“Shabbos, Shabbos” (Rally in Yerushalayim)

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  • #590055
    Darchei Noam
    Member

    (A very well written piece by Pinchos Lipschutz regarding the matzif in Yerushlayim that brings out very important points that I haven’t seen anywhere in the online media.)

    Before there were religious newspapers, the Jewish media world was owned by the maskilim. It took some time before religious Jewry realized the awesome power these papers wielded over the Jewish masses, in particular, the youth. They hastened the alienation from Torah and the embrace of non-Jewish culture that was rampant at the time. It was to stem that awful tide and to fight the wholesale distortion of truth that gedolim established newspapers and fought to obtain subscribers and financing.

    To those who are skeptical of the manipulative power of the press 100 years ago, a close look at the skewed reporting that prevails in our own day regarding recent events in Yerushalayim provides a cogent reality check. In many ways we are still fighting the same battle.

    Demonizing the Chilul Shabbos Protesters

    This is not to deny or condone the actions of a handful of miscreants who carried out these reprehensible actions. But the fact is, they are lone exceptions, certainly not the rule. Their actions are being exploited by irresponsible editors who seek to tar the entire Chareidi community with one brush.

    Students of history can cite dozens of hafganos which were called to stop autopsies, disturbing of ancient cemeteries, chillul Shabbos, giyus banos, yaldei teheran and the like. They can show you pictures of police beating religious Jews; of police shooting water cannons at women. They can give you the facts about the times choshuveh people such as Rav Yisroel Grossman were locked up in jail for participating in protests.

    This was a blatant, deliberately fabricated urban legend. Not surprisingly, the masses in Israel bought it. Religious people became synonymous with crazed fundamentalists who embraced terror tactics on what was supposed to be a holy day of rest.

    Police Brutality Has A Long History

    Back then, the battle over Shabbos already had a sordid, decades-old history, with pious Jews being beaten and persecuted for their efforts to preserve kedushas Shabbos in Yerushalayim, Bnei Brak and many other cities in Eretz Yisroel.

    I vividly remember passing by hafganos during the time I learned in Yerushalayim, witnessing the police brutally charging after people as they fled for their lives. Those hapless souls who were caught were mercilessly beaten.

    There were times when police barged into botei medrash and grabbed hold of anyone not fast enough to escape. The police beat those poor souls to a pulp, then arrested them for assaulting police. Far from being isolated incidents of police brutality, these outrages were common occurrences. Anyone who has ever witnessed a hafgana demonstration can attest to that.

    Just two weeks ago, the ugly pattern repeated itself. Following a Shabbos protest, police charged into the dormitory of Yeshiva Kol Torah in Bayit Vegan. They dragged sleeping boys out of bed and identified them as rock throwers who had participated in an unruly demonstration hours earlier. It was only after the Roshei yeshiva vouched for the integrity and innocence of the boys that they were released from jail. Police captains later apologized to the Roshei Yeshiva and promised to take disciplinary action against the patrolmen who invaded the dormitory.

    In another incident, an American boy who happened to be in the area of a recent demonstration at Kikar Shabbos was arrested and locked up in the Migrash Harussim jail. Police accused him of throwing stones at them. After being held in jail without bail for two weeks, witnesses who had been walking with him came forth and testified that he neither threw stones nor engaged in any anti-social behavior.

    Charges were reduced to illegal assembly, impeding the flow of traffic and other less serious charges. The youth was freed from jail but banished for Yerushalayim for two months until his upcoming trial.

    How can one understand the flood of false arrests and the habitual police brutality in a democratic state where citizens supposedly enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of assembly? How can the government get away with tactics associated with tyrannical dictatorships or totalitarian states?

    Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    First of all, it might come as a surprise to many that in Israel, unlike America, it is illegal for more than three people to congregate without permission. Thus, every protester is regarded as a lawbreaker. Additionally, unlike in America, one is not assumed innocent until proven guilty. There it is just the opposite; you are guilty until proven innocent and treated that way. Religious people are automatically singled out for special treatment.

    What generally happens is that ehrliche people who are bothered by some injustice or new breach in the holiness of the city gather to protest. The police arrive and begin taunting and baiting them. Other police then arrive in riot gear and on horseback and charge into the crowd, seeking maximum damage and injury. When the people fight back, they are arrested and thrown in jail. Innocent bystanders, often times Americans, who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time are rounded up and jailed as well.

    Jews Brutalizing Jews

    Anyone who has witnessed a hafgana and the police reaction is traumatized by the sight of Jews brutalizing fellow Jews. And this in the Jewish state, in the twenty-first century! How frightful that this has been going on ever since the founding of the State of Israel. The peaceful Shabbos atmosphere that reigns over religious neighborhoods on Shabbos came at a high price. It was achieved only after years of struggle and countless demonstrations similar to those taking place now.

    We let the secular media skew our perception of the facts. We permit then to demonize kind, law-abiding, peaceful, charitable people as a pack of Neanderthal wild men. In an outrageous reversal, pious people who are exquisitely careful in how they treat others, are painted as wild-eyed, ruthless lowlifes.

    Religious Apologists

    Rabbis who ought to know better feed the media one-liners against the violent extremists, as if they constitute a sizeable camp. They issue sharp indictments which reinforce the stereotype of Orthodox Jews as an archaic, intolerant bunch of people.

    How many articles have you read condemning freedom-lovers for beating Tehran police? How many newspapers have featured pictures of Iranians setting fire to trash in their coverage of the election protests? Not one.

    Why is it that burning garbage pails in Iran are ignored and those in Yerushalayim are blown up and highlighted? Is it because only the former captures world sympathy? Is it because the media seeks to glorify the Iranian protesters while reserving its disgust for Jews who want only to protect what is sacred to them?

    Most disturbing, why is it that the religious media falls into the trap of accepting wholesale misrepresentation of the truth?

    In fact, it is only thanks to the ranks of idealistic protesters, who knowingly risked life and limb, that forced autopsies in Israel were halted, that giyus banos was dropped, and that there is no Shabbos traffic on Kikar Shabbos.

    Throw Lifelines, Not Stones

    It is indeed tragic that so many of our brethren remain ignorant about Shabbos observance. Due to the present global financial crunch, organizations in Israel that have succeeded in returning so many thousands to the religion of their forefathers are forced to cut back on their activities. It costs money to run effective kiruv organizations and the latter are millions of dollars in debt.

    Let us all resolve to increase the honor of Shabbos in our personal lives and support those who open a window for their fellow Jews to the beauty and richness of Shabbos. Let us support those organizations that have demonstrated the ability to reach out to Jews from all walks of life who have been robbed of their birthright. Let us display more Ahavas Yisroel. Let us cast lifelines, not stones.

    #651742
    cantoresq
    Member

    Let me make sure I understand his point: because Lipschutz alleges that in the distant past, Israeli police comitted acts of brutality against chareidim, different chareidim are now justified in comitting acts of violence against different police officers. Is that his point? Moreover, how many “peaceful” protests need to be announced by the Eida that degrade into violence for them to realize that there is no such thing is a “peaceful” protest? Where is the cost benefit analysis?

    #651743
    tzippi
    Member

    Rabbi Lipschutz, it would be one thing if people were krechtzing with a broken heart, Shabbos, Shabbos. Or spending the afternoon peacefully and harmonically singing zemiros. Or a la Rav Aryeh Levine, holding someone’s hand, putting his hand on another’s shoulder, and with tears in his eyes saying, my brother, Shabbos.

    I haven’t been following the news carefully. I can’t. There’s nothing I can do here besides daven (as if that weren’t enough), I don’t need to read the constant bashing. But it would be so heartening to know that my first paragraph describes the overwhelming tenor of the demonstrations, with the diapers, rocks, etc. being a tiny tiny fringe.

    #651744
    Darchei Noam
    Member

    tzippi –

    What do you mean “IF”? That’s exactly what Rabbi Lipschutz is saying is in FACT so. And Rabbi Lipschutz is very correct. Did you read the full article by Rabbi Lipschutz? Like Rabbi Lipschutz correctly said, the “diapers, rocks, etc.” are a fringe of somewhere between nil to non-existant that mainly exists in the vivid imagination of the press.

    #651745
    anon for this
    Participant

    According to Rabbi Lipshutz, any protests involving frum Jews inevitably result in biased media reports that cause a chillul haShem, and, frequently, police beatings of innocents as well. Perhaps, then, a new protest paradigm should be considered, one that is less vulnerable to these distortions.

    #651746
    cantoresq
    Member

    Darchei noam, why should one believe Lipschutz more than the Jerusalem Post?

    #651747
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Regarding screaming Shabbos, Shabbos, and physically blocking people from movie theatres, etc., let’s examine this for a moment, totally unbiased. If these demonstrations had the goal of getting the nonfrum to observe Shabbos, and were a halachically recommended way of doing so, then please tell me why we don’t do this in the USA. Bud Selig is the Commissioner of Baseball, and the owner of a team that I believe plays on Shabbos. (I am not aware of any team asking not to play on Shabbos for religious reasons.) Why have no groups sanctioned flying out men to physically block the games from taking place, and block the Commissioner from attending?

    Furthermore, why has no Rosh Yeshiva anywhere in the USA recommended that the boys fan out and 10 a piece will go to each reform synagogue in the area and block the cars from entering the lot, and physically block the congregants from entering the building, all the while screaming Shabbos? When the police are called, they should fight with the officers. I daresay that even if the boys did it on their own, any yeshiva in the USA would throw those boys out for good.

    Why has Aish Hatorah not adopted this method into their kiruv repertoire?

    The reasons are rather obvious:

    1) It will not create any more Shmiras Shabbos, but will only turn people off and get them furiously angry with the Jewish religion, in general.

    2) It will make a Chillul Hashem when the boys get arrested, and it gets into the papers.

    3) It will create a lot of bitul torah if the boys are incarcerated for periods of time.

    4) It will make future parnasa difficult for the boys if they have police records, and can’t find jobs.

    5) The way to really get people interested in Shabbos is to make them realize on their own that Matanah tova yesh li bveis ginzai, vshabbos shmah. As someone posted recently, invite them for a meal and give them chulent and sing zemiros with them.

    So therefore, not a single Rosh Yeshiva in the USA that I am aware of tells or allows their boys to try to force Shabbos down the throats of nonreligious Jews via confrontational demonstrations.

    So this begs the question as to why such a foolish and counterproductive approach that does nothing but create animosity is regularly used in Eretz Yisroel, and those who do it are looked up to as very holy heroes. Shabbos is not more mandatory in EY than in the USA since it is not a mitzvah hatluya baaretz, rather it is in effect bchol moshvoseichem. So why the different approach?

    The answer is that these demonstrations have nothing whatsoever to do with Shabbos. They are simply outlets for venting one’s hate and sinas chinam against the medinah and zionists and to get one’s frustrations out that the medinah exists and is flourishing. As the Rambam says, ripping garments on Shabbos in anger is chayav, even though kol hamekalklin pturin, however, here it is mesaken hu etzel yitzro hara. One is giving his yetzer hara an outlet.

    The Chazon Ish writes in Hilchos Shechita that one is not allowed to use any verbal or physical violence against the nonfrum of today, since they will only conclude that the Torah is violent and want to have nothing to do with it.

    So unless somebody provides me with a single Rosh Yeshiva in the USA who would sanction such behavior and send his boys out to the ballgames and Reform Synagogues, I must conclude that it is the the negiah of sinah which causes this method to be used in EY, Ki hashochad yeaver pikchim, viysalef divrei tzaddikim. Nobody is immune from the shochad of sinah.

    #651749
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    PY, that was very well said.

    #651750
    JayMatt19
    Participant

    PY, you are wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG

    Bud Selig transferred ownership of the Brewers to his daughter when he became commissioner, in order to prevent any conflict of interest issues. In 2004 the team was sold to Mark L. Attanasio.

