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Jul 16, 2009

is it anti-haredism or not?

I don't know if the woman at the center of the recent headlines and the source for the latest riots in Jerusalem is innocent or guilty.

The truth is I don't even know all the details of the story -it did not interest me that much. Sick mother, sick kid, mother allegedly tries to starve kid, mother arrested. End of story, no interest to me. There are sick people everywhere, in every community, in every society. If they don't take care of themselves, if the community does not take care of them, they will harm themselves or others.

Why people have to riot in her defense is beyond me. Some people think she was only arrested because she is Haredi - they are calling it a modern day blood libel. This is despite the video footage showing what she did (though from what I understand there is room to interpret it differently), and testimony from the doctors. I am not saying the video means she is guilty - I am just saying the video means it is unlikely to be a blood libel, and unlikely to be "just because she is haredi". In the eyes of the law, they have evidence of her abusing and starving her child. Prove them wrong, get them to let the mother out on bail into medical care, whatever legal means are at their disposal, but riots?

Monday night, the night this all began, I was driving back from an engagement party in Bnei Brak. On the radio was Yisrael Eichler talking about the situation and the riots on her behalf. Eichler, who usually will defend the haredim 100% and just about always claims the secular do what they do just with pure intent to hurt the haredim, did not understand the riots. His big question was what this has to do with him - if she is sick and hurt her kid, why do we have to protest on her behalf, if on the other hand she is innocent and it is prely anti-haredism, then it is understandable. But which is it? Being that the actual story did not seem to lean obviously to saying it was anti-haredism, Eichler remained unclear in whether or not he should support the rioting.

So Eichler brought on to his show Shmuel Chaim Peppenheim. The "spokesperson" for the Eida, the guy who regularly defends haredi rioting, the guy who can easily clear things up and prove that it is all anti-haredism and there is nothing of substance to the arrest.

Peppenheim spoke, describing hos it is a false arrest, she is such a devoted mother, she would never do this, it is all anti-haredism, etc. yet he had nothing solid to say, and no explanation for her actions.

Eichler asked a few times what this has to do with us and why is rioting on her behalf ok. Even if the response of the police to arrest her was exaggerated and perhaps they should have taken her to a mental facility or somewhere she would get care and be watched, that is not a reason for rioting. Peppenheim had nothing clear to say other than his basic claims that it is all anti-haredism, and he had nothing clear in his words to explain and show that that was really so.

Peppenheim ws very unconvincing, and even Eichler was unconvinced and closed off the interview still asking his main question.

Furthermore, if she or the kid were so sick, if the doctors are making false claims, why have the great haredi medical askanim not been brought in to tell us what really happened or could have happened or should have happened? Fort even the most minor of surgeries, almost every haredi person will call the organizations of either Rav Benny Fisher, Rav Elimelech Firer or others to ask and get clarity on what should be done. We have done so on a number of occasions. Why were these haredi experts not brought in in this situation to defend the mother?

And even if the "Eida" claims are 100% correct, that she should not have been arrested but at most taken to medical care but not put in jail with murderers and dangerous people, why does that give anyone a right to riot and destroy jerusalem? Take legal means to get her out. It can't be that hard to get her out under medical care and observation, even if it means being kept away from the kids for a while.

Why must they riot over every little thing they don't like? Why must we all look bad because of them?


  1. you ask bout taking legal means. i think the bigger question is, if these people are truly concerned about the Torah, why are theybeing "over on so many isssurei dioraysa to make their point. gezel mamon, gezel zman, gezel shina, hezek, ona'a, loshon horah/motzei shem ra, sakans nefashos, etc?

  2. I have read on some sites that they claim the hospital misdiagnosed the child with cancer (I even saw which Drs supposedly did this) and gave chemo to the baby for a few months. When they chaaped what happened, they tried to cover up for themselves. Things started to make less and less sensse, so the lady started questioning things. It slipped out that it was a misdiagnosis and she started to talk about a lawyer and advice etc, and they told her to drop it, or else..... and this is the result of that - that they made up some story. She took the tube out bc she doent trust them anymore etc.

    True or not? I dont know. Doubt we will ever find out, like we didnt find out in the Vallis case. But unfortunately it would not be a complete shock if this unfortunate turn of events was true. Hospitals and Drs in the whole world are known for trying to cover up, even more so here

  3. Earn money from homeJuly 16, 2009 9:07 AM

    Rafi, why are they protesting? They could have just given to Kupat HaIr?

  4. anon - what does that have to do with rioting? sue the hospital for millions if that is the case. hundreds of millions. but rioting?

  5. Although I heard Poppenheim claim on the radio that the child had been receiving chemo for almost a year at Hadassah, the hospital denied that. Seems like it ought to be pretty easy to confirm...

  6. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

    Excuse me while I go pull my hair out.

  7. look, even when the authorities are 100% wrong and evil - like the british in India and the honkies in Alabama.

    NOTHING is accomplished by wanton violence.

    The rioting of 1968 did not get the blacks anything, it only set them back a few years.

    But the peaceful protests of smart goyim like Gandhi and MLK accomplished tons.

    It is simple but profound: When you know the truth is on your side - and you persist calmly with the truth, the truth will prevail. (not by by fire said the Lord of Hosts, rather, a Kol demomo daka) Remember what Yoda (another goy)told Luke - patience dear luke, patience. Anger only gives gibui to the dark side.

    If you do not know that the truth is on your side - then you resort to violence and other nonsense.

    Patience dear Luke, Patience.

