web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

No ‘Us’ Or ‘Them’ When It Comes To Jews In Israel


MK Rabbi Dov Lipman

MK Rabbi Dov Lipman

I begin with words of condolences to the family of Aharon Sofer, of blessed memory, the yeshiva student from New Jersey whose body was found in the Jerusalem Forest.

The family has been a pillar of strength and faith throughout this most challenging and tragic of ordeals. May God comfort them among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Last Sunday, two days after Aharon disappeared, I first became involved in this terrible tragedy. I was in continuous contact with the police and search teams. They made it clear that they had no clues and therefore all options were open ranging from a terrorist kidnapping to a deliberate disappearance.

While all options remained possibilities, emphasis was placed on the fact that there were no indications of a kidnapping or act of terror. Experts in the field explained that when terrorists strike, information comes in – sometimes as a trickle and sometimes as a flood – which guides and instructs investigators, security personnel, and government leaders. In this case there was nothing. A deafening silence.

This reality made the angry phone calls and e-mails my staff and I received –communications replete with criticism for our handling of the case – difficult to experience.

Just a few examples: “Israeli officials don’t care about Aharon because he is haredi.” “This case is not being taken seriously because he is American.” “Why isn’t Aharon’s plight garnering the same attention as the three kidnapped boys?” “We know the government plans to allow Aharon to remain in captivity because rescuing him could hinder efforts to reach a truce with Hamas.”

These accusations were, unfortunately, made by some politicians in America. They were also fueled by reported declarations from rabbinic figures suggesting that Aharon was alive in an Arab village and by an outright claim by an American rabbi that Aharon’s hiking partner was being tortured by Israel police.

It was very difficult to hear all this while I knew that the police and all authorities were doing everything in their power to find Aharon and that the parents and others who were close to the search and investigation knew that too.

The hysteria was certainly based on emotions and desperation over the mystery. But listening to the tone and reading the strong words thrown my way, there was something else at work, and therein lies a sad reality.

The suggestion that Israeli authorities would not do everything in their power to bring Aharon home safely because he was haredi or because he was not an Israeli soldier demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding regarding where things stand in the state of Israel today.

Mainstream secular Israelis do not hate haredim. Mainstream secular Israelis do not hate religion. A Jew is a Jew. Israeli authorities and leaders view themselves as responsible for every Jew, everywhere, and all Israelis care for the welfare of every Jew, everywhere.

It is my hope and prayer that this message and lesson will emerge from this tragedy. There is no “us” and “them” when it comes to the Jewish people – especially in the state of Israel. What greater picture demonstrates this point than secular and religious Jews braving the summer sun and difficult terrain side by side to search for Aharon? Thousands of “secular” Israelis heeded Mrs. Sofer’s plea that we recite the second chapter of Tehillim as a merit for Aharon. This is the essence of what it means to be one nation with one heart.

The sooner that all segments of our community internalize this reality, the better off we will be as a state and as a people.

May the unity that will hopefully emerge from this realization be a merit to Aharon Sofer’s soul.

About the Author: Rabbi Dov Lipman is a member of the 19th Knesset with the Yesh Atid party. He has rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College and a Masters in education from Johns Hopkins University.


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.

10 Responses to “No ‘Us’ Or ‘Them’ When It Comes To Jews In Israel”

  1. Richard Fox says:

    they are not responsible for anyone other than themselves. and if they are elected, only their constituency. don’t try to make a case where they are. its nonsense. and a cynical lie…..i live my life here in the USA. i don’t want their aid or their promises. it comes with too high a price.

  2. Lyn Myers says:

    And you? what are you? Have you looked at your dirty heart?

  3. Really? And you are? GTFO if you know what it means.

  4. Farduz: Your god is not God. One People heard the voice of El Y-H-W-H, that is b’nai Yisra’el. No other people ever have in history, not the Yishma’eli /Arabs and Muslims or the Amaleiqi/ Christians who have the worth of pigs and monkeys until they evolve into people. We are a tiny people who the God of Israel shelters beneath His wings against the billions of evil ones like you. And we recognize each other but not the chattering of your gods and idols.

  5. Am Yisrael Chai! Shalom on Israel and may there be shalom within the wall of Jerusalem.

  6. Ben Azran says:

    Where pigs? Lmao look at your brothers in Syria and Iraq and then talk you monkey

  7. Ita Benjamin says:

    Richard, you clearly didn’t read the piece. The teaser is very misleading. Lipman is writing about some very callous accusations made against him, the government of Israel and the Israeli police in the sad case of Aharon Sofer. He doesn’t claim to be responsible for all Jews everywhere at all times.

  8. Cheryl McCoy says:

    He is seed of Satan

  9. Unless they say no to Israel’s brutality. You forgot that part.

  10. May Adonai be further glorified

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Border Police keep an eye out for Palestinian Authority terrorists.
IDF on Manhunt for Arab Terrorists Trying to Gun Down Jewish Drivers
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

More Articles from Rabbi Dov Lipman
MK Rabbi Dov Lipman

Israeli authorities and leaders view themselves as responsible for every Jew, everywhere,

Readers may be very surprised to learn these facts because the Yesh Atid-sponsored draft law is very different from what you have been reading in the haredi press and hearing from Haredi politicians and activists.

The Yesh Atid-sponsored draft law is very different from what you have been reading in the haredi press and hearing from haredi politicians and activists.

Team Israel lost in the finals of the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, but the experience should teach an important lesson to Jewish people throughout the world.

The fact that Jewish players and players with Jewish roots who don’t actually live in Israel played for Team Israel should send a critical message to Diaspora Jewry: Israel is the homeland for all Jews.

I am in shock.

A friend of mine was visiting the United States and his ride to the airport for his return flight to Israel fell through. At the last minute he needed to find a ride to a terminal that was 50 minutes away in order to catch a bus to New York City where he would then take a shuttle to the airport.

Yes, it is true. I, a haredi with right-wing political leanings, stood on the same stage with representatives of Yisrael Chofshit, Hitorirut Yerushalayim, and Meretz – three secular and very left wing groups – at the massive rally in Beit Shemesh on the last night of Chanukah.

Now, because of our efforts, the police have committed to arrest anyone who merely screams at a girl. Success for our present! The national government now wants to work with us to build future neighborhoods for all populations. Success for our future!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/no-us-or-them-when-it-comes-to-jews-in-israel/2014/09/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: