MAILBAG: Everyone Should Be Ashamed of Themselves


Seeing the images and videos coming out of Meron today was shocking, to say the least. Exactly a year to the day from when 45 precious neshamos were torn away from us – men and children in the prime of their lives – we saw the ugly lack of kavod zeh lazeh that led to the deaths of Rabi Akiva’s 24,000 students.

The blame doesn’t lie on one side or the other; everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.

The Israeli police treated attendees like utter trash. For a full year, they supposedly made preparations to allow the Lag B’Omer festivities to continue at the kever of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai, yet thousands of people were held for hours in parking lots without access to food, water, or drink. Barely any davening was allowed at the kever itself, with police practically making visitors run through the tziyon. Police beat people left and right, even purposely lifting people and dropping them on their heads. They acted like barbaric thugs. Apparently, the only thing that was prepared was to destroy any semblance of the happiness and joy that existed in Meron in years past.

On the other side, there were far too many people who engaged in sickening acts, from attempted sabotage of the celebrations to outright flaunting of any of the implemented security procedures. Is it upsetting that fewer people were allowed to go to Meron this year? Of course. Is it frustrating that the celebrations are much more toned down and smaller? Sure. Is it fair to assume that the government was not only trying to make the festivities safer, but also overdoing the safety regulations? It is. But your anger and frustration doesn’t give you license to act like an animal. It doesn’t give you the right to ignore the fact that just one year ago, 45 people were asphyxiated to death because of overcrowding, and that new safety measures were necessary.

Everyone in Meron this year, whether they were involved in what occurred there or not, should be walking around ashamed and with their heads held low. What we saw was nothing short of appalling and disgraceful.

Last year, we were all one, united in the terrible anguish of the loss of the 45 victims. This year, we are back at each other’s throats, tearing each other’s hair out. And for that, we should all be angry and chagrined. It’s horrible that seemingly only tragedy – not joyous celebration – can bring us all together.

Yaakov D – Far Rockaway

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


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Basically I’ll sum up what this writer is saying (not what he is trying to say, but what he IS saying): The police are evil sick thugs. All the blame lies eith them because they did everything wrong, as they always do. Everyone else, other than the state and the police thug pigs, are awesome peeps. Yup, pretty much sums it all up.

  2. Yaakov D – Far Rockaway, one point I would like to mention since its seems you are in far away Far Rockaway.

    The police misbehaved like you described above, FROM THE START, therefore, in return, the extremists acted the way they did. Is that an excuse? No, but let’s just be clear about what came first.

  3. let the police act like this to Arabs for one time and the whole world will turn over, only to the charidim they could do what they want and everyone is quiet

  4. The writer of this piece should for sure be ashamed of himself, or I will let him sit on a hot bus for 7 hours without access to water or a bathroom (this was before any of the [justified] violence), then I will let him write this dumb opinion piece again

  5. Chareidim are always perfect? A little introspection might demonstrate that they think only of themselves and not what is good for “tzibur” in general. Not only “chillul Hashem” but Rashi would be ashamed of their behavior.

  6. Since neither the police nor the “zealots” will read this article, what is its toeles? It’s sole effect is to inspire comments denigrating one side or the other and I hardly see how that furthers the author’s stated objective of bringing us all together.

  7. ujm – Good Comparison
    Gestapo – Beat jews to death, sent them to concentration camps to be brutally murdered, burned down shuls, threw jews into fires alive and threw babies from the window.
    Israeli Police – Roughly grabbed some rowdy Charedim flouting the rules, left people to stay uncomfortably in the buses for a few extra hours and did not give people enough time to daven at the kever.
    I see the comparison.

  8. Dear Yaakov D – Far Rockaway

    The news and videos presented here shows hordes of Charedi men and their puppies swarm the Holy Place of RASHBI and they like Arab Terrorist who destroy the Dome of Rock destroyed the inside of Holy site.

    Also we see that women using their babies to shield them hit and pull the hair of police women and cry out loud “babies” just like Gaza Terrorist who use schools and cry.

    I believe whoever

    It’s REPERHESBLE THAT FRUM PEOPLE ACT LIKE TERRORIST AND BE ALLOWED TO WALK AWAY. It’s just Animals who destroyed the hospitals because they were angry and thought the government is in their pocket with the Trojan horses as MP.

  9. Is the writer saying this from his perspective in Far Rockaway NY or was he witness as to who is to blame?

    From the videos, we can certainly see chareidim acting like animals and being mechalel shem shomayim. I can not think of any reasoning to condone their behavior.

    We do not know what happened from the perspective of the police. If they are attacked they can and should fight back. If indeed there were thousands of police in attendance I don’t know how they were overrun by a few hundred. Poor planning,yes. It it s sad that they need to come armed with water cannons and better riot control to a makom kadosh.

  10. All these people you call extremists!
    Hear something you did not know!
    They (yes almost all of them) lived in the Land of Israel before the wicked state took over the Holy Land.
    They are fighting against the continued takeover of the horrible chilonim

  11. I concur with the remarks expressed by author of this article. I would add that Hashem is watching. He will surely note that we seem unable to a few thousand Yidden at Meron in a civil manner, so how can He allow the restoration of the Bais HaMikdosh where millions will need to assemble? Perhaps this has been a test, a dry run. We have not done well.

  12. Wow, this letter is saying that anyone that was in Meron should be ashamed. What does it have to do with who went to Meron? Also, the people that acted like animals, as you say, were a tiny percentage.
    Did you watch the hadlaka of the Boyaner Shlit”a? It was beautiful from beginning to end.

    Listen, dealing with minim and apikorsim is a big issue Chazal were well aware and knew to add a bracha in shemonei esrei for this, andwe use very strong terms in that bracha.
    As a side note when it come to every other bracha we always include “kol amcha beis yisroel”.
    I was in EY as a bachur for a few years, and I give the chareidm a lot of credit what they deal with on a daily basis.

  13. r’ shimon is stronger then this police ym”s he beat them up,
    the Jews ONLY wants to pray there, WTH the police came even?

  14. This comment thread is a testament to the profound discord in our ranks. If you think either the police or the Charedim can do better, you’re part of the problem.

  15. Huge e shame that no one has been held criminally responsible. In a normal community, the wives and mothers of the deceased would be demanding justice.

  16. This writer is so obviously light years away in his understanding of the actual facts. The Chareidim in E”Y unfortunately have a little bit of past experience of how the Israeli police treat people. Worse than how you and I would treat a fly! You can see a bit on the videos going around. NO RACHMONUS. NO SYMPATHY. NO CARING FOR MEN WOMEN AND KIDS! You are to them less worthy than a piece of trash. Can you imagine how downgrading it feels to be treated like that time and time again? Is it any wonder that the Chareidim are trying to defend themselves? Trying to receive the basic needs of a human being? What! We are talking about bathrooms and water to drink!!!! Not steak and wine! We aren’t asking for special priviliges. But treat us like human beings! Not like animals. And for all the tens of thousands of people that were trying to adhere to the rules and regulations set out by this barbaric police force, how do you think it felt to be stranded in an empty space in the middle of the highway for hours on end without anyone to complain to? And how do you think it felt for someone that bought a ticket and left work early, only to be told that that no busses are being allowed out? Do you think they will be so obedient next year? Do you think they will willingly give themselves over to the hands of there merciless thugs? I’m not so sure… And then they will be shouted at for not obeying the rules. Do you blame them?

  17. Never ever let the frum take charge…

    It’s unfortunate that the Israeli police behave so barbaric to the chareidim and it is with reason due to how the chareidim always feel above the law… S’kimt zich far zei alles! The way they protest… worse than animals. Therefore the police are so barbaric and treat them likewise.
    I agree that we should hold our heads down in shame… cuz in the end of the day we unfortunately make a chill hashem.wherever we go… whether in Israel or other places… doesn’t the rise in antisemitism say something about our rotten behavior?

  18. Dinah Demalchusa Dinah. If you live in a goyishe country or in a goyishe zionist country that tells you what they think Jewish means, you still have to follow the Law of The Land unless it goes against Halocho. If you act like a vilde chaya then don’t complain when you’re treated like one.

  19. I just don’t understand you commentators. Are you all STUPID? Or are you totally in denial?

    Yes, the police bullied visitors. Yes, they were aggressive and confrontational. But what about the Chareidim who stormed the fences, armed with wire cutters, because their desire to be so “frum” & holy that public safety is irrelevant? They can’t accept that new policies had to be put in place because 45 nehamas were lost and many more injured because it might mean they don’t get a chance to part-ee.

    I agree with Yaacov D. Just as we didn’t need to be present during the stampede to feel pain for the victims, we didn’t have to be present to know what’s been going on in Meron. Calling police Nazis or Gestapo is disgusting, no matter what.

  20. Since none of us were there, there is absolutely no reason for us to comment or otherwise be involved. It would be a bigger Mitzvah for us to stay out of the commenting. YWN loves these stories that shows the dark side of our people. I see no reason why they’re called Yeshiva World News and not TJG, The Jewish Gossip. This is not bringing Mashiach any closer.

