VIDEO: Yesh Atid’s Rabbi Lipman: We Oppose Extremism

(Wednesday, January 30th, 2013)

[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.

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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.

Click HERE to watch this video on a mobile device.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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14 Comments

  1. Git Meshige says:

    When we try to assimilate and negotiate with people that are anti Torah, it only back fires. History can attest to that. I am not sure what Lippman is thinking

  2. akuperma says:

    So if he is for moderation, what might he advocate.

    First, no prison or penalty for those who refuse to serve in the army for halachic reasons. This averts the most serious crisis that would result if there is civil disobedience, complaints to international human rights groups, or requests for asylum abroad. They might say no subsidies for yeshivos that oppose conscription, but nothing worse than to be treated the same as Arabs who also oppose serving in the army. In effect, this will turn the army into a volunteer army, with substantial benefits given only to veterans.

    Second, insist on full accomodation of hareidim in the military and in the civilian economy. Reasonable accomodations of a minority that will be approaching a quarter of the work force probably includes requiring all business lunches to be kosher, meaningful restrictions on operating a business on Shabbos, a national (and army) dress code that while still probably be a bit daring for the middle east would be considered excessively modest in Europe. He could support a ban on sexual harassment that takes into account what traditional Jews and Muslims believe is normal.

    The problem is most of “Yesh Atid” is motivated by a desire to crush the hareidi community and either force them to leave Israel or to start acting “normal”. Remember that conscription is not motivated by a need for more soldiers, and Israel has no labor shortage that hareidim are likely to fill. If Lipman can convince “Yesh Atid” that the hilonim have to make major concessions if they want to integrate hareidim into Israel’s “mainstream” he will be known as the savior of the zionist movement. From what I know of Israeli hilonim, I expect he’ll probably go down as a naive fool who tried to prevent a train wreck and got run over.

  3. Breslever says:

    He’s of the Natan Slifkin school of MO more than hareidi.

    It’s semantics of course and I don’t know him personally, but adherance to the Torah and the words of chazal, the tzaddikim and Gedolei Yisrael are the benchmark for whether you are hareidi, not the color of your kippa.

  4. goodbye says:

    wow! doesn’t he sound sweet?
    now for the facts: part (only part) of his “moderation” is that the first and foremost thing on his agenda is forcing yeshiva bochurim out of yeshivos and into the army. he’s the one who’ll service the anti-tora secular elements “from the inside”. this is EXACTLY what the early maskilim were; but that they were MUCH bigger talmidei chachomim than him…

  5. crazykanoiy says:

    Akuperma wrote: “The problem is most of “Yesh Atid” is motivated by a desire to crush the hareidi community ”

    This is absolute nonsense and real paranoia. Yesh Atid wants each segment of the community to take an active part in the affairs of the country. This includes but is not limited to Army service, paying taxes and getting a job that pays a livable wage. The depth and bredth of the Yesh Atid list as well as Lapid’s public statements on Chareidim and other minorities clearly demonstrates that he respects them and does not wish to crush them.

    Lapid is m bringing some very real and hard issues to the fore. The Chareidi community suffers tremendously from lack of employment and a highly parochial view of national and world affairs. It is time that we rise to the challenge and try to provide solutions instead of being stuck with a paranoid fear that all chilonim wish to destroy us.

  6. akuperma says:

    #5 – If Mr. Lapid (et al.)) were truely concerned about getting hareidim to work in the mainstream Israeli economy (rather than earning parnassah from kollel related jobs or in the “grey” economy), he would be talking about laws that prohibit employment discrimination and require reasonable accomodation of hareidim. For example, require all businesses to structure work around the Jewish calendar and to observe kashruth (if the company holds its lunchtime meetings in a treff restaurant, that exclude hareidim). Treat those who study Torah in yeshivos the same way as those who study Jewish studies in university (at present, the former are considered uneducated, the latter are considered education and given professional jobs based on their degree even though they covered the same material and probably at a lower level). Adopt a dress code reflecting Israel is a middle eastern country with a large traditional population (e.g. require people to dress modestly). Ban sexual harassment (as in require respect for yichud and negiah – and BTW, in the rest of the middle east a man doesn’t touch or try to be alone with a unrelated female – and they survive). This list goes on.

    The reality is that aren’t concerned for our welfare. They hope conscription will de-hareidicize Eretz Yisrael so they can pursue their dream of a nation free (Am Hofshe) from the yoke of Torah.

  7. machmoud says:

    Is he a rabbi, where was he ordained, or is it just that any frum MK is called rabbi??

  8. RBS.Jew says:

    Of course akuperma thinks everyone’s out to crush the chareidim since all he does is declare how chareidim hate the State of Israel. Fact is that the average person in Israel and the average person who supports Yesh Atid couldn’t care less about crushing anyone. They really just want their lives to be safe and fair. When they see that the chareidi movement isn’t doing the right thing, they try to change it. It’s beyond rediculous to say that the reason people want you to join the army is just to make you drop religion! As has been said several times before – it is also beyond rediculous every time akuperma also says that the world would care even the slightest bit when he thinks the chareidim will file “complaints to international human rights groups, or requests for asylum abroad.” He has obviously forgotten the fact that the vast majority of world doesn’t care about Jews.

  9. GottaHaveEmunah says:

    #5 If they stop the connection of owning a business to time served in the idf, you’ll see how quickly the chareidim will enter the work force…

  10. chachamhagadol says:

    His is a reaction to the events between chareidi extremists and dati-Leunmi in Beit Shemesh. So I understand what motivates him but I don’t agree with him. It’s very unfortunate that he joined Yesh Atid. Someone is frustrated with the way his brother behaves deals with it by instigating the neighborhood tough?

  11. akuperma says:

    RBS.Jew (#8):
    If the army needed hareidi Jews, they would make it possible to serve in every unit while observing halacha as we understand it. The truth is they have little need for more soldiers. Modern wars are fought by a highly trained specialists, not conscripts. The Israelis recent string of failures suggest that relying on a conscript army is a liability.

    The world has radically changed in the 80 years. Genocide is not banned, and the countries such as the USA and UK that used to do it routinely now deny it every existed in their countries. Rules on asylum in most countries protect refugees fleeing religious persecution (including the United States, under which a refugee can get a green card). That in itself will undermine Israel’s claim as a haven for Jews. As it is, much of the world regards Israel as the agressor for trying to establish a western secular state in the Islamic middle east – and those who support Israel see it in religious terms, which will be undermined if they see religious Jews being persecuted. If the western countries decide to treat Israel as they treated South Africa (arms embargo, restrictions on investment and funds transfers, restrictions on trade, etc.), expect to see a one-state solution called the Islamic Republic of Palestine.

    If you look at hiloni media, it is very clear they find hareidi Jews to be disgusting and threatening. Their attacks on us bear great similarities to those of Jules Streicher. While assimilated Jews are free from persecution, for hareidi Jews the world hasn’t changed much since the 1930s, except now it is secular Jews leading the charge against us.

  12. ari-free says:

    It’s not “beyond ridiculous” once you remember that the State cut the payot of Yemenite immigrants.

    The draft isn’t to defend the country. It’s a fascist form of slavery. Don’t tell me that Israel is the one true free democracy of the middle east and then use slavery to prop it up.

    The rest of world will take notice since these people also want to draft arab muslims and Christian nuns.

  13. bklynmom says:

    “this will turn the army into a volunteer army”

    Help to connect the dots,,,by not giving subsidies to Yeshivas this will turn the army into a volunteer army. EXPLAIN…

  14. crazykanoiy says:

    #6 Akuperma.

    Your points lack merit in every country besides Israel the Chareidim work in a secular workforce. Throughout the history of Klal Yisroel the Frum Yidden worked in a secular environment. Requiring bussiness to work around a Halachik schedule or only serve Badatz meat was never a prerequisite for going to work.

    Bussiness do not discriminate against Yeshiva students it is just a simple fact that when one lacks a basic secular education he will be missing some very neccessary business skills that are required of participants in an educated workforce (Rav Moshe writes this in a Teshuva on stealing Regents tests).

    The sad part of your comments is that “you are cutting your nose to spite your face”. Look at the poverty of our Chareidi brethern in Eretz Yisrael, look at how all to many have no job or position, look at how many have passed their days of “geshmake learning” and are stuck without options. The problems that Lapid highlights are real. If we ignore these problems (or insist on the bussiness model you propose) it is our community – and not lapid – that will continue to suffer.

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