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Jan 9, 2012

Does The Eidah Support The Violence Or Not?

As mentioned, AMI magazine ran a story about the Eida and Toldos Aharon not approving of the recent demonstrations in which holocaust imagery was used.

A friend of mine wrote to them about that issue, proving to AMI that the EIDAH really did support the rally. He made the correspondence available to me, after AMI agreed that it could be shared on the Internet.

As suggested in my post yesterday, and clear from the correspondence below, there is a clear difference between what they are saying to the general press, specifically in English, and what they are encouraging and saying in their own neighborhood.

(for ease of clarity as to who is writing what, I will use alternating colors for the text of the correspondence)

Reb Yitzchok,

I just picked up a copy of this weeks Ami and was shocked to see the cover article, with the title: "The Eidah and Toldos Aharon Speak Out: 'We Are Under Siege by Extremists", implying that the Edah Hachareidis has nothing to do with supporting violence.

Your one page article -- followed by a three-page article by Nesanel Gantz written largely in the same vein -- claims that demonstration last Motzei Shabbos was "boycotted by the Badatz and the Eidah, and no recognized Torah leader took part in them." Your sources are "Edah leaders."

This is absolutely false. The demonstration was planned, funded and run by the Eidah Hachareidis. Rabbonim from the Eidah Hachareidis spoke at the rally.

I am attaching three files:

1. The front page and fourth page from the most recent "Haeidah," the official newspaper of the Eidah Hachareidis, containing articles relating to Weissfish.

2. A picture -- which I took -- of a sign put up listing the speakers. Among the speakers are Shimon Yitzchok Shlesinger and Yechezkel Cohen, two official morei horaa from the Eidah Hachareidis.

3. Weissfish's appeal to the Supreme Court. It states clearly that he admitted to doing what he did (at trial he denied the allegations, however, there was irrefutable evidence, including video tapes and frum eyewitnesses; on appeal, he realized that denying incontrovertible evidence was not a good idea).

Read the Eidah Magazine and you will see clearly that, despite Weissfish's admission in court to his violent activities, the Eidah Chareidis actively supports Weissfish and was directly involved in planning the protest. As I mentioned above, members of the Eidah were present and spoke at the rally.

On page 4 of "Haeidah" you can see unambiguous support for the violent activity surrounding the Space protest.

I demand that you issue a correction in the next issue of Ami, in light of the above documents.


Thanks for your email. There is clearly a split, between the Rabbinic and lay leadership of the Edah which is moderate and between a group of powerful zealots who control their paper and exert influence on young activists. The latter have taken matters into their own hands, and the Bedatz has boycotted their activities. This may result in a formal split similar to the one between the Edah and Neturei Karta, or the subsequent split in the Neturei Karta itself.

As stated in the article, we spoke to some of the most important and respected leaders of the Edah establishment.

Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 7:33 AM
To: Editor In Chief

Let ne respond to your points one by one.

The split is not between the "Rabbinic and lay leadership" and "a group of powerful zealots".

Rabbi J. T. Weiss himself supports the violence and the zealots. Rabbi Weiss personally met with Weissfish the night before he went to jail and essentially the whole way through.

Furthermore, the speakers at the yellow-star, pro-Weissfish protest rally included Rabbinic figures of the Edah: Shimon Yitzchok Schlesinger, Yechezkel Cohen, and others. There are photographs of the protest with the Rabbis who attended.

I am a good friend of Aryeh Fredman. He is a charedi attorney who lives in Ashdod. His brother is the owner of Space. I have received updates about the Weissfish case throughout its journey through the courts.

Additionally, I am close to a large number of askanim in the world of the Eidah Hachareidis.

I can tell you that the root of the problem is the Rabbinical support for the violence.

At the very least, I would expect that the Rabbi's affiliated with the Eidah Hacharedis would have some say over the content of a newspaper that officially bears their stamp of approval.

Let me make things clearer -- I demand a retraction in the next issue. The retraction should state that the official organ of the Edah Hachareidis does support violence.

If such a retraction is not issued, I will not hesitate to bring this issue to the attention of the various Jewish media outlets. This will obviously not reflect well on your magazine.

From: Editor In Chief
Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Not sure what your point is.

That the Bedatz is or isn’t backing the extremists. That the Bedatz did or didn’t participate in the protests. That there is or isn’t a split. That all notes and paskvilim are the official position of the Edah establishment.

That we did or didn’t speak with leaders of the establishment.

Please clarify.

From: Editor In Chief
Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

You can of course bring anything to the media and are free to let your opinion known. Do not hesitate to contact us in the future.

Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM
To: Editor In Chief

My point is very simple. You must make the following corrections:

1. The protest was officially sponsored by the Eidah Hachareidis.

2. Rabbonim of the Eidah Hachareidis were in attendance and spoke at the rally.

3. While not all notes or pashkevillen are sponsored by the Eidah, you must mention that the official newspaper of the Eidah Hachareidis called for people to protest and supported convicted extremists.

From: Editor In Chief
Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

 Thanks for sharing. Stay in touch.

Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM
To: eic@amimagazine.org

Naturally you won't object if I publicize our communication on the internet, correct?

From: Editor In Chief
Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 1:23 PM

My name is Yossi Halpern. I'm a staff writer and personal secretary to Rabbi Frankfurter. Please mention that in your postings.


  1. This is very important, on two levels. First, it shows that significant people in the Eidah really did support the violence. Second, it shows that Ami is in denial.

  2. Ami Editor writes:That the Bedatz is or isn’t backing the extremists. That the Bedatz did or didn’t participate in the protests. That there is or isn’t a split. That all notes and paskvilim are the official position of the Edah establishment.

    Why do they suddenly go into overload mode and throw everything together as a smokescreen? Why?

  3. Of course they support the violence. The only reason for some back peddling is the concern that their mosdos will lose donations and people will boycott the hechsher.

  4. Earn money from homeJanuary 09, 2012 3:09 PM

    Why didn't the guy from AMI at least quote Ayn Rand?
    Why didn't the Eidah mention Ayn Rand at their rally?
    Why didn't all these guys (including the local Charedi rabbanim) just donate to the Vaad haRabbanim and that would have magically solved their "problem"--namely the rest of us?

  5. RBS Resident:
    AMI is not in denial; they are "spinning" a story in the way they choose to, perhaps becaue of being paid off, perhaps due to bias.

    They famously "spun" teh New Square fire story, making it seem that the Rebbe and the Squarer leaders had nothing to do with encouraging the burning down someone's house.

  6. Earn Money,

    Maybe that's b/c Rand considered it psychologically messed up to believe in God.


  7. Can it be that Ami is being paid for this? I know that post New Square others didnt want to touch the story and Ami accepted the role of spinmasters.

  8. Neshama - I dont see any comment from you. It is not stuck in the moderation folder or suspected spam. Please repost it if its not too much of a bother.

  9. http://www.bhol.co.il/Article.aspx?id=36608

  10. just remember, every time you buy something with a "hechsher" of eida hareidit, you are supporting these goons!
    boycott eida hareidit and save the country from internal destruction.

    same for voting aguda-degel, the ones who ensure that the treife medina funds their schools.

  11. Ami is an extremely 'ultra orthodox' magazine as can be seen by the weekly fantasy column by Rabbi Hertz Frankel, secretary of state of the former Satmar Rebbe.

  12. Violence, Violence, Violence

    Where is it mentioned in the the posters or in the hueidah the scary word Violence since when does protesting or wearing yellow stars called Violence???

  13. when they support someone who was convicted of violence (which he admitted to), that is supporting violemce


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