Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Tammuz 5770 - June 17, 2010 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











High Court Sends Parents to Jail for Heeding Their Rabbonim

By Yechiel Sever

Tuesday was a black day for chareidi Jewry in its battle for its principles in Eretz Hakodesh in the face of a wave of venomous incitement and a crusade led by the judicial system as part of efforts to crush the flourishing of the Torah world. This time the High Court went to unprecedented and irrational extremes by compelling the parents of girls at the Beis Yaakov school in Emanuel to educate their daughters in a manner that runs counter to their tradition and to the instructions of their rabbonim.

The High Court ruling, according to which the students' parents would sit in jail for two weeks for disobeying the court, was dismissed out of hand by parents in Emanuel under the guidance of their rov. They had the privilege of sanctifying the Name of Heaven openly, announcing they would not abide by the court's decision and would rather go to jail than veer in the least from the course of traditional Jewish education or from daas Torah.

Following an exceptionally fiery two-and-a-half-hour hearing on Tuesday — which was recessed briefly to allow the parents to consult with the Admor of Slonim shlita — the parents returned to the courtroom, and through their counsel, Atty. Mordechai Green, notified the court they would be unable to honor its decision.

"Since the court has elected not to face or reply to the weighty legal arguments the parents have presented before the court," said Atty. Green, "and have brought about a religious-halachic clash between the parents and the court, under such circumstances and following consultation with the Admor shlita, in the case of a struggle of religion and faith versus the court, what takes precedent and obligates the parents is the obeisance to the Torah's commandments, which is determined by gedolei Torah.

"Therefore the religious stance takes precedent. They are obligated to follow their rabbis' instructions and this is how Klal Yisroel has conducted itself throughout the generations when confronted by [government] authorities. In the final analysis the determining factor is the religious standpoint."

Following these remarks Atty. Green said the best they could do would be to consult with Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, but the judges scorned the suggestion. They had spoken derisively throughout the proceedings, but at this state Judge Edmond Levy made an especially offensive comment, saying, "We are not conducting negotiations with Moetzet Gedolei Yisrael [sic] and we have nothing to say to them on this issue. We are discussing the matter only with the respondents before us."

Judge Levy made similar remarks at an earlier point in the proceedings as well. "No court ruling requires the consent of any man," he said. "There is a ruling and it will be carried out. No ruling requires the approval of one rabbi or another."

Judge Levy also lashed out against the concept of rabbinical authority when Atty. Green tried to explain that the parents did not commit any acts of discrimination — even according to the court decision — but were merely exercising their right to form an alternative educational framework or send their daughters to schools in Bnei Brak.

In light of the extreme conduct and edicts on the part of Judge Edmond Levy, the girls' parents stood up as one in the courtroom to accept the yoke of Heaven, crying out "Shema Yisroel," "Hashem Hu HaElokim" and "Hashem Melech..." followed by a stirring outburst of "Utzu eitzoh vesufar." Court bailiffs tried to suppress the parents and remove them from the courtroom, but the singing continued for several minutes, as some parents shed tears and read Tehillim in light of the unremitting malice of the Israeli court system toward every form of holiness.

When the audacious petitioner indirectly funded by the New Israel Fund witnessed the burning emunoh of the parents, who were willing to stand firm come what may, he slipped out the courtroom through a side door.

Earlier the principal of the school in Emanuel, as well as Sephardic parents of girls enrolled there, approached the petitioner to condemn his shameful accusations of racial discrimination. "We're Sephardic baalei teshuvoh and our children study with the chassidim, so why do you make claims of discrimination?" they demanded.

"The judge's decision both regarding the parents and Chinuch Atzmai, which continues to pay the fines, is dubious and totally incomprehensible," said Chinuch Atzmai Deputy Director Rabbi Tzvi Baumel in a statement.


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