May 12, 2010

Registering Protest - Updated

See the end of the post for updated content

I did not see the pashkevilim myself, and nobody sent me any copies, and I find it strange that pashkevilim were thrown around the neighborhood and cleaned up so quickly and thoroughly that I could not find a single one around, and I walked up and down a number of streets looking, but I was told what was in them, and I was disgusted.

A few people told me what the pashkevils said, the general content, not word for word, and I have to register my protest. I can't even bring myself to write here what was said, it was so bad (and my tolerance level is pretty high).

That is a disgusting and completely inappropriate method of fighting this fight. You want to fight for control of the mikva or this or that, fine. But to lower yourself to personal attacks in such disgusting manner is completely inappropriate. I don't know who authorized it or if it was just some loner doing it on his own, but if it was sanctioned by higher up leaders, you deserve to lose the mikva issue just because of that pashkevil. That was disgusting and inappropriate. Fight for what you think is right, but stick to the issues, keep it clean, and don't lower yourself to the sewar.

And once on the topic, a couple of weeks ago threats were received about vandalizing the private eruv of the haredi community. That same shabbos a number of strings were broken before shabbos and then on shabbos another string was broken.

I was not told definitively that they know it was vandalism, but coming so soon after a threat makes it highly suspicious. The Dati Leumi community should not be resorting to such tactics, even if it might be fringe elements. Destroying someone else's eruv to cause them to be mechalel shabbos? And to cut an eruv string on shabbos itself? How can you do that in the name of fighting for taharas hamishpacha?

Clean house.

Fight for your beliefs, but don't let these types of behavior enter into your fights.


I have to correct the post. I still have not seen the original, but I now know the original wording, and not just what was described to me about the general content. now that I know the original wording, I also know that what was explained to me was not 100% accurate.

The pashkevil did not accuse or threaten these rabbis with being exposed as philanderers or homosexuals, rather it warned them to back off of trying to control the mikvas of RBS and if they dont back off, the geeluy arayos and mishkav zachar in their communities would be investigated and exposed.

The actual wording of the content is not nearly as rude, sick and disgusting as what had originally been described to me, as it is not personally attacking them, but threatening to investigate the community.

So I apologize for the harshness of my comments. It is still very inappropriate, but not what I originally thought.


  1. Rafi- you say you did not see the pashkevillim- so your disgust with what they said is based on hearsay. Did anyone actually see these pashkevillim? Maybe someone made up the whole story.
    With regards to the eruv- don't forget that there is a perfectly fine and kosher eiruv put up by the rabbanut. So if the private eiruv was cut down- why would that cause anyone to be mechallel shabbos? They still have the rabbanut eiruv to rely on. If someone thinks that carrying in RBS when there is a rabbanut eiruv is being mechalel shabbos- they have a very distorted view of halacha. (Not that that justifies vandalizing anything)

  2. I corroborated it with 3 different people who told me what it said.

    When wires were down, likely from vandalism after the threat, one of the eruv guys told me that it was not just their wires that were cut, but wires from the other eruv were cut as well.
    Tell me - when you look at wires on an eruv, do you know which eruv it belongs to?
    And regardless, if someone doesnt hold of a specific eruv, what right does anybody have to force him, to rely on it? It is his prerogative to use or not use any specific eruv. And to cut a wire on shabbos itself? to be mechalel shabbos because you are upset abotu the mikva fight?

  3. the signs were sick. They accused Rav Kupshitz and Rav Davidovitz of being involved in eishes ish and mishkav zachar and that they would be chased out of town. It was really disgusting and low.

  4. By no means am I condoning what was written, however, does it really shock you that someone would lose it like this? The chareidi taliban style leadership eventually wears on people and causes them to lose it. Again, no excuses, but it does not surprise me one bit. Imagine if you constantly had to fight an uphill battle against so-called leadership that resorted to lies and corrupt methods to win a battle? Think about it Rafi. This town is going to boil over one day because of all this.

  5. sorry, but that does not justify what was written.

  6. I didn't say it is justified. I am just surprised that you are so flabbergasted by it. Unfortunately it will not be the last irrational thing that is said or done - on either side.

  7. I'll take a slightly different tack here Rafi- I take great issue with any insinuation that this is in any way shape or form representative of the DL community. Not the way we operate, not our track record, and not consistent with what is preached from our pulpits and our schools. Your disgust is justified, but this is easily dismissed as the work of a lone wacko or two. When there is hooliganism on the Chareid side, and I am less willing to dismiss it as fringe players. Too few people denounce it publicly, and to the contrary, it is even encouraged sometimes.

