Apr 18, 2010

Neturei Karta against Yom Ha'Atzmaut

The following is an email I received, and is being reprinted here with permission:
Walking on the "bridge" from Sheinfeld to Ramah B, I read the latest "pashkavilim" put out by Jewish brethren (?). The extent of hatred and spite they express is staggering.
Calling their communities to protest our Yom Ha'atzmaut, they refer to our State in terms I cannot even repeat. Let's just say that "tum'ah", "avodah zara" were mentioned. They plan to convene on Monday/Tuesday, wearing "sack va'efer" etc.
I try to respect freedom of expression and everyone's right to them, but sometimes it gets mighty tough...
May we all be capable of seeing the miracles God has done for us and never take them for granted.
An advanced Chag Sameach to all,
Rachely Schloss
Personally, my feeling is, Rachely Schloss is 100% right. However I have come to the realization over time that there really is no point in talking about them, except in the most extreme situations - that is why i stopped posting about the Neturei Karta's crazy antics except when I think they have gone overboard, such as cursing out the Bostoner Rebbe who had just died and other such similar situations, but not for their standard fare issues.

The Neturei Karta is so "last generation". Nobody cares about them, and all they are good for is a good anti-haredi headline once in a while. they have no influence, at least not in their general stuff (some of their people have influence in other issues,like the Asra Kadisha, but not the general NK). Their numbers dwindle, and even the other elements that used to be close to the NK have distanced themselves from them recently.

The Eidah this year, when planning their protests (led by some NK people such as Rav Shmidle who heads the Asra Kadisha) against the decision to move the Barzilai bones in Ashkelon, decided to not hold hafganot on Yom HaZikaron so as not to harm the people in mourning over their relatives who fell in battle.

The Neturei Karta will continue doing their stupid things, and no matter what we say about it, they will continue and they will also continue to become more and more isolated in their craziness. I think it is pretty safe to say we can try to ignore them as best we can and try to not let them hamper our day.

20 comments:

  1. On a national level you are correct. However, on a local R Rosenberger of RBS B can be classifies as NK, and many would classify R Kofshitz as that as well (The Eidah is afraid to make him a Dayan due to his being an extreme-anti-Zionist), and he has influence over all of Chareidi Bet Shemesh.

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  2. Thanks very much, Rafi, for posting my message.
    I guess and hope you're right about the insignificant size of this faction. I just wish the larger part of their (I-won't-try-to-define-it) group would renounce this kind of attitude. Here's hoping you're right and they are very marginal and non-influential. And may we all finally internalize the wonder of it all - "be-shuv Hashem et shivat zion ha'yinu ke-cholmim."

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  3. As one of my rabbis once told me...Satmar and Neturei Karta are arguably more valid than the mainstream yeshiva world. Satmar and Neturei Karta - like zionists - recognize that some happened. The establishment of the state of Israel is a significant historical reality for Jews. Zionists view it as a great event and Satmar and Neturei Karta view it as a "treif lolly pop" - it may look good, but it is assur. The yeshiva world on the other hand generally employs the halachic concept of "shev v'al ta'aseh", which essentially is ignoring it. This may be total kefira - denying the state of Israel is of historic importance to Jews. you can say it's good or bad - but you cannot ignore it.

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  4. Rafi,

    In all due respect I think that you and many others out don't realize the real problem.

    We all know that the NK (and even the Eida) are extreme. It is the more "moderate", however, who pose the real danger.

    There is presently a crisis revolving around the Dolev mikve. This situation is caused by the "moderate" Charedi rabbonim wishing to hold the power and influence over all of the RBSA mikvaos. Not NK, not the Eida but rabbonim of local, anglo shuls.

    Two years ago you reported here on your blog about a Melave Malka for a new Kupa in the Kirya/RBSB. This is the Kupa of the kitzonim. Who was the guest speaker?

    Rabbi Shmuel Eidensohn of KUpa of RBSA and I quote:

    "Rav Eidensohn, who heads the kupa of RBSA, spoke last Motzei Shabbos at the inaugural dinner of the hooligan kupa. (not last night's kupa shel Tzdaka dinner - this happened the week before) This gives them great legitimacy because he heads the Kupa of RBS A which does great work and already is a large organization with a great reputation.

    When asked why he was going to be speaking there (someone present at the conversation told me) considering it gives legitimacy to the hooligans and they will use it to control their neighborhood even though they are a minority within it, he responded that he has to give them legitimacy because otherwise RBS will become too modern."

    This statement is from someone supposedly dedicated to chesed and tzedaka in our community who receives hundreds of thousands of tzedaka dollars from all types of people.

    If these are the moderate charedim speaking...what future do we have to look for here in RBSA?

    No, the NK and the Eida don't frighten me. It's the wolves in sheep clothing that I'm concerned about.

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  5. Very interesting, Slingshot. It's connected to the idea that the distinct groups you mentioned are known (I don't even know if it's historically or currently true) for being at least "straight" about their attitude to the medinah, i.e., not using state infrastructure, systems etc.. but consistent with their hashkafah - avoiding anything to do with it.
    As for the mainstream "shev v'al ta'aseh" you cite - man, does that take hutzpah. Have someone else protect you and your families, fight your wars, build all the systems and administrative bodies that smooth your life... I'll stop this negativeness here. Sorry.

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  6. the categorization of Shev V'Al Taaseh is not really accurate. The Haredim participate almost fully in State matters, with Haredi parties, as the best example. That is anythign but Shev V'Al Taaseh.

    The thing is, historically, they always looked at it as if they were participating in a Polish government or the US government or whatever. it is irrelevant, to them, that the State is run by secular Jews - we participate because we need to take care of our interests. It does not matter who is the government - it could be Polish, it could be Russian, Lithuanian or Israelis.

    So it is not Shev V'Al Taaseh, but it is not full participation. Or, not yet, at least. They do seem to be taking more and more active roles and participate more, as time goes on. Maybe one day they will participate fully.

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  7. what is really going on with the mikvaos?

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  8. See an article about the mikvas "Land-Grab at the Mikvas" on Tzedek-Tzedek:
    http://tzedek-tzedek.blogspot.com/2010/04/land-grab-at-mikvah.html

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  9. I have not written about it because all I know is what was sent to the neighborhood email list. The little I have found out since, when asking around, has not told me anything beyond what was in the emails, and I have no comment as to what seems right or wrong based on the little info I know.

    If I should find out more, I will write about it.

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  10. Rafi - I don't think you or your readers understood me regarding the philosophy of shev v'al ta'aseh. I was not referring to their level of involvement in society. I was referring to how a halachik Jew should view the state of Israel. And the mainstream yeshiva approach - which the majority of your readership subscribes to - is to ignore the miracle of the state of Israel. Don't talk about the day. Don't show pride with a flag and don't show disdain with a back flag. Just ignore. When the sirens goes and you are in your house, don't stand. Only if you are outside - show respect and stand. In schools, do not mention it. If a student asks about it...change the subject. It is too sensitive. And this attitude may very well be kefira.

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  11. slingshot - I didnt pick that up before, but I agree 100% with the sentiment. In fact I wrote about that exact point in last years Yom HaAtzmaut post, and I even got it published in the Jerusalem Post....

    But I see now, at least from the Jerusalem Post article quoted in the next post, that the problem of the day being ignored is really a problem of the leaders - rabbonim and community leaders. the people are trending towards celebrating the day, somehow, each in his own way, and no tignoring it. Eventually, I think, if the trend continues, the rabbonim will eventually have to deal with it as well.

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  12. re mikvas - In the past the RBS Charedi community had a "mehadrin" representative only on Shabbos, and those who wanted "mehadrin" trained mikvah ladies went elsewhere during the week.

    Once the Dolev mikvah was opened, the Charedim in RBS A requested that they have some "mehadrin" staffing on a regular basis. Some call this illegal, not to have everything for a Rabbanut/city mikvah go through the Rabbanut. Others call this reasonable accommodation.

    I don't know the status of Lachish though it's possible this dual-staff arrangement was set up there also. Lachish is closed indefinitely for repairs.

    The talk of Sefardi women restricted to the later Ashkenazi time for tevila Friday night was one case on the mehadrin side. The Charedi Rabbanim have notified the newer mehadrin staff to allow it in the future.

    The big hoopla is a rumor that Charedi political operators are trying to acquire one or both RBS A mikvaos to 100% mehadrin oversight. I wouldn't discount the rumor, and I would encourage anyone concerned to make an advance protest.

