Photo Credit:
Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman

{MK Lipman’s post is as a guest columnist on the blog site, Emes Ve-Emunah}

My admiration for Dov Lipman is well known to readers of this blog. He is a man of great courage. Where others speak… he does! He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. Given an opportunity to serve his people… and his country he jumped at the chance. There too he walked the walk.Where some beg for charity to help the needy, he legislates opportunities for them to help themselves.

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And what is his reward for all this? Scorn! He is scorned, ridiculed, and even condemned for apparently not walking in lockstep with the Charedi leadership; for joining hands with the ‘devil’ – Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid, the political party Charedim see as anti Torah.

While it’s true that Yesh Atid is not a religious party and some of its agenda is not necessarily Torah based, it is also true that it is the party that has been in the forefront of trying to bring the Charedi world into 21st century Israel… and participate as responsible citizens along with fellow Israelis who are not Charedi.

Who is Dov Lipman? What is his background? Does he really have the credentials to speak as the Charedi  he often says he is? Here is a brief bio from the Wikipedia entry on him:

Dov Lipman was born in Silver Spring, Maryland… He attended theYeshiva of Greater Washington in his hometown and completed his rabbinical studies at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore while in a concurrent program with the Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a master’s degree in education. Lipman received ordination (smicha) from his Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg. After marriage, Lipman spent two years at the Kollel in Cincinnati. He immigrated to Israel in 2004. 

This clearly indicates that his orientation is Charedi. Those who claim he is not are clearly misinformed. MK Rabbi Lipman has been kind enough to submit a post. I am honored to host it. It follows unedited in its entirety:

Yesh Atid has put out two videos (below) featuring issues related to the haredi community.  One relates to haredi employment and the other to haredim serving in the Israel Defense Forces.

Many are asking how a party like Yesh Atid can possibly bring haredi issues into the election campaign.  Wasn’t Yesh Atid destructive for the haredi community? I appreciate the opportunity to answer this question clearly with the facts so once and for all we can abolish the misconceptions.

Leading up to the passing of the legislation regarding the haredim and the draft, meetings were held with rabbis of the highest caliber in the haredi community.  In one of those meetings, a Rosh Yeshiva actually revealed that in his estimation, 60% of the young men in the yeshiva system throughout Israel don’t belong there beyond 3-4 years after high school because Torah study is not their one and only passion and they are not truly learning day and night.

These rabbis all agreed that boys who are not truly studying day and night should go and serve in the army.  In addition, they said that there would have to be a demonstration no matter what was written in the law.  If they are unhappy with the law, there will be a major demonstration with fiery speeches to ignite the crowd.

If they are satisfied with the law, they will call the demonstration a “prayer rally” and there will be no speeches.  Just a public prayer.  When the law was being passed, a law which sets reasonable goals for numbers of haredi males between the ages of 18 and 24 that must serve (a few thousand out of 55,000!), the haredi community came out en masse for what the gedolim called, “a prayer rally.”  Enough said.

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Rabbi Lipman, a member of the 19th Knesset, is the author of the recently-published “Coming Home: Living in the Land of Israel in Jewish Tradition and Thought” (Gefen Publishing).