Op-Ed: Chilul Hashem! Running To The Goyish Media To Complain About Hatzolah!

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The massive chilul hashem that I warned about last week here on YWN, has come to pass. Sadly, despite outrage by rank and file Hatzolah members and a very clear statement by the CEO of Hatzolah that this proposal is absolutely forbidden based on halchic rulings by our gedolei hador, Attorney Ruchie Freier and Assemblyman Dov Hikind are continuing their crusade to force women into Hatzolah.

Even more disturbing, they have apparently enlisted the help of New York’s secular newspapers to do so. Earlier this week the New York Post, which has a circulation of over 500,000, splashed an article in its paper with the salacious headline: “Jewish ‘Siren’ Ladies” chock full of quotes by Ms. Freier and Mr. Hikind. (Crain’s Business Magazine also had an article) The story had a preposterous exchange where Hikind proclaimed, “I’m sure Hatzalah will listen and consider [admitting women into Hatzalah].” Of course, to no one’s surprise, the story continues: ‘But Hatzalah CEO Rabbi David Cohen said it’s a non-issue. “This was discussed years ago by the rabbinic board. They said not to do it, and that’s pretty much where we stand,” he said. “It’s not on the agenda. There’s no reason to put it on the agenda.”

The obvious question is how dare Hikind tell the New York Post that he was “sure” that Hatzolah will consider going against Das Torah? What’s more, as a member of Hatzolah, I know for a fact that the leadership reached out to Hikind immediately after his radio show to make it clear to Hikind that Hatzolah’s rabbanim are against this proposal. What chutzpah does Hikind have to continue to promote his agenda after the leadership of Hatzolah reaffirmed directly to him that the gedolei hador are oppose to this proposal?

Mr. Hikind, it’s not too late. You have a few hours to do teshuva before the start of Rosh Hashona and publicly renounce your support of forcing women into Hatzolah. Or at the very least, identify the Daas Torah that instructed you to go against the Gedolei Hador that ruled for reasons of tznius women may not join Hatzolah. Unless that happens, Mr. Hikind, you will continue to be responsible for the massive chilul hashem. And Chas V’Shalom if this blows back on Hatzolah and hurts this life-saving organization in any way, I shudder to think what kind of achrayas beis din shel mayla will assign to you.

Sincerely,

A long-time New York Hatzolah member.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. We’ve all managed perfectly well till now without women in Hatzalah. It’s about time Liberals & Wimmins Libbers understand that some things are gender-separate & should remain so.

    Enough already. It’s Erev Rosh Hashana, time to stop fighting, back-biting, sniping, moaning, & to end the year on a positive note, on Achdus V’Ahavas Yisrael.

    Kesiva V’Chasima Tova, a gut gebentched yur & may we finally put the Malach Hamovas & his buddies out of business for good.

  2. [Here’s a comment that was submitted to the New York Post responding to their article mentioned above. The Post declined to publish this in favor of other reader comments]
    [The Post article quotes Ms. Freier saying that women should work for Hatzolah because many women would prefer to be assisted by another women for reasons of tznius]

    If Ms. Freier was truly interested in working to champion modesty for Jewish women, she would have brought her ideas to our rabbis, the Hatzolah administrators, and community leaders first instead of declaring her campaign on the public air waves. Her technique has been a quick way to gain publicity for herself at the expense of casting a negative light on a selfless and highly effective volunteer organization.

    The charge of sexism against the Orthodox community is completely baseless. Nowhere in the world do you find women actually realizing the highest ideals of the American “feminist movement” more than in the yeshiva communities. Our women rise to successful positions in the business world and often win the lion’s share of their family’s income while at the same time raising large, healthy and happy families.

    Dovid Z. Schwartz, Director, Community Guardians Group, Queens, New York.

  3. If Mr Hikind really believes that woman should be in Hatzoloh then he is totally wrong. Secondly woman are not calling Hatzoloh demanding they should be members. A few meshgoyim from a different community are trying to shove their own agenda on other communities. neturei karta should stay upstate and Ruchy Frier should stay upstate and stop brainwashing everyone including Hikind.

    Ruchy Frier should stop comparing What works in Kiryas Yoel to Flatbush,Boro park and Far Rockaway.

    I really should not be giving out this number to Ruchy Frier or the other mishagoyim with an agenda but they should call 911 if they don’t like hatzoloh.

    Since it is eruv hashonah I don’t have time to explain how 911 works but please forgive me.

  4. Let me start of by saying that we must follow Daas Torah and not go to the press with our internal community issues. Neverthless, I’d like to point out that the Op-ed is misleading in describing attroney Ruchie Freir and assemblyman Dov Hikind as trying to “force women into Hatzalah”. I read the attached articles and it is clear that they are representing women who would like to volunteer and join Hatzoloh. No one is being forced. If you meant to say that they are forcing their agenda, then you need to be more clear.

  5. Could you reprint the psak stating that it is prohibited to have women work as an an EMTs in all-female teams serving the needs of frum women? When something was published a few weeks ago it was much less resounding (something along the lines of a prohibition of mixed teams, or saying it was permitted for male teams to assist women).

  6. What a chillul Hashem, Mr Hikind going to the tawdry Post, a paper that should not be in a Jewish home. I have never heard a complaint before about the need for women in Hatzoloh, and from what I see they seem to be taking care of our community without Hikind’s intervention.