    That is my sole objection to your post.

    #651751
    artchill
    Participant

    The fact that they rioted in support of starving a child is proof that their Shabbos arguments were also done to create chaos, instead of decrying chillul Shabbos. The apologists for hooliganism have to stop. All Jews look bad because of this.

    #651752
    Darchei Noam
    Member

    artchill: You missed the point. They didn’t riot. They didn’t create chaos. No child was starved. And there wasn’t any hooliganism. Well, except for the press and the lies they print out of the figment of their imagination anyways.

    PY: Yerushlayim specifically, and Eretz Yisroel in general, is kodesh kedoshim and its level of holiness must be maintained. Therefore it is incomparable to chutz l’aretz.

    And BTW, the Chazon Ish supported these protests. See http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/hagaon-rav-amram-blau-ztl-35th-yahrtzeit

    #651753
    cantoresq
    Member

    Darchei Noam how is the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael preserved by burning garbage dumpsters and destroying traffic lights? How is preserved by being gorem t he chilul Shabbat of the police?

    #651754
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Darchei Noam, punkt farkert. Because the sanctity of EY is so great, we must be nizhar that much more so on the kavod of our fellow Jews and mItzvos bein adam lachaveiro. The Har Habayis was chosen because of the story of the two brothers who looked out after each other.

    #651755
    Darchei Noam
    Member

    PY, punkt farkert. We can’t sit idly by while the kedusha of Shabbos, Yerushlayim, and Eretz Yisroel is being publicly trampled upon. (This elevates as well the kavod of our fellow Jews, and defending Shabbos in no way infringes upon bein adam lachaveiro.)

    #651756
    Jothar
    Member

    The Chazon ish supported Rav Amram Blau but not the hooliganism. As he told Rav shlomo lorincz to write, we are the kol yaakov not the yedei Eisav. I will post you the page numbers later

    #651757
    Joseph
    Participant

    The “hooliganism” reported in the secular media currently, and in the past, is fanciful imagination designed to denigrate Torah Jewry.

    #651758
    Jothar
    Member

    Here are the direct quotes from the book. You are welcome to argue on Rav Shlomo Lorinz in what the Chazon Ish really held of NK, but please don’t mind if I take his version as more authoritative than yours.

    Page 92 in the book “In Their Shadow” by Shlomo Lorincz, translated by Yonasan Rosenblum, Feldheim publishers:

    The Chazon Ish was careful to distinguish between true kano’us (zealousness) for the purpose of building and false fanaticism that seeks only to destroy. He nevr lost sight of the fact that even good intentions and good deeds can prove counterproductive if the time or place is not right…

    (page 93 at bottom)

    Once a group of representatives of Neturei Karta came to the Chazon Ish to demand that he condemn one of the great (p. 94) Torah leaders of Bnei Brak for being insufficiently Anti-Zionist. the chazon Ish became very upset and answered them sharply, “You come from Jerusalem and you presume to tell us how to behave?”

    His closest students related that one of the younger members of the delegation spoke disrespectfully to the chazon Ish. he did not live out the year.

    On another occasion, the Chazon Ish once described Neturei Karta to me as “Jews from before Matan Torah”, by which he meant that their zeal was not shaped by the ways of the Torah. On yet another occasion, he compared them to an alarm clock. “It is very well that they rouse people from their sleep, but in life one must decide if it is really time to get up, or if one can sleep a bit longer!”

    Page 95:

    Though the chazon ish fought against both anything that smacked of kefirah and the official representatives of all false ideologies, he was careful to distinguish between the ideologies themselves and the individual Jews who had fallen prey to them. The latter he drew close with cords of love.

    Page 96: The din [of fighting evil doers with moridin velo ma’alin] …(no longer applies today) because it would be viewed by the larger public as an act of cruelty and violence… It is incumbent upon us to bring them back with cords of love and to show them the light of the Torah to the best of our abilities (Chazon Ish, Yoreh Deah 2:16)

    Paraphrase of Page 97, based on Chazon Ish shevi’is 12:9: (causing the am ha’aretz to hate you) is a violation of lifnei iver.

