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Mar 18, 2009

Rabbi Horowitz stands up against the violence

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz hits another home run in his latest article. Rabbi Horowitz, writing in response to the recent conviction of Elchonon Buzaglo to four years in prison, goes further than ever before.

Buzaglo, in case the name means nothing to you, was the guy working for the Mishmeret Tzniyus who attacked a woman in Maalot Dafna because he considered her behavior inappropriate.

Rabbi Horowitz writes,"

The time has come for us to speak out, telling our children and students in unequivocal terms, “These people are criminals and sinners – and do not represent us!” Our publications should begin reporting these incidents in the news sections of our papers, condemn them in our editorials, and call upon the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.

We should stop using politically correct terms like “misguided youths” to describe cowards who beat women for sitting in the “wrong” sections of buses and physically assault peaceful citizens who do not dress according to their standards – observant or otherwise. “Misguided youth” implies that they engaged in a prank, like a water fight, or that they went overboard in pursuit on a noble goal. There is nothing noble about these acts – or the terrorist mentality that glorifies them.

The violent members of these self-appointed modesty patrols are, in fact, a modern-day version of the Sadducee sect (Tzedokim) – having long ago veered off the path of our Torah and formed their own cult. They kneel to the idol of intolerance and bring the blood and bruised bodies of their victims on the altar of hatred. They only lack the intellectual honestly to declare themselves a new, non-religious movement divorced of any rabbinic teaching and tradition.

But violence corrupts not only the souls of the perpetrators, but also those of the silent majority of decent people who sit by silently and allow it to take place. And in this era of the 24-hour news cycle and worldwide digital communication, like it or not, admit it or not, these thugs have replaced our venerable sages as ambassadors of our charedi community to the world at large (a Google search of the words charedi and violence generates 26,200 hits) To our great shame, we have allowed these evil people to represent us before the world media instead of our noble sages from whom we receive inspiration and guidance. The Chafetz Chaim and Rabbi Aryeh Levine of blessed memory have been replaced by Yasir Arafat and Hassan Nasrallah. Burning garbage cans and hurled stones have supplanted Torah learning and acts of kindness.

We must clearly and unequivocally condemn the violence each time it happens in the strongest language. Halachic (Judaic law) rulings ought to be issued, that those who commit violence against innocent people are rodfim (individuals who present a real and present danger to others) and one is obligated by our Torah to defend the victim and report the criminals to the police.

The full article has been posted and published by the Jerusalem Post, along with Rabbi Horowitz on his own site.

Rabbi Horowitz has gone a step further. He has decided to make his article into a quasi petition against such behavior. Please post your real name, city where you live and your email addresses on the thread on his website if you support what he wrote.

If enough Torah-observant individuals stand up, distance ourselves from these criminals, and demand action from our elected officials, we might affect changes which will restore honor to G-d’s name and end these acts of terror that plague us.
If we can get hundreds of people to sign this mini-petition. that would be a huge kiddush hashem, showing the frum public rejects that type of behavior.

Please forward this article to your friends and email lists if you are as fed up as we are with the animals speaking for us -- and that now we finally have an opportunity to stand up and be counted.


  1. Finally!
    Rabbi H is absolutely right.
    Unfortunately, he is preaching to the converted.
    Unless this article is translated into Hebrew and supported by ALL the gdolei ha'dor and posted up on the walls and in the newspapers around charedi neighbourhoods then nothing will change.

  2. Thanks Rafi. We need more like Rabbi Horowitz. Unfortunately, as you say, the Israelis (and non-internet users) here will not see this and will continue in their obvlivious, naieve little world.

  3. So Sad...

    that we need Yanky Horowitz to say this.

    No one will listen to him and the silence from the people whom we are told make all of our decisions for us, is deafening.

    I was in a conversation w/ some haredi neanderthal and was trying to tell him that we have no leadership today.

    He didn't agree.

    Oy, this is so sad, so sad.

    We are truly a dor Yosom.

    BTW, if anyone wants to see our 'leadership' in action - go to b'Hadrei Haredim www.bhol.co.il and look at the video of the farcical 'shailos' being 'asked' of him.

    I am not cholila saying anythign bad about R' Elyoshiv or any other Talmid CHochom, for they did not put themselves in these positions. Their manipulators did. It is no offense if you will not call me a leader since I am not. It is likewise no offense to call any of our 'Gedolim' leaders either, since they are not. They are Talmidei Chachomim - a very important distinction in it's own right w/ attached halochos of Kovod etc. But they are simply NOT leaders in any sense of the word.

    Haredi Jewry really has no leaders today. It is a very difficult era.

  4. Can you give a summary of that video on b'Hadrei Haredim, i couldn't understand what they were saying


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