web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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

Hareidi Jews in Beit Shemesh

Photo Credit: Uri Lenz/Flash 90

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.

However, these efforts come at the same time as one prominent Rabbi in Beit Shemesh, Chaim Malinowitz, published a 13 page letter explaining why officially and publicly condemning the attacks against schoolchildren is counterproductive and should not be encouraged.

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.

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.

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

Current Top Story
Part of the Gush Etzion fence near Jerusalem
Cabinet to Vote Sunday on Cutting Gush Etzion Off from Jerusalem
Latest News Stories
Part of the Gush Etzion fence near Jerusalem

The cabinet is set to vote on the path of the security fence which would cut off Gush Etzion from Jerusalem as well as be a major eyesore.

The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.

UK Muslims are calling on ISIS to release British aid volunteer Alan Henning, whose life is now threatened by the group.

Axe confiscated from Arab terrorist suspect by Border Police officers who were operating near Beit Jala on Sept. 18, 2014.

Border Police officers blocked an axe-toting Arab man from carrying out a terror attack near Jerusalem.

A home was damaged in a Qassam rocket barrage from Gaza on Friday, August 8, 2014. Miraculously, no one was in the house at the time.

A Code Red incoming rocket alert was sounded for Gaza Belt and Ashkelon Coastal communities.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says former Pres. Bill Clinton is wrong about PM Netanyahu.

A massive sting operation hauled in 15 suspects and foiled a plot by ISIS to hold a public beheading in Australia.

A 3-hour strike at Ben Gurion International Airport at check-in counters has delayed thousands.

Have you seen Menachem Bodner’s twin brother Jeno, or Jolli Gottesman? He’s out there.

Iran scorns as “ridiculous” a US-led anti-ISIS coalition without boots on the ground.

A prison inmate on death row in Connecticut is demanding kosher food, though he’s not really Jewish.

Hamas claimed one of the bank’s clients owed them taxes…

Reports from Lebanon say that Israeli Air Force planes flew over the Marjayoun area in Lebanon, launching flares.

Despite previous claims, Hamas now denies they arrested any rocket crews. So, who do we believe?

Western Wall’s employees, remove thousands of handwritten notes placed between the ancient stones of the Kotel, the Western Wall, Judaism’s second holiest site, in the Old City of Jerusalem. The operation is carried out twice each year: before the Passover festival in the spring and at the Jewish New Year in the fall. The prayer […]

A memorial event with a special photo exhibition honoring the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took place on Monday.

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.

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: