Nov 17, 2009

Rav Steinman hedges in Rehovot

Rav Steinman's throwing his support in the Rehovot municipal race to the non-haredi candidate, despite his running against a haredi candidate, looks to me like a good move. A hedge perhaps.

The race is very close for the mayorship of Rehovot. The 2 main candidates are a haredi guy from the Likud party (formerly of Shas), and a secular Jew.

Rav Steinman told the Rehovot haredim to support Salant, the secular candidate, because the polls said he was leading, and haredim always like to follow the winning horse. Some say Rav Steinman was tricked and was told that Salant is religious.

I think it is a good hedge bet. If the haredi candidate, Malul, wins, he is not going to become non-haredi because Rav Steinman said to support the other guy. He will still support the haredi causes. Yet if Salant would win without the haredi support, it is possible he might ignore, or at leats not advocate, issues haredim are concerned with.

So whoever wins, with Rav Steinman's support behind Salant, the haredim win either way.


  1. You're assuming that if the haredim help Salant get elected that he'll be more sympathetic to their needs. Who says that after he wins he won't turn his back on them?

  2. This banding together is hardly where Daas Torah should get involved, and from the opposite angle, having someone tell you who to vote for is the antithesis of having a vote in the first place.

  3. are you insinuating that his choice is not based on Daas torah and emes, but on a "gamble"? Rafi, such a cynic......or maybe such a G.........

  4. shaya, please enlighten us as to the meaning of your inside jokes what is "such a G......."

  5. I remember when Rav Shteinman came to speak in RBS for the BS mayoral race. And in that speech he gave one specific argument against voting for candidates other than the charedi pick Abutbol - that it was inappropriate to vote for people who don't "fully" adhere to halacha, people who "make kulos"?

    So how can Rav Shteinman support a "Modern Orthodox" (or non-religious, whatever the story was) candidate now?

  6. Andy:

    G is the first letter of our Last name. as we are not sheep and we as the G family have been raised to ask questions and look for answers, Rafi was doing just that. he is being a little cynical about a "Gadol" where others would stone him for such a posting.

  7. Shira -- Maybe RAYLS meant that it was a chillul hashem to vote for someone who "don't "fully" adhere to halacha, people who "make kulos" " (your phrase) when you can vote for someone who does " "fully" adhere to halacha, people who "make kulos" "

    But in Rechovot, where there is no other option, you have no other choice

  8. I live in Rehovot. I know the Malul is charedi (Shas actually, he was a member of Knesset from the Shas party at one time). Salant is not. I don't actually know much about him and his main qualification seems to be that he was the head of the Meuchedet Kupat Cholim (sick fund - now health services). Depending on who you listen to he may not have even been much good at that.

  9. I don't tknow anything about either candidate beyond what I wrote in the post and perhaps a little from what I have read the past few days.

    I have no idea why Rav Steinman picked Salant over Malul. The fact that he chose a secular candidate over a haredi one is what makes it so interesting, and why I suspect he is hedging, though maybe he has a real reason.

    Some are spreading rumors that Rav Steinman was lied to and told that Salant is also religious, and he was therefore ok supporting him. I do not know if the rumor is true or not.

    Common theory is that if you support a candidate and help him get elected, and in such a close race like it looks will turn out in rehovot, common assumption is that the candidate will then be beholden to you and not turn his back. Of course it is not always true, but it often is.

  10. Someone (Ploni) lying to a Rav in order for that Rav to pasken the way Ploni wants him to...whoever heard of such a thing?

  11. WS - Who says that after he wins he won't turn his back on them?

    The primary job of a politician is ... to get re-elected :-)


  12. Eli S, that's a joke, right?

    Anon, you're right, but people have short memories and when election time comes round again, he can begin kissing up once more and people will fall in love all over again. Case in point, Netanyahu.

    Raf, I hear all the time that Gedolim are lied to, shown texts out of context, have their signatures and pictures used without their permission, etc. Don't they know this?

    If they are so easily fooled and don't take the time to verify what they've been told, then they lack credibility in my book. They should not be issuing proclamations or going on concert tours around the country telling people who to vote for, whose book not to buy, etc. That's just abusing their position of power.

  13. wanna saab - maybe it is [in this instance] just a matter of defining "religious". I dont know how religious salant is or isnt, but maybe they say he is religious because he keeps certain amount (again, I have no idea if he does or doesnt)

  14. at the risk of sounding like a faux kofer, i.e. a kofer accroding to 21st century haredi ignorant and completely non-halakhic-but-instead-socially based standards;

    anyone who has heard R' Shtienman speak, knows exactly what I am even hesitant to hint at due to the chiyuv of kovod talmid chochom when I say I am not convinced at all that he calls any of the shots that are made in his name.

    And this is not just a case of not having good speaking skills. You KNOW what I am hinting to if yoy have heard him speak. THose who trot him out there are cynically being mevazeh a Talmid Chochom and are going to have hell to pay in yener velt. THen again since the emperor's beautiful robes trick is working superbly and so many grey-matter-deficient people keep falling for the trick maybe they won't.

    Caveat: this has no bearing on whether or not he was or still is a world class Talmid CHochom. And therefor deserves our utmost respect al pi hilchos Kovod Talimd CHohom. Just like R' Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik (the one from RIETS) zt"l in his twilight years. Luchos v'Shivrei Luchos munochim b'aron.

    But the halocho of kibud talmid chohom does not mandate that we subjugate any part of our lives to things which are most probably just said in his name and he has never even thought about possibly even been made aware of let alone made decisions on.


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