Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

13 Ellul 5763 - September 10, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Rabbi Gafni Sends Cutting Letter to Minister Orlev
by Betzalel Kahn

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni has launched an unprecedented attack on Welfare Minister Zevulun Orlev (Mafdal) in response to his harsh stance toward chareidi Torah institutions receiving support from his ministry.

For years the Welfare Ministry has provided support and assistance for talmidim staying in dormitory facilities. Following the economic decrees Orlev decided to carry out "affirmative action" for the national-religious education institutions by issuing a directive to make double- digit cuts in funding that has been regularly transferred to chareidi institutions for over 25 years, based on strict criteria. This affects all institutions for boys past the age of 13. Virtually all yeshiva ketanos and yeshiva gedolos have dormitories and have been supported under these programs.

"Now it appears the claim that your policy stems from hatred of chareidim, which we doubted, is true," reads a letter Rabbi Gafni sent to Orlev last week. "There is no other minister in this evil government who has caused such great damage to the Torah institutions [designated] for the chareidi sector, and all this without government decisions and without a policy resulting from coalition agreements, but your decision alone. Neither Tommy Lapid nor Poraz, and certainly not Minister Effi Eitam or Yitzhak Levy.

"All those closely involved with and aware of this issue have the impression you are so eager to harm the chareidi sector that you are even prepared to do so at the expense of the national-religious sector and the general public, as your decisions indicate. Furthermore the most severe blow to the general population, and the chareidi sector in particular, is Child Support Payments, which are under your ministerial responsibility and [as Chazal say], megalgelim chovoh al yadei chayov. Your decisions demonstrate that at best you are indifferent to our plight. This letter of mine follows numerous, pointed conversations we have conducted over a long period of time, United Torah Jewry meetings held with you, etc., until I realized your remarks were mere words and not your real sentiments."

In closing Rabbi Gafni wrote, "We hope and pray that this evil government and its decrees will quickly disappear from the world, but history will forever recall what you did in the Welfare Ministry, which will take a long time for us to rectify, if at all."


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