Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

23 Tammuz 5760 - July 26, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Opinion & Comment
Keep Away from the Streets and the Squares

by A. Yitzchaki

The political right wing is once again taking to the streets. A little more than a year since they themselves so graciously toppled the right wing government of Binyamin Netanyahu and returned the Left to power, they have been publicly demonstrating against Ehud Barak's intention to transfer the majority of the territories of Yesha to Palestinian hands.

The political right is very adept at demonstrations, but as far as politics are concerned, it isn't particularly shrewd.

A few weeks ago, an article appeared in the Hebrew edition of Yated Ne'eman criticizing the right wing leadership, which in essence brought the Oslo-niks to power and returned the Camp-David-niks to it as well.

One of the major papers in the country cited Yated's criticism, alongside the reaction of the spokesman of the Yesha Council, who said: "Now is not the time to settle accounts with us."

Perhaps it really isn't the time to settle accounts with Jews who literally feel that the ground is burning beneath their feet. But it definitely is the time to take the chareidi community to task for its behavior.

Despite its empathy with the pain of the Yesha settlers over the raucous collapse of their long- standing belief that the vision of Eretz Yisrael hashlaima is materializing in the State of Israel, which for them is the beginning of the geula, are these the struggles Torah-true Jewry should now be waging?

According to reports in the media about the recent massive right wing rally, the organizers had announced that they would earmark one corner where separation between men and women would prevail so that chareidim could also participate.

Another report mentioned the names of the speakers at the rally, and said that a UTJ representative would also attend.

Are the scenarios of the Rabin government, during which people with chareidi appearances participated in the right wing demonstrations about to crop up again during the Barak government?

With all due respect toward Yesha residents, many of whom are Torah observant, and very meticulous about the mitzvos, it was hard to find them participating in the struggles waged by chareidim against the true dangers that threaten the peace and security of the Jews living in the Holy Land.

Whoever believes in the words of the Holy Torah, knows that the dangers of Shabbos desecration or lewd performances, as well as those of the uprooting of the foundations of Judaism by transgressors in judicial garb, are the true factors that endanger the security of the Jews in the Holy Land.

Nowhere does the Torah say that the uprooting of settlements poses an existential danger to the Jews of Eretz Yisroel. But it clearly states that emulating the lifestyles of the non- Jews who live there is a very potent danger, as it is written: "If not the Land will vomit you, when you pollute it."

That sector of Jewry which believes in striking a happy medium, and which does not participate in the struggles against Shabbos desecration or against the undermining of the status of yeshiva students, and sometimes even positions itself on the other side of the fence, recalls Torah loyal Jewry only when the shlaimus ha'aratez is threatened.

This shlaimus perturbs it a thousand times more than the shlaimus of the Torah.

The day of the right wing rally, vehicles driven by youngsters who certainly didn't appear religious drove through the streets of Bnei Brak. These youngsters pasted huge announcements on the billboards, calling to the chareidim to join the demonstration.

On their way, they pulled up in front of chareidim, and called out: "See you at the demonstration!"

Does the chareidi sector have anything in common with the nationalist camp, which regards the vision of Eretz Yisrael Hashlaima, or what is still left of it, as the fulfillment of the vision of our prophets?

The true face of the political right was recently revealed, after it lent a hand to the undermining of those who are the lifeblood of Torah Jewry, the lomdei haTorah.

Whoever thought that there was any sort of a common basis between the camps, discovered the gaping abyss. Even in the national religious camp, there was a sharp debate over how to vote, which, in the end was decided only on the basis of personal interests, which mandate at this stage cooperation with the chareidi camp.

The political right, with all of its national and national religious streams, is trying to harp on the strings of the ahavas Eretz Yisroel and of the ahavas Yisroel of the chareidi sector, and to drag it into a nationalistic outlook.

During Rabin's time, a difficult battle was waged against those with chareidi appearances, who joined the political right, not merely for the ulterior motive of battling the government, but also out of ideological identification.

Apparently we have to resume that struggle today, when the right wing is trying to hitchhike on the back of the chareidi sector, and to involve them once again in the battle against the expected retreat.

Every Torah-observant Jew knows that if and when this question becomes actual, it will be presented to the gedolei Yisroel for a decision, and that we will unequivocally obey their directives.

This isn't a question to be decided in public squares or at massive demonstrations. Torah Jewry demonstrates only when the undermining of the principles of our faith are at stake, and then too, only when the gedolei Yisroel have explicitly called for a demonstration.

The belief that the undermining of the principles of our faith is the only tangible danger to the Jewish settlement has always been the guiding light of those who believe in the Torah.

The political right took to the streets even when a right wing government itself signed an agreement to return Sinai to the Egyptians.

At that time, the gedoeli Yisroel, headed by Maran, HaRav Shach, shlita, instructed the representatives of Torah-observant Jewry to support the peace accord with the Egyptians, and the chareidi sector, whose collaboration with the right wing camp at that time was still brief, did not participate in those battles.

Anyone with even a modicum of yiras Hashem in his heart, must keep a distance from those battles, of which chachomim do not approve, and which are not in the spirit of Torah.

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