know that he is also close to other rabbanim that don't necessarily get along with Rav Perlstein. (and as a side comment, someone who is so involved in the dicreet chesed going -ons in the neighborhood and is succssefully helping so many others- and is so close as you claim to RP then that may say something special about RP that no one takes notice of. he might also be involved silently in helping amy people)

    -----
    doesn't permit him to speak for just anyone who invites him. He should use discretion.

    ####
    maybe he did and felt the gains are worth putting aside politics
    -----
    They come to my door all of the time and I give them. I give them
    ####
    that is very commendable. however tzedaka organizations work through mattan bisaser and providing dignity for the aniyim so they don't have to go around knocking on doors (not a very hnorable pastime)
    ------
    speaking at a dinner out of the neighborhood doesn't obligate or define how he runs his own kupa.
    based on the fact that there were differing opinions on how to run a tzedakah organization that resulted into the opening of lemaan achay after yad ramah was changed into the kupa, I would venture to say that any meeting between the two would result in having to change his system, not something that a successful ceo would want to get stuck into.
    damge control is different thus wanting to meet to patch things up is no contrdiction to an ongoing policy

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  28. Instead of "hooligans" what about "charediban" as a friend of mine calls them?

    This news is disappointing and only confirms my skepticism about the KST's much heralded announcement.

    While RE could certainly have had the best of intent of appearing at this kupa's event, he must have realized that his appearance could give legitimacy to this group. It certainly seems that he has no problem with this nor whether it could affect how potential donors perceive the KST.

    As for the TV... some of my best charedi (not charediban) and DL friends don't have one, but they see more--and newer--TV shows than I via peer-to-peer.

    I agree with Mike, he's too much of a mensch. If the wife in the TV family doesn't cover her hair or her sleeves are not sufficiently long, why not sent a request regarding this too?

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  29. how about "misguidedly violent Yerushalmim" after all that is probably the truth (but I hear your point)

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  30. Thanks Rafi for making this news available. I think you should sell your content to Tmura.

    Your largess in accepting posts that are less than polite--to you--is praiseworthy, yet scary as it confirms how intolerant some members of the RBS community really are.

    You aren't a regular Joe; you're an exceptional Yossi!

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  31. maybe RE just felt that here was an oppurtunity to make the betnicks more self-sufficient and free up more of RBSA money for our own aniyim. (maybe like the way the Israeli's would like to see HAmas make their own electricity-not necessrily giving them credence but to isolate them

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  32. annonymous of 12:29February 11, 2008 10:15 AM

    anonymous 10:10
    I second that

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  33. anon of 10:10 - thanks, but I have been called worse before than anything anybody here has had to say about me...

    maybe I should start signing this as Yossi.. :-)

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  34. If the wife in the TV family doesn't cover her hair or her sleeves are not sufficiently long, why not sent a request regarding this too?

    And if she sunbathes on her porch?

    The area is question is not exactly Tel Aviv, even if it's not Bnei Brak. I suspect (and this is really a question for the residents, and not those of us a few km away) that there are still some degree of standards that would be appreciated by the majority of the people.

    I don't think your case overrules those standards, though I would suggest that a woman who wants to move to a purely religious area should not dress in a way that conflicts with the ideals of all her neighbors (be they DL, Chareidi, Chassidish, etc) [even without dealing with the halachos of minhag hamakom vis-a-vis tznius]

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  35. Help I'm Water BloggedFebruary 11, 2008 10:35 AM

    "based on the fact that there were differing opinions on how to run a tzedakah organization that resulted into the opening of lemaan achay after yad ramah was changed into the kupa, I would venture to say that any meeting between the two would result in having to change his system, not something that a successful ceo would want to get stuck into."
    *********************************

    "Change his system" or cooperate for the good of the community?
    When 2 organizations compete for funds that's ok (as long as no falsehoods are spread). However it goes beyond money.
    A meeting should have been held to discuss overlapping in services and therapy, etc.
    Overlapping not only wastes communal funds that could help more people. There could also be overlapping with therapy and treatment. This could lead to serious reprocutions.

    It's wonderful that the Kupa is running to meet to control possible damage to their name. I wish that they were as concerned with the potential damage to the people they assist.

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  36. Rafi -
    "Maybe the Kupa under Rav Eidensohn's control, is also spending public tzedaka money and resources on promoting a political agenda?"

    You answered:

    "I asked the Kupa and they say they do not."

    urr...who did you ask, and what did you expect them to say to that question??

    By the way, a political agenda doesn't need to include paying for tznius posters...our kupa wouldn't be that dumb, even if the other one Rav Eidenson supports apparently is.

    ReplyDelete
  37. SOS (Save Our Shchuna)February 12, 2008 2:13 PM

    After having attended the Kupa Melave Malka I do have one question for the posters here.

    In the last couple of months many posts have said that Rav Perlstein is no more connected than any other rav to the Kupa.
    In my eyes it was quite obvious there that he was getting an enormous amount of kavod from Kupa. He was a speaker (at least this year he chose the same story with which he hit LA last year but it had a more psoitive spin this time).

    I actually went to the MM to see if it would again be a bash Lema'an Achai fest. It was not. They learned their lesson. People won't tolerate open smashing of another organization.

    But I must tell my fellow attendees that they should "wake up and smell the coffee".

    The Kupa may do good things. They are packaged very nicely (costly PR can do that for you). However you must realize that they and Rav Eidensohn and Rav Perlstein have an agenda beyond the chesed that they do. Their connections to the fringe elements all over Bet Shemesh raise question.

    They wish to take control of our shchuna and when they do RBSA will look quite different. Once certain factions have control over various functions in RBSA they will no longer need to candy coat themselves to get your support.

    Let's make certain that all good organizations and especially those who are 100% transparent remain strong for the good of our wonderful city.

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  38. והייתם נקייםFebruary 14, 2008 1:28 PM

    In his speeches both this year nad last at the Kupa Melava Malka Rav perlstein intimated that your Gabbaei Tzedaka must beyond reproach.

    Although I'm certain that he considers Rabbi Eidensohn's support of kitzonim commendable should we the "Charedi Light" population tolerate a Gabbai Tzedaka whose interests may contradict ours?

    ReplyDelete

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