Photo Credit: Wikipedia
View of modern Beit Shemesh from the south

{Originally posted to Rav Zev’s eponymous website}

  1. As I said in an earlier post, it was only a matter of time before there would be blood shed by someone, somewhere in the name of Judaism. Whether it would be as a result of (violent) protests against the army or perhaps the “Tzniut Police”–it was only to be determined by time.

Sorry to have been correct on this one. The latter case (the Tzniut Police) have shed JEWISH blood in the name of Judaism.

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For those unfamiliar with the case:

A haredi child on Tuesday night threw a stone at a woman in her fifties after judging to be “not dressed modestly.” The child escaped from the scene. An ambulance took the lightly injured woman to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. (Arutz-7)

The “police” who made the decision that a woman was not properly dressed was a fourteen-year-old child. Just as an Arab child is raised in so many cases to hate Jews and act against them in the name of religion, so too, so many Jewish children are indoctrinated with hatred in their bones and taught to act in the name of religion, as well. This child was taught that people–more correctly, women–must dress a certain way. If they do not, then are they not only going against G-d’s will but you, as a Jew, seem to have a right and obligation to be G-d’s executioner and to mete out His justice. This time, at least, the woman was “only” injured. Who is to say that the next time (and there is a high likelihood of that) the victim will not be murdered. No, not “killed”….MURDERED. Because when you take a stone in hand and throw it with the intent of causing bodily harm, and the victim dies, that is murder! I have said this with regard to Arab kids who have thrown stones that have caused the death of Jewish victims, and I say the same in this case.

No one–absolutely no one–has the right to pick up a stone and to throw it at another in order to hurt them; not in the name of religion; not in the name of ANYTHING.

NEVER!

So, why is this an open letter to the parents of Bet Shemesh? Because the area has both Haredi and non-Haredi residents, and it is time that something needs to be done by PARENTS.

As I wrote in a recent post, the LEADERS are the ones who need to stand up and say that enough is enough. Sadly, the silence of the leadership has been deafening from so many circles. Yes, some are afraid to speak out (and they are “leaders”?). Some do not see themselves as leaders (yes, you are, and you need to speak out). Yet others, sadly, are happy with the way things are going!

If leaders can not be relied on to lead, then it is time that the man/woman in the street take action! It is time for Haredi and non-Haredi parents to stand shoulder to shoulder in the streets of Bet Shemesh. It is time to say that while we acknowledge our hashkafic differences, we also must ALL abide by the Torah! NOWHERE does the Torah permit throwing stones at someone merely because you do not like how she is dressed. (NO ONE has a license to injure or kill!!)

It is time for parents to pick up the challenge that your leaders are not taking and PUBLICLY take a JOINT stand! Enough is enough! Today it is a bloody head and tomorrow (G-d forbid!) it will be a visit to nearby Eretz HaChaim for the victim.

For those leaders in Bet Shemesh who have and continue to speak out: Kol Hakavod! Continue to do so … but you are a lone voice in the wind, at the moment. Encourage your “constituency” to get out there and publicly make your thoughts known. We can be different…we can have very different beliefs and different approaches as to how to serve Hashem. But one thing we must all agree on: It is NEVER ok to inflict harm on another individual because they believe or act differently from what you believe in. 

PARENTS OF BET SHEMESH–PARENTS OF ALL HASHKAFOT–I URGE YOU TO FIND SOME COMMON GROUND AND, IN A UNITED FRONT, TELL THE PUBLIC THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR CAN NO LONGER CONTINUE.

Because if the issue is ignored, I am afraid we are in for much worse results than “merely” sending a woman to a hospital.

May she have a refuah shlema and may we always work TOGETHER למען השלום–for peace and tranquility.

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