According to a report released by dati leumi affiliated Srugim, Kol Berama host Yehoshua Meiri’s “Starting from the Beginning” radio show was removed from the station’s lineup after he commented last week that today, bnei yeshiva do not hate Herzl as was the case in the past. He explained the “new generation” is different from the previous bnei yeshiva.
Meiri permitted Rabbi Yosef Ruchamkin of Yeshivas Kol Torah to speak on the air. He stated that even if Herzl’s actions are “pasul”, he merited having HKBH send him in this gilgul as he did and the result was the unprecedented amount of torah being learned today. The report states this comment created a stir, which began before the completion of the program, which was evident by the number of phone callers who protested.
The decision was made to suspend the program indefinitely in the hope the atmosphere among listeners will cool down.
Meiri is quoted as telling Srugim “I am not known to be a Zionist. I am not one who wears a kippa sruga. I am known as one who was close to Rav Shach ZT”L and Rav Kaduri ZT”L.”
He added that he was not speaking of the merits of Herzl but rather the possibility of mending fences between the chareidi and dati leumi communities in response to the comments by Rav Ruchamkin. He added that off the air he received a great deal of positive feedback and supporters feel chareidi askanim are simply trying to silence any voice that may lean towards the dati’im leumim.
“Just as in the secular world has rid itself of the askanim, the chareidi tzibur must do the same”.
Meiri believes that rumors that Rav Ovadia played a role in his suspension are nothing more than unfounded gossip.
When Kol Berama was contacted to confirm the report officials acknowledge that the program has been removed but explain the decision was the result of “station considerations”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)