    Page 98, on the case of the bar mitzvah boy whose father ate rabbit:But today, when (the sinners) constitute the majority, estranging them will not cause them to repent, but will only cause them to distance themselves further and arouse their hatred.

    Page 99 quotes kovetz igros 3:102:

    It is impossible to impose the authority of the Torah upon the masses. rather, it is only through the select individuals among the people for whom torah and mitzvos are their life and soul and who have elevated themselves from the mediocrity of the common people, whose mitzvah observance is purely rote, [that the masses are elevated].

    Brisker Rav quotes about NK from page 195, 197, and 199 later.

    #651759
    Jothar
    Member

    Joseph, I’ve been to the hafganos. The hooliganism is exaggerated, but it does exist. I’ve seen the burning dumpsters and other behavior. Yes they’re a minority, yes the policemen are overly violent, etc. but there is a reason my chareidi cousins and most normal chareidim avoid the hafganos. there are reasons why the Brisker Rav refused to attend any hafganah, and the one time he did it was when they hired people to keep the peace and prevent hooliganism. the people who attend these things instead of learning are not exactly the charash umasger of Yiddishkeit. There are reports on another Jewish website how these rallies caused a decrease in support of money-starved frum institutions by the non-Orthodox. In other words, these rallies are causing LESS Torah, not more Torah. it is what the chazon Ish spoke about above. Beware the yetzer hara when it wraps itself in righteousness. Seeing chillul Shabbos should nauseate us to the point where we feel a need to make a mecha’ah. But the actual mecha’ahs cannot be making Hashem happy. Learning Torah and doing mitzvos will do more to ease chillul Shabbos than hanging out at the mecha’ah.

    #651760
    Darchei Noam
    Member

    Jothar, Did you read Rabbi Lipschutz article above? Also, you said that the Chazon Ish supported Rav Amram. The Chazon Ish also supported the rallies organized by Rav amram, as this week’s Hamodia article by Rav Yishai Sofer relates. And so did the Brisker Rov support Ram Amram. They were both very close to him. Reb Amram was the founder of the nk.

    #651761
    cherrybim
    Participant

    Pashuteh Yid – wonderful post yesterday.

    #651762
    Jothar
    Member

    I read Rabbi Lipschutz’s article. My experience is slightly different. He says the violence never happens. I see it happening, but not nearly as often as claimed by the secular media. As someone pointed out, it’s funny that the same people who scream the secular media is biased when it comes to Israel swallow every word when it comes to negative comments about chareidi rallies. But I know what I saw. If you look at the (distorted and exaggerated) secular media articles, there are photos of burning garbage and garbage bins. Are they photoshopped?

    They may have supported Rav Amram Blau, but they didn’t agree with his methods. The Brisker Rav refused to attend the hafganos except for once when they hired people to maintain calm. The Brisker Rav hated Zionism, and was almost killed for it by a libel suit, but saved the life of anti-religious Zionist Avraham Stavsky when he slandered by rival zionists. A picture of the ad he published is in Rabbi Meller’s biography of the Brisker Rav ZT”L.

    DN, you also ignored everything I wrote in my post. Are you saying Shlomo Lorinz is a liar? That despite the haskamah from Rav Chaim Kanievsky for the book, it’s filled with falsehoods?

    #651763
    Jothar
    Member

    Quote of Hamevaser, from a ywn article:

    In other words, Rabbi Porush admmits there are garbage bins burning in Meah She’arim. There are plenty of secular media exaggerations and distortions of what happens at these rallies, but burning garbage bins isn’t one of them.

    #651764
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    BTW, as far as collective punishment goes, why are all Zionists still being villified for a single supposed incident of Yaldei Teheran which happened 50-60 years ago? Why does that get brought up into every single discussion of all the good things the Zionists have done. Ein lcha collective punishment gedolah mizu.

    #651765
    anon for this
    Participant

    PY, I agree that using the Yaldei Yeheran incident as justification for demonstrations today makes no sense, but not because of collective punishment. It makes no sense because the current political administration is completely different (at least I think it is; if there are politicians from those times who are in office today, please correct me).

