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June 27, 2016 / 21 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Stone’

Day After Day: Palestinians Attack MDA Ambulances

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

In what has become a daily occurrence, Palestinians are routinely throwing rocks at Magen David Adom ambulances,  smashing windshields and seriously endangering the MDA medical crews.

Despite that MDA ambulances and medics treat wounded without bias to race or religion, Palestinians target these life saving efforts, even when the wounded are Palestinians.





Over the past few days:

April 2, 2013, 17:15 – Palestinians stone MDA ambulance on the Jerusalem – Hevron highway #60, near the community of Karmei Zur.

April 3, 2013 15:43 – Palestinians stone MDA ambulance on Halhul bypass road, part of the Jerusalem – Hevron highway #60.

April 4, 2013 11:27 – Palestinians stone Neve Zuf community MDA ambulance near the Abud village on road 465.

The dangers of daily Palestinian rock throwing in evident by the ongoing critical condition of 3 year old Adele Biton, wounded by a rock attack which left her critically wounded, and injuring her mother and 2 sisters. (story here)

Just yesterday, The Ofer Base IDF Military Court convicted Waal al-Araja, a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces from Halhoul, of the murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son, Yonatan, in September 2011.  Al-Araja, threw stones from a moving vehicle toward Palmer’s car on the Jerualem – Hevron highway 60, causing the father and son’s death. (story here)

Photos from Hatzala Yehuda vShomron and some of the story from rotter


Terrorist Captured from Yitzhar Attack

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

On Tuesday afternoon, the IDF captured and arrested the Arab terrorist that seriously injured a guard from Yitzhar.

During the attack that occurred around December 17, 2012, Arab attacked residents of Yitzhar, and injured one of the town’s security men with a rock, causing him severe damage in the head and eye.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Agnes Keleti: The Foundation Stone Of Gymnastics In Israel

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

“I felt here that I was at home,” remarks Agnes Keleti about her arrival in Israel in 1957. An Israeli emissary had invited this leading Hungarian Jewish female athlete to participate in the fifth Maccabiah Games that year, and that’s when she discovered that Israel was “home.” Soon after arriving she decided to settle in the Jewish state and become an integral part of its life. Riding the high wave of athletic success – Agnes Keleti, the most successful Jewish female athlete in Olympic history with ten Olympic medals – decided to put aside fame and fortune and contribute her talent to her people.

She became a coach of the Israeli national gymnastics team and a physical education teacher at Tel Aviv University and at the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, imparting her enormous knowledge and experience to admiring young gymnasts. She also purchased sporting and gymnastic equipment that had never been used before in Israel.

Born on January 9, 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, Aggie Klein began her gymnastics training when she was four at Budapest’s Jewish club and by the age of sixteen had won the first of her ten national titles. With the German invasion of Hungary in 1944 the talented teen’s training came to an abrupt halt. To survive World War II she bought the papers of a Christian girl and worked as a maid for a pro-Nazi family in a small Hungarian village.

During the battle for Budapest in the winter of 1944–1945, she did morning rounds to collect the bodies of those who had died the previous day and place them in a mass grave. Her mother and sister went into hiding and were saved by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. Her father, however, was sent to Auschwitz where, together with the rest of the Klein/Keleti family he was killed.

At the end of the war Agnes Keleti returned to her gymnastics career. Between 1947 and 1955 she was the dominant force on the national scene and was equally impressive in international competitions where she represented Hungary twenty-four times between 1947 and 1956.

At the World University Games of 1949 Agnes Keleti won a silver, a bronze and four gold medals! Three years later, at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games thirty-one year old Agnes won four medals — a gold, a silver and two bronze medals.

If her performance was remarkable in 1952, it was overshadowed by an even more formidable display of talent, determination and ability in the 1954 World Championship. She finished first on the uneven bars and the hand apparatus team, second in the combined team and third on the balance beam. This performance was still not the high point of her career, which came at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956: the thirty-five-year-old Agnes Keleti scored an astounding triumph, winning four gold and two silver medals.

The following year, Agnes came to Israel and a new chapter began in her life. Here she met and married Robert Biro, a fellow Hungarian physical education teacher, and, although by now in her forties, became a happy mother of two sons: Daniel, born in 1963, a university lecturer in finance, and Rafael, born a year later, a fashion designer. Mrs. Keleti Biro’s family joy was shared by her mother and sister who have also settled in Israel.

Recently, Agnes Keleti, dubbed “the most successful female athlete,”
celebrated her 91st birthday at her home in Herzliah where a former student described her as “the foundation stone of gymnastics in Israel.”

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

Police Admit Permitting Arab Construction at Temple’s Foundation Stone for Six Years

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

According to the website Kipa, Israeli police on Thursday admitted that the Muslim Waqf has been conducting infrastructure work at the very heart of the Temple Mount, the foundation stone, for more than six years.

An Islamic Waqf has managed the Temple Mount continuously since the Muslim chased the Crusaders out of Jerusalem in 1187. On June 7, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol declared that “no harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions.” The Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law, protecting the Holy Places against desecration, and guaranteeing freedom of access. In return for obeying the law, Israel agreed to leave the administration of the site in the hands of the Waqf.

Two weeks ago, a complaint was filed with the Israel Police Commissioner by a group of Temple organizations, regarding revelations about Waqf work at the Dome of the Rock, which includes laying scaffolding, tools and debris on top of the sacred Foundation Stone.

The police responded that “the work performed by the Waqf at the Dome of the Rock have begun more than six years ago. They are being performed with the approval of the Israel Antiquities Authority and under its supervision.” The police argued that the work has not caused any damage to the foundation stone.

But the IAA denies completely the approval and supervision of works on the Mount, according to the Temple organizations’ attorney Aviad Visoly, who accused the police commissioner of outrageous, appalling, and deceitful behavior.

“Your response also indicates an abysmal contempt by the Israel Police, and by yourself, as its ranking officer, the holiest place for the Jewish people,” Visoly wrote the commissioner.

The Temple organizations have asked the police commissioner “to convene as soon as possible the Temple Mount police taskforce, together with representatives of the Temple Mount rabbis (led by Rabbi Israel Ariel, who has recently been banned from entering the Temple Mount indefinitely), as well as the various Temple Mount advocacy groups, to so we can explain to you how sacred the Temple Mount to the Jewish people.”

The Temple organizations’ attorney added that ” the shocking images of desecration of the foundation stone, together with your response, indicate that disregard and ignorance of the value of Temple Mount has led the Israeli police to permit the unprecedented desecration of the holiest Jewish place, as it failed completely to carry out its responsibility to enforce the law protecting the holy places.”

Jewish Press Staff

Stereotypes And Responsibilities: A Ben Torah In Two Worlds

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

I have tried to lead a life in which the core values are Ahavas Torah and Ahavas Yisrael. To the extent I have succeeded I did so by taking an unusual route – one I do not generally recommend. I moved into the Torah world and Torah learning after I already had a sophisticated secular education and a clear path to a wide choice of prestigious professional opportunities.

I struggled mightily – I hope with some success – to crack the barriers of Talmudic text after I had a drawer full of Ivy League honors.

I write this not to make sure readers know my individual history, but as a preface to the message I’d like to convey – basically, that life and people are complex and in our day there is too much stereotyping to reflect the true complexities of whom we really are and the challenges we face.

Many of us understand the need to navigate the outside world, which includes making a living that enables one not only to support his or her family in dignity, but hopefully also to help others and to sustain our institutions.

What I’ve learned is that you don’t have to drag along either part of life in mediocrity. You can be truly excellent and committed in both parts of your life – the learning of Torah and the living of a Torah life (surely the first priority) and the conduct of a business or professional career.

Today there are role models all over the place: Great lawyers, doctors, bankers, builders of businesses, academics who at the same time are serious talmidei chachamim – individuals who make serious contributions to the Jewish world and live exemplary Torah lives.

There is no inconsistency between being a true ben Torah and having an outstanding career.

I want to make another suggestion about the avoidance of stereotypes and the responsibilities of bnei Torah.

Miracles are everywhere to those who see. And in my lifetime at least two very profound miracles have occurred to Klal Yisrael.

Seventy years ago the Jewish people helplessly stood by during the slaughter of forty percent of our population, which included a much higher percentage of the Torah world. Many of those not caught in the storm, especially here in America, were in denial, and those who weren’t seemed to have no idea how to stop the horror.

The infinitely rich Torah life of Eastern Europe appeared to have been obliterated. I am old enough to remember a time in America when the vast majority of Jews assumed that the Judaism we call Orthodox was inevitably flickering out, to be replaced by a new and totally assimilated and artificial form of Judaism.

Even in Israel, Ben-Gurion assumed that so few men would choose yeshiva deferments that he had no problem giving them.

Seventy years is a big part of our lives, but a fleeting moment in Jewish history.

Today, the reality confounds every prognosticator of seventy years ago. The number of people learning in major yeshivas in Israel, America and other parts of the Jewish world is staggering. Orthodoxy is by far the fastest growing segment of Jewry all over the world and the general Torah educational level of Orthodoxy is astounding.

Our young people are incredibly fortunate to have been brought up in this Torah world, and many of our ancestors who lived in immediate postwar America stare down from heaven in disbelief.

Second miracle: The Jewish people are helpless no more.

A Jewish government and a Jewish army control the Jewish homeland where every Jew has the right to live. And ultimately that army and that government protect every Jew in the world.

Primarily for this reason, the attitude of Diaspora Jews – including those of us in America – about our rights and our power to advocate for the protection of ourselves and of Jews in Israel and the rest of the world is completely different from what it was seventy years ago. We feel entitled and at ease arguing our case as a united Jewish community in the highest halls of government and power.

These two miracles, the revival of Torah and the control by Jews of our own homeland, are intrinsically related phenomena.

Richard B. Stone

Yes, I.F. Stone Was A Soviet Spy

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Back in 1994 the Monitor marked the fifteenth anniversary of the passing of radical journalist I.F. Stone with an unsentimental look at the career of the detestable old commie symp. The column was picked up by FrontPageMag.com and generated comment on several other conservative websites and blogs.

The feedback to the piece was almost all positive, but there was one complaint that animated many readers who contacted the Monitor. What bothered them was that no mention had been made in the column of Stone’s employment by the KGB, allegations of which had been circulating for years after Stone’s death and that seemed to have been confirmed with the opening of KGB files following the demise of the Soviet Union.

As the Monitor saw it, however, the evidence based on those initial KGB reports seemed somewhat circumstantial, and besides, there was more than enough with which to damn Stone based on his own prolific writing.

But as Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes and Alexander Vassiliev make clear in their new book Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (Yale University Press), there can no longer be any doubt about Stone’s ties to Soviet spymasters.

Stone, born Isadore Feinstein, was praised in life and eulogized in death by mainstream journalists for his supposed independence and iconoclasm, and he remains an iconic figure to many in the media.

In 1953, after years of writing for liberal and left-wing publications, he started his own newsletter, I.F. Stone’s Weekly, which by the time Stone closed it down in 1971 enjoyed a circulation pushing 70,000.

By then, of course, the tenor of the times was such that Stone, unemployable in the 1950’s, had became a regular recipient of awards and accolades from his peers. Forgotten or overlooked in the rush to lionize Stone was his history as a shameless apologist for Stalin.

Stone’s insistence on viewing the Soviet Union as worthy of support, even in the face of the Moscow Trials and Stalin’s purges and executions, led his otherwise sympathetic biographer Robert Cottrell to write that “there was something disingenuous in [Stone’s] willingness to suspend judgment or to refuse to criticize still more forcefully the terror that was being played out in Soviet Russia….”

Cottrell described how Stone came to be seen by anti-Communist leftists as “an apologist for the hammer-and-sickle”; how Richard Rovere, a writer during that period for The New Masses, a radical journal, viewed Stone as a Stalinist who played “fast and loose with the facts”; and how James Wechsler, a writer with The Nation and later an editor at the then-liberal New York Post, dismissed Stone as “a fairly regular apologist for the Communists.”

When a group of American writers and academics broke ranks with the pro-Soviet Left in 1939 to form the Committee for Cultural Freedom, Stone and other die-hards signed on to a vociferous public campaign lambasting “the fantastic falsehood that the USSR and the totalitarian states are basically alike” and commending the Soviet Union for “steadily expanding democracy in every sphere.”

Stone would not split with the Soviets until 1956, disillusioned by a visit he made to Moscow in the spring of that year and the Hungarian crisis a few months later. But he never lost his instinctive hostility to free market capitalism, nor was he ever inclined to extend to the United States even the slightest benefit of doubt in any international dispute.

(On Israel, Stone consistently toed the leftist line. Before 1948 he was opposed to the idea of a Jewish state, preferring a binational arrangement for Arabs and Jews, and his attacks on Israel became ever more frequent and shrill after the Six-Day War. By the mid-1970s the viciousness of his diatribes was such that the non-Jewish novelist James Michener termed them “palpably anti-Zionist, probably anti-Israel, and potentially anti-Jewish.”)

Talk of possible KGB ties, which began to circulate in the early 1990’s, was pooh-poohed by Stone’s defenders as nothing more than an attempt to smear the reputation of a fearless speaker of truth to power. And, as the authors of Spies acknowledge, those earlier reports “were suggestive but not conclusive.”

Now, however, the authors present new evidence, based on KGB files, indicating that Stone (codename: Pancake) did indeed have ties to Soviet intelligence.

“The documentary record,” they write, “shows that I.F. Stone consciously cooperated with Soviet intelligence from 1936 through 1938. An effort was made by Soviet intelligence to reestablish that relationship in 1944-45; we do not know whether that effort succeeded.

“To put it plainly, from 1936 to 1939 I.F. Stone was a Soviet spy.”

Jason Maoz

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004

Supports Bush, But Criticism OK

I agree with Assemblyman Dov Hikind that George W. Bush seems the best choice for the Jewish community (“No Choice But Bush, op-ed, Jan. 23). I do think, however, that Hikind presents a rather simplistic critique of the Democratic candidates’ campaign statements. After all, while it’s true that we are at war, it’s equally true that we are in the midst of an election campaign, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for a public official to act as if all criticism of an incumbent is off limits.

Monroe Jacobowitz
New York, NY

Hakaras Hatov And The President

President Bush and leading members of the Republican party have publicly demonstrated their support for our beleaguered brethren in Eretz Yisrael in numerous ways. When leaders from
around the world were criticizing the Israelis for attempting to defend themselves against the terrorist bombings, President Bush stated unequivocally that the Israelis have the right to do so. While the leaders of Europe were embracing Yasir Arafat and his evil minions, President Bush was shunning them and having Ariel Sharon as an honored guest in the White House on several occasions.

President Bush led the war in Iraq which has removed not only a major funding source for the suicide attacks in Israel but has also eliminated one of the major strategic threats to the existence of Jews in Eretz Yisrael. All of this in the face of unrelenting, hateful rhetoric from world leaders, the Left, and many in the Democratic party.

We Jews owe it to President Bush to demonstrate our hakaras hatov and appreciation for his having the guts to fight for what is right, despite the continuous condemnation and criticism from the likes of George Soros. Might I suggest that each of us individually contribute some money to the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign and to the Republican National Committee? Perhaps if enough of us do, it will show that despite recent polls to the contrary, many Jews support our president and appreciate what he has done.

Mayer Mayerfeld
Brooklyn, NY

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Democrat

The Democrats continue their attempts to paint President Bush as a liar because he told the nation Iraq was amassing weapons of mass destruction. The leading Democratic candidates
were saying the same thing, though, as a perceptive reader pointed out in last week’s Letters section. Here are some quotes I’ve dug up:

John Kerry, Oct. 2002: “Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don’t even try?… According to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons… Iraq is developing unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents…”

Wesley Clark, April, 2002: “He [Hussein] does have weapons of mass destruction… I think they will be found. There’s so much intelligence on this.”

Howard Dean, March 2003: “[We] have never been in doubt about the evil of Saddam Hussein or the necessity of removing his weapons of mass destruction.”

Joseph Lieberman, Aug., 2002: “Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.”

John Edwards, Oct., 2002: “We know that he [Hussein] has chemical and biological weapons.”

Asher Gordon
Brooklyn, NY

Thumbs Down On Sharon

Ariel Sharon has turned Israel into a tragi-comedy. He has surrendered Israel’s national sovereignty and does not make a move without getting the approval of the State Department and the White House. More Jews have been murdered under Sharon’s rule than under any previous prime minister. His ”security” fence is reducing Israel to a nine-mile wide coastal ghetto and will protect Israel as well as the Maginot Line protected France in 1940.

Instead of ordering his armed forces to defeat the far weaker PLO and the other terror gangs, Sharon releases terrorists and asks the PLO to resume ”negotiations” [i.e. Israel gives away its
land in exchange for more worthless promises]. Ten years after Oslo, with a record of 100 percent non-compliance by the PLO and thousands of murdered and permanently disabled Jews, Sharon, unbelievably, tells the Palestinians that if they do not resume negotiations he will unilaterally move back Israel’s borders and create a PLO state in the Jewish historic heartland of Judea and Samaria. He threatens also to forcibly evacuate the Jews living there or abandon them to be driven out or killed by terrorists.

Like all of the post-Oslo prime ministers, Sharon demonstrates callous disdain for the lives of his people and the land of his nation that is not his to give away. The damage that Sharon’s
appeasement policies have caused to the economy and to Israel’s civilian and military morale cannot be sustained and could prove fatal to the nation if continued much longer.

George E. Rubin
Bronx, NY

Territorial Give-And-Take

There is a long, long trail of concessions that stretches from Madrid to Oslo and from Oslo to Geneva. In 1991, as you may recall, the PLO came to the Madrid Peace Conference as an
adjunct to the Jordanian delegation. Today, 13 or so years later, they stand on the threshold of statehood. During those 13 years, the Palestinians have managed to turn every Israeli concession into an abject confessional. Of this we can be certain: as long as the concessions keep coming, as long as the Arab reading of history is left unexamined, all of our expectations about peace and reconciliation are destined to become the source of our sorrows and the vessel of our discontent.

For the Palestinians, some issues have become more equal than others. Checkpoints and refugees have, for example, become derivative issues. Their more sanctimonious sophistries have been reserved for the ”occupation.” It is the occupation that justifies the murderous excesses of the intifada. And it is their constant weeping and wailing about the occupation that has muzzled every hint of an Israeli past. This denial of our past, of our identity, prefigures a far graver denial: our very right to exist.

With a little understanding, the Arab world could easily turn this all around. They could begin with a rather modest gesture. For example, accepting the authenticity of our history could be
such a beginning. In deference to that history they might even want to consider an extraterritorial arrangement for some of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. That would not be such an extraordinary development. There are precedents. After the Six Day War, the Palestinians were given de facto control of the Temple Mount. And in Hebron, they continue to have equal access to the Machpela.

But there is an even more compelling reason to expect a little give-and-take from our Arab adversaries. Judea and Samaria were supposed to be our inheritance until the last wrinkle of time. The Arab world can therefore take some comfort in the fact that the retention of what is ours hardly constitutes the acquisition of what is theirs.

There is a rather conspicuous statistic that goes to the heart of this question. Israelis actually reside on a relatively small fraction of Judea and Samaria – less than two percent. The
Palestinians will in all likelihood reject any arrangement that would leave the Israelis with even a snippet of their biblical heartland. If it turns out that two percent is too much for them, then 98 percent should be too much for us

Mitchell Finkel
Silver Spring, MD

The Insurers’ Perspective

Re: Redlining Travel To Israel (news story, Jan. 23):

While I recognize that travel to Israel by Americans may be restrained by insurance companies using such travel as a reason to deny insurance, why should insurers be forced to insure travel
to dangerous areas? Doesn’t that increase premiums for all insured?

Ken Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

The Public’s Perspective

I too was turned down for insurance because I traveled to Israel. What was most infuriating was that I could not get anyone to talk to me about it. They were not even interested in whether I planned to go to Israel again. Even if the entire Middle East is considered a high risk area, I wonder if past travel to other countries is an automatic disqualifier.

Lauren Horner
New York, NY

Only In Israel

I just returned from a memorable month’s visit to Israel. The following incident should encourage those who have not already done so to go see for themselves why Israel is so special.

My grandson, who is studying this year at a yeshiva in Israel, joined us for a wonderful Shabbos at a hotel in Jerusalem. After Shabbos was over, he took the bus back to his school in Gush Etzion. Shortly after leaving the bus, he realized that he had left his cell phone on his seat. He dialed his phone, and, finally, the bus driver answered. The driver asked my grandson where he was, and then told him that since he, the driver, was still in the Gush Etzion area and had completed his route, if my grandson would just wait where he was, he would bring him his phone – which he did.

Perhaps a bus driver in another country would do the same, but somehow I doubt it.

Shirley Landman
Brooklyn, NY

Lucky Shidduchim

I enjoyed reading Chanaya Weissman’s Jan. 16 op-ed on the dos and don’ts of setting singles up (“So You Want To Be A Shadchan?”) I think his assessment of the current shidduch
situation is right on target. Unfortunately, many of those who are not acquainted with the shidduch system assume that because there is so much discussion on the “singles crises” and so many shidduch clubs and shadchanim trying to help, anyone who is still single must be so by his or her own doing.

What they do not realize is that a few haphazard attempts at lumping people together based on the a scant profile written on an index card is only a tiny step – and one that might actually
cause more harm than good. No matter how intuitive the so-called shadchan is, the best she can do under these circumstances is to take wild guesses.

The bottom line is that any shidduch that is actually made under these circumstances is probably nothing less than a miracle from above. Luckily, G-d makes miracles, and many actually do find their mate in this system.

Deena Burger
(Via E-Mail)

Readers Leap To Rabbi Levin’s Defense

Perception And Reality

Mr. Leib Stone argues in his letter to the editor (Jewish Press, Jan. 23) that the morality
issues that Rabbi Yehuda Levin focused on in his ”Orthodox Hellenism 5764” op-ed piece of Dec. 26 were not of ”top” priority for our gedolim of yesteryear.

Has it ever occurred to Mr. Stone, and those of like mind, that the phenomenal success of the
militant gay rights movement just might have been significantly enabled by the perceived ”low
priority” that leaders in our frum community have attached to issues of morality?

Shlomo D. Winter
Brooklyn, NY

Dismayed By Attack On Rabbi Levin

Very few letters to The Jewish Press have been more dismaying than the one last week by
Leib Stone entitled ”Torah Diplomacy” wherein he castigated Rabbi Yehuda Levin for being
”intellectually dishonest” and a ”one issue man.”

Mr. Stone may be analogized to some of the roshei yeshiva in pre-war Europe who, despite
warnings by some Jewish leaders such as Ze’ev Jabotinsky, chose to ignore the storm clouds
gathering on the horizon. If anything is intellectually dishonest, it is the characterization by Mr. Stone of Rabbi Levin as a man with only one issue on his agenda. Even if this were so, Rabbi
Levin’s one issue, which is morality in accordance with the Torah, may well be the most important issue the world is currently facing.

Are Jews, according to Mr. Stone, supposed to remain complacent when they hear of a planned upcoming world meeting of homosexuals in Jerusalem just because the mayor of Jerusalem happens to be in touch with the posek hador? For all we know, they could be discussing plans to build a new central mikva somewhere in the Old City or some other important topic.

