web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘dov lipman’

MK Rabbi Dov Lipman on Bringing Haredim Into the Fold and Yesh Atid

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from the Knesset and is joined by MK Rabbi Dov Lipman. Together, they discuss MK Rabbi Lipman’s work in bringing Haredi Jews into both the workforce and the military. They move on to talk about “meatless Mondays” in the Knesset Dining Facility and how it was created from MK Rabbi Lipman’s dedication to animal rights. They move on and end talking about the Yesh Atid party and how he represents the values behind the party.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Yesh Atid Skips Out of Critical Finance Vote for Beit El

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Three Yesh Atid MK quietly skipped out of the room when the vote came up for financing some settlement related expenses, in particular, reimbursing the residents of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood whom the government kicked out of their homes when it destroyed their neighborhood last year.

The three Yesh Atid coalition members did not inform anyone they were not going to be at the vote, and Gila Gamliel (Likud) noticed moments before the vote that the three were missing. She called MK Robert Ilytov (Yisrael Beiteinu) to come in to replace them, to ensure there was still a coalition majority.

If the opposition had noticed, the vote could have gone the other way.

Yesh Atid head, Yair Lapid, recently said in an interview, that he doesn’t care if the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel as a Jewish State or not, contradicting the negotiating position laid down by PM Netanyahu.

Sources in Yesh Atid say the move was not preplanned, and the 3 MKs left the room for other reasons.”

The only question we have is for chareidi MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), “Are you still so sure your views are aligned with the Yesh Atid party?”

 

 

 

Beit Shemesh Haredim Riot over Bus Segregation Arrest

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Beit Shemesh extremist Haredim, the ones who libeled Israel last year by spitting on a national religious girl, went crazy Wednesday after police  arrested a Haredi couple for telling a woman to go to back of the bus.

The only injury was Israel’s image, once again blackened by a small but growing number of extremists who have tried to make life miserable for secular and modern Orthodox Jews of the city, west of Jerusalem.

Involuntary gender segregation on public buses is illegal in Israel. Nevertheless, a Haredi couple demanded that a woman passenger move back to the back, prompting a call to police.

The couple was detained, setting off a riot that led to two more arrests of men who blocked a bus from moving. Other rioters smashed the windows of four buses.

One of the drivers told the Hebrew-language Yediot Acharonot’s website, “One of [the Haredim] took out a hammer and began shattering the windows. There were many women and children onboard. I tried to drive forward a little to scare them. After a few seconds they moved and we continued on our way.”

One passenger reported that women and children, on summer vacation, were on the bus as it was being attacked. In December, 2011, a member of a radical Haredi sect, an offshoot of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta group, spat on a national religious girl for “immodest dress” as she was walking to school. The family, originally from the United States, has since moved out of the city.

The incident set off a massive protest of religious and non-religious Jews, including American-born Rabbi Dov Lipman, who then was a Beit Shemesh councilman and now is a Knesset Member in Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

However, radical Haredim responded to the protest by throwing stones at city workers removing signs calling for the separation of the sexes on city streets. When Haredi activists put up new signs to replace them, the police who returned to remove them Monday encountered rioting by about 300 Haredi men who threw stones at police and burned trash cans.

Beit Shemesh, with its mixed religious and non-religious population and its mushrooming ultra-Orthodox satellite, Ramat Beit Shemesh, is home to more than 80,000 residents, including hundreds of new immigrant families from North America and Britain.

During the past several years, dozens of Neturei Karta-affiliated families, who could no longer afford Jerusalem’s soaring real estate prices, have moved into a new Beit Shemesh housing complex, adjacent to the neighborhood populated by Orthodox American and British immigrants.

Upon their arrival, the radicals attempted to intimidate both religious and non-religious residents by attempting to impose a strict “dress code” in and around their enclave.

Wednesday’s riot may boomerang against the extremist Haredim and hurt the re-election chances of Beit Shemesh Mayor Rabbi Moshe Abutbul, who is affiliated with the Shas Haredi party. The national religious community is campaigning against him, and the latest  riot will draw more voters to their camp and back a Jewish Home party candidate.

Kugel Aside: an Important Observation

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

By Faigie Heiman I’m not a blogger, a jogger nor do I twitter, or book my face. The social media is not my domain, but when I’m annoyed, or gratified with editorials or articles that appear in newspapers or magazines, I write a letter to the editor.

In May, the weekend Magazine section of the Jerusalem Post featured an article by Seth Frantzman titled: Forgotten History, an informative piece relating to the history of the Western Wall whereby Frantzman quotes Knesset Member Dov Lipman in a discussion in the Knesset.

“It is very interesting relating to the Kotel that in our history we see old photos of women and men praying together. It isn’t an orthodox synagogue; it’s a place we all value and does not have the Halacha of a synagogue.”

Isi Liebler, a popular blogger, wrote an article about Religious Tolerance and Mutual Respect and he too brought up the same point, that men and women can be viewed at the Kotel together, without a divider, in all the early twentieth century pictures.

A popular Israeli radio commentator spoke about the same phenomenon, and that was enough to trigger my letter of response to Frantzman’s article. Forgotten History, as featured in the Jerusalem Post, was a good reminder of the past but regrettably, some historical facts were omitted. Those like MK Lipman who wonder why men and women are pictured together without a mechitza, have forgotten history. They have forgotten when, and where the divider was born, and why it does not appear in those old photos.

 The Sanctuary was built with an ezrat nashim, a separate area for women. Sacrifices were offered at the Sanctuary and after the destruction, animal sacrifice was replaced with prayer time, held in small or large quarters, with areas for women to emulate Temple custom. The Western Wall, the single remaining remnant of the Temple was not in our hands, not under Jewish sovereignty. Throughout the ages foreign rulers applied regulations as to what they permitted along the narrow alley below the Wall. Dividers were forbidden, and most often, prayer too.

It is wise to remember that the Kotel is now in our hands. It is neither an amphitheater nor a circus, nor an ordinary street, and age-old Jewish customs should be respected. The area begs to be a peaceful place of prayer, with traditions valued as in days of yore.

When I sent the above observation to Isi Liebler he answered immediately.

Thanks. That may be so. Nevertheless, for hundreds of years the Kotel served as a shrine for private prayer and meditation rather than exclusively as a Bet Knesset.

Do the Lieblers and Lipmans prefer to have the Kotel returned to pre-67 condition? Is that the solution, Moslem sovereignty over the narrow street at the Wall so that the area can operate as a place for a dozen Jews, men and women, to mingle and meditate? Should we turn the clock back to foreign rules and regulations?

The Six Day War brought about the most stunning miraculous victory for Israel, and changed political and spiritual facts on the ground. It reunited Jerusalem and opened the area at the Kotel to hundreds of thousands of people to pray, visit, and meditate daily.  After over two thousand years of foreign rule, the Temple Mount and the Kotel were returned to our hands. A mechitza, a divider was necessary to implement traditional prayer service and was set up by the Ministry of Religious Affairs immediately after the area was opened to the public in 1967. That mechitza is respected by the large majority of men and women in Israel and around the world.

Yerushalmi Kugel

Yerushalmi Kugel

I remember the first Shabbat kiddush I attended after the Six Day War whereby Yerushalmi noodle kugel was served. It was dished out on small plates, a thin slice of pickle alongside the kugel. As soon as the plates of kugel were visible, everyone in the overcrowded room grabbed a plate. My husband was concerned that I wouldn’t `be quick enough, that I wouldn’t know how to grab a plate. He pushed his way over to check if I had a piece of kugel. “No” I answered. “I didn’t get kugel, but it’s okay, even if the service is not my style, it’s okay, I can eat kugel at home.”

The traditional style at the Kotel is one of a mechitza for prayer in adherence to orthodox Jewish custom. If individuals or groups find it tasteless they can pray or eat at home, or wherever their palate is sated. Not everyone must, or can, enjoy their portion of kugel in an authentic Yerushalmi setting.

With all due respect to Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky, the Kotel does not belong to everyone. The Kotel is a historic religious Jewish site, and it should be dealt with according to tradition.   Conventional prayer service as practiced in orthodox houses of prayer cannot satisfy all the people, all the time. Sufficient if it satisfies most people most of the time. If fifty Jews for Jesus want to hold a Sunday morning prayer service at the Wall, must that also be tolerated?

Some will argue, “but they too are Jews, they also need to be accommodated!”

Yes, they may be Jews, but there are red lines, there are traditional rules and the Rabbi of the Kotel draws the red lines, he is in charge, and his rulings should be upheld.
For the uninformed, religious prayer custom at the Kotel did not change after 1967. Former tradition was reinstated. The women who are disturbing the peace today are doing so first with tallit and tefillin, to be followed by removal of the divider. The egalitarian service they desire, and the means to achieving it, is a disservice to the entire House of Israel, and their behavior at the Kotel can, G-d forbid, bring the House down.