    By the way, I’d like to add my praise for your post yesterday.

    #651766
    Darchei Noam
    Member

    Jothar, Rabbi Lipschutz’s masterpiece above is entirely correct. And you cannot seperate the man from the mission. Reb Amram was nk. For you to say the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rov supported Reb Amram but not his activities, is grasping on straws. The Chazon Ish called Reb Amram “Shabbos” when referring to him, due to his rallies supporting Shabbos that they threw him in prison for. Both the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rov were very close to Rav Amram. See the full article by Rav Yishai Sofer. Rav Chaim Kanievsky went with the Chazon Ish to visit Reb Amram.

    PY, What do you mean by saying “a single supposed incident of Yaldei Teheran”?? Do you deny it happened? It is documented fact. Secondly, it was a “single incident.” They kidnapped scores and scores of little children from the Yemenis immigrants to convert them away from Torah Judaism. Then you bemoan the fact we still reference this historical event “which happened 50-60 years ago”? I take it then you hold that it is time to forgive and forget the German’s for the events that occurred 60-70 years ago, even older than the Teimini kidnappings?? anon for this said “It makes no sense because the current political administration is completely different”. The same could be said regarding the current German government. Is it time for us to start buying Mercedes, and no longer blaming modern Germans??

    And lest we forget, these rallies are not only supported by, but also attended by various Gedolim. From all sectors. YWN reported that Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Eliashev, and others supported it. So who are we to argue with them?

    #651767
    Josh31
    Participant

    The Torah commands us to remember what Amalek did to us, not fan our internal disputes from generation to generation. All this does is cook up hatred for fellow Jews.

    Darchei Noam and Joseph,

    You are willing to downplay the fact that Jews were always Dhimini (second class citizens) in the Arab world , but play up every sin of the “Zionists”. You do not even give the State of Israel the respect that was given to Czar in Russia.

    All this intense hatred does is fan the flames that burned the Temple 1939 (or 1941) years ago. They were burning last week an made life very hard for anyone in the affected neighborhoods (mostly Charedei)whose lungs are sensitive to smoke.

    #651768
    Jothar
    Member

    From Avi Shafran:

    Advertisement:

    And, yes, yes, again, there are unanswered questions about the arrest of a Chasiddishe mother of a long hospitalized child on suspicion of having starved him. The media, quoting hospital authorities, said that the woman was suffering from a mental illness that compels a person to invent or create symptoms of illness, sometimes in another person, in order to garner medical attention.

    Why, further, if the woman is in fact mentally ill, was a simple restraining order not obtained, barring her from contact with the child? Why did the police choose instead to slap handcuffs on the five-months pregnant woman in public (and in front of a summoned press) and place her in a jail cell (with an accused spouse-killer, an Arab woman, as a cellmate)?

    And so, even if the violent protesters believe that they are innocent of baseless hatred, they should be made to confront the fact that they are deeply guilty of promoting it.

    #651769
    cantoresq
    Member

    There is no double standard. When a group portends to dictate religious observance via apublic protest, the conduct of the entire group MUST reflect the religious values advocated at the protest. Thus, the media focus on chareidi hooliganism at the hafganot was not merely to showcase bad behavior, but to demonstrate chareidi hypocrisy.

    #651770
    sammygol
    Member

    Oh please! The support of the protests by the Chazon Ish and the respect the NK had from the Brisker Rov were both directed to a different organization that no longer exists. Who in the right mind would suggest that these Gedolim were in favor of violent hooliganism perpetrated by the unruly chayos in the streets of Yerushalayim? It is no different that saying that because the Gedolim of the day had immense respect for the Tzemach Tzedek, one would assume that they would be in favor of Chabad Messionism today, and would agree with the cult of the second coming.

    #651771
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Another self-contradiction about the anti-zionist shabbos protests is that suppose Israel were C”V given to the Arabs, as Rav Blau suggested (on another thread). Wouldn’t the Arabs run the buses and parking lots on Shabbos? There would be a far worse atmosphere of Shabbos, as it would be a normal working day for the whole country.

