May 12, 2011

Bet Shemesh's Own Rabbi Dov Lipman To Run For Knesset

A Guest Post By Rabbi Dov Lipman

To all those concerned about the future of Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael,
My name is Dov Lipman and In recent years I have gotten involved in local politics in Bet Shemesh - specifically regarding the issue of the chareidi community coming in and taking over the city.  I have worked hard for unity and to make sure that all populations receive whatever is "magiya" to them without preference to one over another.  My constant theme is that we are all Jews without these boxes that we are all put in here in Israel.  This 2 minute clip from a recent newscast will give you a sense of who I am and what I stand for  -  
In recent months, I have become close to MK Haim Amsalem who has amazing Ahavat Yisrael and truly wants to work to improve Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael from within.  For decades our leaders and the voters have primarily focused on the Palestinian issue and, as a result, we have been decaying from the inside.  The secular have become more secular with almost no Judaism and in some cases even little Zionism in their education.  The haredim have less and less secular education and are even more cut off from the rest of the country.  All groups have become more polarized and there is little unity.  There is also an additional problem which is not being addressed - over 300,000 Russian immigrants who are halachically not Jewish but are from Jewish descent and want to convert but are not being allowed to convert.  This problem, if not solved, will lead to mass intermarriage and assimilation in the coming years - another decay from within.
MK Amsalem wants to tackle these issues and was actually thrown out of Shas for talking about his proposed solutions.  He has started his own party, called Am Shalem, which has the following goals: More Jewish and Zionist education in the public schools, enabling and empowering Haredim to study Torah while receiving higher education like in YU and Ner Israel, proactively pursuing Jewish unity (something which the first two items will help), and enabling the Russian immigrants from Jewish descent to convert according to halacha through halachic leniencies which he outlines in his 300 page sefer called Zera Yisrael.
MK Amsalem has asked me to head "Anglos for Am Shalem" with the possibility of my being placed high on his list for the Knesset based on how many people I bring in to the movement.  If I make it to the Knesset, I will not only work for the goals listed above but will also focus on youth issues like setting up a summer camp system and after school clubs for all students as well as being the only representative for Anglo olim and helping them with their needs.  I would also work for more incentives for North Americans to make aliyah.
And now I turn to you, the readers.  
Thank God, we already have close to 400 signatures and I have begun setting up a network of representatives in various cities. These representatives set up their own network in their cities to gather signatures of people who identify with the movement.   The people who sign do not have to pay anything and this is not a commitment to vote for the party.  There will be one major meeting of all the representatives in Yerushalayim and I will come to their cities for quick meetings from time to time but the time commitment is really in reaching out to people to sign up. 
I call to you, if you identify with these goals and the vision of the party, to volunteer to serve as one of the city representatives wherever you live.  You will play a vital role in saving our people and our country from decay within.  We cannot be people who sit back and simply complain about problems.  We need to take action and here is our chance.
Please e-mail me at if you would like to join the movement and sign the forms, and, even more importantly, if you can serve as a rep in your city.  If you cannot serve as a rep, please help me find others in your city who perhaps could help.   
Thank you for your time and I look forward to a flooded inbox as we launch this important effort. 
Tizku l'mitzvot, Dov Lipman



    I appreciate the ideals of both Rav Amsalam and Rav Lipman, but the Israeli public do not go for it, will not vote in small parties like this, and it will take votes from the right wing/religious block, which won't reach the threshold of 2% and will be wasted. That is what happened in 1992, when the total votes cast for the right and religious were more than the left and the secular, but Rabbi Levinger's party just missed the threshold, taking away from the Techiya to put it below the threshold. He as well as two other small right wing religious parties had the same effect, losing the right some 4-5 seats, with the result being RABIN, OSLO, etc etc. We CAN'T, WE MUSTN'T make the same mistake again. Someone must tell Rav Lipman, and Rav Amsalem. This time it will be Yerushalayim that will be given to the Arabs if the left get in. It must not happen.
    And if Rav Lipman runs for Knesset, does that mean he is giving up on the Beit Shemesh front, where he is needed more than ever. He would not win an election for mayor, but his support for a united Likud-DatiLeumi-Zionist bloc would be vital to stop the chareidization of the city.

  2. Sadly, I agree with Meir. Moshe Feiglin realised that the way to push his agenda was through Likud, thus making the "Manhigei Yehadut" faction a part of the likud party. I suspect that the only way to go here is to do something similar through the existing parties - more chareidim are voting for non Gimmel/Shas parties; and it could be that by aligning with one of them is more beneficial.

  3. Rabbi Lipman-

    Would you mind clarifying what these signatures are for? Why is there a need for signatures of those who identify with the party? Or is this a drive to sign up members for the party itself? Best of luck!


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