The Peleg Days of Rage: A Halachic Analysis

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(By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times)

Most people with family in Eretz Yisroel who have cars are familiar with the Peleg days of rage.  Essentially, in protesting Israel’s decision to force Yeshiva students to register for the draft, Peleg Yeshiva students are blocking major arteries of traffic. Peleg Yeshiva students are followers of Rav Shmuel Auerbach, and this issue has split the Lithuanian Torah community. It is a matter of serious controversy in Israel.

It must be noted that whatever one believes – the kavod HaTorah toward our leading Torah sages must always be maintained.  One should look at it as if chalilah, one’s parents are fighting or divorcing. One may not take sides and must treat both parties with the utmost respect.

Regarding the controversy itself, there are three underlying issues.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY?

The first issue involves what is the best way to go about ensuring that yeshiva students be allowed to continue studying unhindered by a forced draft.  Rav Aron Leib Shteinman Shlita is of the opinion that the Yeshiva students simply register and then continue learning undisturbed.  He, apparently, feels that since this is not an actual draft, but merely registering for one, the situation can be handled politically if and ever an actual draft is to come about.  Rav Shmuel Auerbach shlita, apparently feels that one should not grant even a foothold – and one should actively protest the draft and the draft registration.

SHOULD PROTESTING ENDANGER LIVES?

The second issue is how far does one protest? Rav Eliezer Menachem Shach zt”l, however, was aware of some of the repercussions and extreme measures that some protestors take. He spent time and effort clarifying to his followers that at all times protestors must act with the utmost derech eretz – like true Bnei Torah. There are videos of such instructions that Rav Shach zt”l had given.

Unfortunately, the decision to block traffic on the part of many Peleg protestors has led to situations of Pikuach Nefesh – life threatening dangers.  Ambulances on verified emergency calls have been blocked.  Children in need of oxygen have been stuck in traffic with no available emergency resources.  Crucial medical flights have been missed.  Indeed, it is impossible for the protestors to know what medical situation they are potentially hampering with their traffic blocking protests.

A woman in labor could hemorrhage to death chalilah because she was stuck in traffic 8 blocks behind the protestors.  This second issue is no laughing matter.

It is clear as day that no leading gadol would ever sanction protests to a degree where it would risk lives.  The situation is tantamount to instructing people to slash the tires of Hatzalah and Magen Adom ambulances in order to make a point.  No Gadol would ever sanction such behavior.  It is also somewhat ironic that those people involved in creating this clear and present danger to Jews throughout Israel are filming incidents of “police brutality” in the very dangerous scenarios.

It is clear then that, on account of the fact that there are life-threatening aspects to traffic protests, it is some mid-level administrator who is behind the Peleg traffic protests.   It is not being sanctioned by any Gadol, and certainly not Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita.

LONG TERM REPERCUSSIONS TO PROTESTORS

The third issue is one of possible long term repercussions to those who participate in traffic blocking protests.  Is blocking traffic halachically considered trespassing?  Do we rule like those rishonim that trespassing is a form of gezel?  Does this type of gezel make one pasul l’aidus?

OTHER UNDERLYING ISSUES

As others know quite well there a number of other very serious issues involved in the traffic stopping protests; the gravest issue of course is Chillul Hashem, but there is also financial damage to third parties, there is danger to the participants themselves as well as to others, there is possible lifnei Iver on the reactions that others may have, there is massive Bitul Torah, and there is the possibility of making things significantly worse.

CHILLUL HASHEM

It is certainly true that the Satmar Rebbe zt”l, as well as numerous Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel understand the idea of protest as Kiddush Hashem (VaYoel Moshe Shalosh Shavuos Siman 113-114).  This was also the view of the Brisker Rav zt”l.  They never advocated protesting to the point of endangering lives.

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l and Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l were against all protesting in the United States. They were attuned to the possible repercussion of Chillul Hashem.  It could very well be that the situation has now changed on account of instant media coverage that others would have agreed to Rav Moshe zt”l and Rav Aharon zt”l as well – nowadays.

In the 5748 edition of HaPardes Volume III page 9, the views of Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l and Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l are cited in regard to the idea of protests. The American Moetzes Gedolei Torah at the time felt that protests were highly counter-productive. Instead, they opted for the time-tested method of shtadlanus. This method has been used effectively for centuries.

In the 5753 edition of HaPardes (Vol. IV p. 25), Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l also came out strongly against the idea of protests in regard to atrocities done to graves by archaeologist, and instructed the Agudas HaRabbonim to send a strongly worded telegram to then PM Yitzchok Rabin. He also stated that strong condemnations should be made from each shul.

On Monday, Sept 2, 1957, (the 6th of Elul 5717) representatives of Agudas HaRabbanim approached the Satmar Rebbe in regard to a protest at Union Square. They told him that it was unbecoming of Talmidei Chachomim to behave in such a manner and that hatznea leches should be the operative principle. The Satmar Rebbe rejected this view.

DAMAGE

Another underlying issue is third-party damage. Regardless of what one holds about the issue being protested, it is absolutely forbidden to cause damage to a third party because one wishes to protest – even if the reason for his protest is a perfectly correct view. No longer is a protest a mere temporary delay, like it once was when Gedolei Torah allowed protests in the early twentieth century. Now, the damage is quite more extensive. If Reuvain is upset with Shimon, he simply may not damage Levi. The Tur in the beginning of Choshain Mishpat chapter 378 writes that it is forbidden to do damage to someone else – just like stealing is forbidden. Damaging is also a negation of the Mitzvah of V’ahavta lerayacha kamocha according to the Steipler Rav (Kehilas Yaakov Bava Kamma Siman 1) and quite possibly a number of other Torah injunctions.