Mr. Stone conveniently ignores the most salient aspect of Rabbi Levin’s piece – that Rabbi
Levin, himself an Orthodox rabbi and a long time emissary of gedolim such as Rabbi Avigdor Miller and the Skulener Rebbe, was expressing righteous outrage for the holiest of purposes – the preservation of the sanctity of G-d’s holy city. Rabbi Miller, as I recall, did not hesitate to criticize Orthodox rabbis for their complacency regarding much less important issues, and I cannot imagine any gadol disagreeing with Rabbi Levin regarding the wake-up call he issued.

Finally, even if Mr. Stone’s generalization that ”all movements which veered away from the
true Torah path started by attacking our rabbanim” may indeed contain some truth, the fact
is that at a time when all of the kaytzim have already passed, our rabbis have still failed to lead
us back into the land of our forefathers as one united people. For this reason, it may even be dangerous for us to regard them as being above criticism.

Lawrence Kulak
Brooklyn, NY

Gedolim And Rabbi Levin

In Mr. Leib Stone’s response to Rabbi Yehuda Levin’s article, Stone disparagingly refers to Rabbi Levin as a “one issue man.”

I’m sure Rabbi Levin would cheerfully plead guilty to the charge. He has, in fact, spent a
quarter century on this single issue: The Torah response to the terrible decline in moral standards all around us. In this endeavor, he has been informed and guided by many of this generation’s acknowledged gedolei Yisrael. He has developed extensive contacts with like-minded religious gentiles, politicians and media all over America. Rabbi Levin has earned a doctorate in this “one issue”.

The whole tone of Mr. Stone’s letter (“the author has … attacked our rabbonim…) is
intellectually dishonest and demands a factual response.

Please allow me to relate some interesting facts about one of Rabbi Levin’s main mentors, the
much-revered Rav Avigdor Miller, zt”l: In the 1930’s, when Rav Miller was studying in Lita, he
helped arrange visas to America for the Svei family, whose son, Rav Elya, later became one of
the roshei yeshiva Mr. Stone refers to in his letter.

In 1983 Rav Miller wrote a glowing testimonial and approbation regarding Rabbi Levin to Rav Svei, in which he declared that: “everything that he (Levin) speaks is (based) on what I have
discussed with him over a long period of time and there is much good contained in his advice.”

The late Debriciner Rav, zt”l, undoubtedly one of the foremost poskim of the last generation, wrote a two-page halachic responsum regarding Rabbi Levin’s fight for Torah morality, where he stated: “Halevai my portion (in the world to come) should be with him (Levin) and those who aid and support him”. Rav Stern, zt”l, explicitly mandated publicly opposing pro-homosexual agenda office holders.

The esteemed Rav of Kashau, shlita, a rosh yeshiva, rav, posek and author of works that are
studied in yeshivas worldwide, is one of today’s most revered gedolim. In a joint letter with the
Skulener Rebbe, shlita, written five years ago, he refers to Rabbi Levin’s 20 years of work as follows: “He is fighting Hashem’s fight against this evil movement.” He further declares that Rabbi Levin is a “Shlucha D’rabonon B’chol Asar V’asar” (an emissary of the sages where ever he appears”).

Rabbi Levin also has a responsum written for him by the late Rav S. Z. Braun, well-known posek and author of Shearim Metzuyanim B’halacha, mandating active and public opposition to politicians who support the deviancy agenda (even if they provide funds to our community).

During the hearings on the original “Gay Rights” law in New York City at the beginning of
the Koch Administration, Moreinu Horav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, issued a clear and unequivocal
written psak directing “all those who heed our words to fill the chambers of New York City Hall all the days of the hearing regarding homosexual legislation … to publicly demonstrate that
Hashem’s People loath abomination.” Rav Moshe’s declaration was a response to a letter sent to him jointly by Rav Miller and Rav Stern, zt”l.