  21. I do not know where you get your news… he police were amazing.. the issue were a few hot head thugs that didnt follow rules and tried to break barriers and get in.. the police were abused and yes it did out of hand at times i would call it self defense….. you would have acted the same way….

  22. Opposing the Romanisch occupation regime of today isn’t sinas chinam. Sina came at a very hefty price. Years upon years of abuse of G-d-fearing Yiddin under the occupation regime acquired this sina. Most importantly, if all G-d-fearing Yiddin united in opposition to our common enemy during this shas hashmad, perhaps the shmad would end. Yisroel has been occupied since before Rashbi was even born. Still occupied today. Don’t be fooled just cuz the Romanisch occupation regime today has been named “Israel” (arguably makes it more offensive), put a star on its flag, put a menora on insignia. It’s still Rome. If Rome calls itself “Israel”, it’s still Rome. The Tora’s still disgraced there.

  23. In all seriousness, does anyone know two reliable first-hand witnesses to the supposed incident last Lag that led to the kever’s Romanisch occupation?

  24. The claims against the police in this article are 100% bluff and the writer should not complain the next time gentiles libel against him or jews like him.

    Anyone who believes that these rioting animals are innocent souls reacting to being held up in traffic without water etc. is an ignorant fool and party to their chilul hashem.

  25. @ujm

    Stop with the Nazi comparisons. It’s shameful and disrespectful to the people who were murdered under the Nazis. And as Jews we should be especially sensitive to it. You wanna hate the police, fine, but have some respect for victims of the Holocaust. Can you at least reach that level?

  26. @Reiven @Rocky and all others with this way thinking sorry but i don’t know know who yo you but hard to believe that you have Jewish blood in your

  27. Typical behavior by the so called “hassidim”, break rules, disrespect everyone around you, and then scream “discrimination”!

  28. R’ Yaakov D.,

    I agree with some of your points. However, as you are from Far Rockaway, I do not feel that you are in any position to properly judge what has happened.
    First of all, as others have mentioned, the police here in E”Y have an extremely well-deserved reputation of unwarranted brutality toward Chareidim. What you do not see, and probably cannot fully fathom, is the backdrop.
    Also, all you know of what has happened in Meron is what has been shown through media. Normal is uninteresting. If the overwhelming majority of attendees behaved appropriately, why would you call on every person there to be ashamed of themselves? I personally know of Chilulei Hashem that have happened in New York – even in Far Rockaway. Should you be ashamed of yourself?
    May we all be Zocheh to Mesinus, Hishtalvus, and l’Kadesh Shem Shamayim.

  29. So a person on his couch in Far Rockaway, couldn’t care less about this person in Israel that is trying to comply with cruel orders sitting on a bus in 90 degrees weather for hours upon hours, once he explodes and acts like any other human being would, should now be walking around ashamed and with their heads held low… how low can this writer go.

    and to the YWN editors, please please stop manufacturing hate and division among Jews here, I think opinions dont come in in every place in the world, and for sure not here, and for sure not to be sticked to the top of the web page and if someone is interested in writing an opinion he shouldn’t be hiding behind a fake name

  30. @Teal
    you are Ashamed to be a Jew 🙁

    but we are proud to be frum Erlich Yiden
    We Hate the Israeli police YM””S
    הלא משאניך ה’ אשנא

  31. To all my dear Friends,
    —Please say Tehillim for two young boys that are still in the hospital or rehab due to the Meron tragedy (2021). They both can not walk and also they can not talk.
    Elozor Ben Raumah—–
    יוסף עזריאל בן חיה מיכל
    Hashem will send you extra time to stay alive and also extra Parnassah.
    When we say Tehillim, we are not losing time or money. Hashem will repay us double.
    Thank you in advance.

  32. Ish Hashalom- well said

    I really dont see how those living in far away Far Rockaway and nearby think they can understand what theyre seeing, assuming you are largely unaware 1. Who the Israeli police force is and what their past experience with Chareidim is
    2. I assume that the author, in addition to many readers, are unaware of all the police preparations before Lag Beomer. Instead of trying to work with the Chareidim, they had a police truck in the parking lot, waitibg to arrest Chareidim

    Im not coming to justify rowdy behavior of a radical minority who just went rowdier after the police sent them back home when they were almost in Meron.
    Most of the Chareidim behaved and followed draconian rules example given although nobody told them in advance, families with a baby stroller were told to leave the child outside Meron because strollers weren’t allowed in Meron. This after familes of several children made the four hour drive up to Meron…and the list goes on

    Before any US residents can give their opinion, I advise you to live here at least three years. Well speak then

  33. Simple take on this.

    The entire inyan of ascending Har Meron and celebrating is something that emanates from Kabbalah. I’ve been there. It can be extremely inspiring. But it is not, nor will ever become, one of the Taryag Mitzvos. The passion many bring there might well have a truly spiritual origin.

