Oct 26, 2008

The Dream Team of TOV

The following is the latest flyer put out by TOV. It includes images of and a short bio on the main people in TOV. As well, it includes some information of what TOV stands for.

The main part of it, I think, is where it discusses the five main points of the TOV platform:
  1. TOV is a party of the people, for the people, promising to work for the benefit if the people.
  2. TOV will work to protect the style of the diversity of the Torani community in bet Shemesh. This will be based on mutual respect. TOV will work against extremist ideas that threaten to turn Bet Shemesh in to a place that will be difficult to live
  3. TOV will work for improving quality of life, including roads, cleanliness, parks, etc.
  4. TOV will work to improve the educational system, and the system for the "at-risk" teens.
  5. TOV will work toward the fair and equal division of resources.
Another interesting point out of the flyer is the announcement of the ticker symbol of TOV. They have chosen the letters עד. I dont know why they did not choose טוב. But perhaps these letters should serve as testimony to what they have promised, and will hold them to it. Unlike the normal campaign promises that are never kept.

As the TOV slogan goes, we do not promise 100% success. We promise 100% effort.


  1. My major concern with Tov is that with all the good intentions in the world, they'll simply become a Gimmel proxy.

    Take the ma'ar, f'rinstance. If Shalom Lerner PG wins the mayoral election and puts the RBS ma'ar back on the agenda, and the gimmelniks start schreiing gevalt and plastering pashkevillim putting everyone who supports the ma'ar in cherem, are the nice folks in Tov gonna have the guts to stand up to the pressure?

    I fear not, and that's why I would have great difficulty voting Tov. When the chips are down, I find it very difficult to imagine nice loyal charedim not accepting "daas torah" and what the "gedolim" say. I cannot see any vote in which a Tov councillor will vote differently than the Gimmel councillors. And since I disagree strongly with the path that Gimmel envisions for the city, I can't see myself voting Tov.

    Am I wrong? I'd love to hear otherwise from the Tovniks.

  2. I heard from a member of the city council, that in Bet Shemesh the city council has very little power. The mayor is really the one who makes the decisions. He cited one instance where the entire city council voted against something and they went ahead and did it anyway, because the mayor said so. Perhaps, a better mayor would not do that.

  3. that might be true, but that shows how ineffective the city council has been. It should not be possible for the council to vote against something but then mayor then go ahead with it anyway. That is not how the system is built.
    The fact that it happens means the councilpeople were either bought by the mayor and could not stop him because they were in his hands, or the councilpeople simply were not doing their job.

    Maybe that is all the more reason to bring new people in. People who do not have the same working relationships and habits as the councilpeople of the past.

  4. From what I understood it wasn't the council that decided to ignore it, but rather the city workers that implemented the mayor's plan took orders directly from him. The workers and the mayor didn't care what the council did.
    Perhaps the council could have taken him to court?

  5. "friend of shaul":
    Parenthetically, I am most flattered that you identify yourself by your association with me. A friend, indeed! :)

  6. Rafi,
    as your posts go by i feel like you are tending to like tov. at least that's what it sounds like here.

  7. Shaul-
    Excellent question and thank you for the oppurtunity to address it.
    The whole concept of TOV is to allow people and Rabbonim FROM OUR community to make decisions that are in the best interest of the community.
    Each member of TOV has thier own local Rav that they consult with for issues of this sort.
    We don't make decisions by reading pashkevillim. We talk with our Rabbonim and our tzibur and we do the right thing.
    As for the Ma'ar specifically, I think we all agree that RBS needs more commercial and shopping areas. I have even heard this directly from members of groups that officialy opposed the Ma'ar. The bigger issue is how its presented, what will actually be in the Ma'ar and how we can work together with all interested parties to make it work for everyone.
    We feel that only a party like TOV, that can relate to "both sides of the issue", can properly bridge the gap and make the system work.

  8. "Each member of TOV has thier own local Rav that they consult with for issues of this sort."

    So who is the Rav of the person at #1 on Tov's list? Doesn't this mean that this Rav, whoever it is, is going to be determining things for Tov? And therefore shouldn't people know who it is?

  9. Shaul -

    I think the fact that TOV exists in the first place speaks to the very heart of the issue - it is comprised of "yeshivish" people who have decided to make a statement and move away from the path Gimmel is taking, as you say. While they of course will remain faithful to THEIR daas torah, they also recognize the need for expanding the religious horizons to be more inclusive, and improve quality of life in our city.

  10. I know that Rav Kornfeld has influence with some of the TOV people and he was very against the Ma'ar.

  11. After reading the Temurah article (and seeing the frowning faces of 2 of their people) I will NOT vote for TOV.

    I don't think that they have a clear picture of who they are and what they stand for.

  12. what is the Temurah article?

  13. I can guarantee you one thing -- Rav Kornfeld is NOT the Rav of the people on the list. He speaks openly in public against Tov.

    In fact, there is speculation that Tov Rav Kornfeld will come out, officially, against Tov.

  14. Shaul...I couldn't agree more. I am arguing these points with my husband as we speak. These issues bother me too.
    He is leaning TOV and I am leaning MAFDAL. Actually i should really vote for Likud. I don't see why Rabbis have any say in governing a city.

  15. anonymous - I have heard that Rav Kornfeld sent an email out to the members of Kehillas haGra saying that they should vote Gimmel and Abutbol. As far as I have been told, he did not name TOV specifically, but did say there are parties that (I am paraphrasing in my own words - not quoting, as I did not see the email) taking advantage of new olim and promising them things that they will not do and they should not be voted for, but only vote Gimmel and Abutbol.

    And he has the right to say it. There is nothing wrong with him supporting Gimmel. And I would not expect otherwise from Rabbi Kornfeld or many other local rabbonim.

  16. Rafi, Rav Kornfeld has the right to do whatever he wants, but the voting public needs clarity. Is Tov working together with local charedi rabbonim such as Rav Kornfeld and Rav Goldstein (in which case they will attract certain people) or against them (in which case they will attract different people). Shaul Behr gave an excellent example of how this could make a big difference.

  17. curious - the answer is clear - if you are someone who will only vote based on what Rav Kornfeld or Rav Goldstein say, then you will vote gimmel and TOV should not even be a consideration.

    They are not pushing which rabbonim they consult with because that is not a main issue for them. Either you agree with that or you do not.

  18. As someone involved with Tov from the beginning, the LAST thing on their mind is to ask Rabbis Perlstein, Goldstein and Kornfeld. Tov is driven by the idea -- which is, by the way, the halachic way -- that the representatives, as shluchei tzibur will be making the decisions, with input from rabbonim.

    With all due respect to the three names I mentioned, they are not the addresses.

    Who will be involved? Baruch Hashem, R/BS has PLENTY of first class talmidei chachamim and Rebbes who are open minded and understand the real needs of the community.

  19. annonymous 9:57
    actually for hundreds of years the cities of frum yidden were run by the local rav who had the final say of what when on there. that was the case untill the secularists and tziyonim decided to wrestle power away from the rabbanim and claimed for themselves through force and mesiras the reigns of klal yisrael and declared themselves to be the leaders and spokesmen for all of yiddishkeit. the mizrachi (forefathers of your mafdal) constantly sided with the secularists and tziyonim in all these issues, claiming that they will be able to "bridge the gap and understand both sides" obviously they never succeeded in that as is obvious in the tone of the founding of "the heilige medinah"

  20. I don't see any chidush on the tov list of things they want. I think most people would agree with them.
    the chadas (rafi's local rag) which is very connected to UTJ and backs abutbol (unless the gerrers stick to lerner at the end - which won't happen) always bring up these very issues. I would asume that the utj members would fight for the same thing in the case that abutbol wins. you can't judge them on the last candidacy in which most of the time they sat in the oppositionand even when they joined the coalition it was on certain terms and mainly for their most urgent issues (you can't get everything in that situation) and in those areas they accomplished quite a lot.so I think this tov buisiness is just a lot of hot air about nothing and a bunch of baalebatim wanting to take control away from the rabbanim and avreichim

  21. why do the tovnikim think that they know more than rav shtainman and think they could do a better job than muntag? why can't they just make up a deal with degel that degel signs that they'll work on the things that are important to them.
    if tov gets one or two seats they wouldn't even make it into th coalition anyways so what will they be able to accomplish?

  22. I don't get tis kid at risk buisiness? what will they do? if they want to do the hard work of dealing with these guys like hakshiva so excellently does why don't they do something without a party. where have they been for the last five years. rav kornfeld's been involved pretty heavily and he says to vote gimmel so maybe they would accomplis more

  23. anon 1 57 - are you seriously serious?