    I know he likes the media attention, but this is a non issue.

  7. If Dov Hikind learned one thing about the Turner Victory and the Weprin loss is that you do not go against the Torah. Weprin voted for Toveia Marriages and as a result he lost what should have been a easy election. Perhaps Mr. Hikind should remember just who his constituents are !

  8. I’m sorry to say, but this is typical Dov Hikind, who for most of his public career has flaunted Daas Torah with his “I know it all attitude”. The chickens are coming home to roost.

  9. Mr. Oped- “that he was “sure” that Hatzolah will consider going against Das Torah?”

    Talking about misquoting s/o to push your agenda. I really fell bad for you -right before Yom Hadin. Your Sinah to Dov Hikind is outrageous. What he said was that he was sure Hatzolah would bring it to their Rabbonim for consideration. I looked at the Post’s article.
    You obviously don’t want that to happen. You obviously don’t want R’ Dovid Cohen to realize that this isn’t the same Shaila that was addressed years ago. Talking about manipulating Rabbonim.
    Also, maybe it was you who made the Chillul Hashem. You wrote an Oped last time about Dov and the fact he had this radio program about women and Hatzolah. Maybe, just maybe this guy Revuain from the NY Post picked it up first from you. He does quote your article from YWN. Maybe he got it from you and then went to Mrs. Freier and Dov Hikind for comments. If it’s the way I said you have to ask Mechila from them big time.
    If you are one of the Machers on Hatzolah (leaders), Hatzolah needs a change in leadership ASAP!

  10. Come on, guys (I assume there are no women working at YWN), you know this is not about Hatzolah at all. It’s about bashing Hikind. No expectation that journalism need be factual but Jewish journalism should at least be honest.

  11. I’m not judging Mrs. Frier. On her motive. I just have 1 simple question, if she really means well then howcome she never picked up the phone & spoke the anyone in Hatzolah’s leadership?

  12. Who are the Gedolei Hador who rule TODAY (not 30 years ago) that women cannot be part of Hatzolah, but men are absolutely allowed to touch women in their private and other areas, even when it is not Pikuach Nefesh (which it is not 99% of the time) and women EMTs are available to do the job? Please state the names of those Rabbanim who say that.

    Which Rabbi told you that making defamatory comments against Ruchie Freier and Dov Hikind on Erev Rosh HaShana is permitted by the Torah? Maybe you should get your facts right. Ms. Freier has gone to many Rabbanim and not one Rabbi told her that having women EMTs in Hatzolah is against Halacha. Nor did she go to the media – they came to her after Hatzolah publicly made so many derogatory remarks about women. Her comments to the media actually made them tone down their articles and present Hatzolah in a better light than they would have otherwise.

    It is interesting that Hatzolah opposes having the constituents they supposedly serve questioning some of their actions and making them accountable for their behavior. Why is Hatzolah so opposed to discussing an issue that clearly bothers so many women? Why does Hatzolah resort to terrorizing or defaming people instead of trying to engage in discussions? Acting like the Taliban is not appropriate for an organization that gets public and private funding. Nor is this type of behavior condoned by the Torah.

  13. #19 – Idiot what you are. She didn’t go to the media?! Then what do you call the DOV HIKIND RADIO SHOW??? Tipish what you are. Yes, she went STRAIGHT TO THE MEDIA.

    And maybe this machsheifa can tell us which Rabonim she went to?

  14. #19:

    Hatzala does not have constituents.
    They are an organization which provides a free service. If you are opposed to them, stop using the service. Call 911 instead.

    You attitude is incredible. How dare you question people who leave their shabbos table, their jobs, the beis medrash, and their beds, to come help you when you need it. They don’t need to answer to you, and certainly not for your stupid feminist gripes.

  15. Ferd -That’s the Frum media. The Oped was complaining about the Goyishe media. The Rabbonim in New Square all hold of this project with women.

    Simchadig says: “It is interesting that Hatzolah opposes having the constituents they supposedly serve questioning some of their actions and making them accountable for their behavior.”

    Thank you for saying it the way it is. Unfortunately, there are some Frum orgs. who are running their Rabbonim, not the other way around like it supposed to be!

  16. Ruchie Freier wants to use Hatzoloh for fund raising and recognition instead of really blazing a new path and starting her own organization which would be the right thing to do.

    Hatzoloh should not be her freier. Her idea may be a good one but she needs to do it herself, and it needs to be very clear as to which organization to call when (or dispatch can be shared but the organizations need to be separate with separate duties).

    Perhaps she is overextended with her B’Derech organization and her professional responsibilities. In that case, someone else needs to see if this idea is a good and practical one and run with it as a stand-alone organization.

  17. To Ferd: This is a community issue, and Dov Hikind is a community leader, so Mrs. Freier went on the show to raise awareness within the frum community.

    To popa_bar_abba: Hatzolah serves the community, and if a segment of the community is not satisfied, or feels that there is room for improvement, I would imagine Hatzolah would want to know about it, rather than just stop getting calls. This isn’t about feminism, or questioning all the wonderful things that Hatzolah already does for the community, this is about increasing sensitivity to tznius. There are many women, myself included, who would prefer to be cared for by other women during childbirth, and there are women who are trained to provide this service for us. There’s nothing “feminist” about that.