    #651772
    sammygol
    Member

    In all fairness, it is not the gentiles working on Shabbos is Jerusalem that bothers the Eida. Rather it is that there is public desecration done by the Jews. So, PY, this is not a contradiction at all. Protesting Chillul Shabbos is a proper thing, indeed, IF done with dignity. The problem was the violent behavior, which, incidentally, included Chillul Shabbos in itself.

    #651773
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Sammy, I understand your point, but I believe the original proposal here was to have non-Jews run the lot, and not to charge any money. Some Chareidi Rabbonim did approve.

    #651774

    The amount of chilul Hashem caused by the protests is incomparable to whatever they hope on accomplishing.

    #651775
    Joseph
    Participant

    This article is a good read for Tisha B’Av. It was written by Rabbi Lipschutz, in response to some of the comments to the article in the OP:

    Real Ahavas Yisroel

    My column last week about the Yerushalmi demonstrations elicited varied responses. It was painful to realize how many people think so little of our chareidi brethren that they believe whatever they read which denigrates religious people. It is painful to be attacked for writing a sensible article laying out the facts and defending people for trying to exercise commonly held freedoms of expression and assembly.

    The entire Israeli media was engaged in a conspiracy once again to paint the religious community as a bunch of backward infidels who are an embarrassment to their religion. It is no wonder that the anti-religious groups readily gobble it up, but it hurt to note that their reports were oft-repeated by religious people and believed by almost everyone.

    Since that article was published, another spate of demonstrations broke out over the arrest of a loving Yerushalmi mother for allegedly starving her child. Without any examination or proof, the health system, police and media diagnosed her as being mentally ill and suffering from an ailment which forced her to starve her sick child. In the fifth month of pregnancy, she was dragged away, chained hand and foot, sent to the jail in Ramle, which is reserved for the most dangerous of criminals. She was held under inhumane conditions, sleeping on a concrete bed in a cell she shared with an Arab woman accused of murder.

    Of all the people, the mayor of Yerushalayim, elected because the religious community could not organize around a candidate, found the perfect way to respond to the riots. He called off all garbage collection and municipal services to the areas which the shababnikim damaged. So, not only do the parents suffer by having such children, not only does the community suffer by having fires burning under their noses, but the benevolent mayor decrees that there will be no more garbage pickup. Thankfully, his tactic was overturned by the courts.

    Mayor Nir Barkat also targeted Americans as scapegoats, blaming them for the violence, with no evidence. Of course, the people inclined to mock yeshivos and yeshiva bochurim cheered him on, without bothering to ascertain how many bochurim, if any, were involved in anti-social behavior they could not have learned at home or school.

    Anyone who visited Agri had to be impressed by the high level of cleanliness evidenced in the USDA inspected plant. That was never in doubt. Yet this rabbi was able say anything with impunity, for he was talking about a plant owned and operated by old-style religious Jews. Who would go after him for playing up the centuries-old canard that religious Jews are dirty and slimy? He can freely posture for the media and the liberals who write him up in glowing terms.

    Though he is Orthodox, he does seem to have an agenda against the black-hatted Jews. It is to be expected that the secular media would play him up. What hurts even more is when the Orthodox media quotes him and publishes his missives, such as his recent one against Yerushalmi Yidden.

    Rabbi Lopatin continues:

    Without bothering to find out what the facts are, much as was the case in his campaign against Rubashkin, Lopatin bought the media story, lock stock and barrel. And why not? After all, it is those same backward, insular people who have no concept of law, order and hygiene.

    Shame on him and shame on those like him who accept as fact whatever they read in condemnation of religious Jews, and anyone else for that matter. Shame on him and those like him who post such drivel and contribute to the increasing hatred of religious people and our causes. Shame on people who seek to divide the Jewish people, rather than bring us together. Shame on people who are ready to denigrate and dispense self-righteous advice to Jews who hew to an ancient and hallowed way of life.

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