    (with all due respect)

    You know, I think I saw that documentary on the Discovery Channel. It was called "When Rabbis Ruled The Earth". I watched it, then turned off my idiot box and went back to modern living.

  24. "why do the tovnikim think that they know more than rav shtainman "

    Maybe they know what, say, a credit card is, that would give them a head start.

  25. the truth is these are things that every party wants, not just TOV and not just Degel. Likud does not want a clean neighborhood? Mafdal does not want kids at risk taken care of? Labor does not want equal distribution of funds? Chen does not want nice parks?


    Nothing on the list is unique to TOV.

    But until now, RBS has been in existence for about 10 years, and of all the parties who are so concerned about all the issues TOV raises, and mostly Gimmel should be considered because they have the greatest presence here, RBS still looks the way it does, and all the issues TOV raises are issues the other parties hardly dealt with (except for CHEN on the parks and cleanliness and environment issues).

    So while Gimmel has been working hard on what they consider priorities, don't all of the usdden come along and say the priorities TOV raises also concern Gimmel. Maybe way down the totem pole these appear on Degels list, but Degel has had plenty of time to take up these issues, and they clearly have not.

  26. Whoever wrote here that rabbonim ruled the kehilos is a complete am haaretz.

    The halacha is clear: the zayin tuvei hair, who are to be elected through a democratic process, are the ones empowered to make decisions for the kehila.

    In certain areas, the rav of the city (who is also elected by the kehila, not appointed by the gadol hador) has veto power.

  27. Rafi, many people, I have been told, are turned off by TOV because they do not have any official Rabbinic backing. That and a lack of experience in Beit Shemesh politics. So, although they may have good ideas and intentions, what practically do they expect to accomplish. Can TOV respond to these two points?

  28. undecided - I understand that, and if that is an issue for you, perhaps TOV is not going to be your choice. I am not telling you to vote TOV.

    The local rabbis cannot support tov officially. It is not an option for them. They cannot tell anyone to vote anything other than Gimmel. They dont have that option, even if they wanted to support TOV.

    About the lack of experience, I dont see it as being bad. yes, it might mean they will not accomplish quickly. But all the parties with experience have basically ignored these issues until now anyway. So why do they deserve your vote?
    Unless you give your vote based on the direction of a specific rav, and the issues do not concern you (because you vote based on the rav of your choosing), I do not see why you would vote gimmel.

    I am not saying you should not vote gimmel. Maybe these issues do not concern you, and the issuesd gimmel deals with are more of a concern for you. then vote gimmel. Maybe you vote based on your ravs direction, then vote gimmel (if that is what your rav says). if you have other reasons, by all means vote gimmel.

    But dont not vote for tov just because the rabbonim of gimmel are not supporting tov. they are not supporting tov and they never will.

  29. Good points.
    The truth of Israeli politics is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to get official Rabbinic backing for anything even slightly off the "mainstream Charedi path." I can only assure you that each of us has spoken to our individual Rabbonim about TOV and that they support us personally, if not officialy. If you are concerned feel free to email me at tovbetshemesh@gmail.com to continue this conversation.

    As far as experience is concerned, our communities have heard that line many times, and yet we still suffer from lack of representation. Through this election cycle all of us at TOV have had multiple meetings with ALL the parties and candidates throughout the city government. We have built personal relationships and they are finally seeing our strength and taking us seriously. And we feel that based on that we will be able to accomplish a lot.

    We are not just one person, or even two. We are a team of concerned citizens who have come together to make a difference. That itself will give us strength to fight our way through the system and finally achieve some results.

    (And while I'm sure this sounds like typical marketing politicing, its the truth and we are all dedicated to it.)

  30. also, with Rav Alon on the list, nobody can say TOV has no experience. Rav Alon has as much experience as anybody else in the iryah.

  31. I have been very involved with TOV and I can tell you simply - each member has been in close contact with their rabbeim for advice and guidence. This is not being done without careful consideration and thought. While the local charedi rabbonim must publically suppot Gimmel, many of them - if approached on an individual basis - would in fact NOT object voting for TOV. I can say this as fact, not speculation.

  32. anon 9 57 - I find it hard to believe that anyone living in the modern world dreams of a government run by rabbinical decree. Let's get real...you are enjoying the freedoms of the 'heiligeh medina' precisely because of the non chareidi factions...

    (Taliban anyone?)

  33. I meant anon of 1 57 on October 27

  34. My comments here:


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