Rav Moshe, zt”l, personally gave us a bracha, as he handed this letter-psak to us, and urged us to be strong in this struggle. Thus, we consider this a mandate from the posek hador. This is a remarkably strong and direct statement which neither Mr. Stone nor the bureaucracies he defends has yet been able to explain away. Rav Moshe indicated that he wasn’t satisfied with belated press releases or articles in Coalition Magazine. He wasn’t even happy with merely having a representative of Agudah or the Young Israel testify at the City Hall hearings. He wanted a multitude to fill the chambers.

Why didn’t Agudah send a few busloads of people to City Hall to heed the mandate of Rav
Moshe? Was it because Rav Moshe’s statement was not clear enough? Or was it because Rav Moshe wrote this particular psak on Agudas Harabanim stationery, and this was, somehow, construed to mean that he only meant this for members of that organization and not for followers of Agudah?

These quotations from acknowledged gedolim v’poskim of yesteryear are clearly the basis for
Rabbi Levin’s “agenda and tactics.” They indicate clearly that authentic Da’as Torah mandates that, when dealing with immorality, the opposition needs to be very public – we must make a Kiddush Hashem.

In view of these facts, how is it possible, Mr. Stone, that you should still be able to write that
“they (the gedolim) did not make this issue a priority?” For shame, Mr. Stone, and whoever you represent.

Since 1979 Rabbi Levin has been a spokesman on the moral issues for the Agudas
Harabanim and the Igud Harabanim, with a combined membership of over 1,200 rabbonim and including roshei yeshiva.

Among the ziknei Yisrael and distinguished rabbonim who either supported, blessed, or
encouraged Rabbi Levin’s activities were: Rav Yaakov Kamenecki, zt”l, the late Voideslover Rav, zt”l, Rav Moishe Bick, zt”l (who procured an absentee ballot to vote for Levin in the 1984 New York City mayoral election), Rav Shmelke Taubenfeld, zt”l, rav of Chareidim in Monsey, Rav Motel Weinberg, zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Montreal, and the late Rav Teitz, zt”l, of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

To disparage Rabbi Levin as a “one issue man” demonstrates that either the writer is woefully ignorant of the basic facts about Rabbi Levin or that he is willfully ignoring them.

Mr. Stone’s personal invective disparages major rabbinic groups and the thousands of
followers of Rav Moshe, Rav Miller, the Debreciner, and the many other gedolim who have publicly supported Rabbi Levin.

Many Bnai Torah are puzzled by the relative silence and total non-prioritization of this issue by
Agudah, O.U. and Young Israel.

Rabbi William Handler
Jews for Morality

What Did The Posek Hador Say?

I am amazed at Leib Stone’s naivete. He says “the mayor of Yerushalayim has the backing of and accessibility to the posek hador,” so “to attack the mayor [on the homosexual rights issue] without knowing the directive he has been given may be an attack on the posek hador and not something the author is qualified to do.”

Has anyone actually heard from the posek hador on the issue of anti-homosexual rights
activism? Do we know what the posek hador has directed? Obviously, even Stone is not sure when he fails to tell us what it is and speculates that an attack on the mayor may be an attack on the posek hador.

Rational criticism for not following our gedolim can only be based upon a clear and direct
statement from them about what they want. I for one will not accept the word of those who have n’gius, whether they are individuals or organizations.

Menachem Fried
(Via E-Mail)

Dissenting View

As a Torah Jew, I can understand why homosexual conduct should be deplored and
discouraged. However, I cannot understand why homosexuals are not entitled to the full protections of civil law. After all, homosexuality is not a criminal offense and homosexuals are not exempt from paying taxes. How then can they logically be denied such things as access to housing and jobs?

Would anyone think that the police or fire departments should be able to refuse to respond to
calls for help from known homosexuals? Or that hospitals should not permit their admission? Or that insurance companies should be allowed to deny them insurance?

Dovid Summerstein
(Via E-Mail)

Letters to the Editor

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