Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Eda Haredit denounces state ‘oppression’

The ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit (Badatz) organization published a harsh letter this week condemning the government and police for waging a war against “those who fear God,” and against “modesty and holiness.”

The letter, which appeared on posters in haredi (ultra- Orthodox) Jerusalem neighborhoods on Monday night, was written in the name of Rabbi Tuviah Weiss, the head of the Eda Haredit rabbinical court, and his deputy Rabbi Moshe Shternboch.


  1. Why does Rav Shternboch not condemn the despicable harassment and violence towards women and even little girls?

  2. The Torah condemns the despicable harassment and violence towards women and even little girls. What could Rav Shternbuch add to the huge volume of halachos and responsa that already exist?

    Talmud Bavli contains numerous admonishments and recommendations pertaining to a man's relations to women: "A man should not project excessive fear in his household" (Gittin 6b); "Rabbi Helbo said: A man should always be careful in respecting his wife, for any blessing found in his home is only on account of her, as Scripture states: 'And because of her [Sarai] it went well with Avram'(Gen. 12:16)" (Baba Mezia 59a); "Our Rabbis taught: Concerning one who loves his wife like his own body [or, self] and respects her more than his own body, Scripture states: 'You shall know that your home is safe, and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing' [or, 'and not sin'] (Job 5:24)" (Yevamot 62b).

    This last example becomes, in Maimonides' Mishne Torah, "Thus commanded the Sages: A man should honor his wife more than his own body and love her like his own body."

    Rabbi Moshe ben Yaakov gives a typical pronouncement on the topic.

    It is forbidden for a person to injure either himself or another; and not only to injure but also anyone who hits another Jew — whether child or adult, man or woman — to disgrace them, such a person transgresses a prohibition, as Scripture states, "Do not add [to the required number of lashes]" — if the Torah warns not to add blows to a guilty person, how much more does this apply to an innocent person. Even to raise one's hand against another, even if one doesn't actually hit him or her, is called wicked, as Scripture states, "And he said to the wicked one, Why do you hit your neighbor?"

    This is only a small sampling of the huge volumes of halacha on the topic.

    Judaism has condemned violence towards women and violence in general since Har Sinai.

  3. we are all taking the AIDA HACHREIDIS too seriously,the fact is that they represent a very small percentage of the chareidi community in Jerusalem,they are not recognized by GER,BELZ,VIZNITS,and all the rest of the chasidishe courts that belong to the AGUDAH,because they have their own BEIS DIN,and of course they are not recognized by the so called YESHIVISH community,and neither the SEFARDI community has anything to do with them,
    it is the TOLDOS AHRON and SATMAR and some of the BRESLEVER, and the NETUREI KARTA crazies whom they represent,basically they are completely irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of the CHAREIDIM in Jerusalem,
    Basically what's left of the AIDAH,is an impressive multi million dollar HASHGACHA business.
    they are completely irrelevant in the lives of 95% of the chareidi population,and if they will keep on issuing idiotic and insane proclamations like this one,they will become more and more irrelevant each day.

  4. This is prophecy being fulfilled that we will have no leaders in the time right before Moshiach.

    And everything will be afooch. We see the so-called pious becoming gangsters.

    The people will become chutzpa. We should all become chutzpa against our leaders and our charedi society and demand true righteousness.

  5. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 12, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    You need to report the full story about the Weisfish affair and his arrest, as well as of other Haredim for disorderly conduct by the Israeli police, the lead up to that, and the responses and how his friends are coming to his rescue, that's being discussed on other blogs.

    The state is not "oppressing" anyone. Haredim must learn to play by the same rules of a civil society as anyone else. They must UNEQUIVOCALLY and UNAMBIGUOUSLY condemn the hurling of stones, throwing of diapers with feces in them, spitting on girls, cursing women, smashing storefront windows, destruction of property, vandalism, bullying, mayhem and hooliganism by ANY Haredi or Hasidic Jews!!!

    Only when Haredim and Hasidim will learn to behave with utmost derech eretz at all times, even when provoked, then they will have the moral high ground to voice complaints.