    Us tolerant Americans usually wind up like the frog warming in the pot - we're patient, think it won't last, won't get worse, and then we're unpleasantly stuck.

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  13. Chesed of the MedinaApril 19, 2010 8:40 AM

    While in America I lived across the street from a man who was a mashgiach in a yeshiva.

    The first erev Shavuos after my aliyah i phoned him to say hello and "Good Yom Tov". He asked me if I had flown an Israeli flag on "that day".

    I answered that yes, I had flown an Israeli flag on Yom Ha'atzmaut.

    He replied that he was "surprised and disappointed" in me.

    I told him that I learned to this from a great man...him.

    I reminded him that each 4th of July he flew an American flag outside of his house. Not stamm a flag but a flag of Brisker/Chazon Ish shiur.

    He would proudly tell me that when you live in a Medina shel Chesed like America that allows you prectice your religion unhindered one must show hakaras hatov by flying the flag.

    I then told him that based on that philosophy how could I not fly an Israeli flag.

    Not only am I allowed live as a Jew...I am encouraged.

    No where else in the wrold are Jews allowed to live as freely as Jews than here. And not only that but even those Jews here like him who don't recognize the chesed are still treated with respect, excused from the army, provided for by the government and given all freedoms imaginable.

    So, I told him, you taught me well. Thanks for the lesson.

    For the first time I could remember he was speechless. After a minute or so of awkward silence he mumbled Good Yom Tov and wished me well.

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  14. you tell 'em!

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  15. re this post:

    I don't see what the big deal is. They have their views and you have yours. If they feel the state is AZ, so be it, everyone's entitled to their opinion. You can march and declare the state is great, they should be able to march and say the opposite.

    I try to respect freedom of expression and everyone's right to them, but sometimes it gets mighty tough

    When? When you are convinced you are right and they are wrong?

    Listen, I also don't agree with them, but I don't begrudge them the right to their own views.

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  16. Chag Sameach to all!

    Chesed of the Medina - Yishar kochachah. Thanks for the deep, beautiful story.

    Hamasig - Of course, everyone's entitled to their worldviews,opinions, feelings - in their heart and head. I'd be the last one to deny that. One's inner world is theirs and it is sacred.
    As for expressing views externally - there have to be limits. I don't even want to go to the most extreme example, of dark ideologies from the '30s. But if the argument you fight for - in this case anti-Zionist belief - undermines the very organizational framework you exist in (the state), then I don't think you're permitted to express it and to call others to join you (in addition to wearing sackcloth as in the pashkavil I quoted). Let these people who feel this way set up their own state, colony or whatever in Sinai, Jordan or other debatable parts of Eretz Yisrael - if yishuv ha'aretz is important to them, leshitatam, or anywhere else in the world and run it exactly the way they want to, but I don't think they should be allowed to express these sentiments in the heart of RBS.

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  17. Of course, everyone's entitled to their worldviews,opinions, feelings - in their heart and head

    No. Only in your repressive regime. For the rest of the free world, that means freedom of speech.

    Let these people who feel this way set up their own state, colony or whatever in Sinai, Jordan or other debatable parts of Eretz Yisrael

    Why should they? They've been here as long as anyone else, and have just as much right to live here. The state was forced upon them. If you don't like their views, why don't you move to Jordan!

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  18. My comment just got technically swallowed up (maybe to Hamasig's content :)). I'll try to reconstruct and hope it gets through.

    1)You're entitled to think of me, personally, as repressive, based on my views. But the "regime" (is it Israel, dati-leumi thinking or who/what?) does not deserve that. Israel bends over backward to allow all people almost total freedom of speech (e.g., the Israeli "new historians" who hold chairs in Israeli university, while blackening the name of Israel in every possible way and in every forum).

    2) I won't move to Jordan because I believe in the state and what it stands for. Maybe those who don't should relocate to somewhere where they'd feel in greater harmony with their surroundings.

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  19. I refer specifically to you. You, unlike the state of Israel and other free countries, would deny people the right to publicly voice their dissension. If you support the ideals of the state, you get to stay. If not, find another country. But don't imagine that you have a claim to live here and disagree.

    Disgusting.

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  20. Hamasig - as I seem to cause you anguish, you need not converse with me anymore.

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