Mar 25, 2010

Telling the askanim where to stick it

The City if Elad, in coordination with the haredi radio station Kol B'Rama, has arranged a big event for Pesach. They are having a concert with such stars as Medad Tasa and Udi Davidi. Residents approached the city officials and asked them to arrange something for the residents, and they did.

The askanim of the Committee of Holiness and [Mis-]Education heard and saw the advertisements and have decided the show cannot go on. To quote an askan, "We never approved this event, and we will not allow the city of Elad to proceed putting this event on."

The organizers, and those involved from Radio Kol B'Rama have responded that they never asked them, don't intend to, they have permission from their rabbonim, including Rav Ovadia Yosef, and the askanim will not tell us what we can or cannot do. (source: Kikar)

How disgusting of them is that to stick their noses in and say we never approved of this and we won't let it happen! They feel like they are the final word in the haredi community - nobody can blow their nose or wipe their tushie without permission from this or that committee of holiness. Finally some are hitting back and telling the askanim where they can stick it. I hope this response becomes more common.


  1. Rafi,

    the tone in your post indicates a bit more angry than usual. You are normally more composed, even in your criticism.

    Finally getting fed up, it's about time.

  2. I wrote this post at 2 AM after an extremely long and exhausting day....

  3. I'm putting it at 50-50 whether the event happens.
    It's one thing to verbally stand up to askanim but when they show up in numbers and start throwing bricks and metal pipes at concert goers, things might change quickly.

  4. Wow, Rafi. I'm impressed.

    It's a tired analogy, but unfortunately, it's becoming truer everyday. They really are the Jewish Taliban.

  5. It's one thing to verbally stand up to askanim but when they show up in numbers and start throwing bricks and metal pipes at concert goers, things might change quickly.

    Ah yes the teenagers who are going off the derech but can socially disguise themselves as henchmen of askanim....

    But how will the teenagers attending the concert respond?

    I think someone wise at the top will stop it because if it does get ugly, all the well-behaved attendees will be more inclined to avoid the life of leisure the askanim are advocating.

  6. I did this specially for you...

  7. Pesky, that's very funny.

    Rafi, this is the very thing I've never understood about our Gedolim today. Why do they allow themselves to be pushed around by these goons? Why are they forced to put their names to various pashkevilim, cheiremim, etc? If they are really Gedolim, why don't they have the strength to stand up and speak out against them? And if they aren't able to, then maybe they are not leaders.

  8. wanna - let me tell you a story. I just heard it a couple of days ago. There was recently a pashkevil about weekly papers being prohibited. a bunch of "national level" rabbis were signed on it, and then a bunch of "local level" rabbis were signed on it.

    This guy tells me that he saw one of the local rabbis the other day. When he saw him he asked the rabbi if he really signed such a declaration and why. The rabbi responded with a shrug and said I dont have time for that kind of stuff, and then he continued on his way.

    I said to my friend, if he doesnt have time for that kind of stuff he shouldnt sign anything and shouldnt put his name on these things. not put your name on because you dont have time. Friend agreed and said he had wanted to ask something similar but the rabbi didnt want to talk about it and had moved on.

  9. And that, my friend, is why so many people have lost their esteem for our Gedolim today. I have more admiration for the in-the-trenches pulpit rabbis and teachers than the ivory-tower, superhero rabbis.

  10. Reminds me of a different story I heard about a Rav who signed a tzedakah letter for a collector - he said that the guy was such a nuisance to him it was the only way to get him out of the office and get on with matters of significance.

    The difference here is that the askanim supposedly have ongoing relationships with the Rabbanim, so you would think that should be dependent upon behaving properly.

    (At which point Eisav comes to mind.)

    Too bad the living askanim don't merit to get messages from their predecessors via dreams.


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