Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

May 28, 2018

the rights of a prisoner

I have already written about the complaint by Haredi prisoners in jail about the new enforcement of the rules that does not allow them to wear their hats and jackets when they go to the shul for davening.

To be more clear perhaps, I do not care if the prison services allows them to wear their hats and jackets or disallows them to do so. My only comments are on the style of the complaints about not being allowed to. If the prison services decides it is not a problem and they can wear it, good by me, and if the prison services decides it is a problem, also good by me.

Some further developments in the story made me clarify the above. The prison services representatives went to meet with leading Haredi rabbonim to discuss the issue. According to the report in Behadrei, some interesting arguments were made.

1. Rav Edelshtein supposedly encouraged them to allow the Haredi prisoners to wear the hats and jackets. In addition, Rav Edelshtein encouraged the prison services to deal with ensuring that when the Haredi prisoners finish serving their various sentences they should be able to find employment and work, so that they will not return to their criminal ways.

This is important, and it should be a part of whatever rehabilitation program they put the prisoners through. It is important that they be trained to be productive members of society.

Interesting, though, that he wants to send them out to work to keep busy and not send them to kollel. And maybe had they been trained originally to be productive members of society with the ability to find gainful and meaningful employment, this would not have happened to many of them in the first place.

2. one prisoner said, "we were judged to be here, but we weren't judged to remove our hats and jackets. what is this Russia?"

that's funny. Jail includes a prison uniform. Part of being in jail is wearing the uniform. Nothing to do with Russia. If they give a reprieve for religious reasons, that's fine, but let's not act like going to jail just means being behind bars but you can do whatever you want. Being sentenced to time in jail means you get everything that comes along with that.

3. one prisoner said "there are admorim here and rosh yeshivas here and they learn torah together, so why take away their hats and jackets?"

a little tzniyus would be helpful. They are proud of the amazing admorim and rosh yeshivas learning together, rather than being embarrassed and ashamed that admorim and rosh yeshivas are in jail???

4. one son of a prisoner who became Haredi while in prison said  that his father has become makpid on all the chumras and does not skip over a single paragraph of halacha, and is devastated that he cannot wear the hat and jacket as his preparation for approaching God in prayer (as the pasuk says to prepare before approaching God). He feels as though the system is chasing him.

I guess he regrets his crimes too, and not just the lack of hat and jacket and in the future will be as makpid about fllowing the law as he is abotu following his newly discovered chumras. He can always prepare in a different way. "Heekon likrat Hashem Elokecha" does not have the definition of hat and jacket. It is defined as prepare yourself. So prepare in a different way. Make a different item of clothing special for prayer.

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. Oy. Like in the original “Rabbi Krustofsky” episode on the Simpsons. I can’t find the clip, but Lisa says “Bart, what do Rabbi’s prize over all else?”
    Bart: “IDK, those stupid hats?”- lol!

  2. Rafi in heaven. This is what he lives for. If there is a Chillul Hashem around, Rafi wants to enlarge it and spread it. But don't worry - a rational approach to why this is not only OK, but the right thing to do will be forthcoming - or at least why I am totally wrong. Right Rafi?

    1. Why does Behadrei's publication of this Chillul Hashem not bother you, but Rafi's comment does?

  3. Perhaps once might argue that just as they would be allowed to appear in court before a human judge in their own clothes, they should be allowed to appear before The Judge also in hat and jacket. Or perhaps prison uniforms should come with a hat and jacket.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...