Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Dangers of False Conversions & Enforced Religious Pluralism in Israel

Guest Post by RaP:   Great Tefilos and Rachamei Shomayim are needed !!! The old time "Status Quo" arrangement started in the times of Ben Gurion and the Chazon Ish, is facing an onslaught.

Not just from those who want to enlist the Charedim into the Israeli Army, but an emboldened and brazen push (actually an attempted "putsch" or "silent coup") to overthrow the entire balance of power between religion and state, between the shrinking secular majority and the growing religious minority in Israel as it has existed by common consent and political arrangements since 1948.

HaRav Ovadia Yosef has recently openly stated that Yair Lapid "Hates the Yeshivot" and that "Bayit HaYehudi" is a "Home of Goyim" but it is actually far worse than that! Lapid desires nothing less than a complete overturn and destruction of Torah Judaism as it is known, or as it knows itself, with every new provocative statement or speech he makes. While Bennett naively tags along and thinks he can have his cake and eat it to as Lapid's ally. This is a very dangerous and pivotal moment in the history of Am Yisrael, Klal Yisrael, Bnai Yisrael and Medinas Yisrael. Take just two current reports about the "plans" of Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid and its "alliance" with Naftali Bennett of Bayit Yehudi.

See how Lapid, who has never been a politician and heads a party of political novices, talks as if he knows all there is to know about theology, God, Jewish Law, and Judaism. He may be an effective journalist and TV anchor but he is not known to have studied any religion or anything else at any higher, or lower, or known institution of Jewish or secular learning either in Israel or outside of it, yet he feels he can  make the most radical statements about changing Judaism, Jewish conversions and about what is Judaism and anything else that comes into his head!

As reported in Israel National News: "Lapid: I’ll Push Civil Marriage, Reform Judaism (2/12/2013) Israel National News
...Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, spoke Tuesday at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, held at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. Lapid declared that his political agenda includes making the Reform and Conservative movements – both popular in the United States – equal to orthodox Judaism in terms of state support. 'I want to do everything in my power to ensure the equality between all movements of Judaism in the state of Israel, Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform,' he declared. 'In conversions, in budgets, in the eyes of the law. No one can claim ownership over the Jewish God.' 'Small, old, petty politics cannot determine something that is eternal as is the Jewish identity, this is just wrong,' he added. Conservative and Reform Judaism differ from traditional Judaism on principles of belief such as the divine origin of the Torah and of the Oral Law. They also differ significantly regarding conversion to Judaism, and Reform and Conservative conversions are generally not recognized as valid by orthodox rabbis, who say converts must agree to full observance of Jewish law (halacha). Lapid also said that he plans to promote civil marriage in Israel. Currently Israel recognizes marriages performed under the auspices of a recognized religion within Israel, and any marriage registered abroad whether religious or not. The 'complete dominance of orthodox rabbis' over marriage “is an insult,' Lapid argued."

Add this to Lapid's alliance with the Bayit Yehudi party, a political successor to the Religious Zionist parties, that should be protecting Orthodox Torah life and values and not attacking them, whose 11 out of 12 members are Religious Zionists, some are rabbis:

As Israel National News reports: "Bennett and Lapid a Package Deal (2/14/2013)Israel national news
...Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid have created a pact between their two parties, agreeing that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will have either both of their parties in his coalition or neither, political sources have told Arutz Sheva. Together, the two have 31 seats. Netanyahu’s chances of putting together a coalition without either party are not considered good. Bennett and Lapid banded together due to a shared interest in preventing Netanyahu from creating a coalition that excluded one of them in favor of hareidi-religious or left-wing parties..."
For all the above reasons and many more, it is fitting that between Chanuka and Purim, when the Jewish People were saved from all sorts of decrees to "change" them, that all Jews who care about the fate of the Jewish People fervently pray for the same miracles of salvation by HKB"H.


  1. Keep some perspective.
    A few eledctions ago the Likud led by Arik Sharon created a government with two main junior partners - Tommy Lapid's Shinui and The Mafdal. After all of Lapid's bluster during the election nothing much changed on the ground and Shinui disappeared in the next election.
    Now the Likud led by Bibi is creating a government with two main partners - another Lapid-leg party and the successor to the Mafdal. Again there's lots of bluster. And it's quite likely that Yesh Atid has no atid come the next elections.

    1. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      "Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...Keep some perspective."