DANGER

A second issue is whether one is permitted to protest in an illegal manner – without a permit. The Belzer Rebbe is cited among other Gedolim as forbidding participation in a hafgana unless the protest had a legal permit – on account of the danger of sakanas nefashos – aside from the issue of Bitul Torah (hashkafas hanetzach l’sh’ailos hazman p321).

The baser tendency of some human beings is to enjoy violence – this is true on both sides of the fence. Policeman have a tendency to hit, beat, shoot with rubber bullets and taser protestors. This is true in America, foreign countries, and in Israel. Most responsible parents do not want their children participating in events where they can get bloodied up, facial fractures, and the like. These things happen.

Shtadlanus, behind the scenes activity, is clearly the better way to go. It is also true that the very people picketing also get out of hand. Why are there people throwing rocks at police officers? The answer is because they get in the spirit of things. A hafganah in Israel is as fun as a tackle football game in the snow for Americans.

GEZEL SHAINA – STEALING PEOPLE’S SLEEP

It is said in the name of the Chofetz Chaim that stealing people’ sleep is one of the worst forms of Gezel – theft. His reason is that it can never be paid back. The recent hafganot, in many places, were held until the wee hours of the morning – and boisterously so. Babies, children, mothers and fathers could not sleep. Is this not Gezel Shaina?

Rav Shmuel HaLevi Vosner, zt”l the rav and av beis din of the Zichron Meir section of Bnei Brak, discusses the situation in the seventh volume of his responsa (Shaivet HaLevi #224).

Rav Vosner begins his response with the position that the term “theft” can only truly be used when one steals an actual item and the thief either uses that item or benefits from it. He writes that preventing someone from sleeping is prohibited because one person is not allowed to cause damage to another or to prevent another from realizing a benefit, but there is no actual theft involved. Rav Vosner admits that there is definitely a proof from Bava Basra 20b that preventing someone from sleeping is prohibited, as well as from Choshen Mishpat siman 156:2 and 3.

The Shulchan Aruch discusses whether someone is permitted to open a commercial store in a residential neighborhood. Rav Karo writes as follows:

“The immediate neighbors may prevent him from opening up such a store and tell him, ‘We cannot sleep, on account of the noise of those who are entering.’ He may only do his work in the house and sell it in the marketplace. However, they may not stop him and say, ‘We cannot sleep, because of the sound of the hammer, or the mill.’ This is because he already began doing this and they did not stop him from doing it earlier.”

Clearly, this would forbid hafganot in residential areas too.

Although the parameters of what is permitted in a residential area and what is not are somewhat complex, the essential issue that preventing someone from sleeping is generally prohibited can be established from this ruling of the Shulchan Aruch – especially in the areas where the hafganot were held.

Rav Vosner concludes his response with the idea that the term “gezel” is somewhat of a misnomer.

We do find, however, that Chazal perhaps define the term “gezel” in a broader fashion than Rav Vosner understands it. The term is used in the Talmud (Berachos 6b) in a situation that may not quite be considered “stealing an actual item and using or benefiting from it.” Rav Chelbo quotes Rav Huna as saying, “Whoever knows that the other generally greets him, should greet him first, as it says, ‘Seek peace and pursue it.’ If the other gave him a greeting and he did not return it, he is considered a thief, as it says, ‘For you have devoured the vineyard, and the theft of the poor is in your house’ (Yeshayah 3:14).”

Likewise, the term is used by Rav Chanina bar Pappa (Berachos 35b) regarding someone who eats and does not recite a blessing. It is considered as if he stole from Hashem and from knesses Yisrael. And the term is used in Sanhedrin (91b): “Whoever prevents a student from learning Torah, it is as if he stole his inheritance from him.” In both of these instances, no actual item is being taken and benefited from.

The Midrash Tanchuma (Bamidbar 27) also uses the term to describe someone who quotes a halachah and does not quote the name of the one who said it, in violation of the verse “Do not steal from the destitute for he is destitute” (Mishlei 22:22). The Midrash traces this back to the zugos, and ultimately traces it back to Moshe Rabbeinu from Har Sinai.

Similarly, in a Tosefos in Kiddushin 59a, Rabbeinu Tam’s father, Rav Meir, is quoted as understanding that in a case where fisherman A set out his net and fisherman B afterward set out a net nearby with a dead fish inside (to attract more fish), it is considered as if fisherman B stole from fisherman A—even though the fish had not yet arrived. (Fishermen: please note the fishing advice from Rabbeinu Tam’s father.)

We see that the term theft is used more loosely than as defined by Rav Vosner. There is also a responsum from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Shlita printed in the Av 5762 edition of Koveitz Beis Aharon V’Yisrael that the case in Berachos 6b (regarding one who does not return a greeting) is considered theft only because it is the negation of a debt. Even though the debt is non-monetary in nature, it is still considered a debt, and the negation of this debt thus falls under the rubric of theft.

LIFNEI IVER

The issue of Lifnei Iver is also an issue. The overwhelming masses of people in Israel and elsewhere look at religious Jews as if they are a bunch of hooligans and such behavior causes a lifnei iver of hating Torah Jews.

It is hard to imagine a better way of getting other people to violate lo sisneh es achicha bilvavecha. Behaving in a manner that just gets other people to hate us – fosters lifnei Iver. This says nothing of the Lifnei Iver caused to the police officers. And while it is true that Rav Elyashiv dismisses the specific Lifnei Iver of Shabbos violation involved in Shabbos hafganot, many other Poskim do not.

BITUL TORAH

Rav Shach (cited in Torascha Shashu’ai p. 441) was approached by two students as to whether to partake in hafganot regarding archaeological digs. He cited the Gemorah in Yevamos 63b that explains that they and their fathers would be punished. What does Hashem then want of us? That we not violate bitul Torah!

In Orchos Rabbeinu about the Steipler page 385, a story is cited concerning the Chazon Ish that when a person had asked him whether there was an issue of Bitul Torah in partaking in a hafganah – he responded, “For you it would be a problem of bittul Torah since you expressed concern for it.” Numerous other Gedolim forbade going to hafganot because it constituted Bitul Torah.

DOES IT HELP OR HINDER?

The last question involves whether it helps or hinders. Has the Israeli government stopped the draft on account of the hafganot? Most people say no, and that it has rather served to infuriate the populace against the Chareidim. Others claim that they did help change matters. In this case, it seems that it made things worse.

Whenever there is a question about something helping or hindering we usually adopt a shaiv v’al ta’aseh approach. This should be done here as well. The leaders of the Peleg Yerushalmi movement used to identify with Rav Shach zt”l as well as Rav Elyashiv zt”l. They do not identify with Rav Shteinman Shlita. However, we have seen that the path of the previous leaders was to discourage this type of behavior. The vast majority of the Lithuanina Torah community, including Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita is against these hafganot.

It should clearly be stopped.

There are a number of askanim that are now preparing lists of which Kollels in Eretz Yisroel are affiliated with Peleg and are planning on printing these lists so that American gvirim can make their own decisions whether to continue supporting them.

We have had too many near misses. Heaven forbid that one neshama should be los to Klal Yisroel on account of these ill-conceived and illegal life-endangering protests.

The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com

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SHOCKING FOOTAGE: Peleg Protesters Refuse To Allow Ambulance On An Emergency Call To Pass

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Peleg Protesters Hold Their ‘Day of Rage’ Blocking Roads Across Israel [VIDEOS & PHOTOS]

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ALL VIDEOS AND PHOTOS VIA מחאות החרדים הקיצוניים & מדברים תקשורת:

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63 COMMENTS

  1. “It must be noted that whatever one believes – the kavod HaTorah toward our leading Torah sages must always be maintained.”

    This is the part of Rav Hoffman’s otherwise excellent analysis that is difficult to apply here. There has to be some point where the views of a “leading torah sage” cross the line and should be subject to criticism and challenged forcefully. At a news conference on Friday, we had a political flack assert that the President’s chief of staff was “beyond criticism” simply because he was a 4 star general (aka a secular “gadol hador”). Not that l’havdil a gadol yisorel is analogous to a military/political leader but when a rav whom some consider a ” gadol” morphs into the intellectual and spiritual leader of a movement and either directly or indirectly encourages his talmidim to engage in these atrocities against the klal, and jeopardize life and property, the must be a point where he loses his “gadol immunity” from criticism. We keep looking to the other gadolim to speak out forcefully and unequivocally but instead we get these “on the one hand/on the other hand” circular comments but NONE simply stay “IT MUST STOP NOW!!!”

  2. Thank you for a hlachaic viewpoint on this on-going issue.
    TWO main questions:
    1. Has any reputable person spoken to Rav S. Aurabach shlit”a and updated him to what is going on in the streets, consequences, harm, violence, damages and media coverage?
    2. Who are the askanim and advisors to Rav Aurabach ? and check the money line that is supporting, upholding and paying for these hafganos, posters, etc…. In the past it has led back to the shores of New York.

  3. > One should look at it as if chalilah, one’s parents are fighting or divorcing. One may not take sides and must treat both parties with the utmost respect.

    But when one parent takes a sledgehammer to the other, or in this case a sledgehammer to the child, the child can’t “take sides”?

  4. i am reminded of a young unlearned student asking the Rav ztl a sheailah to which the Rav said, it is assur, because the halakha does not allow stupid things. in this case the stupidity includes the certainty of delaying ambulances somewhere impacted. anything more is a poor excuse for discussing what is clear.

  5. Only last week we learned that the Dor Hamabul were well versed in halachic analysis concerning “gezel.”
    So they stole LESS than a shava perutah so as not to transgress gezeilah outright.
    But Hashem destroyed them in a mabul instead. You can’t fool G-D with dreikop pilpulim.

  6. The author states, “It is not being sanctioned by any Gadol, and certainly not Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita.”

    I beg to differ. To the best of my knowledge, R Auerbach is behind these protests. To the best of my knowledge he is the main leader of these stupid bochrim.

    We say every day near the end of our morning prayers, that Talmidai Chachomin bring peace into the world. Are we seeing it here?

    This is terrible behavior and few rabbonim are voicing their opinions against such terrible actions of these people.

  7. To chareidi amiti:

    That is the enigma. If he is aware and is affirmatively leading these efforts, do we continue to blindly genuflect towards his “gadlus” and refrain from criticism or is there some point or line where a daas yachid whose actions pose a threat to klal yisroel is no longer able to assert such immunity from criticism. If so, who makes such a decision? The vast majority of Litvish rabbonim claim to disagree with R Auberach but none have directly and forcefully said his words should be ignored. Even then, do we expect his talmidim would listen to a kol koreh from all the other Litvish rabbonim if they attempted to reject the Aurbach shita on draft resistance?

  8. mayerfreund:

    Simple answer. Because HKB”H instructed Moshe דבר אל בני ישראל ויסעו. Nachshon was the first one to implement the orders of Hashem. Can we designate every action that someone does as a Nachshon? I fear not.

    GH and a few others:

    I strongly suspect that the world is victim to major communication disruption/breakdown. Without knowing anything for a fact, it could well be that Rav Shmuel Auerbach is the leader of the ideology, and that he is completely disconnected from the movement’s newspaper, the protests, etc. Peleg is apparently under leadership of a few who are the ones guiding and inciting the protests. These other leaders have taken the Rav Auerbach message far from his intention. He may easily have called for passive resistance, and gives zero support for the jungle mentality that fills today’s streets. Thus, all the admonitions to refrain from being mevazeh Rav Auerbach may be quite rational. The true culprits are the ones that direct the day to day actions, and these should be identified and singled out for whatever is the appropriate consequence.

