web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Anglo Ultra-Orthodox Threaten to Bolt Beit Shemesh Coalition Over Lack of Dialogue

Hareidi Jews in Beit Shemesh

Photo Credit: Uri Lenz/Flash 90

Share Button

BEIT SHEMESH- In an effort to prevent future conflicts between religious factions in the embattled city of Beit Shemesh, which has made headlines in recent weeks due to a sometimes violent running fight over the location of a religious Zionist girls’ school, the Tov party, which represents English speaking members of the Ultra-Orthodox community, has issued a call for the municipality to establish a “Rabbinical committee” to engage in preemptive dialogue regarding controversial issues.

Eli Friedman, who holds the party’s one seat on the municipal council, issued an ultimatum to Beit Shemesh Mayor Rabbi Moshe Abutbol, stating in a letter plastered around the city on broadsheets that unless such a committee is formed, he will be “forced to abandon the municipal coalition and serve the entire Beit Shemesh community from the side of the opposition.”

Tov, widely known to residents as “the moderate haredi” party, only holds one seat in council, making its defection to the opposition less of a substantive threat than a symbolic gesture of disapproval.

“Out of a desire to increase love and friendship between the various communities here in Beit Shemesh, we turn to you with a request to establish a rabbinical committee that will be comprised of [rabbis] from all the religious and haredi communities as well from the old city and from the new,” the letter read.

According to Friedman, the proposed council’s role will be to “sit and work out every public issue that might ignite the fire before it actually happens, with the objective to resolve it and provide a solution, to arrive at a common ground from the perspective of ‘talmidei chachomim [Torah scholars] increase peace in the world’, and in order to prevent the recurrence of violent acts and thuggery that cause chilul Hashem [desecration of the name of God] and give a bad name to the entire haredi community in the city and around the country.”

Recent protests outside the Orot Banot school, during which schoolgirls have been verbally attacked and spat upon for alleged immodest dress, are not “the first and only time a chilul Hashem has been caused by the extremist residents of Beit Shemesh,” Friedman explained.

Taking responsibility on behalf of the Ultra-Orthodox community, the party leader wrote that “it is obvious that unless steps are taken against this evil phenomenon we will not be able to say ‘our hands did not spill the blood.’”

The Tov party, he continued, has “given in many times in the past in the name of peace and unity in Beit Shemesh” but can no longer “be quiet and give in, as we are witness to the horrible results of what is happening in front of our eyes, and their influence on all the haredi communities across Israel.”

“The goal of TOV is to mend tears, and not to deepen them, our interest is also to glorify the name of our city and not to distance different groups of residents from it.”

The Municipality has thus far declined to respond to requests for comment from The Jewish Press.

Speaking with The Jewish Press, party activist and Anglo department head Mendy Newman stated that, in his estimation, it is important that “there be a non-political venue for dialogue between the various [communities] in the city with the goal of resolving religious tensions before they flare up.”

“It is not enough to deal with issues as they arise,” he said, “but rather the city government must take positive steps to increase dialogue and unity between all residents of the city in an effort to avoid future problems.”

The Mayor, together with Rabbi Shmuel Pappenheim, a local Ultra-Orthodox activist affiliated with the anti-Zionist Edah Haredit umbrella organization, have held several meetings between the local zealots, known as the Sicarii, and leaders of the religious-Zionist community in the past, but these meetings were ultimately unsuccessful.

Advocating a system of preventative dialogue, rather than holding talks after matters have spilled over into the streets, Newman told The Jewish Press that the proposed forum “could be very helpful in preventing religious conflicts and forging common ground on issues.”

However, despite the blow to the Mayor’s prestige that would result in the Tov party’s defection, Mayor Abutbol has so far declined to respond to the ultimatum.

While “we have not received any response from the Mayor to our idea,” Newman stated, “we have only heard positive responses from various [rabbis] throughout the city,” though he declined to cite which rabbis have signed on to the initiative.

Rabbi Yaakov Haber, another local American Ultra-Orthodox leader and the Rabbi of the  Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun synagogue in Ramat Beit Shemesh, has also publicly sought a solution to the issue of the “chillul Hashem” that Orthodox Jews believe the recent conflict to have caused.

According to locals, the Rabbi recently held a town hall meeting in which residents were encouraged to offer suggestions regarding ways in which to increase unity between the various sectors in the city.

Share Button

About the Author:


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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

One Response to “Anglo Ultra-Orthodox Threaten to Bolt Beit Shemesh Coalition Over Lack of Dialogue”

  1. tzilia sacharow says:

    first of all, absolutely every rabbi and rosh yeshiva have to declare that anyone who raises a hand against a fellow Jew is put in a herem until he does teshuva.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Putin-Obama Meme 1
Egypt Signing Unprecedented $3 Billion MiG-35 Deal with Russia
Latest News Stories
Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav Amar.

Attacks against former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar get as petty as which robe he is wearing, and when he is running his Lag B’Omer bonfire.

MIG-35
 
MiG-35
30

The picture above is of a Russian MiG-35. It is Russia’s most advanced fighter jet. Reports say that Israel’s neighbors to the south will be getting 24 of them. In case you see one flying overhead, now you’ll know what it is.

A Holocaust memorial and the grave of the brother of the late Lubavitcher rebbe were vandalized in Ukraine, amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country.

Bashar Assad will be running for president of Syria again…

This massive Russian-Egyptian arms deal is a slap in the face for President Obama and his failed foreign policy.

It is no wonder that Marionville is ”the home of the white squirrels.” Black ones wouldn’t stand a chance, forget about Jewish ones.

Jordan’s foreign minister summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest what it called Israel’s “violations” on the Temple Mount. The Jordanian government told Ambassador Daniel Nevo that recent clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli soldiers on the Temple Mount a violation of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. The Temple Mount was closed to visitors […]

The chisel was found along with a gold bell that may have been on the clothes of the High Priest.

The IDF has announced it will begin to offer Israeli Christians the chance to enlist in Israel’s army.

A special unit in the Israeli army comprised solely of Bedouin trackers is keeping Israel’s northern border safe.

The United States has announced it possesses evidence the Syrian government is using chemical weapons against its own civilians.

At least ten rockets were fired by Gaza terrorists at Israeli civilian targets over the holiday.

Chabad.org interviews Nikolayev ‘s chief rabbi on the firebomb attack in the Ukraine. Here is an excerpt…

The US Supreme Court has agreed to examine the question as to whether or not an American citizen born in Jerusalem can have “Israel” listed on his (or her) passport as their country of birth.

No, not Mahna Mahna. Mimouna. Mimouna is a Moroccan celebration of Chametz that takes place right after Pesach ends (which it did tonight). It’s become very popular in Israel, especially among political leaders, as participating in a Mimouna makes you more part of the “Amcha” (the every-day folk). It’s estimated (according to Wikipedia, at least) […]

Carole Zabar, longtime supporter of BDS promoters, is now in a pickle – Zabar’s is a BDS target.

More Articles from Eric Schulenberg
Red Cross

Members of terror group’s political echelon had been hiding from law in Red Cross compound.

EU Rep to PA and UNRWA Comissioner-General near Bethlehem in Judea

The European Union, fearful that the “window for the two-state solution is rapidly closing” has decided to skirt Israeli building regulations in Area C of Judea and Samaria.

Anglo political party threatens to bow out of municipal council if measures are not taken to prevent hostility between citizens – recommend a dialogue group of influential rabbis.

Following imposition of new sanctions regime, Islamic Republic threatens American navy.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/anglo-ultra-orthodox-threaten-to-bolt-beit-shemesh-coalition-over-lack-of-dialogue/2012/01/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: