Sep 6, 2009

My protexia is stronger than your protexia

This story is an amazing example of how people can abuse power once they achieve it. They just let it get to their heads and think they can do whatever they want.

My translated recap of the story (for full story in Hebrew, see here):

It seems there has been political fighting in Tiberias between Shas and Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach, the Chief Rabbi of Tiberias. Rav Auerbach opposed a certain member on the local Shas list and therefore refused to support Shas in the municipal elections. Rav Auerbach started his own party to run in the elections.

Shas was upset, and in retaliation, requested of the mayor to transfer control of a school building to their school system. The school housed at the time a school run by Rebbetzin Auerbach. The request was not granted.
In the most recent elections, 6 months ago or so, Rav Auerbach again refused to support the Shas ticket, and ran his own people in his own party again. Everybody doubled their presence in City Hall, so it was a win-win situation, But Shas was still upset. Their candidate had won the mayoral race, and with their new-found position of power, they again filed a request for control of the school building.

This time, the mayor went and closed the building down saying there were safety hazards and the school could not operate in the building until they were rectified. Rav Auerbach spent a lot of money fixing up the building, but the mayor continued to refuse to allow them to use the building.

The mayor decided to go all out, transferred the building to Shas, and said that they have the right to allocate buildings as they desire. This was supported by the courts, and the mayor gave the building to Shas.

Rav Auerbach didn't take that sitting down. he was very upset and put a curse out saying that Haredi representatives went to secular court to solve their grievances and therefore anybody from Shas who goes into the building to work, I promise they will be held accountable and will not be "clean", not in this world and not in the next.

Shas did not just brush this off, but got frightened by the curse. Nobody from Shas is willing to step into the building now, fearing for their safety.

They tried to get rid of the building, asking for the city to now make a switch with a secular school. The secular school refuses to use that school building as well and rejected the request to swap buildings.

The building sits empty for now, as nobody is willing to use it.

  1. I like the response of the secular school saying don't pass your curse off onto us. Just because we are not religious doesn't mean we are willing to die for your idiocy.
  2. Shas is obviously more willing to let the building sit empty than to give it back to the school run by Rebbetzin Auerbach. sounds like rishus to me. Maybe there is more to the story.
  3. This is what happens when power gets to your head. Can't they get the city to reallocate another building? One that was not in use? Or slate the next building built to go them? They had to grab this building just because they were upset about politics?
  4. Just like Shas pulled some protexia in the city against Rav Auerbach, it seems Rav Auerbach has his own protexia to pull - God. And it seems that at the end of the day, even the Shas people, who are willing to denigrate the chief rabbi of the city, are not going to go out against God. My protexia is stronger than your protexia!
  5. Amazing that they, Shas and the mayor, were willing to fight against the chief rabbi because of politics. Don't they have any respect? It is not like they were fighting over who would get a new building they each wanted. They took retribution by grabbing a building already in use by Rav Auerbach's school.


  1. And Why Isn't Moshiach Here Yet?September 06, 2009 11:36 AM

    Such a Kiddush HaShem...sounds almost like Bet Shemesh politics

  2. 2.Shas is obviously more willing to let the building sit empty than to give it back to the school run by Rebbetzin Auerbach. sounds like rishus to me. Maybe there is more to the story.

    Isnt that the case with the school in RBS? It will sit (half) empty now instead of it going to chareidi classrooms?

    When I said that was rishus, you defended them. Here you said "maybe there is more to the story" - but only after you said that it sounds like rishus.

    Why the double standard? Why to the secular people deserve MORE dav lekaf zchus that the religious shasniks? Are you racist? Do you somehow feel that chilonim deserve more than the chareidim?

  3. the fight there has nothing to do with chilonim, so i don't even know what you are comparing. there theyfor years were trying to take away a school building just because they had the power to. not because it was empty.
    they finally got it because they attained enough power, but now wont use it because of the curse and instead of giving it back prefer to let it sit empty.

    In BS, I too said the building should be given to a local school, so I am not sure what you think I supported locally. I did say I understand the chilonim who dont want to give it up, because they feel threatened overall. I still think it should be transferred, but should be done orderly and not just taken from them a week before school starts.

  4. Thanks for taking time to translate and comment on this article.

    Power changes people, as you say at the beginning. This is about ego, power, control.

    "Preventing another from having a benefit when one loses nothing is the trait of Sodom."

    Aesop's fable "The Dog in the Barn" gets across the same idea.

    After watching the film Zionism and Herzl: The Antisemitic Side of Zionism (google it), I better understand my Hareidi friends' hostility to the State and its Courts.

    It's impressive that nobody from Shas will enter the building - because they know that what they did was wrong. At least I think this is the reason.

    Kol tuv

  5. Bob - I am not impressed that the Shas people will not enter the building. This type of stuff is something they believe in. I am impressed that the secular school refused to take the building...

  6. Rafi: That's interesting. Why does this impress you? As is often the case, you show me an unexpected dimension of the issue.

  7. assuming they are secular and not traditional (masorati in the Israeli sense) as the article said, I am impressed that they cared what some rabbi said.

    Truth is though, that Tiberias is mostly a sefardic city, so they are probably not "secular" per se, and are more likely to be "traditional". The article probably was not accurate in the description. Probably.
    and even if they don't keep much, in terms of mitzvos, they probably are believers. so then their response is not surprising because they also are believers, but Shas's attitude is even more so, trying to pass it of fonto a group of traditional kids...


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