  8. You know, I thought so too. So i didnt say anything after the eruv incident. i didnt have the details clear. I only heard about the details a few days later. And it didnt make sense. Yet no condemnation came from the community Just like when there is no condemnation from the haredi community over their fringe hooligans.

    And now this, and again no condemnation. I am sure none of the rabbonim or askanim are involved in it, and I am sure it is a fringe wacko or two or three. But where is the condemnation? And even regardless of a condemnation, I feel it is important to protest what was done. Just like I protest when the wackos in RBS B, or the occassional wacko in A, do their idiocies. If I dont speak out, who will? I dont see anybody else saying anything...

  9. Anonymous: "They accused Rav Ploni and Rav Almoni of being involved in eishes ish and mishkav zachar."

    Such a pashkeville would be absolutely outrageous, and I for one totally denounce such behaviour.

    Our cause is right & just - and so must be all our means.

    What they call in the Israeli Army, "Purity of Arms".

  10. Rafi - perhaps the reason so few people have condemed the Pashkevilim is that almost nobody seems to have seen them? I can confirm that I, for one, did not see any of them; if I had, I'd have torn them down - though I have little time for the individuals purportedly mentioned in them. As a member of the Dati Leumi community, I have no hesitation in denouncing such acts.

  11. Rafi throwing around pashkivilim is not the soet of thing DL have done in the past, and there are other elements on their side of the Mikve dispute.

  12. Most people I know would have been furious had we seen any of the signs in question. They must have been up and down pretty quickly as no one I have spoken to even knew about them. Frankly, I do not care which side it was, something like that would be totally unacceptable from either camp.

  13. I am confident that 100 out of 100 Dati Leumi people that you speak to would agree with your disgust and outright condemn such revolting paskevilim (if they exist, I didn't see them either).
    Such behaviour, and the cutting of an eruv is really not the style of any Datiim that live here, and we all know this.
    There is no doubt in my mind that this was not the act of any local DL residents.

  14. rw= you are right about the pashkivilim, however I've heard DL people threatening publicly to cut R Pearlstein's eruv a few years ago.

  15. Kol Hakavod Rafi for updating this post.

    There's clearly a major difference between how this was reported to you, and the actual text.

    It is regretful that you were misled in this way.

  16. Nachman RosenbergMay 13, 2010 9:11 AM

    Three points please:
    1- I am not sure how much SOCIAL exposure we all have outside of RBS. The reality in the State of Israel, is that that Chareidi (religious)terror is the MOST dominant force pushing Jews away from Judaism. These are far larger numbers that can be reported in all the Kiruv movements combined. This infomation may not be reported in Mishpacha magazine (or ESPN), but it is the unsimple reality on the ground. Dont be fooled that any if this has anything to do with love of Torah or Hashem. On the contrary, "Love of Torah and Hashem" is used as a maniplulative tool of political violence. The "Askanim" take advantage of the Chareidi public's sincerity and are not only Mechalel Hashem, but also their own Gedolim who are systematically manipulated and who know less about the Mikvaot of RBS, then they do about what obscene promises are being gauranteed in their name to Tzedaka donors to the Kupa of Bnei Brak. Dont take my word for it, ask your Israeli Chareidi neighboors.

    2- The Dati Leumi public needs to shrug its inferiority complex, get its own facts straight and stand up with confidence. I agree that we have what to learn from the Chareidi community about Torah learning, bearing in mind that it is harder when you have to balance a full time (Israeli) job and do not get paid to learn. However, we do not need Mussar from self-appointed messengers of "Gedolim". We are an example of real self-sacrifice ("nosei ba'ol im chaveiro") for OTHERS, authentic Torah values, honesty, rachmanim i.e. real "areivim zeh lzeh", bayshanim and lets not forget Tznius too. Just open your eyes and walk outside (especially on Shabboss) to see how the Dati Leumi community is by far the most Tzanua community in RBS (there are of course exceptions to this general truth). We have all witnessed how the Dati Leumi leaders eradicated sexual violence Lshem Shamayim "lelo maso panim" and we all know what danegerous abusive behavior has been permitted to continue in RBS under the auspices of certain Rabbis who put their own community's children at risk. The Dati Leumi community must not let ourselves be harassed by any two bit spiritual Goldstone wannbe.

    3- It would be nice if.....(insert your despription of a fantasy world). However, it is also a Chilul Hashem to IGNORE crimes, especially when they are in the name of Torah and Hashem.

