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.
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.