Monday, May 19, 2008

Different paths to the Final Redemption or civil war?

Jersey Girl wrote:

Among my extended family in Israel, even the most secular (who are QUITE non religious) are cheering the Sherman Psak. They are sick of living in crime ridden neighborhoods populated by anti Semitic goyim.

Not one person I know in Israel (and I have been on the phone quite a bit lately) is shedding a tear that anti Semitic pigs who have made life in many Israeli neighborhoods unbearable could be sent back to where they came from.

The only people who seem to be upset about this are Americans, Evangelical Christians and Jews who have a vested interest in sanctioning intermarriage.

Perhaps any of the above should go live in Bat Yam, Ashdod, Askelon, Haifa, Taveria etc to try to live with these "gerim Tzadekim".

My friend who lives there said to me this morning "After your sister is raped (G-d forbid), your brother beaten in the streets (G-d forbid), there are swastikas on the shul, insult is added to injury when you know that the government is supporting these people as "Jews" while genuine Jewish children go to sleep hungry, THEN TELL ME HOW WRONG IS RAV SHERMAN???"

Right now among residents of neighborhoods populated by Russians, Rav Sherman will be celebrated right next to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai ztl at the Hilula this year. Seriously.
Recipients and Publicity responded:

Jersey Girl says: "Among my extended family in Israel, even the most secular (who are QUITE non religious) are cheering the Sherman Psak. They are sick of living in crime ridden neighborhoods populated by anti Semitic goyim."

Since Jersey Girl has already openly informed us all that she is of Moroccon parentage, it is no surprise that she seems to think that the chorus coming from all manner of Sefardim "cheering the Sherman psak" as if FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING they were lehavdil Palestinians cheering on Saddam's scuds falling on Tel Aviv, so that this is quite obvioulsy nothing to do with Halacha but is more of a reflection of the cultural divide and known animosity between the "have not" Israeli Sefardim and the highly succesful Russian olim, among whom happen to be a huge number of non-Halchic Jews as well. As for gangs on the street, the Sefardim invented them, like groups that belonged to the the "Black Panthers" in Israel (see )long before the latest crop of Russians even set foot there.

Let's try to be totally fair for one minute, and not paint the Sefardim as the "unsung heros" of Israel, which they are far from being, and the Russian Jews with their associated non-Halachic brethren as demons deserving to be exorcised as if they were iredeemable "filth" which they are not because on the human level, the Russians as a whole have a huge advantage over the Sefardim and that is why they are of such benefit to the state of Israel: They are generally highly educated, well versed in science, mathematics and technolgy and are able to adapt to the manner of functioning in a Western democracy and making for successful memebers of an advanced technological society in the information age, whereas the Sefardim of Israel tend to be not like this: They are more traditional and have a stronger love of Judaism and tradition but they tend to be less amenable to modernisation and often fall into their old superstitious ways and they are very jealous of the Russians who have come from Communist system in the former USSR but have progressed quickly in modern Israeli society whereas the Sefardim tend to languish in poverty and anger due to their past cultural sterility of having lived in the objectively backward Arab lands.

These are some things that need to be recognized before one veers off into discussions about how "great" the Sefardim are in relation to the "bad" Russians.

And as for comparing Rav Sherman to Shimon bar Yochai, as Jersey Girl does, I think that she conveniently is jumping the gun and forgetting that Lag Ba'Omer was when the plague that killed Rabbi Akia's students stopped, and the Jewish sages say that one major reason they died out was that they did not honor each other (lo nehegu kovod ze beze) and it would seem (based on the criticism of leading rabbis such as Rav Aharon Lichtenstein) that the way Rav Sherman went about denigrating Rav Druckman in order to arrive at his pre-ordained view in any case (Rav Sherman's and Rav Eichenstein's people have been fishing for a while to come up with a convenient excuse to do what they did and they found it) but to personally attack and defame Rav Druckman and others like him (based on ideological and not Halachic reasons) sounds more like the horrid behavior of Rav Akiva's students towards each other, that tragically brought about their death and the subsequent mourning during the Sefira, rather than the example of Rav Shimon bar Yochai and his son who exemplified living in peace in the confines of a narrow cave for 13 years.


  1. It appears that once again RaP is attempting to bring a posted topic away from a discussion on Halacha and toward something irrelevant and emotional.

    Therefore, I ask RaP to please go through Rav Sherman's psak, and please item by item show how it is that he has violated Halacha.

    RaP says that Rav Sherman 'denegrated' Rabbi Druckman. Since RaP is clearly highly educated, I am sure that he can explain specifically how Rav Sherman is incorrect in his criticism of Rabbi Druckman. How is it denegrating to a criminal to catch him committing a crime and publicize the fact?

    Finally, on a socio-political note, RaPs assumptions about the intellectual and cultural qualities of Moroccans seem to be proven incorrect by the success of Moroccan Jews in Canadian, French, Moroccan and American societies. The question to ask in this case is not how Moroccan's differ from Russians, but rather why they are less successful in Israel than in other developed countries.

    The answer is well known to many intellectuals who have studied this question seriously and without invective or prejudiced. The modern Israeli gov't, as part of their official Zionism, maintains as a number one priority the European [Christian] cultural model for Israeli society. This is why Tel Aviv has intentionally been labeled as the Vienna of the Middle East, for example. Moroccans, and Yemenites, and Iraqis etc bring with them a Levantine culture that must be neutered by the Israeli gov't so that Israel can continue to be a European style culturally Christian entity.

    This is why it is more important to cause Russian Christians to have Jewish identities than it is to provide "Arab" Jewish Moroccans with advanced education opportunities such as the kind they receive in the U.S., Canada, and France.

    RaPs painting of Sephardic Israelis as being culturally unredeemable reminds of the racism he has expressed in earlier posts.

    Once again, we see the image that is usually presented by Christian missionaries.....that Christians have a better chance of succeeding as Jews and Israelis than do born Jews.

    One reading RaPs statement carefully, sees that his praise of the Russians is purely based on their intelligence and cultural superiority, and that Israeli society is better served by welcoming them as Jews for this reason.

    I would ask RaP a final question: where in any Jewish literature is it stated that these are valid qualification for conversion?

  2. When Rav Shimon and his son left the cave the first time, they tried to apply their torah standards to the real world, killing a farmer with their gaze because he was farming rather than studying Torah. A Bat Kol ordered them back to the cave. Rav Sherman take note.

  3. My esteemed cousin, Charlie Bitton founder of the Israeli Black Panthers stole MILK for starving Jewish children.

    Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto who stole food from the Nazis to feed starving Jewish children are considered heroes as is Charlie Bitton who stole milk and fed the starving, impoverished Jewish children of Kiryat-Uvel.

    "In March 1972 they stole all the milk destined for the wealthy Jerusalem Rechavia district and transferred it to the poor suburb of Kiryat-Uvel. In every bottle was a short letter, explaining that milk was more important for poor children than for rich people's cats."

    Charlie Biton became a member of Knesset and was re-elected four times.

    Since then, many Mizrahi Jews have entered the mainstream of Israeli politics, including (but certainly not limited to) Moroccan-born Amir Peretz and David Levy, Iraqi-born Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Yitzhak Mordechai and Iranian-born Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Katzav.

    Today 1 in 6 Sephardic JEWISH children in Israel can afford to eat only one meal a day and goes to sleep hungry each night while at the same time the "Jewish" Agency combs the world spending millions of dollars a year searching for Christians they can brand as "quasi-Jews" and bring to Israel (at the cost of $30,000 per head), so that then the Israeli Government can support them completely while they enroll in a four month long ulpan and then enroll in a 10 month long conversion institute if they so choose.

    Contrary to RaP's assertion, the majority of Russian olim are single mothers or the elderly, most of whom have settled contentedly for the standard Russian Israeli mix of hardcore nationalism and Arab hating in terms of ideology and non Kosher food (pork) in terms of nutrition.

    To say that the Jewish religion is not very popular in the bastions of Israeli secular culture is a wild understatement. While loads of people in Tel Aviv frequent Yoga schools where they vigorously engage in moving energies from chakra to chakra, many secular Israelis have now reached a point when even a short visit to one of Jerusalem's Orthodox neighborhoods will traumatize them to the point that they have second thoughts about who was the real victim in the history of Jewish/Christian persecution in Europe- thus the rise of neo-Nazis etc.

  4. Larry Lennhoff said...

    When Rav Shimon and his son left the cave the first time, they tried to apply their torah standards to the real world, killing a farmer with their gaze because he was farming rather than studying Torah. A Bat Kol ordered them back to the cave. Rav Sherman take note.
    What is the "lesson" you think that Rav Sherman needs to learn? I don't remember that this incident has anything to do with the nature of halacha - but of the need to accept activities which are not inherent holy - such as working for a living.

    Here is the text of Shabbos (33b):He and his son went and hid themselves in the Beth Hamidrash,[and] his wife brought him bread and a mug of water and they dined.20 [But] when the decree became more severe be said to his son, Women are of unstable temperament: she21 may be put to the torture and expose us.’22 So they went and hid in a cave. A miracle occurred and a carob-tree and a water well were created for them. They would strip their garments and sit up to their necks in sand. The whole day they studied; when it was time for prayers they robed, covered themselves, prayed, and then put off their garments again, so that they should not wear out. Thus they dwelt twelve years in the cave.23 Then Elijah came and stood at the entrance to the cave and exclaimed, Who will inform the son of Yohai that the emperor is dead and his decree annulled?24 So they emerged. Seeing a man ploughing and sowing, they exclaimed, ‘They forsake life eternal and engage in life temporal!’ Whatever they cast their eyes upon was immediately burnt up. Thereupon a Heavenly Echo came forth and cried out, ‘Have ye emerged to destroy My world: Return to your cave!’25 So they returned and dwelt there twelve months, saying, ‘The punishment26 of the wicked in Gehenna is [limited to] twelve months.’27 A Heavenly Echo then came forth and said, ‘Go forth from your cave!’ Thus.’; they issued: wherever R. Eleazar wounded,28 R. Simeon healed. Said he to him, ‘My son! You and I are sufficient for the world.’29

  5. respectfully to Larry:

    We always apply Torah standards to the real world. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's problem was that his standards at the moment of the incident you describe were indeed not based in Earth bound Halacha.

    Rav Sherman's psak is about basic Halacha and not about extremely lofty ideals.

    I have read the decision in its entirety in both English and Hebrew and see that the one of the biggest issues is that Rabbi Druckman claimed to have witnessed hundreds of conversions that he in fact did not witness.

    Does anybody reading this blog actually think that merely telling the truth, and not lying on an affadavit, are standards that are too lofty to expect of any Jew, even a Rabbinical Judge (Dayan)?

    Rabbi Druckman, after he was caught doing this earlier on, made an oath that he would not do it again and yet continued to.

    Why it is wrong to call a corrupt judge corrupt and remove him from office? Why it is wrong to question other decisions of his once the trail of lies has been exposed?

    In the U.S., where I live, if it was found that a Mafia-loyal judge had wrongly imprisoned 5,000 people in his last 25,000 cases, wouldn't you support opening up the othe 20,000 for review by a non-currupt judge?

  6. To Jersey Girl and Bright Eyes, the way you guys fly off the handle and twist things into a discussions about Christianity is ludicrous.

    My comments were not meant as a Halachic treatise. And in any casse, since when are Jersey Girl and Bright Eyes, or even Dr. Eidensohn "Halachists" -- when they are just bloggers on the Internet, nothing more and nothing less (Reality check: Real poskim and Halachists do not waste their time on such shtus/nonsense on the Internet) -- I was simply stating that one must look at the total picture, and not like Jersey Girl who starts to literally whoop for joy about the "downfall of the 'goyim' " that she imagines that Rav Sherman's pesak has brought about in Israel when Rav Sherman's pesak was not meant as a "deportation-order-from Israel-for-anyone-not-converted-by-a-Haredi-spin-of-Halacha" because the Russians are not going away any time soon from Israel (more will be coming from Russia and many like them from the USA for better or worse!), and instead of demonizing them as "criminals", which very few are and as I pointed out many more Sefardim are criminals in Israel too, one must try to take a calmer more detached view and see what the pluses are that the Russians have brought to Israel, and there are many.

    As for "Bright Eyes" style of responding to my posts, all I can say is that when he learns to write in a more polite and reasonable fashion, rather than launching into personal attacks, I will be glad to reply to him, but until he learns some manners, I cannot see how my responding to him serves any purpose.


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