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Dec 30, 2013

will the extremists break ideology and vote in the coming Bet Shemesh elections?

There has been some talk,  since the court decision to hold new elections in Bet Shemesh, about what the extremist community will do in the upcoming elections.  Will they go against their ideology and vote,  as a one-time event,  out of necessity to influence the election in favor of the haredim, or will they keep to their ideology and refuse to vote,  even at risk of 'losing' the city?

I've heard arguments both ways.

Personally I have no interest in putting forth a guess on the matter.

I do want to comment that the entire question,  or discussion,  is premised on a faulty assumption. It indicates either a falsehood in the ideology or a loan of understanding.

If the ideology would be put aside,  for one election only,  out of need, if would prove that their is really no ideology being the behavior.  It would show that they normally don't vote just because their vote is not important enough to make it worthwhile.  As soon as their vote suddenly becomes more necessary the ideology goes out the window? . That's not ideology-that's convenience.

I believe they really do not vote out of ideological reasons, as much as I disagree with those reasons.  I think giving that up now would be a tremendous disappointment.  And worse,  it would be a failure of their entire being and lifestyle. And I think even suggesting that they mint do so indicates a lack of understanding of who they are.

Not only that,  but they are in essence as opposed to the haredi community as to the non-haredi. The satmar rebbe just said,  regarding the coming law about drafting yeshiva students,  that the haredim are at fault for this because they think they can participate in society and benefit from it without sharing in the responsibility. He stressed that they are opposed to the haredi community that takes part in the government as they are opposed to other zionists. Their,  taking him at his word,  which may or may not be a good thing,  it's silly to assume they would find importance in helping the haredi community that they are just as much opposed to.

One more point....

In an editorial on Kikar Shabbat website,  Yerucham Estraicher lays out these arguments explaining why it is important that this time they vote. Estraicher lays out the issues well.  He touches on an issue I have avoided writing about,  and will continue to avoid,  for now.  Estraicher makes one additional argument on which I would like to comment.  In saying why it is crucial for the extremists to vote this time, he says this election requires their vote
in order to set the character or nature of the city.

Considering that these are the people,  in large part,  who have harmed the local haredi community the most,  due to their extremism, Estraicher and other haredim should not want their assistance in seeing the character of the city.  I definitely don't want them being involve in establishing the city's character.  I much prefer them as a small insignificant insular community, if at all,  than as an influential in setting the character of the cit.  And the haredim hurt most by them x should also not want their influence. Late they will regret asking for it...

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  1. But during/after the original elections the extremists (at least some of them) publicized their (new?) ideology.

    One of the people questioned by Police was reported to have replied with something like: Some Rabbis told us that it is forbidden to vote in the elections, while other Rabbis told us that we are required to vote for the Chareidi parties; so we let someone else vote for us - that way, we weren't voting ourselves (in case voting is forbidden), but our votes were used for Chareidi parties (in case we are required to vote for them).

    I guess those of the extremists who sold their Teudot Zehut for election day viewed it as similar to Mechirat Chametz or something. They felt that if they can't do the act, but they can sell their TZs to someone who can, then they can fulfill both opinions on the topic!

    This could open up an entire area of new Halachic discussion and procedures on all sorts of issues.

    So, the extremists of Bet Shemesh may actually be Halachic innovators!

    Another first for Bet Shemesh.

    1. I think that also explains the double voting. There were 4 parties that could have had a Halachic obligation to vote for them (Chas V'Shalom any other party). The only way to be humradict and get out of the shilo with Olam HaBah intact to be received by all of the of proper gedolim was to vote for each of them.

    2. Maybe this is a topic on which someone like Rabbi Ari Enkin should write a halachah sefer, explaining all of the shitot!

  2. Modern Chareidism isn't about religious belief and practice but about ethnicity. The Chareidim in Beit Shemesh who are willing to cheat, steal and lie despite those being opposed to the Torah values they supposedly cherish will do so for the same reason a rapidly xenophobic group of Italians would do anything to get an Italian mayor elected: they want "one of ours" in power and they'll do anything, including betray all their famous core beliefs in the process because "one of ours" trumps any of them.

    1. But why are they so convinced that one of their own is such a savior vs. a mayor like most of the country has, generally secular and balancing the needs of the entire city? Indeed, that was the only argument the Charedi parties could come up with this time, since otherwise they were admitting Abutbol had done such a poor job and they'd rather replace him except that would forgo the advantage you have with an incumbent.

  3. I think it'll make things more exciting if "they" vote.


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