    I believe the best comment on this thread is by TannaKamma. The thugs in the street are clearly ignoring halacha. So this article is preaching to the choir.

  9. even if no one needed to get to hospital or oxygen etc. even I just want’d to take a take a leisure walk and someone is blocking the reshyos harabim, I have all right al pi dinah to brake his belongings and to harm him.

  10. NACHSON’S JUMPING IN THE YAM SUF WAS DOING MESIRAS NEFESH FOR OTHER JEWS NOT HIMSELF EVEN IF HE WILL BE HARMED. THIS IS A SIMILAR PROTEST TZADIKIM PUTTING THEIR LIFE IN DANGER FOR OTHER JEWS THAT ARE IN JAIL ETC.

  11. I have one major question to Rabbi Hofman——If in fact their leader does not sanction their violence, then
    WHY DOES HE NOT COME OUT CLEARLY AND INSTRUCT HIS FOLLOWERS SO ,,, JUST LIKE RAV SHACH DID????????
    OBVIOUSLY , HE SEES NO NEED FOR IT , BUT THEN WHO IS LIABLE FOR AL THE HEZEK AND THE PIKUACH NEFESH SITUATIONS?????????? IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME THAT SOMEONE WILL R”L PASS ON BECAUSE THEY WERE UNABLE TO GET TIMELY PROPER TREATMENT. SHTIKA KEHODOYA111111 not instructing his charges otherwise ,means that he is complicit and agrees to their errant behavior!!!!!

  12. Cutting off funding seems like a very baalebatish response. Would like to hear a psak halacha from real daas Torah, not a five towns writer posek.

  13. What about the issue of Lo Saamod al dam rayecha seems like by blocking ambulances and other sick people you might very well be contributing to a person’s loss of life or limb

  14. I could have wept today. It was the yahrtzeit of Rav Ovadia. Some took to the streets for his hilliulah. Others left the bies medrash and their sfarim to sit in the road. I avoid the hafganot because I can’t bear to see these precious neshamas wasting themselves on this futile and counterproductive activity.

  15. How about geneivah,
    taking funds from the israeli governmnet and refusing to recognize it , oh that a mitzvah in the charedi world , it goes hand in hand with medicaid fraud leshaim shamayim, secondly if these kids are out all day protesting when exactly are they learning

  16. I am sure Rabbi Yair Hoffman is a talmid chochom but in this case I have not even bothered to read his article. Peleg is the brain child of HaRav HaGaon Shmuel Auerbach Shlita who directs its 40,000 troops. Who is Rabbi Yair Hoffman to even try and halachically analyze what one of the world’s greatest Gaonim is doing?

  17. A few points that everyone is ignoring:
    1) The current law allowing bachurim deferrals has been struck down by the High Court meaning that technically, all bachurim are now subject to the draft with no option of deferral/exemption.
    2) Even if a new law is passed to change this situation, it’s likely to be worse than the previous law was. The previous law gave a few years’ “grace” to adapt to the changing situation, and then stipulated that apart from 1800 bachurim, all bachurim get drafted. So the new law will likely limit the number of deferrals even more, increase the quotas of bachurim that the law demands enlist, etc..
    3) The above situation is the result of shtadlanus i.e. by “hareidi” MKs who reported that the law was the best they could get out of the government. In other words, shtadlanus has failed.
    Given all the above, what does the honorable rabbi think should be done?
    Should yeshivah bachurim and the wider hareidi community resign themselves to the fact that within a few years, almost all of our sons will be drafted?
    Or what?
    Yes, your “halachic” analysis is interesting, though you totally failed to explain the reasoning behind the positions of gedolim such as the Satmar Rebbe, while devoting long paragraphs to the other side of the argument.
    Your assertion that Rav Shmuel Auerbach is somehow out of the picture is obviously unsubstantiated.
    Perhaps you think, as many do, that getting a deferral is a piece of cake and that this situation will carry on forever? You should inform yourself better – approximately 10% of those seeking deferrals have their applications rejected. Many end up in the army against their will. Others sit in jail.
    And the deferrals themselves are not going to be granted forever – the laws on the books state that clearly.
    Let’s fast-forward 3 years or so. The new law says all bachurim have to enlist. Now what? You still think that demonstrations are wrong and evil? You still care more about what the secular think, than about the actual fact of forced enlistment?
    Don’t you have anything productive to offer?

  18. It is very misleading to claim that it is a matter of pkuach nefesh by blocking roads without directly knowing if someone is in danger just because maybe, the belzer rebbe shlita makes a wedding closes down half of yerushalayim or the gerrer rebbe or what about a marathon , or even an official protest the ambulances still can’t get thru, there all the gedolim stood or an hachnasos sefer torah the street gets closed or any of the large levayos that have been as reb ovadya’s or rav wozver (not to mention the levayah itself). according to the chashavo rav it is sakanos nefashos for the airport workers to strike. It is interesting that all these cheshbonos come out now , with the protest against the Tumah parade yated neeman had no problem. neither all the questioner’s now, and against the archaeology digging or going back many years about autopsies

  19. nice Torah perspective with references.
    I am sure the anti-Torah secular minority love to divide and conquer the Torah community every chance they get. Sinas Chinom gives them a chance. Perhaps a din Torah could resolve this.
    The longer term solution is to recognized Torah study as the national service it is and for the IDF to not only purge itself of anti-Torah policy and officers, but require Torah study and practice to qualify as an officer.

  20. another misleading point in the article, is that the chazon Ish made the decision that bochurim should come once to receive the deferment. all the gedolim of the time were against including the brisker rav and rav Bengas. but that was what became the practice for 50 yrs. it is only after the government and the army have to decided to change the law and to try to encourage bochurim to serve. I’m sure all the readers including the choshuva rav know and remember that about 20 yrs ago was created the nachal chareidi the only one who backed it then was rav shteinman yb”l all the gedolim (r’ michol yehuda lefkowitz , R’ moshe shmuel Shapira, Rav Vozner ) were against it. a new question started now with how to deal with the situation that is the point of contention. Askanos was tried many times , but especially when there are many people from within the camp who are assisting the army to draft as many as possible. and all avenues politically have been blocked knowingly. the only avenue left seems to be civil disobedience. the choshuva rav may call this chilul hashem but the slonimer rebbe didn’t think so when everyone came to back the parents from Emmanuel. He must have known also that there would be no pregnant woman hemorrhaging.

  21. AVREIMI——– Are you saying that Rav Auerbach sanctions HAFGANOS of violence , gezel derabim , situations of pikuach nefesh that can lead to misah r”l????????????? YOUR WORDS DON’T MAKE SENSE!!!!!!
    DID YOU EVER CONSIDER THAT PELEG WHICH IS HIS BRAINCHILD , MIGHT HAVE HAD A DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION IN RAV AUERBACHS MIND???? MAYBE IT MEANS DEMONSTRATIONS without VIOLENCE AND INCONVENIENCING OR ENDANGERING OF THE INNOCENT PUBLIC !!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE VERY NAIVE!!!!!!!

  22. avreimi

    Have you ever read Halachic responsa on any issue? Medical, business and financial transactions, eruvim etc.
    You analyze the issue as Rav Moshe, Rav Shach, Rav Wosner, Brisker Rav all zt”l paskined in the past and you bring all the issues up to the present day. That is exactly what Rabbi Hoffman did. Perhaps you have or are aware of how Rav Auerbach paskens on this issue, has he written up a tshuva YET??!!!

  23. Rabbi hoffman with all due respect, when it comes to outright hezek,genaiva or possible death there is no need for analysis or svaras.
    A ganef,mazik ,rodef,m echallel hashem bifarhesya etc with a reason or svara still remains a ganef ,mazik, rodef,mechallel shem shamayim.
    Its so simple yet people feel an a need to have a debate,analysis. Its mind bogggling.

  24. I cannot even read this article. It is not our place to get involved in Israeli politics, or in a dispute amongst their Gedolim. As far as I’m concerned, the websites are doing a major disservice by reporting in this issue an posting pictures and videoes. It causes more Chilli Hashem and causes major zilzul in Gedolei Yisroel.

    One thing I know for sure, we in America have no concept or feeling as to the repricutions of these gezeiros in Eretz Yisroel can cause. Why do we feel one life in an ambulance is more important than shutting down the Yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel. These gezeiros can cause the spiritual death of thousands.

    I am not taking sides here at all. I am not saying I agree with Peleg or not. I have no right to even have an opinion. All I am saying is that from the posts and comments it is clear we in America are not sensitive enough to the severity of the gezeiros and the intention of them by the medinah.

  25. To Anonymous: You say its not our role to get involved in “disputes among gadolim”. What “dispute” are you referring to since not even R’ Aurbach, whatever you think about his shita on the draft” would have the temerity to argue that bnai torah should engage in the anarchy and disruption they have engaged in while threatening the lives and well being of hundreds of thousands of yidden, including many visiting from chutz l’aretz. And if he did issue such guidance, it would be a travesty to remain silent and NOT to speak out against this ongoing chilul hashem.

  26. anonymous

    Seems that Rav Steinman and Reb Chaim are sensitive enough and understand the severity of the gezeiros and the intention of them by the Medinah.

  27. SMFG3: if HaRav HaGaon Smuel Auerbach Shlita was against what is going on because it is as terrible as you and others claim, with issues of pikuach nefesh involved, I think we can be sure he would have spoken up by now.

    zionflag: yes I have read many Halachic responsa on many issues. Rabbi Hoffman’s article is neither a responsa nor an independent analysis. If anyone can be compared to Rav Moshe, Rav Shach, Rav Wosner, Brisker Rav all zt”l, I suggest it is Rav Auerbach not Rabbi Hoffman!

  28. ” It is not being sanctioned by any Gadol, and certainly not Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita.”
    Can anyone show me when Rabbi Auerbach made a statement against these sick action? If not, he DEFINITELY sanctions it.

  29. I must say I agree with yoffee
    Streets are closed all the time for all sorts of reasons none of which are even remotely as important as this one.
    Do you protest when there is a hachnosas Sefer Torah that closes streets? When some big askan gets the Prime Minister to come to his kids kindergarten graduation, everyone tries to get close to the ”powerful macher”. What about all the streets that get closed off to protect him?
    No bleeding ladies then?
    No oxygen deprived people then?
    Or only when protesting against shmad by yiddin against yiddin then suddenly we became concerned with who the closed streets bother.
    Get real and be honest
    You don’t see anything wrong with signing up for the army so to you the hafganah is retarded.
    That’s a fair position but so is the other side who sees it a fight for the neshama of klal yisroel .
    This is war
    In war unfortunately people get hurt.
    The solution is not to passively kid down and allow yourself to get killed because if you fight back someone MIGHT get hurt

  30. Yoffi,
    Agree on some points, people are forgetting that the very same Rav Shteinmans approach (nachal) was objected by everyone at the time. I am not going into whether it’s right or wrong.
    However, according to Rav Aurbach, Rav David Soloveitchik of Brisk and so was Rav Meir Soloveitchik ZTL of Brisk approach that the very notion of the draft is גזירת השמד, once that is established, the whole long essay on why protesting should be or shouldn’t falls apart. When your house is burning you don’t hesitate and ask if the water is someone’s etc.
    You may argue that there is no shmad, but yet that is not the above gedolims approach.

  31. Several important points are being neglected in this discussion.

    Various forces in the government have made it clear that their real purpose in drafting bochurim is to prevent what they consider to be an existential threat to the continued existence of Israeli society as they know it. They are realizing that what some observers call the “malignant demographic” (i.e. the much higher birthrate of Chareidim than secular) is leading to a situation in which, if nothing changes, in a few decades the Chareidim will be close to a majority of Jewish Israelis and this frightens them intensely. MK (and former Shabak head) Yaakov Peri said a few years ago when it was pointed out to him that the army doesn’t want bochurim and would be better off without them responded that the purpose of drafting bochurim is to use military discipline to “change their values” and “integrate them into mainstream Israeli society”. This is what many Gedolim are calling a “gezeiras ha-shmad”. As one earlier poster pointed out, when your house is burning, you don’t ask whose water you’re using to put it out. (For the same reason the Education Ministry is making a big effort to take over the curriculum of Chareidi schools to remove education to yiras Shamayim from it as much as possible and is having a lot of success, but that’s another discussion.) People in chutz l’aretz should be aware of what’s going on.

    The Brisker Rav himself participated in a demonstration against giyus banos, the one time he ever did, and called for American askanim to stage demonstrations, saying that that was the only thing the government would take seriously.

  32. ” Rabbi Hoffman’s article is neither a responsa nor an independent analysis. If anyone can be compared to Rav Moshe, Rav Shach, Rav Wosner, Brisker Rav all zt”l, I suggest it is Rav Auerbach not Rabbi Hoffman!”

    R Auerbach to my knowledge has NOT public expressed either support or criticism for the anarchy being imposed in his name in any form (I find the term “responsa” a bit pompous for a one paragraph statement saying yes/no I do/don’t support whats happening any its OK to use this type of lawlessness to achieve what I consider a greater long-term good. Instead, he is either totally detached from reality (which itself is scary), is being deliberately blocked from access to the media coverage or affirmatively supports the chaos and threats to the tzibur and national security that are occurring. Its not rocket science and doesn’t require a detailed analysis…yes/no/don’t care.

  33. yehuda26 October 23, 2017 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm

    No one is ignoring this – please clarify how this allows a group of people that call themselves “bochurim” to purposefully damage property, make a chilul hashem b’rabim, paralyze a city, stop people from going to work, stop people from fgoing to doctors, stop ambulances, etc – all against people wgho have nothing to do with the draft

  34. “This is war. In war unfortunately people get hurt.”

    Kluger, you need to be a little smarter and more careful with your words. When you are so glib regarding the suffering and inconvenience of other Jews, you put a kitrug on yourself. You just might wind up being a casualty.

  35. I wrote: As one earlier poster pointed out, when your house is burning, you don’t ask whose water you’re using to put it out.

    A better analogy would be, when your house is burning, you don’t care so much who gets sprayed by the water you use to put it out.

  36. So many posts here are such a sad commentary on the educational system. How is it possible for one to compare on the one hand an authorized, orderly, licensed – and extremely short and limited – closure of a route, to the other hand of a massive, chaotic blocking of major arteries for an arbitrary duration? How is it possible that one needs to refer to Rav Aurbach (which Rav Aurbach is not clear) to present the opinion of a still living Rav David Soloveitchik of Brisk who should be able to speak for himself. And indeed he does speak for himself, to his students who openly state they were charged with the task of spreading the message in the media (even then it seems limited to the time that Lapid was gaining influence). What is missing is that no one ever mentions ever being asked to organize illegal protests (or even legal ones) and certainly nothing of the nature that is happening here.

  37. I would like to add that the well publicized position of Rav David Soloveitchik of Brisk is that it is better to just flee the country altogether the way they fled communist Russia. Indeed, just when did the Rabbis in Russia block streets in protest etc?

  38. Avremi

    Can u direct me where I can read the shayla & tshuva written by Rav Auerbach regarding the protest? Violence? gezel? Chillul Hashem?
    Or any other modern-day tshuva written by Briskers- etc. regarding these types of protests? We do have tshuvas written/spoken by Rav Shach & Rav Moshe.

    Once again – follow the money trail & There will be more clarity.

  39. Concerning fleeing the country, Rav Shach is reported to have told people close to him that there would come a time when the government would try to draft all the bochurim (which seems to be well on its way, if one reads government papers carefully) and then the only solution would be to send all the bochurim abroad. The Rebbes of Satmar (KY) and Belz have both offered various kinds of support for any bochurim who want to leave the country rather than confront the challenges here.

    The Friday edition of HaPeles is available free via email and contains lengthy and detailed analysis of the situation from their perspective. Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the violent aspects of the demonstrations are very probably the work of government instigators infiltrated among the demonstrators — either fringe bochurim paid by the government or others dressed up to look like bochurim — either way it’s their activities that gets played up in the media while the actual serious content of the demonstrations gets totally ignored. This is part of a serious, orchestrated government campaign to discredit that faction because the government is very afraid of it. It knows very well that if all the bochurim were to refuse to report or otherwise cooperate the army would totally lack the resources to deal with them. All this is reported in the Friday HaPeles for those who read it carefully over time.

  40. Although my rabonim do not follow the Hashkafa of the “Peleg Yerushalmi” I would like to share some facts on this topic.
    When an ambulance was trying to get through traffic Rav Shmuel Aurbach’s Gabbay Rav Petrover was asked what to do. He went in to the Rosh Yeshiva for guidance and the Rosh Yeshiva asked for the name and mothers name of the person in the ambulance to daven for them. Although Rav Shmuel is not directing every bochur in how to act, those who are convinced that this whole thing is run by a few middle-men are simply mislead.
    To all those that feel they can do a much better job being a gadol hador ( from their computers):
    Did you ever go to a “Lishkat Hagiyus to see the “simple registration” process take place? Did you ever go to a nachal charedi army base to see how religious these x- yeshiva students are? Or follow up with them after they finish their service? Do you have a hard time understanding why the gedolim say it is Yehareg Ve’al Yaavor to send the girls to volunteer in hospitals so they don’t have a foot into our education system?
    Thank you for the “halachic” analysis, I’m sure this will help some with the decision of whether to join the hafganos or not.

  41. Posters that appeared recently in English signed by Rav Aharon Feldman, shlita, (and possibly several others) said that bochurim who have joined the Nachal HaChareidi have experienced very serious ruchnius declines. He urged any foreign bochurim who are subject to the draft (presumably ones who grew up abroad but children of Israeli citizens) to be extremely careful to make sure they comply with all the army’s ever-increasing exacting requirements for deferments, since any slight failure to do so could produce disastrous consequences for their futures and those of their descendants.

  42. I’m in a real quandary here. On the one hand is Rabbi Hoffman’s comprehensive Halachic analysis regarding IDF registration. On the other hand are the sarcastic commenters, who raise irrelevant points about Nachal Chareidi, girls volunteering and the fact that the violence, heretofore labeled a lie, was really caused by government-paid impostors. Add to that the heartwarming gadol story about the Peleg leader davening for the person in the ambulance that his minions blocked. I’m sure the stranded patient immediately felt better just hearing about it!

    Oh, which side to take? That of the “five towns writer posek” or that of the “followers of real daas torah” who consider the web to be treif and shouldn’t be on it anyway?

  43. Phil
    First of all thank you for resounding haskamah of my overall position. When your comment is all you can critique I must have made a fairly compelling argument.
    Having said that, I must say I have read over your comment multiple times and I am at a total loss to understand it.
    Where exactly was I ”glib ”?
    Was my use of the word ‘unfortunately ‘ indicative of being glib?
    I did not think so when I wrote it. And I certainly did not mean it.
    All I did was state an objective fact.
    The peleg faction feels that the law requiring everyone to sign up, is a declaration of war on orthodoxy.
    Remember, I personally am not weighing in on that basic premise.
    I just am trying to present their position as I understand it.
    In war unfortunately people get hurt.
    That does not mean that it does not pain me to see it.
    It means that it is an unavoidable consequence of going to war.
    The decision to go to war is definitely not one to be taken lightly.
    But once made, you are not bringing anything to the table by saying, ‘someone can get hurt ‘
    Presumably a sane person made that decision. Therefore that has been factored in.
    Guess what. When someone declares war on you, if you don’t fight back, someone is also going to get hurt.
    You know who that someone is? You! The one upon whom war was declared.
    When chazal said גדול המחטיאו יותר מן ההרגו they were not joking .
    To state that I glibly wish harm on another yid is nothing less than absolute libel.
    For shame.

  44. personally, after reading through the article and so many replies, I find no one addressed the real problem.

    Why can’t a yeshiva man go out to work? He will end up in the army! What is wrong with ending up in the army? He will frei out!

    So the question isn’t really the army as much as after 15 – 20 years of leaning nothing but Torah, why would anyone frie out?

    The answer is simply: there is something wrong with the chinuch system in yeshivas!

    What is wrong with it? Life was not given for just sitting and learning with out working, we are instructed to love the malacha (work) and hate the rabbonut. A person is taught by the Torah to blend Torah in with living in this world.

    In reality a ben-Torah should be out with non observant people to influence them and not to be influenced by them. When a non observant person sees how much better life is as lived by the observant, the non observant person will become observant.

    I worked in the army and invited many men and soldiers over to my house and to share in my simchas. Many of these people either became observant or at least upped their observance and respect for Torah.

    But that was my choice, it is not taught in today’s religious schools to interact with non observant Jews and it should be part of the chinuch.

    In the times of Tanach, only people who were G-d fearing were allowed to fight in the wars. Some one who sinned was send away. There is nothing in Chazal that say we must dedicate our lives to shunning army and work and hide out in the beis medresh.

    It is the fault of the charadi chinuch system that produces ignorant people who can sit and learn the whole day but still be idiots in the street! Time to re-think what chinuch is!

  45. Rand0m3x – I agree that not everything that appears in HaPeles (which is produced by the people Rav Shach, ztl, put in charge of Yated when it was founded and who are trying to preserve and promote his approach) is absolute truth (and there’s a lot of factionalism which I try to overlook) but they do print a lot of substantiated facts based on official government documents.

    luckshun kugel – Many chareidim do and will go out to work. The problem is that in the last few years the army has been given the task of secularizing as many bnei Torah as possible, for reasons I described in an earlier post (and while they’d rather not have that task the top people in the army got there by following the orders of those above them going up to the “political echelon”) and the rigors of army discipline (which I experienced in the Vietnam era US army) make it a good place to do that, and it’s being very effective.

  46. Lukshen kugel
    Please do not cash the chinuch system of our holy Torah just because you don’t understand
    It’s perfectly fine to question just don’t bash it.
    In this case the answer happens to be fairly simple
    There are two independent issues with the army that are seemingly worrying the orthodox.
    1) the army is a place of ‘loose and low ‘ morals. חזל tell us אין אפוטרופוס לעריות that was speaking to the greatest amongst us in any generation.
    There is no such thing as ‘great חינוך’ creating immunity to the pull of immorality.
    2) the army training ‘indoctrinates ‘ a שיטה of כחי ועוצם ידי .
    That according to simple understanding is a שיטה של כפירה.
    One has a right to assume that good חינוך will give the tools to remain religious in normal life.
    But to withstand direct indoctrination is a whole different story.
    Special agents receive intense specialized training in order to accomplish that.
    It is unfair to expect a standard אברך to have achieved that through standard schooling

  47. Klugeryid, what was the purpose in these protests if not kochi veotzem Yadi. If they think that the wars of Israel should all be fought from the beis Medrash, you would think they would practice what they preach and fight their war against giyus, also from the beis medrash. These protests showed their hypocrisy

  48. interjection,

    It’s very simple. A good General knows his troops and the Peleg army is comprised of black-hatted bums, hooligans and thugs. They can’t be expected to learn since they never have, so they are strategically deployed to commit random acts of violence.

  49. I challenge the notion that the goal of the IDF is to destroy shmiras hamitzvos. I think this very thought is perverted, baseless, and extremely foolish. The leaders of IDF may think negatively about a Torah lifestyle, but military, especially in Israel, has a stated mission of defending the country from its enemies. All sovereign nations have a military, with states of readiness based on the perception of threat. Israel is always in the crosshairs of the Muslim world, who are dedicated to its demise. Israel has a desperate need to have a military that is strong, skilled, equipped, and prepared. To describe IDF as, first and foremost, preoccupied with trashing Torah life is absurd, and embarrassing to the person who thinks so. Perhaps the environment is not in compliance with what a frum Yid would want. But dedicated to destroying Torah life, I won’t buy that.

    The real issue is that we have a young generation who are internally and spiritually bankrupt. The focus throughout their chinuch (at home and yeshivos) was about compliance to rules and standards, and completely external. It was not about guiding the children to be emotionally and spiritually strong. There is an issue, with these kids entering the military, where there are plenty of issues in the environment that are challenging to their Yiddishkeit, and tempting to the Yetzer Horah, of remaining true to Torah and Mitzvos. Not because the IDF wants that, but because they have no resistance to these influences. Blame for that is laid in front of all, parents and yeshivos. So we have hundreds of bochurim who are told they are in danger if they go to the army. That is half right, because they are internally weak. But it is also a severe condemnation of the yeshivos and parents for raising their children without the basics of Ahavas Hashem.

    There are many stories of Yidden who served in the military, and emerged without a trace of decrease in their shmiras mitzvos. Yes, many went to Russian and Polish militaries during WWII. The Steipler Gaon ZT”L emerged unscathed. Rav Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky ZT”L (Baltimore Rosh Hayeshiva) was in the US military. Not a trace of damage. One who enters with a strong core of emunoh will not be affected. It ain’t peaches and cream, but it does not need to be the horror that commenters here describe.

    The Kol Koreh focuses on the need to gain chizuk from Limud Hatorah. Try that. It will serve everyone better, in the short run and the long run. Back to the Beis Hamedrash.

  50. Klugeryid,
    You did fine until you bought up reason #2 כחי ועוצם ידי applies to everything in life. I always wonder why the Kenoim only apply it regarding Israel and the IDF.
    When you think your business is successful because of your actions etc., the very same Kefirah applies. Perhaps no one should work? The answer is, it’s not exactly Kefirah, unless you clearly deny hashem having any part. While it’s definitely something to work on, as your personal emunah, but to say it’s any more Kefirah than the above is absurd.

  51. I am not a member of, nor identify with the Peleg/Etz group. However, I did have several conversations with SECULAR Israelis, some of who suffered monetary damage as a result of the protests. They thought the protesting was legitimate, and one lumped it together with the crippled people who also blocked traffic this week to protest their inadequate subsidies. These Israelis felt that sometimes this is the way to get the attention of the public.

    If this is a form of legitimate expression, then all of Rabbi Hoffman’s words are void. Just as we accept repairing roads or the Israel Day parade or a marathon and so on, which Yes, cause gezel shaina and detours and risk to life and so on, but are a part of legitimate commerce on the roads, so do we accept this. Did the author of the article interview any Israelis before writing??

  52. “Did the author of the article interview any Israelis before writing??”

    The author of the article is aware that Halacha doesn’t depend upon “several conversations with SECULAR Israelis”. Go back to the Beis Medrash, yankel!

  53. Gaon
    First of all thank you for your compliment second of all thank you for your civil tone in your disagreement
    The answer to question however is really quite simple the reason that it is only brought up in the context of military is because it is a פסוק
    ואמרת בלבבך, כחי ועוצם ידי עשה לי ‘את החיל הזה’
    The פסוק then continues
    כי ה הוא נותן לך כח לעשות חיל
    This is very clearly and admonition against the nation feeling that their military might and success is due to their own military prowess this has nothing to do with success in the business World which may or may not entail one of the nine the existence of hashem.
    This however is a concept that is unique to military issues we do find in the same Torah the making of a military for the Jewish Nation so therefore it is not an admonition against making a military nor against Waging War it’s an admonition speaking towards the attitude of the military that the Jews should have unfortunately the current Israeli military has the wrong attitude their attitude is one of our strength our brains our might that’s what they chant in their slogans that is what they feel and that is the way they act that’s the reason that this is only brought up when it comes to military issues

  54. Kluger,
    Sorry, you are confusing the “words”; the verse you quoted pertains to ALL assets and might, Moreover, “Chayil” in that verse does not translate to military at all. Please read the entire content of the Torah, see Targum and Ibn Ezra that the Torah is speaking about (and literally means) “Nechasim” “Nichsin” “Mamon”.
    So again it only proves my point…