  8. I heard Rav Eichler on the radio last night only for a few minutes, bur from what I heard he has taken a very different stand from the way you described him a few nights ago.

    I was talking about the "Zionist-Conquerors" and comparing thgem to the Romans who also conquered Jerusalem and attacked the G-d fearing Jews.

    He talked about 'war" and sacrifices that we must make for the larger battle, similar to the sacrifices that Palestinians are making for their cause.

    I normally enjoy Rav Eichlers show, even though I often disagree with him, but last night I thought that he was way off mark.

    I went with my son to Mea Sharim yesterday to buy Tfilin - not a pretty site - not sure how to explain this situation to a soon-to-be Bar Mitzva boy. I blogged about it here:

  9. Michael - I heard him right after the riots had started. maybe he truly did not yet understand and have a position. I was actually very surprised he was so objective when he usually is not.
    I guess by the time you heard him he had gone back to his usual style...

  10. You know this question doesn't really get an Eida answer:

    And even if the "Eida" claims are 100% correct....why does that give anyone a right to riot and destroy jerusalem?

    It's well known that riots are one of their well-worn techniques.

  11. "Nothing is accomplished by violence"

    Thats only true in a civilized society. In israel, thats the ONLY way to accomplish anything

  12. It amazes me that the highest profile chareidi activists take up such uninspiring, and generally self-defeating, causes:

    1. Graves (in the way of new roads).
    2. Child abusers (get them off the hook, to abuse other chareidi kids).
    3. Still-warm dead bodies (so that, if there was foul play, it goes undetected, unpunished, and can be repeated).
    4. Car Parks (so that people anyway driving on shabbos have to park in dangerous locations or cause public nuisance).

    Dati Leumi causes are far more inspiring - give me Orange any day, rather than Black.

  13. but the haredim often win their causes. the dati leumi almost always lose theirs.

  14. Rafi G. said...
    but the haredim often win their causes. the dati leumi almost always lose theirs.

    July 16, 2009 1:50 PM

    so the violence does accomplish something

    furthermore this lady was in jail for about a week before the riots started so apparently the conventional methods didn't work. what to do then???

  15. today in Bet:

    the traffic circle right past Magen Avot: burnt garbage, burnt grass inside the traffic circle, and gravel strewn everywhere (causing inconvience to the cars driving by).

    Yesterday, we were not allowed to enter Bet to pick up our sons from school. We had to walk in...

    am so glad I moved to the Rama.

  16. anon - 1. I was not aware she was already in jail for a week. As I said, I did not pay attention to the details and specifics of the case.
    2. the haredim often win, but with politics, not violence. I am referring to political power held and used by Shas and UTJ. not violence of the Eida.

  17. Rabbinic Role ModelsJuly 16, 2009 2:42 PM

    While sometimes more subtle than others Charedi tactics share a common thread:

    Smoke screen the real issue by over reacting and cry persecution.

    The riots now, the riots in yerushalyim about parking (although some form of protest in honor of Shabbat, not against the secular, is understandable).

    The most recent Jerusalem Post about molestation caused an over reaction by oir own local Charedi rabbonim.

    Rather than admitting that there is a problem, the rabbonim (all Charedi if I recall) went on a rampage against David Morris, Lema'an Achai and common sense. Using Jonathan Rosenblum as their mouthpiece they "protested" saying that it was nothing more than a war against the rabbonim.

    A subtle form of smoke screen to cover the real issue just like rioting covers up the possibility that this woman may be sick and may have harmed her child.

    If the anglo rabbonim of RBSA can react to child molestation in an in appropriate manner why are wesupsrised that the even more kitzoni factions will riot against what they perceive as an "attack" on them?

  18. Rabbinic Role Models-

    How right you are!

    Not only is the similarity in the over reaction but look at the method of blaming the "victim" as well.

    In the local molestation cases the victims and their families were made into the evil ones.

    So too with this mother...it was the hosptal (and police, welfare,etc) who made this up in order to cover their mistreating the child.

    The parallels in these incidents are scary.

  19. Why shouldn't they riot? It's their G-d - given right!
    And besides, it's worked so well in the past, why not keep doing it?

    The Hareidi establishment has officially become a bunch of Al Sharptons...

  20. I read an article where the rioters claimed the kid has cancer, but that the kid's doctor denied it. Blood-libel my foot!

  21. Rabbinic Role Models
    Here Here!

    You are absolutely right.

    There are clear parallels between how the Aida Chareidit are dealing with this case (mother suspected of abusing her child) by rallying to defend the accused perp and lashing out (calling them "Chareidi bashers") at the doctors, the police, the State, the media etc... - and our own cases in RBS where several Chareidi rabbonim have rallied to defend the alleged child abusers, by lashing out (calling them "Chareidi bashers") at the kids' parents, David Morris, Lema'an Achai, the JPost..etc..

    Fortunately, the communities in RBS (Aleph!) wouldn't obey the rabbonim if they told them to burn trash in the streets.

    That's the only difference I see.

    Don't any of these characters recognize that the real losers in these staged conflagrations are today's Victims of Abuse - and, inevitably in these communities, Tomorrow's Victims also??

  22. 'Fortunately, the communities in RBS (Aleph!) wouldn't obey the rabbonim if they told them to burn trash in the streets. '

    Are you so certain that they wouldn't listen?

    Didn't local parents keep their kids in the schools employing molesters based on their rabbonim?

    I'd much prefer if the rabbonim would care more for the children than the garbage bins.


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