Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ponivezh Rosh Yeshiva: We Deserve This

Arutz Sheva

The Ponivezh Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein related to the media incitement against the Hareidim and said that in the face of such incitement, the Hareidim should realize it is a message from G-d. The only response can be the eradication of baseless hatred, and repentance.


  1. Is this what R Sternbuch was upset about in this weeks (english) Yated? He wrote something along the lines of "What is alarming are the calls for unity that were expressed on the front page of Chareidi Media."?

  2. Rav Y.M. Lau has gone one step further than ANY other current Orthodox-Charedi-Chasidic leader by condemning and chastising the fanatics:

    Israel National News/Arutz Sheva:

    "Rabbi Lau: Shouts of 'Nazi!' Cause Me Nightmares

    Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau tells Ma'ariv he was shocked to see a photo of a Jewish boy wearing a yellow star in last week's hareidi protest.

    By Chana Ya'ar

    First Publish: 1/8/2012, 12:07 AM

    Tel Aviv-Yafo (Jaffa)'s Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau [and former Chief Rabbi of Israel] says he was shocked to see a photograph of a Jewish boy wearing a yellow star in last week's hareidi religious demonstration in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim.

    Rabbi Lau told the Hebrew-language newspaper Ma'ariv in an interview that the hareidi public feels "persecuted," but that this feeling "in my opinion leads it to express itself in a way that borders on blasphemy. If you explain to secular Jews observance of the Sabbath through hurling rocks and shouts of "Nazi!" then first of all, they [themselves] are sinning by touching the rock -- which itself is forbidden on the Sabbath -- and you also destroy the tiniest chance that those who do not observe the Sabbath might begin to do so.

    "The picture of the beautiful and innocent Orthodox child at a demonstration, raising his hands in surrender, wearing on his garment a yellow star, chased the sleep from my eyes that night," Rabbi Lau continued. "I am afraid for him, even for his faith. When this child will grow up and will realize what they did to him in his community, how they exploited his innocence, how they used him, he is likely to kick away the traditions of his father's house.

    "For me, to stand a child up with his hands raised in surrender in imitation of that famous photograph from the Warsaw Ghetto distorts history and shows incomparable ingratitude to the Master of the Universe, who gave us the Jewish State that did not exist when that original photo was taken," he added. "The significance of the act is simply to ignore the kindness of the Creator Who tells you, you aren't standing today before Nazis who are coming to destroy you. Today you have a country, you have a home, and the police are coming to defend every Jew, even if he demonstrates in the streets of Jerusalem.

    "How can you compare Jews to a Nazi who was able to throw a baby into a frying pan on a burning Primus stove?" Rabbi Lau demanded. "And I am talking about things I saw with my own eyes. Or a Nazi who could take a child similar to the one who participated in that demonstration and tear him apart? Those who demonstrated "Nazis! Nazis!" -- including the "price tag" demonstrators who attacked the IDF officers -- don't know what a Nazi monster is and to what depths he can reach."

    Rabbi Lau said he believes there should be deterrents and enforcement of the law when anyone uses symbols of the Holocaust. "Shouts of 'Nazi' at Jews -- not to mention photos of things like that child -- cause us, the survivors, insomnia and nightmares," he said."

  3. What Arutz Sheva left out was that he also called the chilonim Bar Kamtza:

    Kind of ironic for someone talking about sinas chinam.

  4. Well considering that for some elements in the community pointing the finger at anyone but themselves is the 14th Ikkar Emunah....

  5. Yeah, but...

    According to the YWN version, which included translated snippets, R Edelstein didn't say we brought this calumny on ourselves by not caring enough
    what the crazies amongst us do to angrily stop them. At least, not until we got his by the backlash.

    RGE said (as translated in YWN):
    The hate come from sinas chinam, but it is explained by chilonim as being the result of one thing or another, telling the chareidi tzibur it must make a tikun in one area or another...

    This hate campaign is a Heavenly decree and if the
    chiloni community did not carry it out, it would come from elsewhere....

    This is a far cry from "we received tokhachah; qabel es ha'emes mimi she'omro". Not a declaration that this whole story reflects back at us that we don't care enough about the other to get out of our chairs in their defense. Just a pronouncement that there must be some unnamed sin that must exist since this is a punishment min haShamayim. More to the tune of "don't hate the messenger", or to quote RGE from the article, "The chareidi tzibur does not have to have the chiloni tzibur but we must pity them."

    An important message -- don't add to the sin'as chinam. But too nebulous to motivate change, and to my mind it defuses what could have been an opportunity for real soul searching.

  6. Not to be cynical, but it's obvious why R Lau would do that. He was there, saw the hell and knows the real thing. According to some reports he IS that original child in the picture.

  7. Can you please confirm whether the paskevil which bears Rabbi Sternbuch's name and which supports the sikrikim is authentic?

  8. R Lau isn't, and doesn't claim to be. He was nowhere near the Warsaw Ghetto; his father was a rav of a suburb of Lodzh. He was sent straight from there to a slave labor camp. At 8, he was among the youngest slaves the Nazis took, if not perhaps the youngest. From there to a second slave labor camp, and from there to Buchenwald. So, he wasn't there to be in a picture of the rounding up of Warsaw Ghetto uprising survivors.

    There are theories about who the boy is, but Yad Vashem gave up on making a positive identification.

    RYML did say that the pictures of the protest literally gave him nightmares.

    Pitputim: It's not plausible enough to warrant needing verification. Although I must confess, your comment is the first report I've seen of such a pashkevil existing. On the front page of the English Yated he is reported as being alarmed at the calls for unity with these Sicarii that appear in chareidi media.

  9. About the Yated article... It is out of character for our host that he didn't post it.

  10. pitputim said...

    Can you please confirm whether the paskevil which bears Rabbi Sternbuch's name and which supports the sikrikim is authentic?
    question of what is meant by authentic - it was in fact issued by the Eidah - but Rav Sternbuch said he would sign only if there were modification in the text. No changes were made - so it does not accurately reflect Rav Sternbuch's views

  11. micha said...

    About the Yated article... It is out of character for our host that he didn't post it.
    January 10, 2012 11:53 AM
    Baruch HaShem I just moved back to Jerusalem a few days ago - will take a while to get organized

  12. Mazel Tov R Eidensohn, try not to get arrested!
    Also, does that mean you're only going to hate the english yated a week later? :)

  13. Thanks R' Eidensohn.

    Exactly what part of that poster's wording did R' Sternbuch object to?

    Will he be issuing a formal note of clarification?


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