Op-Ed: The State, Hellenism & Hate for Torah Jewry


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The Plesner Committee announces it is simply carrying out its duty based on the decision of the High Court of Justice that invalidated the current Tal Law. A new law must be in place by the court-set deadline, August 1, 2012. This is the mission of the Plesner Committee, to set the guidelines that will govern how many avreichim may continue torah study and how many will be compelled to serve in the IDF or an approved national service.

What is certain from the onset is that the committee will arrive at its conclusion, the Knesset will legislate some form of new law, and the chareidim will continue learning as instructed to do by Gedolei Yisrael Shlita. What is also certain, albeit most unfortunately, is that any decision to compel avreichim to leave their beis medrash will be met with resistance, unprecedented resistance and total non-compliance. The timing is uncanny as we prepare to enter the Three Weeks; the so-called Jewish government of the State of Israel is devising a plan to empty the batei medrashim of the country as Israel faces unprecedented threats on several borders, from Iran, Hizbullah in the north, and Hamas in the south. Those who run the country brazenly believe in the “koach b’otzim yodi”, that the skills of IAF pilots and mesirus nefesh of infantry soldiers can get the job done without the cloak of protection provided by torah study.

One should commend the growing number of shomer shabbat soldiers and officers in the IDF, those who cling to their beliefs of defending the Jewish Homeland as torah-observant Jews, those who do not study fulltime, while their partners in defense occupy the benches of a beis medrash to give the added push, to provide the umbrella of protection that has protected the Jewish People throughout the millennia for without the latter chas v’sholom our future is bleak.

Instead of focusing on achdus as the Three Weeks is ushered in we will be highlighting the chasm that divides, and in essence, the dispute does not surround dati leumi or chareidi, but the commitment to Hellenism, Herzl’s vision of a state, a secular state which happens to have Hebrew as its national language. The battle is not about glatt or rabbanut, but about kosher and treif!

The Knesset brilliantly pits the kippa sruga against the black yarmulke, distracting us all from the real enemy, those wishing to strip Eretz Yisrael of all its kedusha, those who bring hundreds of thousands of Russian goyim to dilute the demographic realities of the growing frum populations.

Our rulers are truly panicked but not because of Iran or Hamas but by the demographic realities, that the “settlers” and the chareidim” will soon be the ruling majority and while these two communities do not always see eye-to-eye, there is agreement that torah, as interpreted by the respective rabbonim reigns supreme and the erev rav that has run the modern state is vanishing to the ranks of assimilation and the Diaspora.

The decedents of Herzl have long left the Holy Land, opting to enjoy the fleshpots of a goyish lifestyle while frum Jews of all walks of life understand the mission and the zchus associated with living in and fighting for Eretz Yisrael. Ben-Gurion granted the deferment for several hundred avreichim to continue learning, and many debate what his position would be today as there are tens of thousands but for the rabbonim shlita, this too is irrelevant since the matter has been decided by gedolei yisrael shlita.

While the chareidim cling to learning and fulltime torah study, the dati leumi are to be commended for the understanding of the sanctity of the land. Young couples that marry are willingly forgo the comforts of an apartment and tangible physical possessions, preferring to live in a caravan home to settle the land, to distance Yishmael from the holy land by creating facts on the ground. There are also those who settle areas of Yerushalayim that have been occupied by Arabs for too long, areas including Shimon HaTzaddik and Maale Zeitim, who endure daily hardships as a result of their hostile surroundings, all in the name of redeeming the land.

If only these two camps could unite, the Plesner Committee would truly remain powerless. Instead, they permit the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy that was seen in 2005, when the brilliant military strategist Ariel Sharon did just that. It began with delegitimizing and then by dividing. Who knows, perhaps if a half million chareidim protested then, Gush Katif would still stand today. Who knows?

What is certain is that if the two camps unite today there will be sufficient numbers entering the IDF and the batei medrashim will be full as well, and this formula is one that can bring success, but instead, we are permitting the erev rav to divide and conquer once again. If shabbat observant residents of Eretz Yisrael unite, the others will fall by the wayside, Jews and Arabs alike. Our division is what fuels their anti-torah battle. Simple as that!

For Barak, Bibi, Peres and others, enjoy your last days in power for future has been sealed by those who betrayed Eretz Yisrael and HKBH. History will judge you for who you are, opting to turn your prayers to the White House and not the Kosel, the international community and not Gedolei Yisrael. History will remember those who sought a Nobel Prize at the expense of Eretz HaKodesh and its inhabitants. Those who accept a Medal of Freedom as Jonathan Pollard languishes in prison. What a Chilul Hashem!

This is the lesson of the Three Weeks, achdus among the torah-observant community, to unite against the erev rav, and perhaps this is the lesson the Plesner Committee will teach us.

Baruch Rosenblatt, Israel

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



  1. Soon it will be time to realize that zionism, like hellenism, like the Sabbateans and the Frankists, like the “Ethical culture” and Reform – are dead ends in Jewish history. History has shown that any Jewish movement that is not based on Torah and Mitsvos will fail in the long run. While the goyim have a saying that in the long run we all dead, the history of Torah Judaism (i.e. Haredi-style yiddishkeit) shows that klal yisrael will survive in the long run – not because of economic or military strength, but because of loyalty to HaShem.

  2. Maybe it’s just me, but I had difficulty following this argument.

    If one argues that Gedolei Yisroel have spoken as one voice on theis matter and that their view is binding, then why bother with trying to explain the logic? It’s binding anyway, whether or not we understand it, if one believes in the Da’as Torah position.

    If the author is writing for the sake of those who need to be convinced and who would only listen if the argument makes sense, does he honestly believe that what he wrote here is coherent, logical, substantive, and sensible?

  3. #2,
    O come ‘on.
    When the Navee spoke to Klal Yisroel he didn’t say: “Hashem said your ways are wrong, and why should I tell you any logic, since you have to do it anyway…”. What did he say? – he spent great legnth explaining how we are logically betraying Hashem.

    Do you remember that faimous Mussar Vort on Parshas Vayeitzei? When Yaakov tells his wives that it’s time to leave after Hashem told him so? give a look how much talk is taking place there…

  4. kipa sruga against the black kipas? the black kipas have too long had animosity against anyone not like them.

    BTW, it says in numerous medrashim, why are cities in Israel desolate, because they abandoned the torah, even though HaShem was mevatar on Gili Ariyous, svichas damim and idolitry, yet it was when they abandoned the Torah that the cities were destroyed. see Eicha Raba, peticah 2.

    The Taz in Shulchan Aruch 47 notes that they did not make a blessing on their learning, sure they learned but they did not have in mind that learning was a lesson from HaShem. They used learning as a one upmanship thing.

    It is only when we learn realizing that the Torah is a precioius gift from HaShem, and we really must amal in it to take out it specialness and not use it for our own means, then we are learning properly.

    Too many people mis read pirkei avot today, the new girsa seems to be ‘ohav et ha Rabbanot and sonai at haMelacha.’

    We need to look into why eretz Yisroel is not being protected by our learning.

  5. YWN’s premise is entirely wrong.
    Speaking publicly in Mexico last week, Israeli President Shimon Peres said (in English) “Iran is not the problem, Arabs are not the problem, “the religious people are the problem.”

    Peres was amonst friends, free to speak from his heart. To Israel’s secular “leadership,” religious Jews are the enemy. If anyone is sugercoating reality, it’s us.

  6. The State of Israel owes its existence to the Balfour Declaration. In Hebrew “P” and “F” are interchangeable, so this state, created and nurtured on hatred of Hashem, is a creation of the Ba’al Pe’or Declaration. Is its hatred of authentic Judaism any wonder?

    Rav Gifter once asked Abba Eben why Israel’s Declaration of Independence has no reference to Hashem (America’s has)? Eben, eloquently inarticulate in 17 languages, said to the effect that “It’s not the position of the State of Israel to mention G-d.”

  7. An alliance between the RZs and the Jews? No way. The RZs in 1902 chose their allies: the chilonim. So it has been ever since, including their participation on this Shmad Committee. The young couples in their caravans are tinok nishbo at best or consciously took the RZ bait at worst.

  8. Again another totally biased Op-Ed opinion on YWN. I fail to see why people ignore that the obvious fact, so rightly ruled on by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, that defending the borders of EY (and defending Yidden by extent) is Pikuach Nefesh. The performance of the Torah takes priority over learning and pikuach nefesh in particular. We believe in miracles but we do NOT rely on them.

  9. Eretz Yisroel is protected by the learning of those who learn but what about the batlanim who fill the alleys and passages around the Yeshivos would it be not better that they do something for am yisroel – community service or even serving in the army those “chareidi” youths who wander in and out of mosdot would be best found in an organized framework that would bring them closer to the fold

  10. I have no idea who Baruch is or where he lives. To be clear I have never been a big fan of da’at tora, although I would like to think I was brought up with a strong respect for Rabbanim.

    Let’s assume that my view is meaningless I would like to make a couple of points about Gedolim and their “rule” over the charedi community.

    It is my contention that there is severe lip service to the Gedolim and Da’at Tora. Why do I say this?

    I shall bring a couple of simple examples.

    Da’at Tora (as enunciated through the latest “debate” over joining the army) states that you should not go to the army, it also states that you should not have a smart phone, go to university or have access to the internet.

    In spite of this the number of Charedim in the army increases daily (not enough, but it grows), there are around 6,000 charedi students in Israeli higher education (universities etc), smartphones are now standard fare amongst charedim and many have internet (and not just “beacuse I need it for work”)

    Perhaps my final and direct proof for this is the recent pashkavil posted in Beit Shemesh demanding that yirei Hashem not attend a certain supermarket (Osher Ad). There is first hand testimony that the very next week following this paskavil all parts of the community where using the shop, including known kanaim and even sons of the very Gedolim that signed the pashkivil.

    Da’at Tora is as much an invention of modernity as Political Zionism (and they are indeed in some way connected) and Judaism will not survive in its present form until its use as a form of tyranny is stopped.

    Finally, I ask Baruch and my other brothers and sisters within the Charedi community to wake up from the dream that non-Charedim are all out to destroy the religious way of life, and I ask same the same to my brothers and sisters who are not Charedim: stop assuming that Orthodoxy is old-fashioned and will pass from the world.

    Together we need to create a new dialogue that accepts the facts as they are and then create a reshut harabim that fosters a greater love for one another and hence a greater love for Jewish values. (This could include a new solution for Charedim in the army guaranteeing supported learning for the minority, whilst freeing those not suited to full-time learning for meaningful service; A more open Rabbanut that actually serves (all) the people without corruption; Guarantees on Charedi independence in education in return for greater preparation for those students to be constructive members of society and the workforce etc)

    HKBH (liked the acronym) destroyed the 2nd BH because of sinat chinom, not because people were not frum enough! Remember that the next time you are patronising to those who do not agree with your specific view of Judaism and Torah!

  11. Daniel, for years I have also noticed mass disobedience of seemingly straightforward rules laid down by unquestioned “gedolim,” and the same among my own dati leumi population. I think both populations are in part captives of their own demographic success. A small population can march in lock step after its leaders; a larger one cannot – simply because it is larger. Among the religious, especially in Eretz Yisrael, we also have too many rabbanim to sustain army-camp discipline behind “gedol ha-dor” or whatever his touters call him. I think the media fail to see this or can’t be bothered to reveal it for reasons of expediency or habit. They are also drawn to extremists because, well, non-extremists aren’t newsworthy. And then there are sectoral media that make their living by portraying “their” population as forever under mortal threat, etc. Believe it or not, I don’t mean this as a media bash; it’s just the nature of the beast and media consumers have to be aware of it.
    But for the same reason, there can’t be a grand reconciliation, new agenda, new reshut ha-rabim, etc. We are too atomized for that. But we can have de facto acceptance and will to coexist at the micro level, and I think this is happening and may be accelerating.

  12. It is tedious and useless to continue this argument and I will not add to it. However, I have to correct factual mistakes. “ralphie” claims that the Declatration of Independence does not mention G-d’s name- incorrect. It clearly ends : ” With trust in the Almighty G-d” ( Mitoch bitachon beTsur Yisrael). look it up.
    And, BTW, R’Itche Meir Levin (gerrer rebbe’s cousin and brother-in-law) signed the Declaration.

  13. rabbiofberlin: “The seventh and last section of the Declaration, the part containing the signatures, begins with the phrase: “Placing our trust in the Rock of Israel, we affix our signatures…” It comes as no surprise that these opening words had prompted a debate among the members of the People’s Council, reflecting the disagreements between its secular and religious members concerning the future image of the state. The debate ended in tacit acquiescence, presumably because of the reluctance to engage in such a discussion at that time. It should be mentioned, however, that the representatives of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community subsequently took exception to the entire Declaration, stating that it greatly offended their sensitivities.”
    Your interpretation is not their intention. I stand by my previous statement

  14. rabbiofberlin: Do your homework. Here’s a more explicit explanation of the true anti-Jewish founders of the State of Israel:
    “The second major issue was over the inclusion of God in the last section of the document, with the draft using the phrase “and placing our trust in the Almighty”. The two rabbis, Shapira and Yehuda Leib Maimon, argued for its inclusion, saying that it could not be omitted, with Shapira supporting the wording “God of Israel” or “the Almighty and Redeemer of Israel”.[12] It was strongly opposed by Zisling, a member of the secularist Mapam. In the end the phrase “Rock of Israel” was used, which could be interpreted as either referring to God, or the land of Eretz Israel, Ben-Gurion saying “Each of us, in his own way, believes in the ‘Rock of Israel’ as he conceives it. I should like to make one request: Don’t let me put this phrase to a vote.” Although its use was still opposed by Zisling, the phrase was accepted without a vote.”

  15. Breslever #9, it’s nice that you’re such a champion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s psak din about the obligation to defend territory in which Jews live (whether in Eretz Yisroel or chutz lo’oretz); but are you really not aware that he was dead set against yeshivah bochurim going to the army? Why do you think Lubavitcher yeshivos make use of the same exemptions as all the other yeshivos. The Rebbe was clear that a bochur’s place is in the beis medrash and nowhere else. The Rebbe often referred to yeshivah bochurim as “chayolei beis Dovid”, who are serving and protecting Klal Yisroel with their learning, and who must be dedicated to their learning like a soldier is dedicated to the army. There are other important causes and mitzvos, but they are for ballebatim who have already left the beis hamedrash to support their families.

    Note that Lubavitcher yeshivos in EY do not close down for election campaigns. Ballebatim can campaign for the candidates whom the rabbonim endorse, but bochrim have no business getting involved; their place is in front of a sefer.

  16. #14, “rabbiofberlin”, you are being dishonest. You know very well that “Tzur Yisrael” was chosen specifically because it does not mean G-d. It means the strength of Israel, by which the atheist framers meant כוחי ועוצם ידי; but they were kind enough to use a phrase that’s ambiguous enough that the religious could pretend it meant Hashem. But they adamantly refused to include Hashem’s name, or any clear reference to Him, unlike the American declaration which openly names Him and thanks Him.