web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



The Haredi MK Fighting Religious Separatism: An Interview with Rabbi Dov Lipman


MK Rabbi Dov Lipman

MK Rabbi Dov Lipman

The biggest surprise of Israel’s election results in January was the phenomenal success of Yesh Atid – a new party headed by Yair Lapid that won 19 seats and is now part of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition government.

Yesh Atid is sometimes perceived as avidly secular, but two rabbis currently serve in the party as MKs. One is Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s new education minister. The other is Rabbi Dov Lipman, the first American-born Knesset member since Rabbi Meir Kahane. A graduate of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel and the holder of a Master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University, Rabbi Lipman made aliyah in 2004 and lives with his wife and four children in Beit Shemesh.

Last month, Rabbi Lipman was named a member of the Knesset’s Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.

The Jewish Press: What is an Orthodox rabbi doing in a party that’s widely regarded as secular?

Rabbi Lipman: Before Yair Lapid even went into politics, he stood up before a haredi audience and said, “You won.” At the beginning of the state, he said, there was a battle for what Israel was going to be. Was it going to be secular, without Torah – possibly even without God? Or was it going to be religious-based? He said that we on the religious side have shown that there is no basis for us being in Israel without God. And then he said, “Now let’s work together.”

So from my perspective as someone who is haredi, to hear that call from a secular person and not to respond would be the worst thing that I could do. Therefore, I decided to see what Yair was all about, and I got to know him well. He’s not anti-religious, he’s not anti-Torah, he’s not anti-anything. He wants to work together on the things that we all agree about and move the country forward. He wants to break down the walls between the secular and the religious.

And that means what, for example?

We have a plan for national service – a compromise plan that takes into account the sensitivities of the haredi community. We also have an education plan which says, on the one hand, that there should be general studies on the religious side, but also that there should be more Jewish studies on the secular side.

We also want to help haredim get to the workforce. Can you imagine that the haredi parties have never had a task force to help haredim enter the workforce? I started that task force because I’m not interested in trying to keep us secluded and creating more walls.

There has been much hysteria over the proposed draft of haredim into the IDF. What is Yesh Atid’s precise position on this issue?

The starting point of Yesh Atid’s plan is that everybody serves – either in the military or in national service – but there will be exemptions for those who are the real iluyim.

The same way you have yeshivot hesder for the religious Zionist community, we will have similar programs for the haredi community that combine Torah learning and service. It will take five years to build those plans. In the interim, the plan states that any haredi who wants to leave yeshiva or kollel and go to work can do so – legally, as opposed to now where it is illegal [to work during the years of draft eligibility]. It is estimated that as many as 30 percent of haredim might take up that offer and leave tomorrow to learn a trade or go to work because [right now, economically] they’re starving.

Some people argue that the haredim aren’t bothering anyone. They just want to sit and learn and be left alone. Why can’t you respect their wishes?

Three answers. First, it’s destroying us as a people. Having a separate camp that does its own thing and doesn’t view itself as part of society is destructive. We were one people for 2,000 years, and if we were one people while we were persecuted, let’s be one people here in Israel. That’s number one.

Number two: Economically, it can’t work. You can’t have a society where this large of a population lives off the tax base but doesn’t contribute to it.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

3 Responses to “The Haredi MK Fighting Religious Separatism: An Interview with Rabbi Dov Lipman

  1. I think the Rabbi is on the right road to moving forward and I wish him good luck and G-d bless.

    road

  2. Orah Peer says:

    Big yashar koach for this Article, is Amazing! I Agree with every word.

  3. Well said – go Dov!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Rabbi Berel Wein

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Allen Fagin

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

If a child is seldom required to yield his desires and needs to those of others, surely doing so as an adult will not come naturally to him.

Wherever I was invited around the world, I always met with people and let them know that I wanted to hear great stories.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/the-haredi-mk-fighting-religious-separatism-an-interview-with-rabbi-dov-lipman/2013/04/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: