Sinas Chinam At Its Finest: A Shabbos of Violence Between Gur and Chabad in Arad


[Click on image to ENLARGE] Two women were lightly injured and four men were arrested on shabbos afternoon in another shabbos of clashes between Gerrer Chassidim and Chabad Chassidim in Arad.

The stormy shabbos began on Friday night, during davening, with Chabad mispalalim reporting Gerrer Chassidim arrived, entered the shul, the city’s central shul, and began davening out loud, totally ignoring the ongoing minyan. The Chabadnikim stated “dozens of Gerrer Chassidim came and disrupted davening”.

It appears the situation repeated itself during shachris, not only disrupting the davening but also a bar mitzvah that was taking place, with the choson bar mitzvah being the rav’s son. All of this however was the least of the confrontation, which escalated to a full brawl during the shabbos afternoon hours.

Chabad mispalalim report “A mob of at least 100 Gerrer Chassidim” reportedly hurled chairs and tables at the two women who had entered the men’s section between the afternoon and evening services to get in out of the rain.

One woman, age 54, was struck in the face by a chair; her 19-year-old daughter was hit in the head by a table. According to eyewitnesses, Gerrer Chassidim hurled the furniture directly at both women while cursing them and calling them slurs unfit to print on YWN.

The women, who spoke on condition that their names be withheld, said the head of the local Chabad boys’ school had told them they could enter because prayers were over and it was the closest entrance into the building.

“It had begun to rain and we were getting wet. Everyone else had already left the room and had gone into other side to start seuda shlishis,” explained the older woman.

The mob also broke down two of the doors leading to the smaller room where the meal is eaten, both of which were locked during services. There was other damage to the building reported to the police by one of the synagogue’s sextons as well.

By 11:00pm on motzei shabbos, Arad’s small police station was still processing criminal complaints; numerous people from both the Chabad and Gerrer communities were turned away and told to return in the morning to submit complaints as there was not enough manpower available to handle the load.

Police have repeatedly been called to quell disturbances at the shul over the past several months, and clashes have escalated between Gerrer Chassidim, who insist their greater numbers entitle them to take over the shul, and the Chabad Chassidim who formally merged with the congregation several months ago.

The tension between the two groups, which has simmered beneath the surface for several years, broke out into the open following the death of Rabbi Bentzion Lipsker z”l, Arad’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi and the rav of the shul for some 35 years.

Lipsker’s son-in-law, Rabbi Yaakov Mendelsohn, succeeded him as the synagogue’s rabbi, a reality that does not meet the approval of all of the city’s frum residents.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. Rechilus? I love how people throw halachic terms at things and hope they make sense in context. I also love how people wish disturbing things in our communities would magically go away if we close our eyes and deny it loudly enough.
    Kudos to YWN for reporting relevant, albeit extremely disheartening, information.

  2. What a shame. What a shame. Pure loshon horah. YW please take this off.
    Besides writing this piece of L”H, you are also being machshil thousands of yidden to READ this negative article.

  3. During the Second Bais Hamikdosh, this typical situation, would have ended up with a huge amount of blood-shed.

    That was the main reason, why the Romans came in and took over the Malchus, during the Churban. They felt that they just needed to get rid of the violence.

  4. I get so upset when I see these kind of headlines on a frum website. I did not read the article purposely, but I could imagine the content. Why do we have to be ba’alei machlokes? Why do we have to publicize machlokes, stir everybody up, involve people who would otherwise never have known of the tragedy of machlokes in a particular episode or instance? Why is this important to spread to the public? What toeles does it have, other than fanning the flames of sinas chinam further and further amongst klal yisrael?

    Does a frum site like YWN have to be a conduit for spreading machlokes? How tragic.

  5. Chill out everyone!

    A little sarcasm migh wake people up.
    There is nothing offensive about the Headlines.
    It’s the story itself that should be disturbing…

    whats the toeles?
    Maybe if you read the facts and let it sink in for a minute, the shame might provoke us to think twice before getting involved in a situation like this!

  6. YWN where is the heter to publish this peice of loshon horah?

    The editor has an obligation to post the reason he was morah heter to publish this, otherwise this article might be used by “askonim” in future campaigns against frum sites in the States.

  7. How well does everyone know the Halachas of Loshon Hara?

    Does it not say that if it happened in public in front of more the 3 people it is mutar to disseminate?

    Perhaps, by everyone knowing what happened, it will inspire them to not do similar things themselves or better yet to try and stop such things when they see them starting to happen.

    What if a doctor would see a wound and refuse to treat it and would just cover it up and say
    “the festering wound will go away, as long as we just cover it up and ignore it”?

    I have heard rabbis speaking about Loshon Hara and talk about how destructive it was in the community and yet the worst offenders had the attitudes that, “he is not talking about me”
    (in some cases I heard some say things along these lines or otherwise keep spewing vicious Loshon Hara thus indicating that the rabbis speeches meant nothing to them, this is how

    I know about their attitudes).
    Perhaps in at least some cases specific names of the worst offenders should have been called out with specific incidences mentoned.

    I have read it is allowed if there is no other way to teach the lesson and it seems in many many cases, it is clear there is absolutely no other way.

  8. “I have read it is allowed if there is no other way to teach the lesson and it seems in many many cases, it is clear there is absolutely no other way.”

    It takes big shoulders to make that determination. Chaval on all of us.

  9. #3 why is this information relevant?!

    #10 Yes the heter of 3 people is that we assume everyone heard about it, which is definitely not the case here! and Toeles is only mutar when it’s 100% leshem shamayim which is also definitely not the case here.

    And BTW R’ Chaim Kanievsky said Get used to not talking lashon hora when Mutar, so that you’ll refrain when it’s assur.

    Judging the headline it’s probably LH couldn’t tell you though, I refuse to read it!

  10. Number 2. Do you know what rechilus is?

    The hetter thàt it happened in front of 3 people, that makes it muttar to post on the internet and to broadcast to as many people as possible to make sure they know about it to?

  11. I have no problem with the loshon hora or the rechilus.

    I just want you to be fair and also print the same story with its captions when the Ponevitcher bochurim, Rosh Yeshivas and Magidai Shiyur are at each other with fist fighting (plus umbrella sticking). They are learning at two ends of a Bais Medresh because the two sides are not permitted to sit together.

    To again stick it to the Chassidim is pure hatred and racism. Shame on YWN.You do it every opportunity you can. You are even worse than the Yated. and thats pretty low.

    If your excuse is that you are simply printing the news, just saying whats happening, then lay it ALL out.

  12. Besides, why is it called Sinas Chinum. If you look up the din, you will find that you totally mislabled it. Here it is not a Sina (hatred) for nothing. Each side is fighting for a cause. They each want the shul building etc. They may be wrong and should go to a Din Torah. Or do as Ponovitch did and go to the Israeli Court, but its not Chinum.

  13. Unfortunely it is more for power than for the stam shul. I do not want to come in contact with either of these people.They would not listen to a Beis Din either. Go an build another SHUL and let’s have some Shalom

  14. “YWN is doing a mitzva by exposing such behavior.”

    Yes, Charvona, I sympathize. We all go through that phase, where we rationalize our aveiros so cleverly they already feel like Mitzvos.

  15. When people are starting to say the Loshon Hara that is the time to stop it and quote all the Halachas forbiding it.
    Not when it is already public and someone wants to to use it to stop the reporting of what is already going on.

  16. 21,

    Yes, I think so. My heart hurts to see Machlokes being publicized throughout the world. Whatever the story, I hope things will improve in Klal Yisrael. I feel heavy hearted when the flames of sinah are fanned across the world in this fashion, and although I am far from an expert, my studying of the halachos leads me to believe this “reporting” is not kosher.

    YWN does a lot of great things; I do not believe this is one of them.

  17. I ask my questions, partly because I have had my life ruined by Loshon Hara and when it was damaging my life, no one was saying anything against it.

    When I tried to defend myself and stop the damage it was doing I was criticised by the Loshon
    Hara-nicks for saying L.H.

    It was like they were bragging “we can say all we want, but you are violating halacha by stopping us”.

  18. hereorthere,

    My heart goes out to you. L”H is a destructive power. A friend of mine who was in a physically abusive situation is now being badmouthed and destroyed by her husband with the most brazen lies, and people say, “I’m afraid to get involved”.

    May Hashem heal you and send you Brachah.