    But let’s reread the tefiloh from the Noam Elimelech. Described clearly is that we beg for Divine mercy to escape the clutches of the Yetzer Horah that lies stealthily in waiting to pounce upon us with his trickery and deception. “Especially when we wish to engage in tefiloh or fulfillment of any of the Mitzvos”.

    When there is pushing and shoving in crowds, it might be seen as overwhelming passion to be closer to a kever, a tzaddik, hakafos, a tish, or some other event or attraction. To trample on the needed courtesy of simple bein odom lachaveiroh is excused as a side effect of holy passion. But it is not. Rather, it is the Satan hiding behind kedusha. And no one can convince me that Rashbi wants this trouncing of normal social values.

    Perhaps we should reassess our expectations for Lag Baomer. Maybe we are too busy with travel to Meron, hadlokos, even the singing and dancing. Maybe, just maybe, we should delve more into the teachings of the Rashbi as our central focus, with shiurim and similar Torah events. We need not cancel the other events, but they should play a secondary role.

    And for anyone frightened of a shiur in Zohar, there are hundreds of teachings of Rashbi throughout Shas and Medrash. There is abundant supply that can be selected to accommodate any age group and level of learning. Yes, and plenty for children, too.

  34. They are going there to feel something that wasn’t right

    Do you know any of the Zohar by heart did you ever see someone saying the Zohar by heart in all of Brooklyn in you life.

    What are they dancing so much about. Are the really willing to throw themselves in a fire not to do idol worship. Or if already some kind of custom. Do they think the chilonim wasn’t smart enough to like charedim. Or that they are good enough to think themselves better.

    There is a mesorah to dance, but with who are we dancing these days.

    You need a yezter hara to have a yezter tov.

    My personal opinion even though most people would get mad.

    Is that rabbi shimon bar yicho himself asked shamayim to bring a end to it. He did not like it. I know this from experiences that happened to me over there. Everything sweeter is only more the bitter in the

  35. you yeshivah world is the one that is ashamed that you are unable to smear the so called “extremists” who in truth are all the chareidim are angered by the take over of the most sacred place in Israel and there reasoning for doing so is not about safety at all as been revealed to them and all the plan to make it a tourist attraction to the world they have proved this over and over
    now all the Frum people living day in and day out with these kofrim know way more the you do
    so they are screaming to them get out of are home our sacred place

  36. i agree this is a terrible chillum Hashem

    we cant not act like animals

    i disagree with blaming the police

    that takes away from the whole message


  37. Hashem treats the Jewish People the way that we treat each other.

    Is it possible that the increased violence from Arabs to Jews is (partly) a result of the increased violence between Jew and Jew?

  38. I love the way a lady in one of the film clips (posted on YWN) managed to keep her head covering on, and her skirt at a modest length while she attacked a police woman.

  39. look what they did to the holy sites like the kotel now we have to fight against the reform
    they are steeling a place that was owned and controlled by the frum who are trying to keep the spirt of this holy place now would you give them the keys to your shul were you daven the should bee in charge or at least let them have a say of the board of your shul yes or no
    and if they take over on there own would you just say dina demalchuseh and watch them do what ever they want

  40. The “extremists” represent most of the chareidy community
    They acted with valor and courage, fighting a milchemes mitzva against the shmad government.
    We applaud them.
    The whole tragedy last year WAS CAUSED BY POLICE!
    all the commentators that are bashing them, im sure have the selfish kappo mentality

  41. Mods-I believe in freedom of speech but some of Schmendrick’s comments are off the charts,
    talking about burning people with his eyes.

  42. To schmendrick:
    A true sincere Yid does not talk like that.
    Maybe do some serious research to find out if your mother is really Jewish.
    I think this coming Shabbos you should definitely do
    גוי ששבת חייב מית
    Also I noticed that you consider yourself a big Tzaddik. Maybe do us a favor and ask Hashem to send you to a different planet. Whenever a big Tzaddik leaves us, that is an atonement for the whole Klal Yisroel.
    That would be a beautiful Chessed on your part.
    Also when you get to Jupiter and you bump into russian astronauts, please use your special eyes on them.
    Also please do not look into the mirror because we don’t want you to get hurt.

  43. @Yaakov D
    I wish you would take a moment before you write such a a letter actually try to understand both sides. All I know is that you’re far away in far rockway and you have no idea what’s happened.
    So before your start to make all kinds of assumptions and start judging ppl, maybe go there 1 year to see and understand how it feels like when barbaric police ruin your religious celebration.
    אל תדין חבירך עד שתגיע למקומו

  44. It’s a gross chilul Hashem to compare our holy brethren attempting to visit a kever, versus, liHavdil elef havdalos, the wicked heretics who did all they could to destroy Jews and Judaism.

    The 45 kedoshim from last year were murdered by Zionist evil, not because it was a “crowd”.

    The letter-writer should be ashamed of himself of both judging our holy brethren based on some videos and also giving any sort of benefit of the doubt to the evil heretics.

  45. Wow! If a women pulled the hair of a police officer in FR, what would happen to her?
    All of your hatred of the police needs rethinking.
    THe Rabbanim BEGGED us to behave. This incident is a smack in their faces. We need to be ashamed of ourselves. This is not Torah behavior nor is blaming the police.
    Do you think the police instigated this? Dont you think they would rather be standing on the sides and calmly smoking a cigarette watching the orderly crowds get their inspiration at a holy site.
    The police were dealing with a riot and rowdy crowd, they were out numbered. They were trying to prevent another tragedy. The crowds should have stopped the “extremists” for their destructive behavior but instead you encourage it and find fault with those who gave up their day to try to keep us all safe.
    With behavior like this, how can we accept the excuse that they need to immerse themselves in Torah learning instead of army service?? Honestly, this aggression would be a mitzvah if used to protect Am Yisroel .
    Its time to end this milchemet Achim. Yaakov your article is full of Sinas Chinum and you are an embarrassment to FR for “getting involved”. Fools go where angels fear to tread…

  46. Whilst you have some points, you have no idea how unprofessional and brutal the Israeli police treat minorities.

    Ask: Ethiopians, Arabs and Charedim.

    Charedim are treated the worst.

  47. Another “Chocham from the Ma Nishtana”
    First of all people that live far away and just sew small videos and have no clue what’s going on over here should keep their mouth shut.
    I’m sorry but I cannot explain so yeah she lived there for many years and yes I also grew up in Far Rockaway.
    Second of all, really everyone? What do I have to be ashamed of I went I went up to pray and came down.
    A large percentage of people did the same. When 200 people make trouble before the event that gets blown up that is disgusting.

  48. @Schmendrick I love your posts. Was laughing out loud at this last one.
    @Mrmgoo you are talking such rubbish.
    And all the other Jew haters Go get a life. Be real. And think about your Jewish brothers being persecuted under the zionist regime. Have a bit of rachmanus!!!

  49. To shmendrik:
    Maybe you can explain to all of us, how come when we left Mitzraim only 20% left and the other 80% stayed behind. Could it be that sometimes a Yid thinks that he is perfect and he is expecting a boxed seat upstairs in Gan Eden, but in truth Hashem has a different plan for him?

  50. @Hakatan
    “It’s a gross chilul Hashem to compare our holy brethren attempting to visit a kever, versus, liHavdil elef havdalos, the wicked heretics who did all they could to destroy Jews and Judaism.”

    Continues to make the same mistake of comparing today’s Israelis to the early Zionists. You’re so confused that your comment doesn’t even make any sense. Is “the wicked heretics who did all they could to destroy Jews and Judaism” referring to Israeli police? If so. why the past tense? If not, then the whole comment is incoherent. But keep trying.

  51. hey-jbs36,
    You really do seem to be someone aware of your surroundings, or else, maybe your simply a tag along – blind faith servant of israeli sponsored anti semitic media.
    Because you really have not the fogiest clue about what goes on there.
    I have watched myself the worst of the worst in yerushalaim. no anger provoking, or whatever you may try to answer these atrocities with, will justify israeli policew stripping a yungerman of all his cloths except his boxers, bringing davke lady police, stabbing/bashing him with the but of their guns and military grade steel capped boots, until I saw him lying in a puddle of blood. no gizmohois, yes- a puddle of blood. the first and hopefully last time I saw that amount of Jewish blood spilled…. And by whom….? No, not Arabs, not Germans, not Cossacks, not Spanish inquisitors. by Israeli police in the 20th century. because that’s who they are. Nazi’s and nothing less. don’t like it? to bad. the evidence is to damning to ignore, unless your as i described you above (or the perpetrators themselves).
    Good riddance from Meron. This is Zeh Hayom Asah H Nagilah Venismecha Boi. it seems the writer of this article was describing himself when he said we should walk around in shame. he’s sitting in some air-conditioned paid for office writing a arrogantly un-asked for piece. shame on him!!