 Faigie Heiman is an accomplished short-story and essay writer and the author of a popular memoir titled Girl For Sale. Born and raised in Brooklyn she made Aliya and lives in Jerusalem since 1960.

Jonathan Rosenblum’s Hit Piece on Dov Lipman and the RCA

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

I am truly disappointed in one of my Charedi heroes, Jonathan Rosenblum. I can already hear my detractors saying  ‘I told you so’ or saying that my beliefs about moderate Charedim  are completely wrong.

But they are wrong. I still consider Jonathan one of my Charedi heroes. He has proven himself to be moderate more than once.But not this time.  In an article in the Yated he has attacked the RCA for inviting Rabbi Dov Lipman to give a keynote address at their convention. He then goes about ripping Rabbi Lipman to shreds… describing him as a self promoter with ulterior motives who comprised his principles by joining a secular party. A party whose platform endorses a more secular government. One which would implement non Halachic innovations like civil marriages.As further proof that he is not an appropriate choice to keynote the RCA convention – he cites Rabbi Lipman’s approach to controversial issues facing Israel. Like his advocacy of lowering the Charedi standards of observance requirements for converts; his support for the Women of the Wall; and his argument that the Kotel is not a Beis HaKenesses and therefore does not require a Mechitza. (Hmmmm… that sounds familiar.)

It is fair to question Rabbi Lipman about his views from a Charedi perspective. But to deny him a platform  to explain himself publicly to the primary Orthodox rabbinic organization in the United States because of these questions is just plain wrong, and unfair.  Rabbi Lipman is not a Reform rabbi. He still considers himself to be not only Orthodox but Charedi. That he has reached a decidedly non Charedi approach to some issues, does not take away from that claim. I’m sure he still maintains many Charedi Hanhagos ( customs) like wearing a velvet Kipa and a black hat; using only Cholov Yisroel products; and not relying on the Heter Mechira for Shmitta years. He probably still sees Torah study as being of paramount importance – despite his advocacy of drafting Charedim into the military.

But even if he has somehow lost his credentials as a Charedi because of his controversial views, there is no question that he is Orthodox.  To criticize the RCA for allowing Rabbi Lipman to speak is to say that opinions that are contrary to mainstream Charedi thinking in Israel are illegitimate and should not be heard.Of course Jonathan has said the reverse. That giving Rabbi Lipman a platform is tantamount to endorsing his ‘anti Charedi’ views. I do not see it that way at all. Although I might agree with Jonathan that along with Rabbi Lipman a speaker promoting the Charedi side of things might have been a more balanced thing for the RCA to do.

One of the arguments Jonathan makes is that we here in the United States ought to ‘not mix in’ to the issues affecting Charedim in Israel. (I assume he means even American Charedim. That would mean that even an endorsement of the Charedi position by American rabbinic leaders should not be made. It was of course made by  Agudah. Jonathan did not complain then. But I digress.)He says that we are not familiar with the ‘nuances’ of Israeli life and we can’t possibly understand the opposition to reasonable change for Charedim. Certainly not when it comes to the draft. But even when it comes to inserting a minimal core secular curriculum in their schools.

The standards Rabbi Lipman wants to insert are far less than the requirements of his own Charedi Yeshiva in America,  Ner Israel. Or even Philadelphia (Lakewood’s unofficial high school). Jonathan says that as an American Charedi Oleh (immigrant) of only ten years residency he does not understand the nuances of the Israeli paradigm of full time Torah study sans Limudei Chol.

I don’t know. It seems to me that 10 years is enough time to understand it. What Rabbi Lipman is saying is that it needs to change nonetheless. I agree with him.  The RCA wants to hear him speak about these issues as a member of the Kenesset; as a Charedi; and as someone who has lived there for ten years and has observed both the positive and negative of this paradigm. What is Jonathan afraid of? Why does he see this as something bad? What happened to Elu V’Elu?

And what about Jonathan’s own education at Yale, which he personally values greatly – as he told me himself? Can he honestly say that what’s good for him is not good for Israeli Charedim? Why? Were he to do it over again, would he have rejected studying any Limudei Chol? Dov Lipman hasn’t even touched upon university education for Charedim. All he wants is for them is to know how to speak English… or know a bit about science, world history… or even Jewish history for that matter! Why is that so terrible?!

Is it because the Charedi leadership continues to reject it? Jonathan says that it is not so much that but about the fact that the program is being forced upon them. Really? Well, fine, let the Charedi leadership come up with their own alternative Limudei Chol program.There are two chances of that happening 1) slim… and 2) none! The fact that they haven’t tried on their own to do that in the past – since the very beginning of the state when the pressure wasn’t on – is indicative of how much interest they have in it.They are fighting this because they strongly believe that the evil secular government  (and their willing accomplice – Dov Lipman)  is imposing it on them. Is this how to deal with what they see as a problem? Even if I were to concede that this is a problem (which I of course do not), I don’t see this as the way to deal with it.Contrast the current Charedi approach to that of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, founder of the Eida HaCharedis. (You can’t get much more Charedi than that.) The following is a paraphrase form an ArtScroll (…it must be true if it’s ArtScroll) biography about him entitled, Guardian of Jerusalem. (21: 316 – 317).

Because of the dangers of the secular system attracting Frum parents to their schools, R’ Yaakov Rosenheim invited Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Auerbach to establish a secular curriculum in the Yeshivos of the Yishuv HaYoshon. Despite the ban on secular studies being taught – R’ Yosef Chaim expressed no opposition to the proposal that secular subjects commonly taught in the general schools (Arabic, Arithmetic, Science, History, Writing…)  be taught for a couple of hours a day in  the Yeshivos of the Yishuv HaYoshon.

One of Jonathan’s points is that Charedim were making progress in these areas already and that the only thing all this stuff has been doing is creating a backlash. Charedim already were increasingly getting training for the workplace in special programs designed for them.And perhaps more importantly some were increasingly interested in fulfilling their military obligations through Nachal Charedi and Shachar. The sight of a Charedi in uniform was become commonplace and accepted  in and around Charedi enclaves. But with the government trying to force it on all of them, Charedim in uniform are being barred from certain shuls… and some have been physically attacked and vilified in wall posters!

Jonathan: Instead of blaming Dov Lipman for this kind of disgusting backlash, shouldn’t you be in the forefront of blaming those who generate the motives behind this backlash?

Jonathan’s problem with Rabbi Lipman is not the only complaint being heard by the Charedi leadership in Israel. They have also complained that they have not heard a word from the Chardalim… those on the religious right wing of Religious Zionism who has in recent times sympathized with Charedi complaints about government intrusion into their religious lives. Why have these Religious Zionist leaders have been silent on this issue?

Seriously?

Well maybe it’s because they are on the other side on this issue. Maybe its because their schools have good Limudei Chol programs. And more importantly, their constituents not only serve in the military but thier Hesder students are known to be the bravest members of it – often volunteering in groups for the most dangerous assignments. They have certainly had their share of deaths and injury in combat. Maybe… just maybe that’s why the Religious Zioinist camp has been so silent!

Not that they think that none of their students should be exempt from army service.Some are. Students in their flagship Yeshiva, Merkaz HaRav, do not serve. They study Torah full time. That should be the paradigm for Charedim too.

Maybe that’s the ultimate reason that the RCA has invited Rabbi Lipman to keynote their convention. It may very well be that they agree with him.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

And the Bashing Continues…

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Rabbi Avraham Edelstein seems like a nice enough fellow. He is the founder and director of Ner LeElef, an organization that trains people for outreach. That is a good thing and something I support.

I am however dismayed by an article he has written in the Times of Israel. Therein he does what a lot of Haredi rabbinic leaders have done. He bashes Rabbi Dov Lipman about his proposed solution to the economic crisis facing the Haredi world . The funny thing is that he actually agrees with Rabbi Lipman’s assessment of the problem.

I have to wonder how the people he trains for outreach and the very targets of that outreach see his approach to Rabbi Lipman.

First he indirectly challenges his credentials by referring to his “oft-claimed status as a Haredi rabbi.” This implies that Rabbi Edelstein does not personally accept him that way. He further challenges R’ Lipman to tell us what the Haredi community stands for and why he wishes to belong to it – as though his every action argues against that.

Rabbi Edelstein also asserts that Rabbi Lipman is late to the game vis-à-vis putting Haredim to work with better jobs through better education. Haredim are already in the workforce, he says. And they have received training in all fields. And that even now further training programs are in the planning stages ready to be launched.
The irony of all this is that (as I pointed out) Rabbi Edelstein obviously agrees that there’s a problem. What he doesn’t agree with is a Rabbi Lipman’s solution. Why? The following excerpt says it all:

Placing the Haredi-community under siege, pre-determining how many Haredim are going to be shoved into this box or that box – all of this will halt the momentum of progress – and lead to exactly the opposite of the intended effect. This is the work of fools – to attempt to create by legislative fiat a transition that needs, in fact to take one or two decades. Rabbi Lipman is certainly not the first rookie politician who dreams of leaving his legacy through some grand social engineering. He will add his failure to the pile of forgotten attempts.

The deeper problem with these self-styled saviors of the Haredim, is that they fail to recognize the real and important values that this community is providing the broader world…

How sad that he takes the good intentions of a sincere individual whose only goal is to help his own community and bashes him for it. Even if he disagrees, why does he question his integrity, compare him to fools and deride him with appellations like “rookie politician” and “self-styled savior” implying that his entire goal is self aggrandizement via building a legacy through ‘some grand social engineering’?

The very real state of Haredim entering the work force was made in passing by Rabbi Edelstein:

The females have ironically been far more qualified than their male counterparts…

Ironically? What he doesn’t seem to realize (or admit) is that there is a very good reason for that. Haredi women are better educated than men in limudei hol (secular subjects). They have a core secular curriculum in high school. Men have none whatsoever. Of course women are more qualified. There is nothing ironic about it.

He is critical of Rabbi Lipman because in his “oft-claimed status as a Haredi rabbi.” He should be talking about Haredi positives. But… not to worry, Rabbi Edelstein will set us straight. Haredim “get it right” by being disinterested in materialism – unlike that the rest of the world that glorifies it.

Really? How black and white of him. Only Haredim have these values?! No other community does? And are Haredim truly – disinterested? I know a lot of Haredim who are not exactly disinterested in material things. As I do non-Haredim who disavow materialism. That Haredim have less material things than others is just the reality of their financial situation and not necessarily a choice.

What about his hashkafa (outlook) of placing the highest value on Torah study? As I have said countless times – I have no issues with a hashkafa that places the highest value on Torah study. I actually agree with that. Talmud Torah k’neged kulom (Torah study is equivalent to all other commandments).

What I do not agree with is a policy that excludes limudei hol in its entirety. It is one thing to love Torah study to such an extent that they “approach their Torah studies with an unprecedented intensity.” But that does not require eliminating limudei hol in its entirety as most American Haredim who have studied limudei hol in their high schools can tell you.

Eliminating all secular studies is taking “Talmud Torah k’neged kulom” to an absurd extreme. And yet that is standard Haredi policy in Israel. That is what Rabbi Lipman is trying to change. The efforts to “put people to work” currently underway that Rabbi Edelstein describes is simply too little too late.

But… for the sake of argument, let us grant that Rabbi Edelstien has a point. That the job situation is indeed improving more than anyone knows. Let us even say that forcing a core curriculum upon Haredi schools is a bad idea since it would be counter-productive – as he asserts.

Does that mean he has to bash Rabbi Lipman for suggesting it? …accusing him of doing this for his self aggrandizement? …and then resorting to name calling and degrading remarks?

As I said he also accuses Rabbi Lipman of failing to speak about the real and important values that the Haredi community is providing the broader world. Says Rabbi Edelstein: “Here is a community where values are not only being studied – they are being practiced.” (My my… what an idyllic community where only good values are preached and practiced.)

Yes, there are many good and decent people in the Haredi world who do have the values illustrated by the examples of Rabbi Edelstein. Probably most of the mainstream Haredi world is like that. The problem is that as wonderful as these examples of lived values are – there are other values that seem to be ignored. Just to pick one – the lack of expressing hakaras hatov (appreciation) to the government for all the financial aid it has gotten till now – while instead Haredi politicians curse them for daring to take some of it away.

Rabbi Edelstein accuses Rabbi Lipman of making this a confrontational issue. I do not see that at all. I believe the opposite is true. The Haredi rabbinic leaders and their surrogates in the Knesset and Haredi media are the ones being confrontational… using some of the most disgusting characterizations about those with his views.

And for what?! Because he wants to inject a couple of hours a day of limudei hol into the classroom?! For this he is called a self-styled savior? … failing to recognize their values? …whose ideas will end up in the dustbin of history?!

Rabbi Lipman is a hero – if for no other reason than he stood up to the ‘good midos’ (positive traits) of some extremist Haredim in Bet Shemesh who called a little girl a whore. Where were Rabbi Edelman’s Haredim then? How many joined him in standing up to those thugs? I don’t recall seeing any…

It would behoove Rabbi Edelstein to re-think his poorly thought out essay and realize that his characterization of Rabbi Lipman is as wrong as was Rav Aharon Feldman’s initial reaction to Rabbi Lipman as a Shana U’Porush. If Rav Feldman can admit a mistake, then surely Rabbi Edelstein can.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Changing the Paradigm of the Haredi Jew

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

I have just read Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz’s article defending the Haredi way of life as the quintessential way for a Jew to live …and criticizing those who believe that Judaism is not a “one size fits all’ religion. He is entitled to his opinion. And I am entitled to believe he is wrong. I don’t know how many times I have written about why I think so. Probably too many to count. So I am not going to do it here.
What I will say is that it isn’t just that he disagrees. It is the condescending way in which he does it. It is beyond his understanding that a Rabbi Dov Lipman who self identifies as Haredi can say the things he did, things which contradict the Haredi narrative.

Rabbi Lipschutz does a nice job explaining what he believes Haredism is about. It is about

“basking in the glow of Abaye and Rava, Rashi and Tosafos, the Rambam, the Ramban and the Rashba, the Ketzos and the Nesivos, Rav Chaim and Rav Aharon, as well as the giants of our day.”

OK. I understand that. Limud HaTorah in his world is exactly that: the joy of studying the minutia of the Talmud and all of its commentaries. It is about trying to understand its subtleties and absorbing its entire corpus and discussion of biblical and rabbinic law – which is the source of Jewish law as we practice it today. To use a phrase the Yeshiva world uses – it is about the geshmak of learning Torah.

In the course of extolling the virtues of the Haredi way of life that he cherishes – he attacks those who veer even slightly form that narrative. Only this time it is not the secular or Dati Leumi crowd. It is Rabbi Dov Lipman who has himself imbibed in the “Geshmak of Torah.” He has “basked in the glow” of all those great historic religious figures. As a self-defined Haredi he has never really left it.

I’m sure he still agrees that if one is capable, has the love and commitment to it, he should do exactly that: continue basking in it. Those who have this kind of dedication and discipline are the rabbinic leaders of the future. No matter what hashkafa one has, there is no question that Torah knowledge is paramount to rabbinic leadership.

Unfortunately Rabbi Lipschutz does not understand that. He sees Rabbi Lipman as some sort of sellout. Why? Well for one thing because he dares to praise as heroes those who are kovieh itim (set times) and learn Torah whenever they can – but spend most of their time supporting their families.

Rabbi Lipschutz obviously sees them as second-class citizens. They no longer bask in the glow of a R. Akiva Eiger for example. They must suffice with learning daf yomi (a page daily) on a train on their way to work. It’s not that Rabbi Lipschutz criticizes them. Its that he criticizes Rabbi Lipman for praising them as the true heroes.

They are true heroes. They are moser nefesh for limud HaTorah and do so even though they spend a full day working to support their families. Either by waking up early and learning in a shiur or with a havrusa before shachrit, learning late at night, or on their way to work on a train. Are these people any less valuable than an Avreich who spends the entire day learning – leaving support for his family to others (e.g. his wife, parents, in-laws, or the Israeli taxpayer)?

R. Lipschutz is critical of the philosophy that values equity in army service, claiming that for the first time, the status quo agreement reached with Israel’s first prime minister David Ben Gurion exempting Yeshiva students will be broken. He is critical of Rabbi Lipman for joining in the political party that advocates that. And he is even critical of Orthodox Jews who have welcomed him into their synagogues to hear his views.

None are as blind as those who will not see. Rabbi Lipshitz is guilty of willful blindness. The kind that refuses to see or understand that no one in Israel wants to destroy the Haredi way of life (except for some on the fringes of the left). Least of all Rabbi Lipman. He actually wants to save it by creating a way for Haredim to be more self sufficient and do their fair share.

Army service is about sharing the burden. It is also about mainstreaming Haredim into the workplace so that they can earn a livable wage and support their families. It is not about destroying a way of life… unless we are talking a way of life that is rapidly descending into a poverty in ways that they will not be able to overcome.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/changing-the-paradigm-of-the-haredi-jew/2013/04/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: