[VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
Now that the general election is behind us, Beit Shemesh resident American-born Rabbi Dov Lipman, who will be entering the 19th Knesset on the Yesh Atid list, speaks with community residents.
Rabbi Lipman’s popularity among many stems from the fact that in the eyes of the Israeli political scene he is a member of the chareidi community yet his does not appear as harsh in their eyes as Israeli chareidim may appear. Some chareidim however refuse to view him as a chareidi, perhaps a matter of semantics, but nonetheless an issue that carries some weight in these post-election days. He has not earned a gold star from many chareidim after aligning himself with Lapid, but Lipman is not a stranger to taking a less than popular position in Beit Shemesh, a vocal advocate of moderation and a live and let live hashkafa in disputes between the chareidi and dati leumi residents of his city.
Rabbi Lippmann explains to neighbors that his party is “opposed to extremism” and that the lineup consists of Ashkenazim, Sephardim frum and non-frum people, seeking to promote the issues at hand, the platform that earned the party 19 seats, not the ethnicity and personal lifestyle of the soon-to-be MKs but their willingness to address the issues at hand.
Lipmann remains a clear voice calling for moderation and daring to speak out against chareidi coercion, as was seen in his statements during the stormy protests in Beit Shemesh surrounding a dati leumi school bordering a chareidi neighborhood, with chareidi zealots attacking elementary school students for not meeting their self-defined tznius standards.
See the MK-elect as he visits with friends in Beit Shemesh following elections.
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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)