“LIBERAL TERRORISM HAS WON”: Rav Firer Nixes Major Fundraising Event In Wake Of Furor Over Women Singing

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Rav Avraham Elimelech Firer, head of Ezra LeMarpe, which provides free medical support to Israelis, canceled a performance planned to raise funds for the health organization. The performance was to have been a tribute concert for famous Israeli singer Shlomo Artzi with the proceeds donated to Ezra LeMarpe.

Rav Firer, who was to attend the event, had one request from the organizers of the event – that no female singers perform at the event due to the issar of kol isha.

However, the request raised a storm of criticism and various performers announced that they wouldn’t play at the concert due to the exclusion of women. Artzi, a secular singer, was attacked for agreeing to Rav Firer’s stipulation. On the other hand, many others decried the “secular coercion” including many secular people and some secular performers said they would play at the event even for free.

Rav Firer is deeply respected for his tireless lifesaving work which is provided for all stripes of society, secular, religious, male, female, Jewish and non-Jewish. Some pointed out that Rav Firer is not excluding women since he didn’t request that women be excluded from the event (if speaking or playing instruments) but simply that no women sing in order not to transgress Jewish law. The issur of kol isha is nothing new for secular Israelis, who are well-aware of the halachic stipulation. Some even pointed out that the same Torah which forbids Rav Firer from listening to women is the motivation for his lifesaving assistance.

Rav Firer canceled the event, writing to the organizer that: “I’m requesting that the fundraising performance not be held. I never was involved in organizing fundraising events. Ezra LeMarpe had the merit of serving over a million people so far, no matter what religion, ethnicity or gender. I draw my strength from halacha. I am proud of my way of life and will adhere to my life mission: saving lives, and loving others, including those who are different.”

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s National Union party responded to the cancellation by saying: “Liberal terrorism has won. The cancellation of the fundraising performance for Rav Firer’s wonderful chesed organization is a low point in Israel society.”

“Every one of Israel’s citizens should feel ashamed about the humiliation of this giant of chesed, who has saved hundreds of thousands from death without discrimination. His only sin is his lifestyle as a religious person who acts in accordance with halacha. We’re ashamed.”

It is added that since the storm surrounding the event began, Rav Firer received letters of support from Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Yisrael Aumann, President Reuven Rivlin, former High Court President Prof. Aharon Barak, Prof. Mordechai Stern [ a former director-general of the Ministry of Health] and many more.

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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




10 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s be a little careful how we use the word “terrorism.” When I lived in Israel it meant blood on the ground, broken bodies and grieving relatives. Misuse of the term is beginning to rival that of “Holocaust.” We show contempt for those who actually suffered and died when we use the term in this way.

    If he wants to write about “liberal coercion,” then he can do so without showing disrespect. But to call cancelling a concert “terrorism” is simply offensive.

  2. To midwest What you just did is also liberal terrorism. I think we are going to far by criticizing someone for using everyday words which are being used in an appropriate context. The NBA recently banned the use of the word owner, because African Americans may be offended by the word owner. This is liberalism gone amock.

  3. Lol hakavod Rav Firrer! And kol hakavod Ishai Ribo, the incredible musician and Ben torah, who has publicly announced that he is donating his earnings from a series of concerts to this cause! What an amazing Kiddush hashem.

  4. My coworker’s cousin was murdered in the Lod massacre. I came into work and found a group of people surrounding her while she cried. I hadn’t listened to the radio that morning so hadn’t known. I was in Kiryat Shmoneh the day after the massacre there – families literally being machine-gunned at their breakfast table by PLO terrorists.

    Terrorism is blood and pain and grief, not just that you’re annoyed someone is having a political argument with you. After the Pittsburgh murders, you would think Americans would have a little more realization of what it actually is. Evidently not.

  5. What is so ironic about Rav Firer is that he is a hero in E”Y to all sectors of Israeli society, even to the Arabs there.

    He has quietly assisted heads of government in the mideast with their medical emergencies. When he married off his own children (beyond modestly) the power elite of E”Y was there. Prime minister, president, heads of every segment of the military…

    In 1997, Rav Firer was awarded the Israel Prize, Pras Hashana, for his special contribution to society and the State of Israel. This is one of the highest honors in E”Y.

    In 2002, Rav Firer was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Weizmann Institute. In 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Haifa.

    These are just a few…..

    This was a fundraising event meant to also help all these same people who are protesting. Who is being denied if there are only male singers??

    Shame on them for being so politically correct!

  6. I have no ta’anos on Rav Firer personally. Evidently he is generally speaking a force for good. I take issue specifically with his use of the word “terrorism” to describe a situation which is basically a political battle over whether halacha will be observed publicly. We should reserve “terrorism” for situations where people are killed or injured, or the attempt is made. I agree that in this situation trying to make it impossible to observe kol isha is an attempt to enforce anti-Chareidi attitudes, but I would describe it as coercion, not terrorism. If nobody is calling ZAKA, it’s not terrorism. Let’s respect the memory of those who were actually murdered for being Jews and/or Israelis.

  7. Along the lines of Midwest2’s posts, I believe that a much more accurate headline would be, ““LIBERAL BULLYING HAS WON” Liberal bullying keeps chipping away at freedom of speech and expression. Let’s not cheapen words like terrorism and holocaust. The English language is rich enough to express what we want to say without abusing and misusing it.

  8. It seems that the whole thing could have been avoided had the planners of this event been upfront with the entertainers, that there would be no female singers. Some would have participated and some would have declined and everyone would be fine.

    Instead, they tried to sneak it past them.

    Because they were not upfront, entertainers were put into an embarrassing position and then had to save face.

  9. To Midwest2, according to the article it was not Rav Firer who used the word terrorism. In the article: “Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s National Union party responded to the cancellation by saying: “Liberal terrorism has won.” Please do not blame Rav Firer for even a hint of inappropriate language.