Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

15 Sivan 5761 - June 6, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Collaboration with Antisemites

by Yitzchok Roth

You see them whenever there are people in need, be it a disastrous traffic accident, a large-scale catastrophe or a murderous terrorist incident. It's not hard to pick them out among the rescue forces. They are conspicuous in their yellow vests, but it is mostly their personal appearance that makes them stand out among the rescue workers: bearded faces, black kippot and tzitzis trailing from the side. They are the chareidi rescue workers, often the first to reach any incident where a lot of people have been injured.

They spring from many different groups, running the gamut of chesed organizations such as Ezer Mitzion, Ezra Lamarpeh and others; the highly trained, experienced Hatzoloh workers; all the way to ZAKA (identification of calamity victims). They are perform truly holy work that is appreciated and admired even by those far removed from the Torah lifestyle.

In photos continually streaming to the media from any disaster site in Israel, they are conspicuous not only by their appearance but by their sheer numbers. Vast numbers of volunteers quickly report to rescue the injured, administer first aid, help the other rescue forces and attend to the bodies of the niftarim.

Last Shabbos night, these same forces were not absent from the scene of the tragic terrorist attack at the Dolphinarium. The chareidi chesed and rescue organizations dispatched their men to the scene of the attack to help. One could see their emergency vehicles zooming down Bnei Brak streets, hurrying to the scene to help save lives. The chareidi volunteers are motivated solely by a desire to help. They don't wait around to be thanked or to receive certificates of appreciation. They do what they do out of a deep recognition of both the holiness of life and the respect due the deceased.

Our local hedonistic, satanic, hate-filled antisemites, however, never let facts get in their way. Those who probably never put aside their gluttony to help someone in distress. Those who on Shabbos night, according to MK Rabbi Gafni, stayed in the comfort of their cozy beds while chareidi rescue teams from Bnei Brak and Jerusalem went out at the height of Shabbos Kodesh to attend the victims of the bloody attack. They were the ones who spent the whole Shabbos in a witch-hunt, furling defamatory, destructive remarks against the chareidi public.

Who stood at the head of this witch-hunt? Tomy Lapid, "a disgusting Tel-Aviv hedonist," as Yossi Sarid described him. He could not rest until he had labeled the Chevra Kaddisha as, "collaborators with the Islamic Jihad." His reasoning? Their supposed refusal to bury the non-Jewish victims of the attack in Jewish cemeteries. The local media took advantage of the holiness of Shabbos in order to spread the libels of Tomy and his friends.

Of course, there was no way in which the Chevra Kaddisha could react, for -- of course -- the Chevra Kaddisha doesn't work on Shabbos, and it is doubtful if any of its members even knew about the despicable libel being spread against them. Members of the organization could not understand how they could have refused to bury someone on Shabbos. . . for they don't work on Shabbos. "No one approached us, and in any case, we would not have refused," responded the director of the Chevra Kaddisha on motzei Shabbos, upon hearing of the blood libel.

The Ha'aretz newspaper decided to investigate the source of the libel. Their reporters found out that MK Sofa Landver from the Labor party was the one who had informed the media of the refusal of the Chevra Kaddisha to bury the non-Jewish victims. And where did Landver get her information? She told Ha'aretz that she heard it from one of the Tel Aviv municipal social workers, who claimed he had spoken with the Chevra Kaddisha. But in an interview with another reporter, Landver said that she didn't really think that any social worker had spoken with the Chevra Kaddisha. Ha'aretz continued its investigation, finally reaching social worker Yaron Levitt, who admitted that he had spoken to no one concerning burial of the non- Jewish victims. "He assumed that burial in regular cemeteries would be problematic because they weren't Jewish," according to Ha'aretz.

This is the source of the lowly fabrication that occupied the Israeli media throughout Shabbos, Rachmono litzlan. No media person ever stopped to ask himself why it was that the Chevra Kaddisha refused to bury the non-Jews on Shabbos. The lapid of hatred, who has been silent since sinking into the depths of the Opposition, took advantage of the festering blood and the burning pain in order to spread his fiendishness and hatred towards mitzvah observers. The local media, of course, thoroughly enjoyed every evil word, and I guess, in the spirit of fairness, they may have added, "Our reporter has yet to receive any response from the Chevra Kaddisha. . . "

The fact that this was a base fabrication came out only after Shabbos. This is not the first time that non-Jews have been victims of terrorist attacks, and the Chevra Kaddisha has halachic solutions to such scenarios. Cemeteries have respectable places for burial of those whose Jewishness is in question. In addition, there are kibbutz cemeteries where anyone can be buried with musical accompaniment if the family so wishes. The main problem lies not with the Chevra Kaddisha but with the local municipalities in the State of Israel, who have yet to execute the law enacted by the Knesset, according to which secular cemeteries must be set up wherein non-Jews and anyone desiring non-halachic burial can be interred. No such cemetery exists throughout the entire Tel Aviv area.

If anyone is collaborating with the Arab, Islamic and antisemitic camps, it is Tomy and his gang, who even in the midst of deep mourning over the horrible tragedy don't stop celebrating the carnage, just like the Palestinians in Ramallah. They don't want to miss any opportunity to attack the enemy they hate with the most virulent hatred: the chareidim. The facts are irrelevant to them.

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