Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Big Brother in Beitar

Important Announcement to Landlords and Sellers

As everyone knows a committee has been established in Beitar under the auspices of the rabbinical authorities to supervise the quality of life in our community and to monitor all events in the city in order to maintain its holiness.

We know that there are families who rent out their apartments without our approval and as a result undesirable families move into our community. We are putting everyone on notice that these landlords and sellers must be revealed and publicized as disobeying the rabbis of the city. Furthermore all the expenses for canceling the contract or lease is their sole responsibility..

Do you know about a spiritual hazard?. Please put our special number 580-0777 in your cell phone and any problematic occurrences that you are aware of should be reported immediately to us - 24 hours a day.

See also the following link


  1. Thank you for your post.

    To assist the readers whose Hebrew may not be up to par -- do you think you could post a translation of the fliers and briefly comment on their substance.

    kol tuv,

    Joel Katz
    Religion and State in Israel

  2. In the US, the issues are a bit different than in Israel.

    Observant Jews as a community spend millions of charitable dollars building shuls, schools, mikvoth and community centers. Because we must live walking distance to shul, there are not many neighborhoods in the US where an observant Jew can live and it is not generally easy or even possible to move.

    Because Orthodox Jews do not put their children in public schools, in frum areas, children from underprivileged districts will often be bused in to fill the empty public school seats.

    Orthodox Jews hire service workers in homes, schools, caterers, grocers etc. Discrimination is very real in the US and Jews are among the few who hire minorities who naturally like to live near work.

    Jews also tend invest in rental properties in frum neighborhoods. The only tenants for rundown rentals are minority workers and their families who otherwise cannot afford Jewish neighborhoods, so several wage earners will share a single family home.

    In many frum neighborhoods in the US, there are those who did not grow up in Boro Park or Flatbush under the siege of racial tensions from the surrounding neighborhoods.
    These Jewish investors do not understand the implications of living among ethnic groups who have a history of violence against Jews.

    So you frum communities of a few thousand Jews living under siege. In NMB, for example, children can not even play in the front yard, there are nightly break in attempts on homes, it is terrifying to come home after dark, and women and children are afraid to walk to shul on Shabbos in broad daylight.

    Once dozens of homes in frum neighborhoods have already been rented out like this, what is there to do? (The asking price of houses in NMB has dropped about 40% in wake of the recent crime. This makes it even more impossible for families to move).

    The local police cannot win the battle against crime in minority neighborhoods which they consider too dangerous to even patrol. In Miami, the City has contracted with a private security agency to patrol crime ridden areas.

    The yeshivas, shuls, mikvoth and kosher services in North Miami Beach were built with 50 years of community tzedakah and the frum residents have no where else to go.. These services cannot be duplicated in another less crime ridden area. Especially not when homes are worth less than their mortgages.

    This is an issue now in frum communities all over the US. It might seem harsh and bigoted to Israelis try to prevent Jewish landlords from renting to whomever they wish (ie in Lakewood). But consider that in recent months, it has become statistically safer to live in Sderot than in many frum US neighborhoods.

    If you were locked in your house behind iron window bars, afraid to go to a Shalom Zachor, evening shiur or even to shul on Shabbos morning; if you were afraid to even let your children play in front of your home, how would you feel?

    Perhaps, like the Rabbis in Lakewood you might also support a ban on landlords renting their properties in Jewish neighborhoods to whomever they wish.

  3. There is a clear distinction between lakewood and beitar in that the "undesirables" in beitar are sincere frum people who have issues such as being baalei teshuva, kids off the derech, not dressing according to the charedi mold, etc. if they cant live in a frum neighborhood then they have no other choice. plus, it could happen to anyone with teenagers, no matter how frum the rest of the family is. though the people who are bullied and intimidated and discriminated against are usually davke the loners and weak people who cant take it and either suffer or just leave the community. these people are not illegal aliens and drug dealers. if anything its the establishment here that acts like thugs. everyone here accepts in theory the concept of controlled demographics, but the problem is the discriminatory, corrupt, mafia, big brother, etc methods. and that there is a built in system for neighbors to use loshon hara and even motzei sheim ra to label someone as a pariah, without clear guidelines and due process to determine the truth and the proper way to resolve the issues. this system is the background to the ultimate result of a 14 year old girl being reported on, tracked, and attacked with acid in her face, though they had harrassed and threatened her older sister. this is clearly antithetical to the beginning of the Tur's choshen mishpat. [quote] not to mention all of the mussar values of the Torah way of life. I am sure the Chofetz Chaim is rolling over in his grave that this is what passes for "chassidus" and "kedusha" nowadays.

  4. It seems this topic is especially apropos considering the recent announcement of intentions to create a Vaad Hatznius in Lakewood. Please check out the following blog for an excellent analysis of the issues involved. Based on what is happening in Beitar, though it doesnt seem he is aware of it, he is right on target:

  5. here is part of a comment made by someone in a thread about this Lakewood Vaad:

    Case #4 - Beitar Illit - Men who either are part of the Vaad or are big followers plotted to distort the face of a girl in the community that isn’t acting tznius by throwing Bleach at her face. BLEACH!!! These idiots rationalized that if she looked ugly she would dress and act more tznius. Unfortunately, to add insult to injury there was a case of mistaken identity and they threw bleach in the face of her younger sister (whom I’m told was much more in line than her sister) and blinded her in one eye, let alone permanently distorting an innocent (by all standards) girl’s face. Look at how righteous this people is! (You say, “these are just extremist and we can’t judge the whole based on the miyut”. I say, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire!” Also, it’s clear from all over Tanach that the rov can not excuse themselves from the miyut.)

    comment #33


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