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The Day the Gerrers Chose Secular

gerr.jpgThe above headline, and following article appear on the Haaretz website:

Outside a polling place in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood yesterday, young Hasidic followers of mayoral candidate Meir Porush gathered. On the other side of the street, youngsters in the distinctive dress of the Gerrer Hasidic community set up their own post. The tension between the two camps was palpable.

After a few minutes, the Gerrers crossed the street and entered the station. On the orders of their rebbe, due to a longstanding grievance between their group and Porush’s camp, they were threatening to vote for secular candidate Nir Barkat. All eyes were now on the Gerrer voters to see whether they would indeed “betray” the ultra-Orthodox sector by voting for Barkat.

A young Gerrer walked into the station slowly with his grandfather and assisted the old man in inserting his ballot into the box. On leaving, he encountered an acquaintance from his community and the two began a lively discussion, from which it emerged that both voted for Barkat. “Like everyone,” he told his friend jokingly.

Was his hand shaking, his friend asked. “No way,” was the response. “The rebbe said so, and so we’re happy to vote for Barkat.” Hearing the tale, Moshe Friedman, the head of Porush’s campaign, let out a sigh, saying, “it breaks your heart.”

It seemed that Porush’s camp was in needs every vote it could get. An entire class of developmentally disabled girls arrived at the ballot station escorted by girls from the city’s Beit Ya’akov schools.

“From a legal perspective, for every disabled person who agrees to be escorted, it doesn’t matter the level of their disability or the basis of their disability, the ballot chairman can authorize it,” said Friedman. He did not specify, however, whether the initiative to bring the girls to vote originated with the campaign itself.

Outside, a member of an extreme anti-Zionist Orthodox group sat chain-smoking. Maybe because he was about to cast his first vote – members of his community do not usually cast ballots, as it is seen as an act that strengthens the Zionist regime. Despite rabbinical decrees against voting, many came out to vote anyway, out of a feeling of obligation to Porush. “Porush is one of our own,” said the smoking Hasid. “He studied with my father in yeshiva. He helps us.”

64 Responses

  1. Rather sad and more so, because of the almost gleeful tone of the Ha’aretz reportage. I don’t know much about Barkat. He seems to have been a very successful businessman, which may make him something like Bloomberg as a mayor: a good financial manager, but liberal on social issues. Does anyone know more about his attitudes to religous values, such as keeping out toeva parades?

  2. It was always clear to many that gur was in it for themselves only. Last night, when it was clearly a test for acheinu bnei yisroel if we can put our differences aside not for money or small things but for kedushas yerushalayim. By the gerrer chassidim; have seriously caused harm not only on Mr. Porush, but this time all of us will be left to suffer the consequences. Kol yisroel areivim ze laze. Five years ago there was finally a breakthrough where got a chareidi leader. This year it could’ve continued and more progress could have been made to keep this place protected with kedusha. But unfortunately, for those that money and other lofty stuff make such a difference to, the needs of the rest of us won’t make a difference. At least the world got to know the truth about ger. In addition, I have to mention that there were very many litvish people that didn’t either go vote for hardfeeling they had against porush from over the years. For them I can say, especially since they don’t have rebbes and they pride themselves with the TOrah and those leaders that are omel batorah yomam valeila. In many ways, these gedolim are like their rebbes besides that they don’t ask them what color shoe to buy. But most bnei torah know, that if a gadol hador like rav eliyashiv or rav shteineman say to do something, they will heed the call: which is clearly the derech hatorah like it says in chumash devarim. But yesterday, many litvish people ignored daas torah and chose not to go out to vote and as a result this holy city was returned to the hands of the sinful.
    Let’s learn a lesson from this: Hakina Hatavah vehakavod Motsiin es haadam min haolam. There was kina…. and surely kavod involved and look at the results.

  3. All this proves is that, at the basic level, Chareidim are no different than the rest of scoeity when it comes to politics. They vote based on their interests and not based on their ideals. Moreover, the politics of power rule the Chareidi day. The Gerrer Rebbe dislikes R. Porush, so he and his people vote for the secular candidate. That R. Porush may be more in line with global chareidi policies, meant less to the Gerrer Rebbe than the need to “show him who’s the boss.” And yet Chareidi la claim to moral/ethical superiority (???????????????)

  4. Let us face facts. The Gedolim only endorsed Meir Porush because, in the last analysis, he was the only Charedi candidate…not because they were happy with him. As reported ON THESE PAGES not too long ago, Rav Eliyashev was not pleased with the rotation agreement. He knew only too well that only Uri Lupiliansky had a chance to win. So politics wins again. Don’t blame Ger or anyone else who voted against Porush. Just blame Porush and his inner circle for insisting on running despite the many attempts by Gedolim and other chashuvim to get him to face reality. On the other hand, there may be a bracha in this mess. Rav Moshe Feinstein used to encourage people to literally “play both sides”. So if the wrong side won no one would say that the religious people, as a block, voted against them.

  5. All Rabbi Purush had to do, was ask Mechila from the Gerer Rebbe and all of this could have been avoided. Istead he chose to show he can win by running without their support, and promised revenge if he wins. He definitly had the power to avoid this.

  6. #1 The mayor has no say in those parades and in many other religious matters. It’s the Know-It-All-anti-Gd-self-proclaimed-everlasting-High-Court the thorn.

  7. What the Gerrers did was on INSTRUCTION OF THEIR Rebbe. Every Jew has an obligation to listen to his manhig, whether he agrees or not, whether he understands or not. If we cannot agree on this basic principle of Yiddishkeit, then this site should be called Secular world, not Yeshiva world.

  8. I don’t get involved to decide who is right and who is wrong, but I see from the previous posts that the majority are against ger for making a Chilul Hashem , if its in fact so, they have to remember that there is no Teshuva on Chilul Hashem….. but who am I to give my opinion on some wone who we thought was a great leader in Klall yisroel.

    May Hashem have mercy………..

  9. The worst thing going on in this story is the pirud shown between different parts of the frum world, both in terms of hezek from the lack of achdus and the chillul Hashem that results when the secular world sees this. Oy lanu.

    Respectfully, it seems that the prevailing consideration should have been unity and that the Gerrer Chasidim and/or Rebbe made a mistake here. I’d love to be wrong and find a reason to be dan l’kaf zchus. Can someone help on that?

  10. The Gerer Rebbe demonstrated that there is no obligation to vote for ‘gimel’ or for an chareidi party. Natioinal elections are coming up. We’ll remember this lesson.

  11. As I have stated many times before, the Gerer Rebbe is a true leader, with a foresight that is sadly lacking in others.

    Nir Barkat made it clear that he would accomodate the hareidim in the city. He will govern with a Hareidi majority in the City Council.

    Porush was a compromised candidate. He gave the game away when he kowtowed to the extreme radical left by declaring that, under his administration, the homosexual parades in Jerusalem would be allowed to proceed unopposed.

    That is what I call a REAL CHILLUL HASHEM!

  12. #7 & #9 just because porush was selfish & himself went against the gedolim doesn’t make the gerrers right for voting for a fraya candidate against the directives of ALL the gedolim. (even the boyaner rebbe said to vote for porush to avoid a massive chillul hashem.)
    don’t worry – there’s plenty of room for all of them to sit & enjoy each others company TOGETHER in gehenom

  13. על תדין את חברך עד שתגיע למקומו.
    הוו מתונים בדין.
    Do we really know everything that went on that might have brought the Gerrer Rebbe, shlita, a kadosh ve-tahor, to take such an extreme step, when he must have understood the consequences. I don’t see it’s for people like us to stick our necks into what we have to assume is a machlokes le-shem Shamayim with gedolim on both sides.

    On the other hand, around fifty years ago there was a statement issued by Gedolei Olam including R’ Issar Zalman Meltzar, R’ Aharon Kotler, the Tchebiner Rav, R’ Eliezer Yehuda Finkel and others, zatzal, saying that anyone who votes for candidates who don’t follow Torah and mitzvos shares in the responsibility of everything they do while in office. (They cite the Rambam on mitzvas la-saaseh 284 and Choshen Mishpat siman 37.) But this has been largely forgotten today by frum politicians (who vote for governments led by decidedly non-Torah people), and not just in the current elections. If anyone understands how this transformation took place, please share it with the rest of us.

    Noteworthy also is that there were no elections for mayor of Bnei Brak, since all the parties agreed ahead of time on a mutually acceptable candidate, so there was no need to hold elections. Maybe they could give advice to their counterparts in Yerushalaim how to do it.

    In the meantime, let’s everyone daven hard for Moshiach.

  14. Rav Eliyashev was not pleased with the rotation agreement

    The Palestinians have a better record of keeping agreements than Degel Hatorah has.

  15. #9:

    “All Rabbi Purush had to do, was ask Mechila from the Gerer Rebbe and all of this could have been avoided. Istead he chose to show he can win by running without their support, and promised revenge if he wins. He definitly had the power to avoid this.”

    Ask mechila for what?

  16. #14. You seem to think that the Rebbe Shlita made a mistake in forsaking unity. What’s missing here is that Porush made a mistake in forsaking agreements made with all the gedolim and then ignoring the Gerrer Rebbe’s call to adhere to thesea greements. Rav Alyashiv Shlita originally did not want to endorse Porush because Porush did that and insulted the Rebbe. Rav Shteinman Shlita also did not originally endorse Porush. Porush pressured them into endorsing him but couldn’t pressure the Gerrer Rebbe Shlita. So now the whole world is up in arms against Ger. Why? Because the Gerrer Rebbe Shlita is an Ish Emes and wanted to uphold the truth. And sheker and disunity has won again and Porush who fomented disunity looks good. Yippee Satan, your man Porush was good to you.

  17. I can’t believe how people write here about the Gerrer Rebbe.

    Just because Porush has a beard, or goes under “Gimel”, does that mean he’s best for the job and for the Chareidim???

  18. #12 Yechiele,
    I don’t think the Rebbe said to davka vote for Barkat, just not for Porush. Anyways, if there would have been a better turnout among the rest of the chareidim Porush would have won despite the gerrers so lets not just blame them.

  19. The ugly ZILZUL in Talmidei Chachomim ר”ל that Mayer Porush did was printed in detail in the Hamodia (eretz yisroel edition) on Erev Succos.

  20. #19 R’ Elyashiv said to break the agreement because porush had no chance of winning not because “he was not pleased with the rotation agreement”.
    you can join porush & the gerrers

  21. #16 & #18 by the way what was the “kadosh v’tahor’s” reason for the gerrers in bet shemesh voting for a non-chareidi candidate over a chareidi TZADDIK who is extremely competent & had the backing of ALL the city’s rabbonim.

  22. I see here pretty harsh words against a Rebbe leading thousands of yiden, who must have good reason to be agry with Mr. Porush (Chinuch Azmami…). And it was not the Gerer Rebbe who bugged Mr. Porush…..

  23. i really believe this is loshon hara . the story that was brought down, how do you know if it is really true. i think we should try not to judge so quickly, and post such comments which can cause hatred amongst ourselves.

  24. thanks for mentioning the hamodia….
    i have never seen a more biased newspaper in my life.
    the new york based paper is the mouth piece of the gerrer rebbe, and does NOT represent “orthodox jews”.

    if they WOULD, they would have mentioned this election.
    instead, they chose to ignore it.

    perhaps the hamodia should be exposed for what they are “the gerrer rebbe’s privatly funded newspaper”

    what chutzpah!

    rav shteinman, rav eliyashiv, rav kanievsky, chacham ovadia yosef, rav nissim karelitz, rav michel yehuda lefkowitz, rav nosson tzvi finkel, rav dovid abuchatzera, rav shmuel aurbach, belzer rebbe, boyanor rebbe, viznits, etc etc etc etc etc…. THEY ALL BACKED PORUSH!!

    and this newspaper ignored this????

    how about the fact that….chabad…yes my friends, chabad voted for GIMMEL and porush???! is that not amazing???
    they did not find it newsworthy that rav shteinman, who is close 100 years-old, campaigned around yeriushalayim on behalf of the “chareidi candidiate”?/??////??????



    they should be ashamed of themselvs.

    i am calling rav shmuel kaminetsky and the novaminsker rebbe TODAY to voice my outrage, and demand that they stand up once and for all against this fake, phony, fraud.

  25. To commenter #1: If the current frum mayor of Yerushalayim could not keep the “toeva” parade out what makes you think Barkat will be able to? Will he now be blamed for bringing it to the city in the first place b/c he is not charedi? Why don’t we give the guy a chance?

  26. For those posting comments, before you do so please put your negios aside and learn the facts:

    A: There was a heskem between lupolianski and porush that he will end his term here and porush will run. Fundaments in jewish halacha where parties sign on agreement dictates that the agreement has to be followed up by the signees
    B: Porush tried to go into the Rebbe to ask Mechila and he wasn’t given the go ahead probably by the askanim.
    C: The Gerrer Rebbe did not tell his chassidim not to vote for Porush , they decided alone.
    D: Porush is as capable as Lupolianski,. If you check Lupolianski’s track record. He has major dimplomacy skills but not much was done.
    And lets face it, there’s a lot of siyata dishmaya that went into the successes he did have. It’s a pure kiddush Hashem to have a chareidi Mayor and brings nachas to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
    E:Porush didn’t go against rabbanim. There’s unfortunately a history of the Ger and the Porush family. WHen thirty years ago they beat up his father Reb Menachem.
    F: Rav Eliyashiv and other Rabbanim also had their times that they were disturbed by Porush’s actions,but despite that they showed their gadlus by endorsing him for the sake of YERUShalayim ir hakodesh.
    G: By chareidim choosing to vote for Barkat or not to vote and help take chareidi; no matter what your opinion on him may be)leadership, you placed harm in the face of others and this holy place called yerushalayim. NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. #26 for the record the candidate the Gerrer’s backed in Bet Shemesh is also a Tzaddik and a Talmid Chacham having learnt in both Ner Yisrael and Itri.More importantly he has incredible Middos. Mayne that is part of the reason they backed him.
    I have surprisingly news for you a non-charedie can also be a Tzaddik and have Yiras Shamayim.
    I any case unlike several posters here I am not worthy of questioning the actions of a Gadol like the Gerrer Rav Shlit”a and recommend to the editors that this subject be closed in order to guard the Kavod of such a Gadol

  28. A REAL Rov does NOT get involved in politics,with its falsehoods. Rabbonim are not supposed to publicly endorse candidates. People should think and make up their own minds. Just because of a personal slight,sin’as chinom by a so-called godol,the public,all of klal Yisroel,will suffer.The Torah-Jews can’t cooperate with each other,so how can we expect them (us) to get along with the outside world?

  29. For those who are hiding behind the “zilzul Talmid Chacham” front – If I’m not mistaken, R’ Mayer Porush is himself a Talmid Chacham as well…!

  30. I am not a Gererr Chosid and I do support Porush, but …

    I do not see how you can question a chsid listening to his Rebbe. If your Rebbe tells you to vote for shinui, DO IT!!

    Nisht altz darf men farshteyn.

    If you feel like your Rebbe is not someone who you can listen to regardless of what he says, then its time to get a new Rebbe whose word you will follow to the T.

  31. It is hushed between the “Polisher” jews that the holocaust is attributed to all the machlokes that “ger” caused among Klal Yisroel. When the “Bais Halevi” was maspid Rav Gutmacher zt”l from Warsaw he blamed the “gerer” for not leting him become Rav of the city. Some people never learn their lesson – not even from a holocaust. Hashem Yishmareinu – Vhu Rachum Yechaper Uvon.

  32. Some humor regarding Ger and their new political leader, Nir Barkat:

    As the Ribono Shel Olam told Avraham Avinu in the Bris Bein HaBesarim, “Ger Yiheye Zaracha BeEretz Lo LaHem (Yerushalayim?), VaAvadum VeInu Osam…”

  33. True! Porrush is eating the porridge that he himself cooked. Sadly we are all eating it with him. Even sadder is the chillul Hashem that this has caused.
    All, including the “Gerrer chassiddim”, should remember: כל מקום שיש חלול השם אין חולקין כבוד לרב (ברכות יט). When chillul Hashem is involved don’t give honor (even) to the Rebbee. This, unfortunatly has caused great chilul Hashem.
    Shame on all those who voted against “Kavod Shamaim” dispite all pas differances with Porrush.
    והוא רחום יכפר עוון ולא ישחית

  34. Sadly, most people comment on issues without knowing the facts. Porush was a respected person in the Gerrer community all along, until he lied and double-crossed the Gerrer Rebbe. After reaching an agreement with him with regards to Chinuch Atzmai (which is an institution that the Beis Yisroel ZT”L was from its founders, – for those that are unaware, the ONLY tzedaka that the Beis Yisroel went out personally to collect funds for was the Chinuch Atzmai – not even for Gerer mosdos), Porush went behind the Gerrer Rebbes back and changed the entire agreement – check it out – its public knowledge!
    So, why is the Gerrer Rebbe wrong not to support a double-crosser and liar?
    And perhaps the Gerrer Rebbe was afraid that Porush, in his false mannerisms, will create a major Chilul Hashem as a mayor?
    Maybe we should give the Gerrer Rebbe the benefit of the doubt! Maybe he is better informed than we are. Maybe he is a little smarter than the above bloggers are. He is definitely a bigger ehrliche yid than most bloggers here that are being mevazeh a manhig hador.
    The Gerrer Rebbe, Viznitz, and Klausenberg Rebbes, are allowed to disagree with other Gedolim – and it is not our job or expertise to take sides.
    And, in any case, Porush would have lost even with the Gerer votes. So, Ger comes out smelling like a rose in the political theater, by having helped elect the winner, and will reap the benefits of that.
    Eat your hearts out.

  35. first of all- I am horrified with the comments that some people are putting up. in the Israeli section comment #1- should be put up in bold letters. Playing with the Gerrer Rebbe- teh godal hador is worse than playing with fire. Comment #26 in this section is right. Who are you to voice your opinion on daas torah. If you heard R’ Porus’s speech- he clearly said that he learnt his lesson the hard way- Do not start up with Ger. I am not looking to stick up for the Gerre Rebbe, but I can’t understand how simple amcha- simple people have the chutzpa to speak up against Gedolai Hador. I strongly advise Yeshiva World to block the comment section on this article. It is only causing Loshan Hora and machloikes which is not proven to bring any good.

  36. I’m not even talking about what you are doing to create a mass חילול השם bt allowing these posts, but what type of people are these who have the audacity to write about גדולי עולם. What a בזיון!! If the other דולים felt there was an issue they could have spoken up. But the nerve of some commonfolk to write about גדולים! YES there is enough room in גהינם for all of you. And then we want to know why children go off the derech. Because YOU his/her parent mouth off about גדולי הדור. SHAME ON YOU!!

  37. What a Bizayon to Rav Shteinman Shlita.

    Shame on Ger!

    By the way, Rav Avrohom Yehoshua Solovetchik (Brisk Rosh Yeshiva) told everyone to vote for Porush as well.

    And if anyone knows anything about the Brisker shita regarding the “medinah”, this statement is an historic one.

  38. There are two ways to look at this turn of events: 1) al pi derech hateva and 2) min hashamayim.
    1) Al pi derech hateva, it’s a sad state of affairs when the chareidim – safari, chassidish, litvish, and tzioni -cannot agree that eilu v’eilu divrei elokim chaim, and that they all agree that their collective candidiate will ensure that all yeshivas get funded according to the needs of the individual yeshiva/community.
    Instead, a situation which seems to have a clear answer is clouded by infighting, kannoim, and rumors. Are the poskim being given correct information? Can all of the Rabbonim sit down and hammer it out without the kannoim being present and instigating? Do they realize that this is a cchillul hashem?
    2) Min Hashamayim. One has to think that is a g’zeira m’acharei hapargod. For none of the leaders of the so-called “frum” parties to really and truly demand a frum coalition indicates to me that this is a decree of HaShem that the time is not yet ripe – klal yisroel is not yet ready – to pursue this.

  39. i’m willing to bet that ger will come after yeshiva world for this.

    please watch yourselvs, as these people are ruthless, and will stop at nothing unless they get their own way.

    like they say, “its my-way, or the highway”

  40. “it’s a sad state of affairs when the chareidim – safari, chassidish, litvish, and tzioni -cannot agree that eilu v’eilu divrei elokim chaim, and that they all agree that their collective candidiate will ensure that all yeshivas get funded according to the needs of the individual yeshiva/community.”

    It’s a sad state of affairs when people seek public office just to screw as much money out of the system for their cronies and their ridiculous lifestyle.

  41. “as these people are ruthless”

    You couldn’t have said a truer word. You should see them at Mecho’os they go totally mad…

  42. yesterday i saw on bar ilan 2 frum ger people who wont even look at their wife’s explaining 2 a non frum woman to go vote for barket……
    this proofs that when it comes to there private stupit politics ger would do anything !!!!!
    what a shame!!!!!

  43. What a shame. What a shame!

    The Gerer Rebbe shlitoh does not need anyone who comments here for haskomoh. There is no one who comments here who is in a position to criticize him personally. I do not know what the cheshbon was or why, but would find it deeply repulsive to say anything questioning his motives. And, I am quite sure he is not happy about what he had to do.

    What a shame that some us do not even realize this. What a shame!

  44. 52: you wrote “wont even look at their wife’s”

    That is an imature and untrue statement.

    I am all for Porush, but can you stop with this “Ger hating fest” please?

  45. Somebody mentioned that if your rebbe would tell you to vote for shinui you should follow. CHASID SHOTE!! WE HAVE TO USE OUR OWN MIND WHEN SOMETHING IS OBVIOUS! IF YOUR rebbe goes against the torah DON’T FOLLOW HIM AND IF IT.S OBVIOUS THAT YOUR Rebbe has a personal fight with porush DON’T LISTEN TO HIM! its bakant that the satmere rebbe told his followers that even if I TELL YOU TO FOLLOW ZIONISM DON’T LISTEN TO ME!

  46. A Machlokes L’Shem Shomayim is by definition a Kiddush H-Shem.

    Shmiras HaLoshon is still a Zechus.

    And Kavod HaTorah is still a Mitzvah.

    Eilu V’Eilu!

    Y’think H-Shem only controls the elections in Artzot HaBris???

    Give ME a Break!!!!

  47. For those who think they know EVERYTHING, Here’s an alternate way to look at things that you don’t understand:

    You can look at your spouse when you are in the street. Or you may choose to be more tuned in to the world when you are outside… doing what needs to be done in the community.

    Here’s a thought: What others do inside their homes is none of your business. What they do outside is not necessarily a reflection of what they do inside.

    Ma Tovu Oholecha Ya’akov!

    You can think what you want. It doesn’t mean you understand what you see!

    For anybody who needs to ask mechila from a Talmid Chacham… theyeshivaworld is a great place to do teshuva 🙂

    Hinei, yamim, ba’im… v’hishlachti ra’av, ba’aretz. Lo Ra’av lalechem v’lo tzama al hamayim, ki im l’shmoa es divrei haShem.

  48. Most of you talk as if Nir Barkat is a goy rasha, and that the Gerrer cannot decide for themselves what is in their best interests. Far from being a chillul Hashem, this bmight even be seen by all but you fellows as a kiddush Hashem

  49. #29 hit the nail on the head.
    if you only read hamodia you would never have even known that there was an election on tuesday.
    asher yotzar paper indeed.

  50. I hate to sound supercilious and slightly condescending, but you all sound like a bunch of immmature youngsters. The well-known adage “to each his own” is certainly relevant in this case, and it would be most commendable to simply mind your own business! Far be it from us common people to judge an entire frum kehilla and definitelt not gedolei hador. If any of you out there have some extra time on your hands (as seems to be the case) use it wisely by reading the Chofetz Chaim or learning a blatt gemara.

  51. The Gerrer Rebbe and chasidim are entitled to their opinion on who to vote for.

    I am sure this event will be discussed at the annual Ger Convention in Italy.

  52. One thing is for sure,we see the holy vision of the satmere Rebbe reb Yoel.If agudah would be Lshem shamayim it wouldn’t look like this.Such a thing could only happen when people have only themselves in mind!

  53. I have read all the comments about the election, but have not seen the words that matter the most to me, what does Hashem say about the election. Hashem may not give us what we want, but will gives us what we need. Obviously the election results were the way they were meant to be. To gripe and complain about them is pointless.

  54. After Yated came out R’ shach said he never knew there were so many litvishe levayos. So it’s not new news that Modia doesn’t always write all the new newsתשס”ט-תהא שנת סימן טוב.תהא שנת סוף טומאה.ש

  55. i have not seen anyone comment on the main point of the story.

    of course there maybe reasons why porush is not the best choice (albait the gedolim said he is the best choice.) but what is more important Achdus amongst us and avoiding a chilul hashem, or getting even with porush or even chosing the best candidate for yourself. I guess gur felt the latter was far more important.

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