  17. being that i haven't seen the posters, the content as you describe it in the update does not even seem inappropriate to me at all. I think it is a strong even harsh point - with a lot of truth to it. why are these rabbonim trying to force their way on this issue? to promote higher levels of taharah in their community? if that is the case there are much larger taharah issues needed to be addressed as pointed out in the pashkevil. when it all comes down to it, this whole "fight" is about charedi control - control over women, and control over DL.

  18. There is a small community of extremists in RBS that puts around vile pashkeviliim and conducts acts of violence when things don't go their way. Their extremist acts are rejected by the majority of their own community - albeit their leaders do not make any public pronoucements of such rejection.

    Does this sound familiar?

    RBS 2010 - DL extremists cut eruv lines (these am haaratzim even cut their own rabbanut eruv) on Erev Shabbat and put around vile pashkeviilim about rabbanim from the community.

    I guess it goes to show that we should all be less judgemental of a whole group of people on the basis of acts of a small minority.

  19. Yeah, but what about when a communities leaders are doing vile acts, and the community still accepts them as their leaders. Can we still not judge the community?

  20. I think perhaps the fighting will get worse, especially after the Charedim mount their next election push to take a majority of the city council. Sad, but I think that will be the case.


  21. Mark - truth is you are right, but it doesnt have to be so. You are only right because the haredi community votes with voter turnout in the percentages of the 90-95% range. The non-haredi vote with turnout anywhere from 40-65% turnout, depending on their mood.

    If the non-haredi would get their act together and get everyone out to vote, even the next election will not have a haredi majority (depending on how fast RBS C happens perhaps).

    But that is unlikely to happen, si it is more likely to end up with a haredi majority.

  22. I'm dying to see this pashkevil. Does anyone have a copy?

  23. I do not know anything about the paskevilim that you mention. seems that no one I know even saw them and definitely do not know who did them.
    To blame them (if they actually existed) on the DL community is the same as insinuating that all chareidim throw stones at cars on Shabbat and meet with Achmedinijaz and deny the Holocaust.
    That being said,
    I do think that it is more important to stress the point that an agreement about the mikva was reached to the satisfaction and agreement of all parties.
    The mikva on Lachish will be renovated over the next few months to the halachic satisfaction of Rav Davidovitz at which time we will oversee its operation.
    The mikva on Dolev will continue the present distribution between the right and left side until the Lachich mikva is ready, at which time the entire Dolev mikva will be run by the Moatza Hadatit overseen by Rav Spektor.
    This agreement was reached in no small part thanks to the Achdut shown by ALL the Dati Leumi Rabanim of the neighborhood, to the untiring effort of all the women who would not give up on their rights to have a mikva, without compromising any halachic requirements and run according to their needs, to the appreciated efforts of Rav Biton, Yehuda Medizada, Mayor Moshe Abutbul , and of course to Rav Spektor, who has shown himself to be a real, responsible community leader.
    All women of the neighborhood can show their support for the efforts of the Moatza Hadatit and Rav Spektor by utilizing the left side of the Dolev mikva and not have to travel to other mikvaot outside the neighborhood.
    Both the Chareidi and Dati Leumi communities will continue living and growing side by side in Ramat Bet Shemesh A for a long while and can learn from this issue how to get along and allow the “other” community to live according to its needs and hashkafa

  24. Anonymous: "RBS 2010 - DL extremists cut eruv lines (these am haaratzim even cut their own rabbanut eruv)"

    According to Rav Spector the rabbanut eruv has NOT been cut.

    Anonymous:"put around vile pashkeviilim about rabbanim from the community."

    You don't seem to have seen Rafi's correction. They were addressed TO rabbonim, but were not ABOUT rabbonim.

    Anonymous - you are either badly informed, can't read, or are lying (again).

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Rafi-

    I would like to say something on behalf of the people who suffer from these pissing wars of men.

    You said that the DL 'deserve to lose the fight for the mikva No - we don't -

    Even if some very frustrated and angry individuals did something beneath the community, this does not mean that the women of the community who are only trying to fulfill their mitzva should lose their right to so outside of overly stringent and invasive chumrot!

    This whole situation is disgusting and my one regret about Aliya. I am now hearing that the stores in the Mirkaz are being threatened with boycott and worse if they allow women dressed like myself i.e. without loose baggy concealing, clothing shop there.

    WHAT the hell do these men do all day? Sit around and think of ways to make life miserable for Jewish women. I am telling you they will suffer in Gehennim. This is not Lshaim Shamayim this is Lshaim their Licentiousness that they are trying to cover up for.

    There is only one group in this country that:

    tries to take over Mikvas
    beats up young girls
    oppresses their women
    posts posters calling for the boycott of a dual curriculum yeshiva high school for boys
    Forces stores with threat of violence/boycott to discriminate against clientelle for their dress
    Move molesters from one school to another
    Discriminate against Sephardic Jews in 'religious' schoools

    and more.

    It is so far removed from Judaism and much closer to Taliban.

    Not at all what Hashem intended and in the end, it is the women and children who suffer from the inability to balance and respect.

  27. "Tell me - when you look at wires on an eruv, do you know which eruv it belongs to?"

    In many places the eruvs are in different places, and the locations are publicly known.

  28. Shoshana,

    I totally respect and agree with everything you said. Furthermore, the longer I live here in RBS A, the more I become disgusted and enraged at the chareidi community and the more I understand my father's decision to leave Israel and the crazy "Taliban' like mentality that tries to control every aspect of your life.

  29. I see nothing wrong with the updated version of the flyer and everything wrong with cutting an eruv line.

    Vandalism crosses the line into bringing us down to their, very low, level. Clever flyers which get under their skin, do not.

    I personally have advocated flyers much "worse".

    Frankly, my goal, and not everyone shares this, is to drive the terrorists out. We are not going to modify their behavior, thus they need to live in isolation some place, preferrably far, far away from civilization. Thus, I think any means, that fall within the law and halacha, toward that end are necessary.

  30. Menachem - who do you mean when you say your goal is to drive the terrorists out? Until now those terrorists have been the thugs in RBS B (not everyone in RBS B, just the kannoim).
    In the mikva situation the fight is with the regular haredi rabbonim who feel that their kehilla is a large enough presense in the neighborhood that makes them deserve the right to run the mikva. That makes them terrorists?
    Please explain? Is everybody you dont agree with a "terrorist"?

  31. In response to the new revelations about "Pashkevilim" and wire-cutting, I must say:

    First and foremost, I call upon leaders of all communities to issue clear condemnation of such desecration of the public domain and such disgraceful vandalism; and I call upon them to continually condemn these things in a clear manner every time incidents like these occur. In the Chareidi community the shining example of doing the right thing is this regard is Rav Yakov Horowitz, of Monsey, NY (and of Agudat Yisrael's YES Project), , and his article "They Do Not Represent Us", which is found on the internet at:
    is a masterpiece in this regard.

    Well, at least now I have heard some of the details of the "Pashkevilim" which were spread in our neighborhood against the extremists.

    Despite the fact that the wording is not as bad as was originally reported, the whole business is simply vile; I condemn the use of such desecration of the public domain, even if it was done by "my side".

    I also want to emphasize a VERY important point: Each of us should condemn such violations of basic decency without making excuses for the perpetrators, and without claiming that "they really aren't from my group, they just pretend to be from my group (dress like us, or the like)", just as Rav Yakov Horowitz has done several times. If a person is claiming (or "pretending") to be from a certain group, then that group above all others has a great responsibility to denounce him to show that it does not want to be associated with his actions!

    As I wrote in a long composition which I hope will be posted today:
    "Pashkevilim" of all types should be written without the poisonous language that has infested most "Pashkevilim" for decades. Even though I never saw the "Pashkevilim" which were publicized against some Chareidim, I was told by a Dati-Leumi Rav that the language quoted in the name of those "Pashkevilim" was disgraceful; so I certainly condemn the use of "Pashkevilim" in this manner, even though they seem clearly to have been used for the benefit of "my side".

    Cutting the wires of somebody's Eruv is simple vandalism. I had heard rumors that someone had threatened to cut Chareidi Eruv wires; but since nothing more was publicized about that, I thought that it had been just an empty threat. Unfortunately, I was too optimistic.

    Vandalism "in Hashem's name" is just vandalism (and even worse because it causes a Chillul Hashem), and is so totally disgusting that no one should tolerate it. Painting up someone else's wall with your "extremely important spiritual message" is a perverted way of "being spiritual"; and if someone has such an "extremely important spiritual message" they should invest in printing up beautiful flyers to distribute or collect contributions to do so!

    Unfortunately there has been so much vandalism "in Hashem's name" in Bet Shemesh that people are starting to take it for granted. Breaking someone's windows (or threatening to do so if he doesn't put up a "modesty sign") and the other types of vandalism and intimidation that have been used by hooligans in Bet Shemesh is a tremendous Chillul Hashem, and must be condemned by EVERYONE!

    I repeat my call to ALL leaders, especially in our neighborhood, to condemn these, and all other acts of Chillul Hashem which disguise themselves as "righteous deeds"!

    Catriel Lev
    Mobile Phone: 050-205-7867
    Home Phone: 02-991-4332

  32. I mean the "people" you're talking about. Not these rabbis or their flocks. However, it is often difficult to separate out the specific issues from the "perps". Even many in the "Kirya" have become radicalized since the fanatics started moving into Bet. It has had a deleterious effect on all of Beit Shemesh. In essence every one of these battles is part of the larger war against the fanatacism that is being stoked by the people that shouldn't be here. I've spoken to people who were here long before A or B even existed. There was peaceful, even cooperative coexistence.

  33. Menachem - I agree with you, and obviously a large part of my blog is dedicated to trying to get that atmosphere to prevail again.

    But you cannot deny that they have a right to their opinion and side of the argument. They feel they have a large community and have religious services that need to be provided a certain way that others cannot. They had a signed agreement granting them authority that would have made them happy, and that was then attacked suddenly as it was about to be implemented and revoked.

    So we can all argue and say it was right, it was wrong, its illegal, it is done all over the country including in Bet Shemesh, they are liars or they are liars, this was done or that was not done, and that is fine to argue about the details. But you cannot deny them their right to a reasonable argument. They feel they were shafted. They had an agreement that was being canceled, yet the need is still there.

    The real shame in this is that the fights are caused by the leaders. The people, most people, dont even know about most of this stuff going on. Most people have friends in both, in all communities with people of all stripes, and between the average resident, harmony generally reigns and things are quiet and happy. The problem is that the leaders cant seem to get along and they stoke the flames.

  34. one more point I forgot ti=o include, and the fact that they have needs and opinions does not mean there have to be fights. Problems can be solved, agreements can be made, and all this can be resolved peacefully. For that to happen, each side has to trust the other to be doing what is needed and right and not looking to "take over". As soon as one side or the other starts to suspect the other of dishonesty and bad intentions, the fights begin. But the mere existence of a differing opinion does not mean there must be fights.

  35. I mostly agree. And if were just about providing services I don't think there'd be such problems. Reasonable people can make reasonable compromises.

    However, most of the problems arise because many their "needs" are exclusive to ours. They "need" us to dress a certain way. We desire a performing arts center, they "need" for there not to be one. We desire a mall or a bowling alley. They "need" for these things not to exist. And the more they see greater Beit Shemesh as their turf the conflict there'll be between their negative "needs" the greater community's desires.

    What's truly scary to me, is that what's playing out here is just a leading indicator for what will be happening on a national level.

    That's another reason why it's important for people to see that we can stand up to them, in ways that are not illegal but sometimes, out of necessity, are "creative".

  36. Rafi

    Exactly what 'need' of theirs was taken away?


  37. Conscious - they feel, right or wrong, that they have to provide a mikva that adheres to standards that are different than the standards provided by the Rabbanut. They can want that. They worked it out with an agreement, and that agreement was suddenly canceled right before implementation.
    The details and the rightfulness or wrongfulness can be argued, but at least recognize that they feel they have a need, and sometimes it doesnt hurt to try to accommodate those needs peacefully

  38. Ah- you speak of the completely illegal agreement- got it. Here's the thing. If these men want to force their wives to adhere to these chumrot- 'they' can make their own mikva for the small number of women who must be accomodated. 'They' cannot bully, force or coerce anyone who does not 'hold that way' to 'give up' what is theirs by right and by law.

    Bottom line, they do not behave as menchen. And in my home when you don't behave respectfully and get along with your brothers and sisters, you get nothing.

  39. conscious - very open minded of you to tell people that what they think they need they really dont. I am not saying you have to give in every time someone else wants something, whether it is a need or a preference or whatever. I am saying that different people in the city have different needs and sometimes they can be worked out easily without turning things into a fight.

    To quote Ben Gurion, Illegal, shmilegal. The rabbanut does it all over the country whenever they deem it to be appropriate. You want to take it to court, go ahead. I dont know if you will win or not. But if you do, beware of the consequences. Predict the hiring of haredi rabbonim under the auspices of the rabbanut, as also happens all over the country.

    But that is besides the point. i am just saying not everything needs to be turned into a fight.

  40. Rafi

    conscious - very open minded of you to tell people that what they think they need they really dont. I am not saying you have to give in every time

    Dont know what you're talking about up there. I also don't believe that 'we' turned it into a fight. And I do believe that if there is anyone willing to talk it is 'us'. Rafi- I respect you wanting to be a nice guy. But sometimes you need to call a spade a spade and realize what you are dealing with.

    I respect anyone who respects everyone.

    Shabbat Shalom

  41. Rav Soloveichik Speaks Out Against the Pashkevil:


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