Thursday, February 9, 2012

A conversation with Rav Sternbuch about the recent reports about Chareidi extremists

I met with Rav Moshe Sternbuch yesterday afternoon. In the course of discussion I asked about the newspaper reports about chareidi violence and why it wasn't being condemned. He dismissed the issue as being the result of the newspapers looking for a story. He noted that the actual number of victims has been very small - including 1 case of a girl being spat upon - and that the perpetrators were a small number of fringe elements that do not have the approval or encouragement of the chareidi community. He did not see a need for a public comment for something which is obviously wrong and for which there is no justification for blaming the community. His gabbai also mentioned that the police have arrested a number of chareidim without solid evidence in attempt to "get" the chareidim.

I was also requested to ask him about the case of frum people who go skiing and let others use their passes - something which constitutes theft. Is it permitted to daven in a minyan with them. Rav Sternbuch said that if the people don't view it as theft then they still can be counted for a minyan. He mentioned a Rabbi Akiva Eiger who said that people who shave with a razor - yet think it is permitted - can be counted in a minayn.

85 comments :

  1. not anonymous (aka shaul shapira)February 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Do you agree? Also, that couldn't couldn't have been the whole conversation. It's not nearly juicy enough. C'mon- out with it!
    :)

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  2. Actually that was the conversation. Rav Sternbuch viewed what he said as totally obvious - without the slightest sense of guilt for what a few deviants have done. There is a lot of indignation over here about what is viewed as targeting chareidim and blaming the whole community for what a handful of nuts are doing. I haven't encountered anyone who justifies the actions of the extremists - and I haven't found anyone who thinks the newspapers are simple reporting the news.

    His gabbai told me that Americans seem to have trouble accepting the reality that over here that there is a strong divide between the religious and secular worlds and that there is genuine hatred towards the chareidim. He said that when Rav Sternbuch's views were reported in the English Yated - Rav Sternbuch was criticized for mentioning this.

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  3. "Rav Sternbuch said that if the people don't view it as theft then they still can be counted for a minyan."

    I see this premise come up very often in discussions of dina d'malchusa dina. As a general rule, what exactly does "view it as theft" mean? Does it mean that, if you ask a sampling of people in your country/state/city/neighborhood about the permissibility of a particular act which legally does in fact constitute theft, most will respond that, as far as they know, it does not legally constitute theft? Or is it that the majority of people respond that, though they know full well that it in fact constitutes theft, they feel it's perfectly acceptable for generally honest and law-abiding people to engage in it?

    Another question: Let's say skier X routinely lets other people use his lift passes. It could very well be that the majority of his friends who find out about this will feel that such behavior is acceptable (i.e. they won't, based on this one piece of information, suddenly start suspecting him of being a generally untrustworthy and dishonest person). Even in such a case, though, if the fact that X engages in this practice comes to light while X is running for public office, a much higher standard of honesty might suddenly start being brought to bear upon him. So which standard of "communal ethical acceptability" are we talking about here?

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  4. Rabbi Eidensohn,

    This man is your rav?

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  5. On Tropper, they published a "tze, tame" poster. Why can't the publish "tze Tame" posters about this moshele who leads the Beith Shemesh insulting, intimidating and spitting?

    What Tropper did was also obviously wrong, there was no doubt about that...

    I think the main difference between the American branch of this "Edah" fraction and the israeli branch is that the americans behave (more or less), because they are afraid of the non-jewish government. In Israel, the government is jewish, so the Edah fraction just allows itself things it would never dare in Galut, like stone-throwing, and all those protests that have gone on for various reasons since Israel became a state.

    So actually I do not think that they themselves contribute their fair share to the "great divide" they claim americans cannot understand.

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  6. ok, but hopefully rav sternbuch understands the pr cost of not speaking out. what is the cost of speaking out?
    KT
    Joel rich

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  7. Joel Rich wrote...

    ok, but hopefully rav sternbuch understands the pr cost of not speaking out. what is the cost of speaking out?
    =====================
    The price is being presumed to be able to do something about the behavior and somehow to stop it or at least minimize it.

    A number of years ago there was acid thrown in the face of a girl in Beitar. When I asked him why he didn't condem it he said, 1) the people who do these things don't listen to authority 2) the perpetrators are looking for attention and the protest would actually encourage them 3) If it look like it was the work of more than a few nuts or it was becoming more frequent - then he would in fact protest.

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  8. I'm sorry, but I can't agree with his position. The fact of the matter is that people DO see this group as representing all Chareidim. To sit back and say that this obviously wrong and we obviously don't support it is wishful thinking. Many people think we do. And for the leaders to remain silent is an excellent r'ayah to that.

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  9. מנחם said...

    Rabbi Eidensohn,

    This man is your rav?
    -----------
    Rav Sternbuch is one of a number of rabbonim I turn to when I have a major issue that needs clarification as to what to do.

    However as a Litvak there are many issues I feel competent to decide on my own. In fact Rav Sternbuch told me that he trusts me that I know when to ask for advice and guidance.

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  10. Raffi said...

    I'm sorry, but I can't agree with his position.
    ----------
    And he can't agree with you. As Rabbi Adlerstein pointed out this is a major difference between American and Israeli chareidim.

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  11. I like the view of Rav Akiva Eiger - but how far can it be stretched? It is very subjective!
    Would it apply to Yayin nesech, eg if someone thinks its ok to do X, will his contact with wine make it unkosher? I could write a whole thesis on this, but it might be misconstrued as heresy :)

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  12. "He dismissed the issue as being the result of the newspapers looking for a story."

    "His gabbai also mentioned that the police have arrested a number of chareidim without solid evidence in attempt to "get" the chareidim."

    "The price is being presumed to be able to do something about the behavior and somehow to stop it or at least minimize it."

    I do not really understand. On the one hand, he speaks out about the "persecution" and "victimising" he feels his Eidah suffers at the hand of Israeli police or newspaper. On the other hand, all the criminal behavious going on does not seem worth mentionning?

    Looks like a biased view to me.

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  13. There were thousands of Chareidim at the rally where children were dressed in Holocaust clothes.

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  14. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 9, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    "Daas Torah said...His gabbai told me"

    RaP: Does he have a NAME? Who is this faceless nameless unaccountable "gabbai" and why should anyone pay attention to what he says?

    "that Americans seem to have trouble accepting the reality that over here that there is a strong divide between the religious and secular worlds and that there is genuine hatred towards the chareidim."

    RaP: This view and attitude implies that the gabbai expects that people outside of Israel must accept *his* "worldview" for what it is at face value, while at the same time he misses the point that on the other hand it behooves him and his people to understand that Charedim and Jews in the West will never accept an "us versus them" confrontational mode of living because there is no justification for behaving like a vilda chaya by spitting, throwing stones and firebombs and cursing that any Charedi boy or pumped up young male seems to be able to do without much prompting. Thy must adapt and become better behaved, and BE REBUKED AND DISCIPLINED BY THEIR LEADERSHIP if they want the outside world to be sympathetic to their situation.

    "He said that when Rav Sternbuch's views were reported in the English Yated - Rav Sternbuch was criticized for mentioning this."

    RaP: Again, who is this anonymous "gabbai" who speaks for Rav Shternbuch, does he have a name or is he just like us anonymous bloggers? This is becoming like the case with Rav Elyashiv where no one knows what he says for sure because twenty gabbaim each have their own say and claim to speak for him. Rav Shternbuch can speak for himself without the help of a gabbai. And again, the gabbai fails to grasp the validity of the criticism and he should do himself a big a favor try to learn something positive from it, rather than implying that he is ""misunderstood" "because" "somehow" "the outside world is just not as smart and aware as he is" -- tell the gabbai that he can learn and give over the message to the kannoim that they can learn from the live and let live attitude that comes from living in a democracy that is different to living among the wild Cossacks of Eastern Europe or among the hot-headed firebrands of the Middle East.

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  15. Elliot Pasik said...

    There were thousands of Chareidim at the rally where children were dressed in Holocaust clothes.
    ==================
    that was something else and it was in fact condemned by the Eida

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  16. 6ft said...

    "He dismissed the issue as being the result of the newspapers looking for a story."

    "His gabbai also mentioned that the police have arrested a number of chareidim without solid evidence in attempt to "get" the chareidim."

    "The price is being presumed to be able to do something about the behavior and somehow to stop it or at least minimize it."

    I do not really understand. On the one hand, he speaks out about the "persecution" and "victimising" he feels his Eidah suffers at the hand of Israeli police or newspaper. On the other hand, all the criminal behavious going on does not seem worth mentionning?

    Looks like a biased view to me.