    But they cannot on the one hand support agent provocateurs on the one hand who foment violence and misbehavior and demonstrations against secular and religious Zionist Jews and on the other hand allege that they are being "oppressed" when the state deploys its police powers.

    One wonders what the situation would be in the show was on the other foot and Haredim and Hasidim would be running the government how would they react to the behavior and acts of the secular Jews that they did not like. Would they bring back malkos (corporal punishment) and arba misos beis din (four capital punishments), or would they have the common sense to leave that type of justice for the arrival of the true Mashiach?

  6. Eidah Chareidit Sephardit is under Rabbi Yaakov Hillel who has a substantial following worldwide.

    Brisk is also part of Edah as is the more traditional faction of Breslov.

    Edah also draws a great deal of support from Dati Leumi and other Haredi factions who are not officially affiliated.

    In a recent survey, 96% of the religious public trusts the Bedatz/Edah hechsher.

    I believe that if one were to survey Israeli Orthodox Jews, that the majority would agree that the Israeli gov't and the media persecutes Orthodox Jews.

    This is NOT to condone anti Torah behavior against women in any way shape or form. C"V

  7. Jersey Girl- "The Torah condemns the despicable harassment and violence towards women and even little girls. What could Rav Shternbuch add to the huge volume of halachos and responsa that already exist?"
    Are you seriuos? The torah also condemns chillul shabbos- does that stop the weekly protest on rechov shivtei yisrael? This is about a letter that appears to give tacit support to a group of thugs. If they don't mean to support them why the letter at all? The torah is under attack? Is someone outlawing bris milah?

    "Edah also draws a great deal of support from Dati Leumi and other Haredi factions who are not officially affiliated."
    Are you nuts? Dati Leumi who believe the state is the beginning of the geula support an organization that denies its right to exist??

    "In a recent survey, 96% of the religious public trusts the Bedatz/Edah hechsher."
    What does that have to do with anything? Everyone knows the hechsher is reliable, the question is whether they're throwing Badatz certified bleach on people!

  8. Incidentally, I find it hilarious that the J Post combines the Eidah and Rabbi Litzman. Litzman is a member of a body (the knesset) which the Eidah holds is an issur of yeharog ve'al yaavor to step foot in!

  9. @Shaul, that is a funny observation! Thanks for bringing an early Purim for me :)

  10. Thank you Saul Shapira for brilliantly articulating the problem with Chareidi leaders silence regarding the un--Torah like and un- human like behavior of the crazy sick chareidi zealots. Jersey Girl really missed the key point, which you clarified so well.

  11. The silence of chareid leaders is deafening. What about the war the zealots are waging on kavod habriyot, darchei shalom and loving you fellow Jew. What about being mekabel kol adam b'saver panim yafot?

  12. From Sefer HaMitzvot HaKitzur, compiled by the Chofetz Chaim:

    Negative commandment 64: "not to appoint a judge who is unsuitable." A judge should "have a strong, fearless heart to rescue an exploited or victimized person from the one who oppresses him. These are the noble qualities a judge needs to have. If, however, someone appoints judges on account of other qualities, he violates this prohibition." This mitzvah "is in effect at every place and every time."

    My commentary: The first step in being fearless in combating oppression is having the discernment to understand who is actually being oppressed by whom -- an honest eye for seeing social reality. The thugs in Beit Shemesh are oppressing their dati leumi neighbors alright, causing loads of unnecessary suffering toward small children. If people who claim to be leaders cannot even bring themselves to notice and admit this obvious fact, they are nowhere near having the minimum halachic prerequisite for being judges. If one cannot be a judge, one cannot be a leader -- surely a great leader of the Jewish people, a gadol, should have the qualities a judge needs to have at even a higher level.

  13. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 13, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Charedim are only fooling themselves 1:

    Charedim who think that they can "influence" the modern world in 2012 - 5772 to see things "their way" by uncivilized unruly misbehavior and stupid demonstrations by dressing up as "victims" are making a huge MISTAKE!

    And here are some good reasons why:

    ANYONE who comes across this stuff is not "reading" about it in a black and white printed newspaper or by a poster ("pashkvil") on a wall -- the Charedi people and their actions are being recorded on VIDEO cameras and getting posted on Television, YouTube, and in high quality digital photos online and on TV and on various hand-held devices.

    Before anyone even tries to make sense of the anti-Zionist "message" or whatnot, the FIRST thing that registers is the VISUALS, the photos and the video footage and this is what one SEES before one hears or reads ANYTHING:

    *Healthy, well-dressed Haredi young men and boys, obviously very religious, but with well-fed and well-nourished bodies and faces with lots of energy jumping around with lots of strength. These are NOT the listless and defeated people taken prisoner by enemies, they are like well-fed rugged people, almost like vikings, ready to do battle. No scrawny ghetto or concentration camp victims in way shape size or form.

    *Lots of Haredi boys of all ages many of whom are smiling, laughing and having a good time, even when dressed up in sack-cloth they look like they are having fun. They are running to and fro and are out on a fox hunt or duck hunt to "get at" the Zionists and chiloni seculars they seem to hate. They don't look like "victims" of any kind!

    *Haredi people with lots of time and ENERGY on their hands to go toe to toe, head to head and in your face with even the toughest Israeli policemen. They have lots of AGGRESSION and TESTOSTERONE and ENERGY in them to endlessly shout and clammer as if they are not only the players on the field but the cheering squads, as well as a willingness to be the "hit men" for their team. Again, these are not your everyday idea of political or social "victims"!

    And more like this.

  14. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 13, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Charedim are only fooling themselves 2:

    The bottom line is that they are NOT seen or perceived as HUNGRY, MALNOURISHED, PUNISHED and LEAST OF ALL "PERSECUTED"!!!! They have eatedn lots of kugel, cholent, chala, salads, fruits, milks, breads, meats, chickens etc because they are all too happy, HEALTHY, strong, active, vibrant, virile and pumped up. THEY ARE NOTHING LIKE THE JEWS OF EUROPE who were truly persecuted, starved, stripped, abused, humiliated and crashed by the Nazis or the Soviets or the Arab mobs like happened to Jews in Arabs lands.

    They are LIVING OFF THE FAT OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL (and they are not even its farmers or merchants) and they are greedy for more. They do not care that secular Israelis man the army to defend them, run an economy that functions and provides welfare and housing benefits, have proper infrastructure for societies like sewage and water and good roads and transportation that they use but do not build, industries and commercial, wholesale, and retail stores that bring in FOOD, CLOTHING, HOUSEWARES and build everything that feeds, houses and nourishes them. They are SPOILED BRATS!!!

    If the Charedim were truly honest they would give a big yasher koach to the chilonim and the Religious Zionists who are making sacrifices instead of trying to fake it that they are "victims" -- the Charedim have won the culture wars, everyone knows that they represent Yiddishkeit, but with that, the Charedim must not act like fools and must now find ways to be magnanimous to the tinokos shnishbu and MEKAREV them!

    Charedim must try saying TODAH (TODAH RABBAH would be great) as a start!!!! In common society teaching a child to say "thank you" is the first big lesson in derech eretz. Of course, they can start by saying "SHALOM" too instead of making fools of themselves on TV and on the Internet where they are really losing the PR war big time because no one is taking them seriously!

  15. I would like to follow up my comments earlier with a clarification. The majority of "eidah families" in fact have a very competent leader. The Toldos Aharon families follow their rebbe, as do the Toldos Avrohom Yitchak, ditto for the Briskers. The troublemakers here tend to be people who- believe it or not - consider the Eidah to be tziyoni! I know this because I used to read their their weekly newsletters. They blame the Eidah for for giving a hechsher to Bamba snacks, which-horrors!- carried a logo celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the medinah. The actual leaders of the Eidah are legitimate gedolim who have very extreme positions rgarding ZIONISM but are much nicer to ZIONISTS. I was therefore shocked to see this letter, and I can't understand where it came from. I tend to believe that either they didn't realize what they were signing or they were pressured into it. I was reacting more to the letter and Jersey Girl, than to Rav Sternbuch or Rav Weiss shlita.


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