web analytics
July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

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



Tisha B’Av 5773: Hateful Rhetoric, Violent Encounters Roil Israel’s Religious Communities

A crowd carries Israeli flags during a march around the walls of Jerusalem on Monday night, the eve of Tisha B'Av, the darkest day on the Jewish calendar. This year's fast came at a time of increasingly bitter infighting among Israel's Orthodox Jews.

A crowd carries Israeli flags during a march around the walls of Jerusalem on Monday night, the eve of Tisha B'Av, the darkest day on the Jewish calendar. This year's fast came at a time of increasingly bitter infighting among Israel's Orthodox Jews.

JERUSALEM – As tens of thousands of Jews jammed Jerusalem’s Western Wall Plaza on Tisha B’Av to mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples, leading rabbinical and political figures from Israel’s national religious and haredi streams found themselves embroiled in a war of words over a number of issues that in some instances spurred violent street clashes.

During the past week, three haredi soldiers were attacked in broad daylight in the heart of Jerusalem by haredi hooligans whose actions were not immediately condemned by Ashkenazi haredi leaders or haredi members of Knesset.

One of the soldiers was on his way to a shiur in the Meah Shearim neighborhood when he was attacked and had to be rescued by special police units operating in the area. When the police arrived on the scene they were greeted with chants of “Nazis” and pelted with garbage and stones by some of the residents. Several of the attackers were apprehended, jailed for a short period and released to house arrest.

The lack of public condemnation by haredi leaders and politicians spurred rumors that the spiritual leaders of the IDF’s Nahal Haredi battalion would resign. But Rabbi David Fuchs, who works with Nahal Haredi soldiers, told Kol Israel Radio that those who attacked the soldiers represented a minority faction and that most Nahal Haredi soldiers are treated with dignity in their neighborhoods.

Several haredi soldiers told reporters a different story, however, describing how the violent reactions to their IDF uniforms had necessitated changing into civilian clothing when traveling on trains; others said they could not return to their homes and were forced to spend Shabbat in hostels that cater to haredi soldiers considered outcasts by their families.

Though Aryeh Deri, the leader of the opposition Sephardic Shas Party, publicly condemned the beating of haredi soldiers, he’s had to attempt serious damage control in the wake of epithets hurled by the party’s spiritual leaders at Naftali Bennett and Rabbi Shai Piron of, respectively, the Habayit Hayehudi and Yesh Atid parties.

Bennett and Piron, who have been at the forefront in encouraging the universal army draft, changing the criteria for haredi yeshiva funding and pushing for the election of Religious Zionist Rabbi David Stav to the post of Asheknazi chief rabbi, were lambasted by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef several weeks ago, as was Rabbi Stav himself.

Rabbi David Stav (Photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)

Rabbi David Stav (Photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)

In his remarks last month, Rabbi Yosef described Rabbi Stav as “an evil man” and warned that appointing him to the Chief Rabbinate would be like bringing idolatry into the Temple.

The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest organization of Orthodox rabbis in the U.S., immediately responded with sharp criticism of Rabbi Yosef. The top two RCA officials, Rabbis Shmuel Goldin and Leonard Matanky, wrote that they “trembled upon hearing the terrible things Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said in regards to [Rabbi Stav’s] honor” and were equally disturbed by the verbal and physical assault that same weekend on Rabbi Stav by haredi teens during the wedding of the daughter of the Kotel Rav, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.

Making an already volatile situation worse, this past weekend a senior member of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages likened Bennett and all Religious Zionists to Amalek, religious shorthand for eternal enemies of the Jewish people.

In a sermon delivered Saturday night as Rabbi Yosef sat beside him, Rabbi Shalom Cohen declared that “as long as there are knit kippot, the divine throne is not whole. That’s Amalek. When will the throne be whole? When there is no knit kippah.”

Rabbi Cohen then asked, “Are these people even Jews? We would be unfortunate to end up with a [chief] rabbi who wears a knitted kippah.”

Bennett lashed out at Rabbi Cohen on his Facebook page: “Shame on you. For those who don’t know, Amalek is an expression referring to someone who must be wiped off the face of the earth. No less. At this very moment, thousands of knit-kippah wearers are standing guard from the Syrian border to the Egyptian, from brigade commanders down to the lowliest soldiers, and are [defending] even the honorable rabbi.

“These days, the Habayit Hayehudi Party is working tirelessly to lessen the damage to the world of Torah from government bills forcing haredi men to work and enlist in the military. And yet we are called Amalek.”

Habayit Hayehudi MK and Minister of Pensioner Affairs Uri Orbach told The Jewish Press, “The incitement against our party and knitted kippah Religious Zionists by the leaders of Shas is nothing new. They’ve always uttered radical stuff. And Rabbi Cohen said exactly what Rabbi Yosef wants to hear.

“The irony is that many of Shas’s constituents are not radicals and are more closely affiliated with Religious Zionists. The core of their anger is based strictly on the fact that people like Aryeh Deri and his predecessor, Eli Yishai, are no longer part of the government coalition. They hate being in the opposition and are frustrated that they are no longer in a position to promote their own agendas.

“It’s not pleasant to hear these things, but we are trying to find a way to work with everyone without hateful behavior.”

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.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

3 Responses to “Tisha B’Av 5773: Hateful Rhetoric, Violent Encounters Roil Israel’s Religious Communities”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Imagine how the religious zionists were to react if the charedim or Shas decided in government to withdraw from Judea and Samaria? They would feel like the Chareidim now- betrayed. We must be fair in our analysis. What settling the land is to the Religious Zionist is what full time Torah study is to the Charedim.

  2. This is how we lost our land-the so called religious fighting amongst each other. They make me sick . Where is the love a jew must show to his fellow man? We are just following the same pattern which will lead us to exile once again

  3. This is how we lost our land-the so called religious fighting amongst each other. They make me sick . Where is the love a jew must show to his fellow man? We are just following the same pattern which will lead us to exile once again

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama escorts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of the Oval Office
Pirated Phone Conversation of Obama Slamming Bibi from Unverified Source
Latest News Stories
U.S. President Barack Obama escorts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of the Oval Office

In an alleged conversation, Obama demanded Israel agree to ceasefire, accept enemies as mediators.

Hamas has been promoting martyrdom on TV. And the more dead bodies they can show, the better.

Protecting a young baby from rocket fire when the Code Red rocket alert siren sounds

A mother protects her baby as a siren goes off near the Gaza border.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers are battling the IDF — and now facing internal dissension as well, as families start protesting their ruined lives.

Half the population gone at any one time, but residents of Gaza Belt remain strong.

IDF soldiers are fighting in Gaza; Israelis are holding firm as massive rocket fire continues at home.

UNRWA has found a third set of rockets in a one of their schools. We’re sure they’re shocked.

A radar system might stop mortar attacks, but that doesn’t change the truism that “the best defense is a good offense.”

“He had a hopped-up ‘cycle that took off like a gun/That fool was the terror of Highway 101 – ‘ from the song “Black Denim Trousers.”

The Givati Brigade has foiled another attempted infiltration via a tunnel into Israel, killing five terrorists who might have murdered hundreds of Israelis.

PLO officials say ‘all’ terror factions agree to a 72 cease fire, but rocket fire continues as usual.

The lights are out again in Gaza, but it’s not clear who is responsible this time around. Does it matter?

There’s a battle going on for Jerusalem’s soul, and Cinema City proves you don’t need to compromise on Shabbat or Kashrut to be a success.

Global anti-Semitism is doing the ‘Gaza Strip’ and unveiling itself, no longer needing an excuse to hide.

While Israelis couldn’t sleep in Rishon Lezion, IDF pilots were busy making sure Gaza terrorists were awake Monday night as well.

More Articles from Steve K. Walz

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

Some residents of the town of Nitzan in southern Israel sit and pray together inside a street shelter.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.

“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.

Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”

If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.

Netanyahu brushed aside Lapid’s political threats, saying that he was either too politically inexperienced or unaware of the true nature of the peace negotiations with Abbas.

Nearly 20 teams from around the world are currently engaged in competing for Google Lunar X’s $20 million prize.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu excoriated the European political establishment for turning a blind eye to the growing number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks across the EU.

    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/news/israel/religious-secular-in-israel/tisha-bav-5773-hateful-rhetoric-violent-encounters-roil-israels-religious-communities/2013/07/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: