Dear YW Editor. I am utterly disgusted by the way the Jewish Press allowed one of their contributors – Elliot Resnick – to publish an article on the Jewish Press Blog which clearly slanders Chassidim! In a world where anti-Semitic attacks are becoming more frequent, the last thing we need is an anti-Semitic article written by a Frum Jew. If this article was written by a non-Jew, there would be calls to boycott the newspaper! WHY ARE WE SILENT?! (I have attached the article below:)
“Why shouldn’t they exaggerate?” he asked me, surprised that I would think otherwise.
While writing a recent article I was unsure how many people had attended a certain event. I happened to mention to someone that as a JTA article on the same subject would soon appear, I would see what number they gave for the crowd and base my estimate accordingly.
“But their number will be an exaggeration,” he said.
“Why should they exaggerate?” I asked him, knowing that the JTA is a professional agency, not a propaganda operation.
It was to this question that I received his “Why shouldn’t they exaggerate” reply.
To be honest, his question rang so strange in my ears that I had a hard time formulating an answer. And then a few minutes after the conversation’s conclusion it came to me: Why shouldn’t they exaggerate? Because doing so is false!
This point is obvious of course. But not apparently to this ostensibly religious Jew. To him, the question wasn’t why someone should depart from the truth, but why one would ever tell the truth in the first place.
Unfortunately, this gentleman is not alone in placing a very low premium on the value of truth. Unfortunately, some Jews, including — or perhaps especially — Chassidic Jews, will make sure never to shake a woman’s hand and to always faithfully wear a black hat but lie (stretching the truth is perhaps a more delicate term) with astonishing ease.
When one witnesses such behavior one wonders what makes these people so religious after all. One also wonders what kind of impression these Jews make on other people who may be unobservant or non-Jewish but whose inner religious core and rectitude are stronger and more Godly than these “truth stretchers.” Surely this cavalier attitude towards truth does not inspire others to praise the God whom these Jews (especially those wearing black hats or beards)apparently represent.
The impulse among many to come closer to God by becoming better Jews is laudable. However, these Jews and all Jews should attach greater importance to basic Biblical values and laws, such as the value of truth, than they do to ensuring that their tzitzis are clearly visible to all.
Unfortunately, the following story tells it all:
A man who daily came to a Jewish study hall decided to bring a bottle of milk with him so that he could greater enjoy the free coffee available every day at the hall. He labeled his bottle “Private” and placed it in the fridge near the coffee. When he opened the fridge at the day’s end, he found it nearly empty.
So, thinking that his sign was too small, he proceeded the next day to label his bottle with large letters, “PRIVATE, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE.” At the day’s end, nary a drop was left in the bottle.
So, learning his lesson and knowing that he was studying among religious people, the next day he wrote on his bottle, ” ‘DO NOT STEAL’ IS ONE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.” An empty bottle, nonetheless, greeted him at the end of the day.
The next day, finally understanding the sad reality of present day Jews, he wrote the following: “Not chalav yisrael.” The milk was untouched.”
NOTE: There is a disclaimer on the side of the blog which reads “The views and opinions expressed on this blog, while written by Jewish Press staff, do not necessarily reflect the editorial positions of The Jewish Press;” yet right underneath that, there are the names of the seven contributers to the blog. (Elliot Resnick, Jason Maoz, Ziona Greenwald, Steven Plaut, Moshe Klass, Chumi Friedman, Shlomo Greenwald.) They are all writers for the Jewish Press, and their logo is proudly displayed on the blog.