      RaP: The problem right now is that a lot of "smoke and mirrors" is going on as Binyamin Netanyahu (BN) battles to form his coalition. Bennett learned the tricks of the trade at BN's knee and so far he is managing to confuse everyone, one day asserting that he will only go into the government with Lapid, the next day coming out of a meeting with BN grinning from ear to ear, and making it to the head of the line. Something funny is going on. In the meantime Lapid postures and makes declarations to the world as if he is the "posek ha'acharon" lehavdil of the fate of Israel and the Jews. It is comical and absurd, but also dangerous and reckless.

      "A few eledctions ago the Likud led by Arik Sharon created a government with two main junior partners - Tommy Lapid's Shinui and The Mafdal. After all of Lapid's bluster during the election nothing much changed on the ground and Shinui disappeared in the next election."

      RaP: True, but as they say, that was then, this is now. Isreali politics is like the hit-parade, no one can really CARES about last year's hits, it's only who's on top of the charts now. So the goings on now are important for now, even though in the future all this will definitely be hevel havolim. One point though, the Yesh Atid of today are a much more sophisticated and educated crowd that represents the cream of productive "normal" Israeli society, but at the helm it seems is someone who looks and talks a lot like the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia who grounded a luxury liner with great people on board when that could have been avoided with a little less hubris and more focus on reality, like helping poor Israelis, worrying about the defense of Israel, obsessing less about Charedim, and not stirring up the hornets nest by picking fights with the Charedim that he will only lose. As for Bennett and his crowd, they are acting like the proverbial kids in the candy shop who cannot make up their minds what flavor they want. If they were truly frum they would know what the Torah advises about Ubacharta BaChaim!

    2. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      "Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...Now the Likud led by Bibi is creating a government with two main partners - another Lapid-leg party and the successor to the Mafdal. Again there's lots of bluster."

      RaP: Actually it does NOT seem that BN is having an easy time. There seems to be a lot of anxiety emanating from his corner. Barack Obama is coming to town soon. The American Jews in town are pressing for their pound of pluralistic flesh. Hamas and the PLO are drooling. The only ones who are ready to sit down and get to work are the experienced UTJ and SHAS politicians while all the newbies at Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi are running around like out of control kids who refuse to be broken in when there is the serious business of GOVERNING to do based on consensus, and that has always worked best for BN when he has the Charedim in his coalitions, but now he is being denied that and it's something new and frustrating for him, and it is causing a nervous tension that emanates to everyone. Even Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi are not happy defying the big rabbis that stand behind UTJ and SHAS. It must be scary for them, like kids partying in car when there is dangerous driving ahead. Someone has to be relied upon to be the designated driver adult as well as the one to say "tefilas haderech".

      "And it's quite likely that Yesh Atid has no atid come the next elections."

      RaP: You are probably right. But as of now the newbies (Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi) are causing havoc within the body politic of Israel with their showmanship and diving hither and thither to take what they think is the "high ground" anywhere, and obviously being guided by Lapid's media savvy to look good and sparkle on camera. Gosh, Lapid even spoke with a TELEPROMPTER as if he was the head-honcho already. When will showtime stop and when will reality set in? The clock is ticking as the world is waiting and watching and time is running out very quickly. Obama is watching, and coming. Iran is watching, and building its A-Bombs. The Arabs are watching and plotting. The world powers are watching and manipulating. Investors are watching and have their finger on funds that Israel needs. And more. While In Israel the shenanigans go on. Ad Matai?

  2. As a Bennett voter, I was actively involved in the campaign during the elections. The votes for Mafdal/Bayit-Yehudi in my town TRIPLED this time as compared to previous elections.

    From talking to literally hundreds of people, most of whom are sincere Jews committed to Torah and mitzvot, one thing is absolutely clear: The clear reason most of them are in favor of ditching the "status quo" on religion and state (which wasn't given at Sinai!) is precisely because people who think like RaP have taken control of the rabbinate over the past generation. Period. You reap what you sow.

    1. Would you be interested in writing a guest post expanding on your comment?

  3. 1) Campaigning isn't governing. Lapid will only look good until he becomes a minister. And if Israeli electoral history teaches us anything it's that flash-in-the-pan parties don't last longer than one election, the only exception being Kadima. They lasted two.
    2) This is why democracy is so dangerous to some in the Chareidi community. You have a small cabal of people in one corner who are content with a status quite that favours them and their lifestyle and you have a huge number of people in other corner, a significant number of them Chareidim, who are tired of that and want change. Only democratic expression allows for that change to possibly take place.
    3) No significant change will occur once all is said and done. None ever does.


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