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Apr 12, 2010

memorials are avoda zara

Last week a couple of bummy Neturei Karta-niks vandalized the memorial of a terrorist attack against the number 18 bus line in Jerusalem that took many victims.

They were arrested, and of course a group of askanim worked to get them out of jail (in the end they were released under house arrest, but the attempts to get them freed still give these "kids" the impression that they are right in their actions), ensuring that they would do more crazy things in the future because they never have to actually pay for their behavior and take responsibility.

If that wasn't bad enough, while they refuse to say anything, their mother justified what they did and said that there is no value to the memorial, in fact it is akin to avodah zara, therefore they had to destroy it. She said they didnt do anything so bad.... "It hurts their feelings? that's the problem?... these things are against the Torah!"

She went on to also explain why it is ok to rip down people's flags from cars and buildings on Yom HaAtzmaut. She said "If it is the symbol of the State, why not? These things symbolize avodah zara...." (source: mynet and kikar)

I don't know why a memorial is against the Torah - where in the Torah does it say it is avodah zara to make a memorial? Just the opposite - we find in Tanakh many times the neviim and leaders established memorials for events, either tragic or historic.

Even if not, and it is just something people do, these monsters must be so separated from humanity to be able to destroy a memorial like that, that gives comfort to the relatives of the victims.



  1. religion trumps kindness. I can't count how many times I've heard and seen orthodox jews make decisions saying that the rules of the torah were more important than the feelings of those they were hurting.

    Even in Yeshiva growing up, Rabbis often made the point that you are being good to others by following the law strictly, those people are just on too low a level to understand your good actions.

    Religion trumps kindness and its not just for the neurei karta.

  2. if the mother is rotten, there's not much to fix in the kids....

  3. Memorials can only become avoda zarah if people are mesit others to come and pray there in an improper manner. This memorial clearly doesn't qualify under that description. However, certain kvarim of Rebbes DO come pretty close to that definition!


  4. While I can't address the issue of the memorial, I have seen a fuller explanation of the attitude toward Israeli flags, etc. around Yom HaAtzma'ut. Per the Eida Hashkafa, the establishment an existance of the State of Israel is a Merida (rebellion) against the authority of G-d, and the flag and other symbols of the state are therefore symbols of such rebellion. Accordingly, they believe that the same way that there is a chiyuv to destroy any other form of "avoda zara" or Merida, there is a chiyuv to destroy the symbols of the state - particularly when installed in what they view as "their" turf. The issue of the flag beign property of someone else does not enter into the equation, since the chiyuv to destroy Avoda Zara applies even if the Avoda Zara object belongs to someone else.

  5. Pick and ChooseApril 13, 2010 8:36 AM


    They shouldn't be walking on the streets of avoda zara or benefitting in any other manner.

    I know that they refuse to take kitzvat yeladim (many of them)or to vote but like or not they benefit plenty from the "avoda zara" of the state.

    And why don't they have a problem in asking for my "avoda zara" money every week in shul and at my front door?

  6. Way to Nothing, there are many cases in halacha where feelings do play a role. Your blanket statement is not correct across the board.

    Anon, if your posek tells you one thing, and my posek tells me another, that's fine. But you can't force me to follow yours!

    They want to hold a certain way for themselves, that's fine. You can give me the best explanation you want, but most poskim do not say a memorial or the Israeli flag are Avoda Zara and therefore they have no right to destroy other people's property.

    I'll go one step further. Even if all poskim said they were Avoda Zara, they still have no right to destroy other people's property. Enforcing halacha was the power of Beis Din, not individuals. We do not have such a Beis Din nowadays.

    They want to form a peaceful protest? Fine. Not do business with them 3 days before Yom HaAtzmaut? Fine. But they do not have the right to destroy other people's property.

  7. To Pick and Choose and Wanna Saab -

    I do not agree with the Eda's position at all, and agree with most of what you say. I'm merely quoting an Eda follower with whom I discussed the issue.


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