“A Normal Nation in the Land.” That’s the slogan of Noam, a new religious-right political party.
Rav Tzvi Yisrael Tau, the spiritual leader of the party, and head of Har HaMor Yeshiva in Jerusalem, is known for his hardline stance on modesty, public morality, and Jewish culture. In recent years, he has harshly criticized the policies of Education Minister Naftali Bennett, calling for parents to withdraw their children from the public school system in order to save them from exposure to pluralistic philosophies inconsistent with Torah teachings and values.
The formation of Noam is seen as a strategic measure to prevent Bennett from attaining a position of influence in the Jewish Home Party and in any future coalition. This week, in light of the Rabbi Rafi Peretz’s comments about conversion therapy, opponents on the left stated that the teachings of Rabbi Tau – one of the Minister of Education’s spiritual mentors – were reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Recently, Rav Tau called for a civil revolt against what he describes as an organized and heavily-funded conspiracy of anti-Torah, pluralistic movements, like the LGBT movement. The goal of these groups, he said, is to overthrow the ruling right in Israel and turn the Jewish state into a country guided by secularism and wanton permissiveness.
“In essence, the strategy of these groups is the same as the strategy of Balak and Balaam,” said Rabbi Tzvi Nachshoni, a longtime student of Rav Tau who teaches at the Machon Meir Yeshiva. “Knowing that the G-d of Israel hates promiscuity, Balak and Balaam sent the daughters of Midian to pollute the holy Jewish nation, hoping to sever us from Heaven, G-d forbid.
“They sought to desecrate the very heart of the nation with their immorality, the Mishkan, the center of Jewish education, where the Torah went forth. Only the zealousness of Pinchas saved the day.”
This week, Noam released an election commercial to inaugurate its campaign. In the skit, a husband and wife drive to a polling station to vote in the coming election. They have to push their way through a mob of Reform Jews and LGBT supporters to get inside the building. Supervising the voting booth are three ominous-looking bouncer types wearing colorful LGBT t-shirts.
Behind the voting curtain, the husband takes an empty white ballot and writes, “Please let my son marry a woman,” as if he is leaving a note at the Kotel. The wife writes: “Please let my grandchildren be Jews.” When the couple returns to their parked car, they discover that the tires have been punctured, symbolizing the violent methods used by some left-wing activists.
A day after the video was posted, YouTube removed it on the grounds that it promoted hatred – after receiving complaints from LGBT activists. A spokesman for Noam calls the censorship a perfect example of how the gurus of pluralism use coercion to seal everyone’s voice save their own.
While Noam’s list of candidates has not yet been announced, sources say Avi Moaz, a longtime student of HaRav Tau, will lead the party. Back in his yeshiva days, inspired by Rav Tau, Moaz worked on the campaign to free Natan Sharansky from prison and later served as Director General of the Ministries of Housing and Interior in the Sharon government until he resigned over the evacuation from Gush Katif.
Anticipating the many questions that would arise upon the formation of a new religious-right party, Noam’s steering committee of Torah scholars published a question-and-answer sheet explaining the party’s raison d’etre and platform. Main points on the party’s agenda include:
No government work or public violation of Shabbat; promotion of normal family life; the advancement of Israel as a Jewish State; fighting against assimilation; protecting Orthodox conversion laws; returning the spirit of deterrence and victory-in-battle to the IDF; ousting feministic ideologies and foreign philosophies from the IDF’s ranks; purging Israel’s Educational System from the alien influences of the Reform and other pluralistic and foreign-funded movements; and strengthening the authority of the Chief Rabbinate.
The following derive from the party’s Q&A sheet and an inner source in Noam:
Can’t Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich be counted upon to safeguard Noam’s values?
Their efforts need added strength, owing to the fact that they have priorities of their own. The political right has led the country for the past 15 years, yet we find liberalism, pluralism, and non-Jewish values infiltrating almost every national institute due to nefarious and heavily-funded movements who seek, in the name of democracy, to erase the Jewish character of the state.
Already, the healthy majority of the population – people who cherish morality and normalcy, including public officials – are afraid to stand up against the purveyors of these social and cultural underpinnings, fearing that they will be labeled primitive enemies of progress and reform, to the point that their livelihoods will be threatened and taken away through media outcry and leftist pressure tactics, fueled by a fascist minority which seeks to impose its unholy beliefs on the country.
For the welfare of the nation in Zion, this must be stopped before we no longer have the power to do so.
Even if it means further dividing the right and taking votes away from parties that are already in danger of not passing the electoral threshold?
If in order to alert Am Yisrael to the great danger we are facing from the plague of sweet-sounding liberalism, in its garb or rainbow colors, with its creeds contemptuous of the Divine Laws of the Torah – if votes need to be wasted to sound the alarm – then so be it.
We are not encroaching on other parties, or competing with them, but rather uplifting a banner that is not being raised by others.
In such a crowded race, do you really believe you have a chance to be elected, and even so, what influence would another small party have?
If we don’t receive the required number of votes this time, maybe we will the next time around. We believe we have an important national agenda which needs to be expressed for the survival of our nation. In terms of influence, numbers is not always the most vital factor.
The liberal, anti-Jewish movements we are fighting against are also run by a small group of activists. Certainly, the small Meretz party and the newspaper, Haaretz, l’havdil, have influenced the country in a substantial, if negative, manner. We hope to do the same from a positive, healthy perspective and radiate the good tidings of holy living to all the nation from its inner core of Torah.