    ================

    it is a problem when people make a hodgpodge out of a number of different cases and situations as if they were all done by the same people. Beit Shemesh is not the same as Meah Shearim. The arrests in Meah Shearim were criticized by the secular judge who heard the charges and saw the evidence.

    if you insist on presuming guilt of all chareidim then you will of course assume bias when someone has a different view

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  17. "Daas Torah said...His gabbai told me"

    RaP: Does he have a NAME? Who is this faceless nameless unaccountable "gabbai" and why should anyone pay attention to what he says?
    ===============
    Not sure why you are taking this strange tough attitude. The gabbai is not being quoted as an authority but simply as an observer. His observations are common here in Israel. You can check the Yated yourself. The points raised are all public information

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  18. Eddie said...

    I like the view of Rav Akiva Eiger - but how far can it be stretched? It is very subjective!
    ===============
    I think this is relevant only as to being counted in a minyan. BTW the original concept of minyan is from the meraglim who were not righteous.

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  19. I would think that the reason to speak out is to counter the Chillul Hashem.

    Sounds like Rav Sternbuch believes that there was no Chillul Hashem.

    Given that the issue here is public perception, it would be interesting to know what kind of research went into Rav Sternbuch's perception of how these episodes are viewed by the broader public -- especially given that he presumably has no contact with that public and never asked you whether there might be some data points he was unaware of.

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  20. Dovid Shlomo said...

    I would think that the reason to speak out is to counter the Chillul Hashem.

    Sounds like Rav Sternbuch believes that there was no Chillul Hashem.
    ===============
    Sounds like you are an American. Rav Sternbuch is well aware of public opinion. He also feels public protests will simply be rationalized away and that it will just keep the focus on the Chareidi community. Thus he feels it will end up producing a greater chillul Hashem. Again the secular press here is different than it is in America - he is responding what he thinks is appropriate here.

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  21. Elliot Pasik said..."There were thousands of Chareidim at the rally where children were dressed in Holocaust clothes."

    Elliot, may I ask how you know that? I was visiting Yerushalayim at the time, and happened to walk by the demonstration. There were no more than a few hundred people there, and some curious tourists looking on from the sidewalk.

    You simply cannot believe the newspapers on this.

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  22. I don't understand why speaking out against this is seen as such a dangerous move. All it takes for Rav Shternbuch, and anyone else, to state publicly that he rejects this behavior. You don't need a giant protest. You just need to say it.

    R' Eidensohn, your report of the conversation is telling: "the perpetrators were a small number of fringe elements that do not have the approval or encouragement of the chareidi community. He did not see a need for a public comment for something which is obviously wrong and for which there is no justification for blaming the community" - mashma that if this were being done by a less "fringe" group, it would be worth commenting on; if there were "justification for blaming the community," apparently, THEN he would speak out. Well, guess what? Justification or no, people are getting the idea that anyone with a black hat is a rotten person. This does not appear to me a question of cultural divide. This is a question of standing up for what's right because it's right.

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  23. You mean to say that it's been Rav Sternbuch's experience that protesting for the sake of the Torah's honor (saying, for instance, that it's not the Torah way to treat other Jews with utter contempt) has been tried in the past (by leaders of the Eidah) and was to no avail?

    When was that?

    Please refresh my memory.

    Thnkas.

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  24. From Vos Iz Neias, December 31, 2011:

    "Meah She’arim, Israel - Over a thousand ultra-Orthodox men assembled Saturday night in Jerusalem’s Kikar Hashabbat (Sabbath Square), in protest of what they termed the exclusion of Haredim, a response to the recent outrage over the exclusion of women in Beit Shemesh and elsewhere.
    Some of the protesters are wearing yellow badges, with which they mean to express that they are being persecuted for their Jewishness."

    From Jerusalem Post:

    "Mea Sha’arim, Israel - Approximately 1,500 ultra-Orthodox men gathered at Kikar Shabbat in the haredi neighborhood of Geula in Jerusalem on Saturday night, in a bad-tempered protest against what demonstrators called the secular community’s “oppression” and “incitement” against them.
    Dozens of men wore yellow Stars of David on their jackets with the word ‘Jude’ in the center, and banners bearing slogans such as ‘Zionists are not Jews,’ and ‘Zionism is racism’ were paraded at the rally. ‘Orthodox Jews demand the presence of international forces to protect them,’ read another sign."

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  25. "Again the secular press here is different than it is in America - he is responding what he thinks is appropriate here."

    He needs to know that this isn't just an issue with the Israeli press, these stories wind up in our newspapers in the US as well and when there are no leading Rabbis voicing opposition that for better or worse this is taken and agreement, in the same way that American's tend to blame "moderate Muslims" for being unwilling to condemn the violent actions of a few of their coreligionists.

    "If it look like it was the work of more than a few nuts or it was becoming more frequent - then he would in fact protest."

    It has certainly become more frequent.

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  26. "Rav Sternbuch viewed what he said as totally obvious - without the slightest sense of guilt for what a few deviants have done. There is a lot of indignation over here about what is viewed as targeting chareidim and blaming the whole community for what a handful of nuts are doing."

    I really don't understand this attitude. Rav Sternbuch, and the Chareidi world in general, seems to be treating the actions of the fringe elements with a "boys will be boys" attitude. Where's the shock and horror? Where's the embarrassment that people dressed like them and holding up the banner of Torah and Miztvos would publicly act in such a sigularly despicable manner?

    I understand that the Chareidi world does not approve of violent, boorish behavior in general. However, the community certainly creates an avirah, in part through comments like Rav Sternbuch's above, that being violent thugs in the name of tznius is "nisht geferlech (not so bad)" so that the less adjusted among their mahane take is as a tacit reshus to act the way they do.

    "These are a few crazy people", "only a few people are getting hurt", "our enemies will use this as a weapon to persecute us", "it's obviously wrong, so why make a big deal about it?"

    R' Eidensohn, don't these sentiments sound familiar? It's exactly what the Orthodox world has been using as an excuse to not face up to the problem of child abuse. It's exactly the kind of "sweeping under the rug" that you have spent the last few years fighting!

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  27. Extremely disappointed with R' Shternbach's response...

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  28. contrary to some of these comments, Rav Sternbuch is not saying in anyway to tolerate the actions of the extremists or "boys will be boys"

    It is is purely a pragmatic question of whether public protests will help the situation or will they just serve to justify further targeting of the chareidi world. As I stated before the secular press here is strongly biased against chareidim and there is a significant dislike or even hatred towards chareidim by the secular community.

    A simple declaration of disproval might seem to distance the main stream chareidi population from the acts of the extremists - but it can also cause the opposite. It can serve to cement the connection and responsibility for these acts - in the eyes of the secular public. It also encourages finding more examples of misdeeds that are reported solely because the perpetrator wears a kippa. There is no chance that a protest letter will cause the extremists to stop -in fact the opposite is true.


    so I think we all agree that the issue is chilul hashem and how to minimize it.


    However I hear what you are collectively saying and undertand your view.

    I will print out this post with the comments to show to Rav Sternbuch on Sunday. But again- Rav Sternbuch's view seems to be the dominant one here in the Israeli Chareidi community.

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  29. Elliot neither of those reports stated "thousands" as you had done. I rest my case. Thats demonstration attracted a tiny minority of hot heads and a few kids with yellow patches. Believe me I was there, it was nothIng to get excited about. Most people there were American on lookers like me.

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  30. There are more eidah people in agreement with sakrikim than people who march in the gay pride parade. There is something seriously wrong with his thinking process. The word krum comes to mind. He signs twenty proclamations a week about the most insane things that have little to do with his own community, yet self criticism? Nothing doing. It is far easier to criticize outsiders than your own crowd.
    He has has lost his moral authority to condemn anything.

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  31. I would add that in a very real sense perception is reality.
    KT
    Joel RIch

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  32. With all due respect Rav Eidensohn, if you cannot see how what Rav Strenbach is saying is not only contributing to the Chillel Hashem but is a clear violation of a Doraita Lav" "Do not stand idly by the blood of your brother" then you too have failed to see clear objective truth in an unbiased way because of your interest in defending your Rav. Rav Shternbach is a leader precisely so he can define for the Torah world what is normative behavior according to the Torah and what is not and to make sure the secular world know what Torah standards really are. If he cannot fullfill that role, he should step down as a leader. You have this blog to expose injustice and corruption ,but if you are going to be biased like all those you try to expose, then you should close your blog. All decent people will be outraged by these pathetic apologetics for self-justification of simple cowardice. Chazal say that in the times before moshiach, the erev rav will be the leaders of klal Yisroel. The silence of the alleged gedolim seems to prove the point with an exclamation mark. Until Eidah takes a clear and vocal stand aginst the demented thugs, we should all BOYCOTT their hasgacha

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  33. Justice Justice YOU Shall PursueFebruary 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    koillel nick said...
    There are more eidah people in agreement with sakrikim than people who march in the gay pride parade. There is something seriously wrong with his thinking process. The word krum comes to mind. He signs twenty proclamations a week about the most insane things that have little to do with his own community, yet self criticism? Nothing doing. It is far easier to criticize outsiders than your own crowd.
    He has has lost his moral authority to condemn anything.
    --------------------------------


    I COULD'NT AGREE MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for saying the truth Koillel Nick!

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  34. (I haven't read through all the comments so disregard if someone asked already.)

    I can't help but wonder... does R Sternbuch have any idea that his conversations with you get posted on a blog for everyone moron like myself to weigh in with our learned opinions?

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  35. haven't read through all the comments so disregard if someone asked already.)

    I can't help but wonder... does R Sternbuch have any idea that his conversations with you get posted on a blog for everyone moron like myself to weigh in with our learned opinions?
    ===============
    There is nothing of our conversation which I reported which is private or secret information.

    I have done this before and he has been interested in hearing the views of others - even when it disagrees with his own.

    see this post

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/12/3-belzers-blogger-trying-to-understand.html

    I am giving him a copy of this post on Sunday

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  36. "Chareidi Chutznik said...
    Elliot neither of those reports stated "thousands" as you had done. I rest my case. Thats demonstration attracted a tiny minority of hot heads and a few kids with yellow patches. Believe me I was there, it was nothIng to get excited about. Most people there were American on lookers like me."

    Hello, CC: You challenged me, I showed respect for your question, I did the research, and you can see I had a good faith basis for saying "thousands" - which means, at a minimum, two thousand, and according to the J Post, my recollection was mistaken by 500, which I have no problem publicly acknowledging. And yet you show disrespect for me with your latest comment. I'm sorry to say this is another example of Chareidism - stubborn chutzpah.

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  37. Charedi Israeli formerly AmericanFebruary 9, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Obviously the fact that most of these comments are critical of the Rav...proves...he was exactly and 100% right.

    There have been many touch-posts like this one during the last ten years of history on the two sides of the pond, and they all lead to exactly the same observation about the difference between here and there: American Charedim are heavily influenced by the American Way. Fair & equal treatment, transparency, etc. are seen as minimum sub-requirements.

    Whereas Israeli Charedim are NOT influenced by the style of the Israeli way. That is because there is an impenetrable Chinese Wall between Charedim here and their non-observant brothers.

    As the joke quote goes, '...and then Moshe KILLED the chilloni!' It's not true, they do not say such things to their classes, but it is an exaggeration of the enormous walls built by both sides between them.

    So therefore Charedim here posken right from the hip of the Halacha. No pasteurization whatsoever. No regard for what the American public considers yaharog velo yaavor.

    Now, no Israeli Rav would ever say this kind of stuff to a goyish newspaper. They know you can't tease the goyim like that. But Rav Moshe seems to expect that the Charedim in the US should be able to understand. And most of them probably do!

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  38. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    1 of 2: Abuse=Tropper=Sikrikim

    "Tzurah said..."These are a few crazy people", "only a few people are getting hurt", "our enemies will use this as a weapon to persecute us", "it's obviously wrong, so why make a big deal about it?" R' Eidensohn, don't these sentiments sound familiar? It's exactly what the Orthodox world has been using as an excuse to not face up to the problem of child abuse. It's exactly the kind of "sweeping under the rug" that you have spent the last few years fighting!"

    RaP: Amen! Precisely! Agree 100% that both child-abuse and disgusting behavior by Charedim in public goes against MENTSCHLICHKEIT, EIDILKEIT, and YIDDISHKEIT, that involves danger and humiliation to others, is beneath human dignity and common decency, and simple morality and must be opposed.

    Can one imagine the Chofetz Chaim spitting at anyone? Or the Baal Shem Tov throwing a diaper with feces in it at anyone? Or the Vilna Gaon throwing a fire bomb at anyone? etc etc etc ??? How come there is no thought or effort at KIRUV going on here at all??

    Has anyone consulted the famous Uri Zohar at Lev LeAchim or Amnon Yitschak who knows how to mekarev the non-religious or anyone doing kiruv today in Israel if this is the way to go? Would ANY mental health of legal professionals or any NORMAL person say it's okay to scream at women on buses as the buses are "shulls" or "yeshivas" reserved for men only or with ladies sections?

    If your mother or sister of wife got on the bus and not go to the back would you scream at her as if you were a demented wild animal and she was a cow or goat or dog???

    All over the world, frum people sit and stand with women of all sorts on buses, planes and streets but in Israel they go bananas! If the women bother you on the buses, buy your own car and travel on your own etc.

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  39. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 9, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    2 of 2: Abuse=Tropper=Sikrikim

    There is also no difference between opposing Tropper and his pals at EJF and opposing the so-called sikrikim/kannoim. Tropper and his allies and the EJF took the law (Halacha) into their own hands and perverted it by a) claiming they are being "frummer" than everyone else, and b) acting like menuvalim birshus HaTorah by having an agenda that goes way beyond what the Torah as it is practiced today by the Torah world desires.

    Thus similarly, like Tropper and EJF a) the "sikrikim" and the so-called "kannoim" (which is basically any Charedi who has a temper-tantrum when he does not get his way and lets his testosterone and lack of any mussar education get the better of him) decide that they have the "divine right of kings" and some sort of "special heter" to spit at, curse and swear and humiliate, throw diapers with feces, throw stones and firebomb and break windows of any Jew they deem "lesser" than them to get their way because they are being "holier" just as Tropper self-righteously claimed to be "frummer", and b) the sikrikim and kannoim feel that they are somehow entitled to impose and project their world-view and agenda onto the outside world, it is a form of distorted perverse MAGICAL THINKING, even if it is not what the majority of frum Jews or any sane person wants, but the kannoim "know better" and will go to war even fighting the police and resisting arrest and are entitled to push their agenda without the world pushing them back and looking at them as a stupid laughing stock.

    It is the same twisted far-frumta mentality that is at work inside the feverish brains in both Tropper and the sikrikim/kannoim. Tropper is also a kannoi, that's how he convinced all the rabbonim he's "right" when he was so very wrong, and that is why he became so dangerous.

    The failure of Tropper's rabbonim to denounce him is no less grievous than the failure of the rabbonim in Yerushaalyim to denounce the sikrikim-kannoim in their midst, and the failure of the rabbinic establishment in speaking out and condemning sexual and child abuse in their own communities.

    It is all one similar pattern and rabbinic silence, both real and perceived, will have to stop for the people to trust their leadership again and that is the only way the healing of all these sores in the spiritual and material body-politic of Am Yisrael will ever take place.

    As the Kotzker Rebbe used to say: "A gutter iz a no'ef, a frummer iz a rotzeach" rather he said, one should try to be balanced and be not just "good" and not just "frum" but to be a "good AND frum" IN THE RIGHT WAY, of course!

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  40. Charedi Israeli formerly American said...

    Obviously the fact that most of these comments are critical of the Rav...proves...he was exactly and 100% right.

    There have been many touch-posts like this one during the last ten years of history on the two sides of the pond, and they all lead to exactly the same observation about the difference between here and there: American Charedim are heavily influenced by the American Way. Fair & equal treatment, transparency, etc. are seen as minimum sub-requirements.

    Whereas Israeli Charedim are NOT influenced by the style of the Israeli way. ...
    So therefore Charedim here posken right from the hip of the Halacha. No pasteurization whatsoever. No regard for what the American public considers yaharog velo yaavor.

    Now, no Israeli Rav would ever say this kind of stuff to a goyish newspaper. They know you can't tease the goyim like that. But Rav Moshe seems to expect that the Charedim in the US should be able to understand. And most of them probably do!
    ==================
    I had an interesting conversation along these lines with an Israeli talmid chachom with roots in America. He said the biggest concern of American chareidim is temimos. They try living their life according to an idealized vision - rather than what we call reality. They are much more concerned with "Daas Torah" in the modern sense and they are likewise much more shocked by revelations such as Tropper. Which is probably why I encountered very few chareidim in America during my recent stay who had any idea what happened or even that something had happened with Tropper and EJF.

    Another Israeli noted the American kollel couples who come to live in Israel and try to live an idealized Israel kollel life - when in fact the Israelis don't live like the American's imagine.

    Both said that this idealized vision is sustained by publications such as the Yated and the constant focus on "inspiration"

    Bottom line - American's don't seem to realize that they do not have the same type of Yiddishkeit as the Israelis

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  41. RaP wrote... 2: Abuse=Tropper=Sikrikim

    There is also no difference between opposing Tropper and his pals at EJF and opposing the so-called sikrikim/kannoim. Tropper and his allies and the EJF took the law (Halacha) into their own hands and perverted it by a) claiming they are being "frummer" than everyone else, and b) acting like menuvalim birshus HaTorah by having an agenda that goes way beyond what the Torah as it is practiced today by the Torah world desires.

    ==============
    wrong comparison. The extremists who are causing the trouble over here are more correctly compared to the eruv rav. They are the bottom of the barrel. In contrast Tropper corrupted and bought off the top - the rabbis and roshei yeshiva who are purportedly the leaders of Yiddishkeit. While the eruv rav is definitely a problem it is not the same as the Sanhedrin or the gedolim acting contrary to established halachic principles

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  42. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 9, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    1 of 2: Israeli & American Charedim

    "Charedi Israeli formerly American said...Obviously the fact that most of these comments are critical of the Rav...proves...he was exactly and 100% right."

    RaP: "100% right" about what? That it's okay to dress up kids in concentration camp garb, that it's okay for a pumped up dude to spit at little girls, that it's ok to curse and swear when you don't get your way? Because no one can get past that and it must be dealt with in order to gain credibility and be taken seriously on the underlying issues that need to be resolved. Even Jews and Arabs inside Israel or when they get to have negotiations, do not have a round of spitting at each other as a warm up. Acts of aggression bagat defensive and counter-aggressive moves.

    "American Charedim are heavily influenced by the American Way. Fair & equal treatment, transparency, etc. are seen as minimum sub-requirements."

    RaP: Not a bad thing at all. It is also an important skill set for Israelis (secular and religious alike) to learn when they have to deal with outside world. Get used to it, more and more American Jews of all stripes and Charedim will be coming to Israel in coming years and Israel will be the better off for it by becoming a more open, welcoming, productive democratic society!! Everyone will have to learn to get along, no one will get the right to dominate everyone else.

    "Whereas Israeli Charedim are NOT influenced by the style of the Israeli way."

    RaP: This is an absurd and almost childish assumption, because EVERYONE gets influenced by their environment, as the chazal say, "adam moshech acher sevivav" and you obviously have no clue and insight because frum Israelis are VERY much like their secular counterparts there.

    Same level of chutzpa, same cheeky sabra-mentality, same stubborn aggressiveness, same loud obstinacy in argumentation, same level of personal grooming (or lack thereof), same self-righteous conviction that only they know what's best and much more. Face it.

    As a matter of fact, the chazal say that is to be expected "avira deEretz Yisroel machkim", but they also say that it is the chachmei Bavel who are wiser because they have had to work things through deeper and more carefully.

    The fact that Rav Shternbuch allows his words to go online and into papers and he is willing to hear the other side, reveals his English-European mentality and not a rigid Israeli one.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 9, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    2 of 2: Israeli & American Charedim

    "That is because there is an impenetrable Chinese Wall between Charedim here and their non-observant brothers."

    RaP: Not really. So how does all the kiruv get done? How are chilonim reached to become chozrei biteshuva? How come so many support tradition? You forget that the Religious Zionists are also a factor in linking secular and religious groups.

    "As the joke quote goes, '...and then Moshe KILLED the chilloni!' It's not true, they do not say such things to their classes, but it is an exaggeration of the enormous walls built by both sides between them."

    RaP: It's a terrible joke, and as we know, walls, especially invisible walls can come down just as easily as they are put up. Try thinking how Nixon went to China, or how Sadat came to Begin, or how Reagan brought down the Berlin Wall, or how a kiruv worker goes to reach out to secular and chiloni Jews ALL the time every second of every day everywhere and SUCCEEDS to sell them Torah observance.

    "So therefore Charedim here posken right from the hip of the Halacha. No pasteurization whatsoever."

    RaP: What "hip" is that? What drivel are you spewing?

    "No regard for what the American public considers yaharog velo yaavor."

    RaP: What "American public" are you referring to? The people who have responded here all seem to be those who take the Torah and its observance very seriously and you are making light of that. Get real.

    "Now, no Israeli Rav would ever say this kind of stuff to a goyish newspaper. They know you can't tease the goyim like that."

    RaP: And neither should you be showing off how silly you can be.

    "But Rav Moshe seems to expect that the Charedim in the US should be able to understand. And most of them probably do!"

    RaP: Like who? Satmar? In America they know they would be arrested for spitting at anyone or damaging property and they would be locked up in jail pronto if they resisted arrest or cursed at a policeman and called him a "Nazi" as Israel Charedim taunt and bait the Israeli cops all the time.

    They are free to hold peaceful demonstrations at any time just as they are free to worship their religion as they wish without harming or insulting others who do not wish to be like that. Stop sounding like a glazed over BT will you. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  44. A better point to raise here is whether the Gabbai (who remains nameless) considers the Police as a legitimate entity, or a nazi styled force which attacks haredim (which is implied by his comments).

    The community of the Eda is different from majority of Haredi world, in that they don't recognize the legitimacy of Jewish governance in Eretz Yisrael. So the paranoia is even worse than living in Lithuania and waiting for the next pogrom. The occasional pogrom or blood libel in galus was part and parcel of the exile, and legitimate. But since the current regime in Israel is not legitimate (according to the Eda interpretation of halacha and History) then any interaction will ipso facto be persecution and specifically anti Haredi/anti Torah. This is the ideological framework upon which the debate is predicated.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    1 of 3: RaP to RDE

    "Daas Torah said...I had an interesting conversation along these lines with an Israeli talmid chachom with roots in America."

    RaP: In these types of conversations from which "anecdotal evidence" (at best) or just plain "misinformation" (at worst) is derived, one must proceed with great cation because Jews, especially learned ones, are full of many views and opinions and it would be foolhardy to assume that the point of view of one man should be taken as the sum total of what is transpiring in objective reality everywhere which is much more complex and difficult to accurately describe and explain EMPIRICALLY so that a truthful and factual picture and state of affairs can be known and understood equally to all.

    "He said the biggest concern of American chareidim is temimos."

    RaP: Not true. Which Charedim? The hundreds of thousands of American Satmar, Bobov, Belz, Lubavitch, Gur, Viznitz, Chasidic Charedim are just as tough and realistic as their Israeli counterparts, and the Litvish Charedim in Lakewood, Brooklyn and Monsey are not rosey-eyed dreamers either. It is not "temimos" BUT rather, that American Charedim have MORE DERECH ERETZ, or CIVILITY, or MANNERS, or POLITENESS, because they know that spitting at people or shoving in a line or not taking showers is not socially acceptable, leads to rejection and ostracism and will get you into trouble. In Israel, life is more BASIC and PRIMITIVE and SURVIVALIST and TOUGHER. There are hostile Arabs all around and talks of war, while Americans are sheltered from that. In America, you must act politely at all times, even if you dont mean it, it pays to say, "please" and "thank you" and even "hello" while in Israel rudeness and abruptness are acceptable and even seen as necessary. So this is a matter of lifestyle that Israelis lack to their own detriment and it has nothing to do with so-called "temimos" or any such such silly notion.

    "They try living their life according to an idealized vision - rather than what we call reality."

    RaP: Oh, so now Israelis are "in reality" while American Charedim are "out of reality" -- no wonder that Israeli Charedim don't get it that they are viewed as outside of not just reality but of humanity when they riot, and act like wild animals with fist fights and spitting and cursing against those they want to have differences with at the drop of a hat. An American Charedi would never shout "shiksa" at a non-frum woman on a bus, she could sue him for damages and have him arrested for a long time, so therefore they have learned to behave better unlike the Israeli Charedim who will still be learning this lesson the hard way now that the police are finally cracking down on their unruly behavior.

    "They are much more concerned with "Daas Torah" in the modern sense and they are likewise much more shocked by revelations such as Tropper."

    RaP: Not really. Chasidic Charedim don't worry about "Daas Torah" they go to their Rebbes for eitzahs or with a pidyon and kvitel. The Litvish Charedim ask shailos but they are not a naive and starry-eyed lot as this makes it seem.

    To live in America is not easy. One finds oneself in a polyglot nation of over 300 million people from all over the wworld, you have to get along with everyone, and where there are lots of criminals and temptations.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    2 of 3: Rap to RDE

    RaP: It is not easy to be a Jew or frum in America where the powers of assimilation and the forces of intermarriage are much bigger and stronger than in Israel. Yet Charedim in the USA have mastered the art of overcoming these negative overpowering forces against them while also behaving POLITELY and not a like a bull in a china shop, because the goyisha police, judges and JAILS are not so kind like the Jewish ones in Israel that the Charedim taunt and scorn and call Nazis, but if they were real Nazis the Charedim would have been cartered off and become chopped meat a long time ago!

    "Which is probably why I encountered very few chareidim in America during my recent stay who had any idea what happened or even that something had happened with Tropper and EJF."

    RaP: That is no surprise. In America there have been so many big scandals in the frum world, that most people just ignore the news and get on with their lives and raising families. Even when Tropper was at his peak no one really knew about him. He was a gornisht, but he became dangerous and the important thing is that those who were aware of his threats took care of him, actually he helped all by himself by self-destructing in a sex scandal of his own making, so it was all min hashamayim.

    "Another Israeli noted the American kollel couples who come to live in Israel and try to live an idealized Israel kollel life - when in fact the Israelis don't live like the American's imagine."

    RaP: They are a rare breed and they are indeed idealistic. Often they come from wealthy homes and have lived sheltered lives and come to Israel on a kind of kollel-honeymoon, so it's understandable, but they are definitely not representative of American Charedim who cannot afford the luxuries of fully-paid learning vacations while living in luxury apartments in designer Israeli kollelim all fully paid for by super rich fathers or fathers in law or both, often living in their vacant apartments with all the amenities built in! Many are just envious that Americans can be like this!!! Being more EIDEL and having more MIDDOS TOVOS is not a bad thing. It does not make the Americans "inferior" for being richer and smarter (if they made the money they must be smarter right? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    3 of 3: RaP to RDE:

    "Both said that this idealized vision is sustained by publications such as the Yated and the constant focus on "inspiration""

    RaP: More nonsense. If anything, the American Yated and Modiah whitewash the scandalous behavior of all Charedim and do not publicize the negatives of Charedi failures and taking responsibility for their side of the mistakes and provocations.

    "Bottom line - American's don't seem to realize that they do not have the same type of Yiddishkeit as the Israelis"

    RaP: Bad conclusion! They know full well and are horrified. On the one hand American Charedim are told they must support Lev LeAchim and Yad LeAchim outreach to secular Israelis and they give millions for that, then next thing they see all their dollars going down the drain as Charedim call secular Jews "Nazis" -- and then there are constant appeals in the mail from Israeli charities and all the time there are knocks on the doors of American Charedim in any place they live from Charedim in Israel begging for money to make weddings and buy apartments -- so Americans know how tough it is in Israel.

    Almost every American Charedi family has had at least one or two three or more sons learn in Israeli Charedi yeshivas, Brisk, Mir, and others are full of Americans, they come and they pay top dollar and they know that Israeli Charedim love that. Now it is a chutzpa and insult to allege that somehow or other American Charedim are somehow "inferior" because they do not accept rioting on the streets of Yerushalayim or the American papers and news getting filled with reports of Charedi lack of manners that the Americans must answer for at work and in their neighborhoods while the Israeli Charedim worry about the hackneyed "Tziyonim" boogiemen that they over-exaggerate.

    ReplyDelete
  48. "Both said that this idealized vision is sustained by publications such as the Yated and the constant focus on "inspiration""

    RaP: More nonsense. If anything, the American Yated and Modiah whitewash the scandalous behavior of all Charedim and do not publicize the negatives of Charedi failures and taking responsibility for their side of the mistakes and provocations.
    ----------------
    Don't know why you call it nonsense when you are making exactly the same point - the whitewashing of the bad obviously allows the idealized vision to exist.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Eddie said...

    A better point to raise here is whether the Gabbai (who remains nameless) considers the Police as a legitimate entity, or a nazi styled force which attacks haredim (which is implied by his comments).

    The community of the Eda is different from majority of Haredi world, in that they don't recognize the legitimacy of Jewish governance in Eretz Yisrael. So the paranoia is even worse than living in Lithuania and waiting for the next pogrom. The occasional pogrom or blood libel in galus was part and parcel of the exile, and legitimate. But since the current regime in Israel is not legitimate (according to the Eda interpretation of halacha and History) then any interaction will ipso facto be persecution and specifically anti Haredi/anti Torah. This is the ideological framework upon which the debate is predicated
    ================
    Eddie the Eida doesn't view all police as evil. There are certain police officials who are out to nail the chareidim - but there are others who are sensitive and work for the good of all. The recent arrests was done by the former. What you are doing is an example of a non-Israeli thought process to idealize and to make black and white evaluations.

    ReplyDelete
  50. > including 1 case of a girl being spat upon

    Um, how many girls would it take for Rav Sternbuch to issue a statement?

    See, here's what the Rav probably doesn't realize: to the outsiders you all look the same. No, it doesn't make logical sense to condemn all Chareidim for the acts of a few. Yes, there are lots of Chilonim who need no excuse to hate Chareidim (although it doesn't help that this vanishingly small minority of nutjobs seem to hand them a new one every week). However, one of the things Chareidim shout about in public the most is that they are subservient to "Daas Torah"! Did a prominent Rav at the recent Agudah convention not say exactly that when he wasn't bashing Rav Slifkin's differing point of view?
    So when people see Chareidim doing something, they don't think "Hey, these guys are nuts and are even rebelling against their own leaders". They think: They wouldn't do anything without the approval of Daas Torah, therefore the Chareidi leadership must approve of it!
    That's why Rav Sternbuch and others at his level in the leadership need to protest and say "Not in our name".

    ReplyDelete
  51. RaP: Not true. Which Charedim? The hundreds of thousands of American Satmar, Bobov, Belz, Lubavitch, Gur, Viznitz, Chasidic Charedim are just as tough and realistic as their Israeli counterparts, and the Litvish Charedim in Lakewood, Brooklyn and Monsey are not rosey-eyed dreamers either. It is not "temimos" BUT rather, that American Charedim have MORE DERECH ERETZ, or CIVILITY, or MANNERS, or POLITENESS, because they know that spitting at people or shoving in a line or not taking showers is not socially acceptable, leads to rejection and ostracism and will get you into trouble. In Israel, life is more BASIC and PRIMITIVE and SURVIVALIST and TOUGHER. There are hostile Arabs all around and talks of war, while Americans are sheltered from that. In America, you must act politely at all times, even if you dont mean it, it pays to say, "please" and "thank you" and even "hello" while in Israel rudeness and abruptness are acceptable and even seen as necessary. So this is a matter of lifestyle that Israelis lack to their own detriment and it has nothing to do with so-called "temimos" or any such such silly notion.
    ================
    RaP you should pay attention to what you are saying. On the one hand you make this didactic statement but a couple lines before you stated:

    Daas Torah said...I had an interesting conversation along these lines with an Israeli talmid chachom with roots in America."

    RaP: In these types of conversations from which "anecdotal evidence" (at best) or just plain "misinformation" (at worst) is derived, one must proceed with great cation because Jews, especially learned ones, are full of many views and opinions and it would be foolhardy to assume that the point of view of one man should be taken as the sum total of what is transpiring in objective reality everywhere which is much more complex and difficult to accurately describe and explain EMPIRICALLY so that a truthful and factual picture and state of affairs can be known and understood equally to all.
    ===================
    Why should I heed your words of wisdom which are no different in type than the Israeli talmid chachom I spoke to and ignore or be skepticalof his? You are no more based on empircal evidence than he is.

    ReplyDelete
  52. "They try living their life according to an idealized vision - rather than what we call reality."

    RaP: Oh, so now Israelis are "in reality" while American Charedim are "out of reality" -- no wonder that Israeli Charedim don't get it that they are viewed as outside of not just reality but of humanity when they riot, and act like wild animals with fist fights and spitting and cursing against those they want to have differences with at the drop of a hat. An American Charedi would never shout "shiksa" at a non-frum woman on a bus, she could sue him for damages and have him arrested for a long time, so therefore they have learned to behave better unlike the Israeli Charedim who will still be learning this lesson the hard way now that the police are finally cracking down on their unruly behavior.
    ==================
    You obviously have bought the secular press' view of the Israeli chareidim. That is not the way the majority are. Interestingly you feel that the American chareidim are basically animals except that they are afraid of American law. Doesn't sound like you think too much of either American or Israeli frumme yidden.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

    > including 1 case of a girl being spat upon

    Um, how many girls would it take for Rav Sternbuch to issue a statement?

    See, here's what the Rav probably doesn't realize: to the outsiders you all look the same. No, it doesn't make logical sense to condemn all Chareidim for the acts of a few. Yes, there are lots of Chilonim who need no excuse to hate Chareidim (although it doesn't help that this vanishingly small minority of nutjobs seem to hand them a new one every week). However, one of the things Chareidim shout about in public the most is that they are subservient to "Daas Torah"! Did a prominent Rav at the recent Agudah convention not say exactly that when he wasn't bashing Rav Slifkin's differing point of view?
    So when people see Chareidim doing something, they don't think "Hey, these guys are nuts and are even rebelling against their own leaders". They think: They wouldn't do anything without the approval of Daas Torah, therefore the Chareidi leadership must approve of it!
    That's why Rav Sternbuch and others at his level in the leadership need to protest and say "Not in our name".
    ==============
    you don't get it.Israelis are not governed by Daas Torah. I was speaking with an insider recently and he told me that a lot of the important leadership in Israel is from Rav Steinman - but that he has learned from brutal experience that he needs to do his work in silence and without publicity or else he will be strongly attacked.

    A wise leader knows never to make demands of his "followers" that won't be obeyed and as a consequence lose whatever perception of authority he has.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    "[RDE] Daas Torah said..."Both said that this idealized vision is sustained by publications such as the Yated and the constant focus on "inspiration""

    RaP: More nonsense.
    ----------------
    [RDE:] Don't know why you call it nonsense when you are making exactly the same point - the whitewashing of the bad obviously allows the idealized vision to exist."

    RaP: I realize that is how it could be read, but the first point I am making is that the Yated and Hamodia sympathize with the protesters, the Hamodia more openly than the Yated, and they are working to further the agenda of the protesters, while not taking any responsibility, while on a broader scale they are not bastions of critical journalistic thought either, just sources of hagiography in the ArtScroll genre, and why they would not publish what you have to say about child abuse either. This is nothing new. But they do not make the Chardim naive either because most Charedim are savvy enough to know what's up in their communities both in Israel and America.

    "[RDE]: RaP you should pay attention to what you are saying. On the one hand you make this didactic statement but a couple lines before you stated:

    Daas Torah said...I had an interesting conversation along these lines with an Israeli talmid chachom with roots in America."

    Why should I heed your words of wisdom which are no different in type than the Israeli talmid chachom I spoke to and ignore or be skepticalof his? You are no more based on empircal evidence than he is."

    RaP: Can you point out which points of mine are not accurate? The Israeli was just spouting off. I am not claiming infallibility. The readership is free to do with my words as they wish, as they often do. As you know I am only a blogger, nothing more and nothing less.

    "[RDE]: You obviously have bought the secular press' view of the Israeli chareidim. That is not the way the majority are. Interestingly you feel that the American chareidim are basically animals except that they are afraid of American law. Doesn't sound like you think too much of either American or Israeli frumme yidden."

    RaP: Cheap shot! Actually, I do not read the secular press much, I prefer to go on to YouTube and see footage of the action as it's on the go. Live action and you can see it for yourself, it aint pretty. So it is very unfair and not true to make the accusations against me, as anyone who has been following my postings knows. I did NOT say or imply as you allege that "American chareidim are basically animals except that they are afraid of American law. Doesn't sound like you think too much of either American or Israeli frumme yidden" which is a very simplistic view. In fact I have worked hard to convey that American Charedim are much more sophisticated and refined than their Israeli counterparts and it's due to both nature and nurture. On the one hand they know and are taught internally to behave in a more MENSCHLICHDIKKE way, and on the other hand they are also conditioned from the outside by societal forces they cannot control or intimidate that they must abide by at least society's most basic rules. On a deeper level, I am sorry if I am disappointing you or breaking your own rosy bubble that much is remiss with American Charedim, as you can tell from the many instances of sexual and child abuse and that the Tropper fiasco was not an aberration but a symptom of far deeper problems that remain unresolved. Charedim are not the "finished products" and "gifts of God to humanity" they imagine themselves to be, they have a long way to go in perfecting themselves and their societies' faults as you well know from the mental health field as you keep on speaking how progress has been made and how mush there is still to do.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    "RDE: A wise leader knows never to make demands of his "followers" that won't be obeyed and as a consequence lose whatever perception of authority he has."

    RaP: That is not called "leadership" -- unless he is leading the erev rav.

    ReplyDelete
  56. RaP: Can you point out which points of mine are not accurate? The Israeli was just spouting off. I am not claiming infallibility. The readership is free to do with my words as they wish, as they often do. As you know I am only a blogger, nothing more and nothing less.
    ===============
    Don't know what to make of this - what is a blogger? You seem to be moving in two opposite directions - you make points with great confidence and insistence and then you turn around and say that your words have no authority because you are only a blogger?!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    "[RDE]: Daas Torah said...Don't know what to make of this - what is a blogger?"

    RaP: A blogger is someone who either runs a blog, like yourself, or posts comments on a blog, like me.

    "You seem to be moving in two opposite directions - you make points with great confidence and insistence and then you turn around and say that your words have no authority because you are only a blogger?!"

    RaP: By saying "I am only a blogger" does not mean to say that I or anyone cannot write with confidence. I think, and as you well know, that many of the posters, meaning bloggers, on your blog write with great confidence and stand up for themselves and that is how debates are run, one confident view is held up against another opposing or alternate or agreeing view.

    In the case in question, you did not cite a name, you just mentioned an anonymous person who you describe as a talmid chochem and you then go on to cite his, and another anonymous person's views, as some sort of "definitive" interpretation that American Charedim suffer from "temimus" (a most condescending and insulting point of view, that you seem to subscribe to and did not critique) and you support it with another claim from the next anonymous person to conclude that American Charedim are "not in reality" while Israeli Charedim are far superior and hence imply are free to roam the streets and do as they wish since they are "more in reality"!

    So in face of such "brilliance" from two anonymous people, I am very happy to offer my own anonymous "expertise" (take it or leave it) as a blogger on this blog to criticize the two you cited.

    But you have still not pointed out the specific points you object to that I raise, instead of personalizing by alleging that I just dislike all Charedim when that is just not true. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  58. " American's don't seem to realize that they do not have the same type of Yiddishkeit as the Israelis"

    Baruch Hashem.
    Nor did Yekke Jews have the same Yiddishkeit as the Hungarians. Nor did Iraqi Jews have the same Yiddishkeit as Polish Jews. Why would or should they? and THEREFORE WHAT?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Dear DT,

    I appreciate your comment re the black and white viewpoint.

    If it were the case that a few police are out to nail the Haredim, why is it not happening in places like Bnei Brak, Romema, or even Beer Sheva, where there are large law abiding haredi communities?

    ReplyDelete
  60. Elliot Pasik: " And yet you show disrespect for me with your latest comment. I'm sorry to say this is another example of Chareidism - stubborn chutzpah."

    Elliot, you are far to sensitive. I showed you NO disrespect. I simply said you were wrong. You have no admitted that. The newspapers were also wrong, as I tried to point out. Many people at the demo we non participants, there were much less than 1000 actual demonstrators. I was there, I saw it. Plus I have no agenda, I have no just as little respect for those nuts as you do, we are on the SAME side! All I'm trying to point out is that the demo was a very marginal even in Mea Sheorim.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I have read the discussion in these comments and have been unable to discern any clear criteria for public declarations. Further, none of what you argue in these comments sections explain the need for this:

    http://www.vosizneias.com/98512/2012/01/09/jerusalem-report-eida-chareidis-says-extremists-innocent/

    I understand the desire to "let things blow over" but when, in the middle of the controversy, you start issuing proclamations related to the very issue at hand, you lose the right to remain silent.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hey Rap it seems that you are missing a humongous chunk of what Rav Sternbach is saying.

    He said they are a "group that dosnt listen to the charedei world or get support from them" and ."something which is obviously WRONG".

    Obviously its forbidden because of the issur of harming another , bad middos and chillul hashem. The question is about the sematics of publicly renouncing them- will it perhaps encourage them or ... etc. His diffrent concerns were all stated above.
    If you would LISTEN to him you wouldn't be going on with blaming all chareidim for the actions of these few nutjobs.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Caren May said...

    " American's don't seem to realize that they do not have the same type of Yiddishkeit as the Israelis"

    Baruch Hashem.
    Nor did Yekke Jews have the same Yiddishkeit as the Hungarians. Nor did Iraqi Jews have the same Yiddishkeit as Polish Jews. Why would or should they? and THEREFORE WHAT?
    ==============
    the answer to your question is obvious. The other groups you have cited are simply and obviously distinct and different in their customs and various halachic issues from each other.

    What I am pointing out is that the way of thinking of American and Israelis are different even when they apparently have similar minhagim and share reverence for the same leaders and even apparently belong to the same group.

    ReplyDelete
  64. RaP: By saying "I am only a blogger" does not mean to say that I or anyone cannot write with confidence. I think, and as you well know, that many of the posters, meaning bloggers, on your blog write with great confidence and stand up for themselves and that is how debates are run, one confident view is held up against another opposing or alternate or agreeing view.

    In the case in question, you did not cite a name, you just mentioned an anonymous person who you describe as a talmid chochem and you then go on to cite his, and another anonymous person's views, as some sort of "definitive" interpretation that American Charedim suffer from "temimus" (a most condescending and insulting point of view, that you seem to subscribe to and did not critique) and you support it with another claim from the next anonymous person to conclude that American Charedim are "not in reality" while Israeli Charedim are far superior and hence imply are free to roam the streets and do as they wish since they are "more in reality"!

    ------------------
    The issue is the starting point. You are an anonymous commentator who makes pronouncements which you acknowledge have no authority meaning you are not known either in your real identity or your anonymous identity as someone who knows what he is talking about. You acknowledge you are simply confidently and aggressively stating your opinion.

    I on the other hand am known - both my strengths and weaknesses. I am giving testimony that the people I am quoting are knowledgeable about the Jewish community and that this is their view. While it is true that they can be wrong in part or whole - the presumption that their views are accurate is much stronger than your anonymous ones.

    If you want your views to be taken more seriously you need to reveal who you are and on what basis your statements have substance.

    Furthermore your counter argument "Can you point out which points of mine are not accurate?" is absurd. The burden of proof for accuracy is on you. There is no presumption that your statements and especially your criticism of my views are accurate or even more correct than mine - so why should I have to disprove them?

    ReplyDelete
  65. James said...

    I have read the discussion in these comments and have been unable to discern any clear criteria for public declarations. Further, none of what you argue in these comments sections explain the need for this:

    http://www.vosizneias.com/98512/2012/01/09/jerusalem-report-eida-chareidis-says-extremists-innocent/

    I understand the desire to "let things blow over" but when, in the middle of the controversy, you start issuing proclamations related to the very issue at hand, you lose the right to remain silent.

    ==================
    good questions. First of all Weissfish was not declared to be innocent of the charges - but it was a protest against sending him to jail for a number of years. The assault that he was guilty of would typically received a sentence of 6 months. The sentence was meant to send a message to the Chareidi commmunity and that message is what they were responding to.

    Your are correct about the inappropriateness of the proclamation or rather what it left unsaid and implied. You need to understand that the Eida is not a unified homogeneous body. Rav Sternbuch was against the statement about Weissfish and signed only on the understanding that it would be removed - which it wasn't.

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  66. Eddie said...

    Dear DT,

    I appreciate your comment re the black and white viewpoint.

    If it were the case that a few police are out to nail the Haredim, why is it not happening in places like Bnei Brak, Romema, or even Beer Sheva, where there are large law abiding haredi communities?
    ================
    Apparently the fringe elements are better controlled out in Bnei Brak etc... In Yerushalayim there are a greater concentration of wild elements and you have police who are highly offended by the abuse they receive from these elements and they crack down harder. There are some secular authorities who feel that harsher measures are needed to send the appropriate message.

    On the other hand you have the extremists who deliberately provoke violence from the police so that they can get photographs to aid in fund raising in America as well as to reinforce the idea that the state is the enemy.

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  67. I stopped believing the stone throwing was done by "fringe elements" 20 years ago, when a satmar grandmother from London told me "what they are doing is right", commenting a picture of stone throwing hareidi youths in Jerusalem.

    I see the problem of "stopping them", but nothing prevents the rabbonim from putting them in Cherem or whatever.

    But they don't.

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  68. 6ft said...

    I stopped believing the stone throwing was done by "fringe elements" 20 years ago, when a satmar grandmother from London told me "what they are doing is right", commenting a picture of stone throwing hareidi youths in Jerusalem.

    I see the problem of "stopping them", but nothing prevents the rabbonim from putting them in Cherem or whatever.

    But they don't.
    -----------------
    you are obviously intelligent but are naive about the reality. If your basis for belief is this grandmother there is not much that I can do to change your mind.

    A cherem which can not be enforced is worse than worthless.

    The communities are not monolithic entities with top down authority structures. In many cases the bums will readily use violence against those who disagree - including rabbonim. Even Rav Eliashiv had stones thrown at him by these people. Rav Moshe Feinstein was threatened with having his apartment blown up if he published another teshuva on artifical insemination in the Igros Moshe - and he complied. In fact in cases where violence erupts - the police are often called on for protection

    So rather than the concern being "just letting things blow over" the problem is the fear induced on many levels in those who oppose these fanatics.

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  69. > Israelis are not governed by Daas Torah.

    You know that and I know that but as I pointed out, the Chareidi leadership and their bagmen never grow tired of shouting "We obey Daas Torah! That's what makes us Chareidim!" So what are the Chilonim to think?

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  70. good questions. First of all Weissfish was not declared to be innocent of the charges - but it was a protest against sending him to jail for a number of years. The assault that he was guilty of would typically received a sentence of 6 months. The sentence was meant to send a message to the Chareidi commmunity and that message is what they were responding to.

    Your are correct about the inappropriateness of the proclamation or rather what it left unsaid and implied. You need to understand that the Eida is not a unified homogeneous body. Rav Sternbuch was against the statement about Weissfish and signed only on the understanding that it would be removed - which it wasn't.
    ===============================
    These pilpulim raise even more questions and make the Rav look very bad. He wont condemn the "fringe" because they wont listen but he will publicly defend a member of that fringe? To whom was that proclamation directed? One would think Shmuel Weissfish (a hoodlum responsible for a serious hillul hashem) got a life sentence for jaywalking.

    RDE, reread your defense of the rav and I think you will see how disingenuous it sounds.

    Perhaps the best policy would be for the rav to NEVER sign any proclamation. That is the ONLY defense for not condemning the "fringe", some of whom he has publicly supported.

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  71. James wrote:

    These pilpulim raise even more questions and make the Rav look very bad. He wont condemn the "fringe" because they wont listen but he will publicly defend a member of that fringe? To whom was that proclamation directed? One would think Shmuel Weissfish (a hoodlum responsible for a serious hillul hashem) got a life sentence for jaywalking.

    ----------------

    He didn't defend Weissfish.

    ReplyDelete
  72. He didn't defend Weissfish.
    ============================

    Incorrect. He called him an "Avrech Hashuv". Read the link.

    What you probably meant to write was "He didnt INTEND to defend Weissfish" but defend him he did. He refers to him as an avrech hashuv. Public "mistakes" require public appologies.

    You cant hide behind "the eida is not a unified homogenous body" when they ACT as a unified body.

    The second bold paragraph beginning "Ein Zeh Ki" is deeply offensive to large portions of shomrei Torah u'mitzvos and if you choose to put your name on that proclamation, you had better take responsibility for it.

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  73. I have a slightly tangential issue here that I would love clarified. When I went through Vayoel Moshe, I couldn't help but be struck by the fact that the sikkrikim are not completely inventing a new shita. The SR rails against democracy (for Jews) and lambasts R Itche Meir Levin for the kefira of agreeing not to do K'fiyah Datit. And of course we all know the Medina must be eliminated before Moshiach can come. I think that it's a rather small step from there to the (superficially) obvious conclusion that if someone is dressed immodestly, the least you can do is spit at her. I have read the filth that comes of the otzar hayahdus in m'eah shearim and it is clear that they adopt this approach. They clearly believe they are following in the footsteps of the SR and R Amram Blau zatzal. Furthermore there are fence-sitters who are unsure of themselves, as well as a host of in between "shitos" e.g. it's okay to stone a cop but not a civilan. I think it would be most helpful for someone of RMS's stature to clarify WHY in fact, these behaviors are appropriate EVEN FROM AN EIDAH POV. Otherwise, the outsiders may see them as being in agreement, and the Sikkrikim just think they're wimps.

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  74. >He noted that the actual number of victims has been very small<

    Wonder if he'd say the same if it was his daughter or grand-daughter?

    ReplyDelete
  75. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    1 of 2: RaP Responds to RDE again.

    "[RDE]: Daas Torah said...The issue is the starting point. You are an anonymous commentator who makes pronouncements which you acknowledge have no authority meaning you are not known either in your real identity or your anonymous identity as someone who knows what he is talking about. You acknowledge you are simply confidently and aggressively stating your opinion."

    RaP: I think that it is fair to say that for the approximately 4 (yes, FOUR) years that I have posted and worked hard to add value to your blog, including researching and responding in great detail, that regardless of who I am in real life, I have supported you most of the time and that we have had few disagreements, so I see no need to cheapen that just because there are hooligans in Yerushalayim that even you admit are out of hand, are being "defended" -- or not rebuked explicitly and openly -- by Rav Shternbuch, which as you can see almost everyone feels he should be doing more than just standing on the sidelines, and the best you can do is say that some unknown rabbi is saying that American Charedim are "temimim" meaning they are naive or "out of reality" which no one is accepting. Making "me" or anyone else who posts on this blog "the issue" is itself a distraction or red herring because the nature of blogs like this is that everyone is free to discuss and no one has to prove their credentials as long as they follow the rules of posting.

    "I on the other hand am known - both my strengths and weaknesses. I am giving testimony that the people I am quoting are knowledgeable about the Jewish community and that this is their view. While it is true that they can be wrong in part or whole - the presumption that their views are accurate is much stronger than your anonymous ones."

    RaP: If they can be "wrong" then their views are not "accurate"! I was not wrong on the Tropper case (he tried and failed to bring a legal threat that I helped knock down), I was not wrong about the problems with Guma Aguiar (he brought legal threats and you were forced to take down my comments), I was not spot on with the Hersh case (we all faced down a legal threat to sue for damages and reveal the identities of posters), I share you concerns about the problems with Freund (who has written to defend himself) -- so my record, precisely as an anonymous blogger working in your support has been very effective and you have stood by it through thick and thin most times. I have won your vote of confidence by the fact that you have supported me in the past on almost all the cases, except on the issue of conversions, see Recipients and Publicity - questions the integrity of the Syrian community as well as my own [May 2, 2008], and about aspects of the Eidah itself, see "Recipients and Publicity's" fantasy about the awesome power and ambition of the Bedatz [May 4, 2008], which seems to evoke a more rabid defensiveness from you, also revolving around the nature of how Rav Shternbuch functions.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 10, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    2 of 2: RaP Responds to RDE Again:

    "[RDE]: If you want your views to be taken more seriously you need to reveal who you are and on what basis your statements have substance."

    RaP: Funny. Is that now going to be your new policy and requirement of all posters on your blog? Good luck with that. If there is one thing that we all learned on this blog from the Hersh case, is that there is no such requirement on the Internet and that it does not stop the effectiveness of what is said. Not even Wikipedia required contributors to its most complex articles to reveal their true identities as they long as they abide by WP's editorial policies, and this blog has had that same policy as far as I know! To repeat, to describe American Charedim as being infected with "temimos" is both a foolish description and a disrespectful swipe at the vast American Charedi community that runs the gamut from tough Chasidim, to Litvisha yeshivas with all sorts of people. Most do not read the Yated or Modiah and would take offense that they are being relegated to being deficient in Yiddishkeit compared to their fellow Charedim in Israel as you accuse them. No "higher authority" is needed to see that, just use of ones brains.

    "[RDE]: Furthermore your counter argument "Can you point out which points of mine are not accurate?" is absurd. The burden of proof for accuracy is on you. There is no presumption that your statements and especially your criticism of my views are accurate or even more correct than mine - so why should I have to disprove them?"

    RaP: Should I just repeat the same posts as above that are detailed above? The point is simple, American Charedim are just as much "in reality" as Israeli Charedim. I am sorry you do not accept that. Should we do a survey and find out which Charedim -- the Israeli or American ones -- are "more in reality" or is logic and sechel good enough?

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  77. "What I am pointing out is that the way of thinking of American and Israelis are different even when they apparently have similar minhagim and share reverence for the same leaders and even apparently belong to the same group".

    In disagreement, since ISRAELI Charedim who live in Rechovot/Petah Tikvah/Netanya/Kifar Chassidim/ etc. have entirely different way of thinking & actubg than the Charedim of the big cities. Plus American Charedim who live in various cities in Israel (& of course in USA) are also as different as night and day. The cultural difference start at birth connected to your home base, yeshiva education, Rabbabim that you associate and consult with.....plus.

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  78. The reason the rabbis supported Tropper was not necessarily because they agreed with his shita, it was because he shower them with money, gifts, trips and in some cases sex.

    He basically was able to corrupt all the Orthodox leadership from r' Hershel Schachter of YU (US) on the left to r' Tuvia Weiss, of the Eida Haredis (Israel) on the right, both supported him at one point.

    ReplyDelete
  79. James said...

    He didn't defend Weissfish.
    ============================

    Incorrect. He called him an "Avrech Hashuv". Read the link.
    ==================
    Again he agreed to sign on the declaration if the statement about Weissfish was removed. It wasn't despite promises to that effect.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 12, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Typo: "I was spot on with the Hersh case"

    ReplyDelete
  81. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 12, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    1 of 2: Rabbi Berel Wein's point of view

    Regarding American versus Israeli mentalities, here is one example of a moderate Haredi American one.

    Rabbi Berel Wein, the noted American Rosh Yeshiva, attorney, educator, historian, scholar, international lecturer, columnist, (www.rabbiwein.com), and presently Rov of the Hanassi Synagogue in Rechavia, Jerusalem and head of his own Destiny Foundation has lately been taking a more and more openly critical position regarding what he sees as the faults in Israeli Charedi society, as the latest article below from The Jewish Press shows. It is important to know that Rabbi Wein is a multifaceted personality. Besides his credentials as an American attorney and author, he not only founded his own Haredi Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Rockland, New York, but had long before been involved in helping his brother in law, Rav Chaim Levin, a current member of the Haredi American Moetzes Gedolei haTorah, establish and found the Haredi Telz Yeshiva of Chicago. That is why this latest piece he wrote is so significant, and bears directly on the topic that has been discussed in this post:

    The Jewish Press:

    "Why Haredim Have An Image Problem With Most Israelis

    By: Rabbi Berel Wein

    Published: February 8th, 2012

    The most dreaded status in Israeli society is to be considered a frier – a sucker, a boob, stupid and unable to withstand being taken advantage of.

    The most dreaded status in Israeli society is to be considered a frier – a sucker, a boob, stupid and unable to withstand being taken advantage of.

    The current backlash in Israeli society against haredim is not merely a matter of theology or of vastly different societal values, different dress and customs. That would prove insufficient to provoke the over the top reaction that has emerged over the past several weeks against haredim generally because of the abominable behavior of some haredim – with, unfortunately, the tacit approval of many other haredim.

    The underlying motive for all this haredi bashing is that Israelis – religious, traditional, secular and haredi light – are tired and disgusted of being friers. They have had it with a large and growing section of the Israeli population that they feels is being supported by the general public while contributing next to nothing to the general good and welfare of society.

    It is useless to protest that the study and observance of Torah and the continuity of Eastern European or Sephardic traditions is somehow the guarantee of the continued existence of the state of Israel.

    The religious Jewish community has never educated the general public to understand this issue correctly and thus the haredi world stands defenseless in the face of the public onslaught against it. And not only is it defenseless, it itself, in many respects, is the main culprit in causing this disparagement of Torah, its students and teachers. It is guilty of making the general Israeli society feel like a frier."

    ReplyDelete
  82. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 12, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    2 of 2: Rabbi Berel Wein's point of view:

    "Why Haredim Have An Image Problem With Most Israelis

    By: Rabbi Berel Wein

    It is well recognized that thousands of haredi young men are not really cut out to sit and study Talmud all day. The streets are full of them even if they are not yet those who have thrown off their garb and faith. Yet the rabbinic and chassidic leaders of the haredi community refuse to endorse the practical notion that these young men do national service stints – in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, shelters and other welfare institutions.

    In this way they can fulfill their obligations to the state and society and allow themselves to obtain the necessary educational and vocational skills to enter the Israeli workforce and not be condemned to a lifetime of borrowing, charity and poverty.

    Who should care for the stranger, the widow and the orphan if not the strictly observant Orthodox community? Why is this not seen as the fulfillment of a Torah value?

    Why is it perfectly acceptable, after already condemning two generations of haredi families to poverty and often to the dysfunction that poverty causes, to continue to condemn a third and a fourth generation to such a fate?

    Is it the sole and main purpose of the haredi members of Knesset to allocate as much government funds as possible for the unemployed, the uneducated and the unappreciative at the expense of others in society?

    These are the questions Israeli society asks of the haredi world, for these are the issues that engender in Israelis the feeling of being made a frier.

    And then there are the small things that have been raised to be great principles of faith in haredi society that are continual irritations. I cannot understand why a prayer on behalf of the soldiers of the state of Israel is not allowed to be recited in haredi synagogues and institutions of learning. Is this not the height of ingratitude when such prayers for the Czar’s army, the Turkish army and various “friendly” governments when we were in exile were recited?

    The haredi community may have legitimate theological problems with the state and its leaders, but what does that have to do with the ability to say thank you to those who protect it from annihilation – or for that matter to a government that provides it with millions of shekels and without its support it would collapse?

    Its refusal to acknowledge these benefits even in the smallest way and be appreciative of them creates the frier reaction among the general Israeli public and endangers the very way of life and goals haredi society is attempting to preserve. One would think these realities would be self-evident to the haredi community and its leaders.

    It is our joint responsibility as Jews to make the Torah and its holy traditions beloved among all other Jews and respected in the general world. Following policies and mores that accomplish just the opposite of this goal is morally indefensible. In essence this makes a frier of all of us, haredim included.

    Rabbi Berel Wein is an internationally acclaimed scholar, lecturer and writer whose audiotapes on Torah and other Jewish subjects have garnered a wide following, as have his books, which include a four-volume series on Jewish history. A pulpit rabbi for decades, he founded Yeshiva Shaarei Torah of Rockland in 1977 and moved to Israel in 1997."

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  83. I believe you that he didnt intend to sign the declaration but he did sign it. As a public individual he has a duty to publicly distance himself from misstatements made in his name. Unless I read this blog, how was I supposed to know that he doesnt "toe the party line?"

    The point is whether to publicly denounce the fringe is not just an issue of who will listen. It is an issue of clearing his name which, at present, is only clear to readers of this blog.

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  84. I wonder what the Rav thought of the comments?

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  85. All I can say is that, Baruch Hashem Yom Yom, that my parents or/and grandparents chose MO.

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