Photo Credit: A. Blick / Kikar Hashabt
Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Halberstam, the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, spoke in Beit Shemesh against the conspiracy of secular and religious Zionists to "uproot the Torah."

Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Halberstam, the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe of Borough Park, in Israel for a family event, used a class in Chumash Rashi that was attended by thousands at the Dushinsky beit midras in Beit Shemesh to attack the “harsh decrees against the Torah world and the yeshivas, as well as the incitement within the secular public against the Haredi public,” Kikar Hashabt reports.

The rebbe quoted his father, the Shefa Chaim, who wrote that “The articles espousing hatred and lies against Torah scholars and the kolel students in the secular papers are not different in the least from the hatred articles published by the Nazis in the pre-Holocaust days.”


Rabbi Haberstam’s utter inability to see the difference between Nazi depictions of Jews as contaminators of German blood and the Israeli Media’s view of Haredim as freeloaders seemed to mark the next stage in the conflict between the Haredi yeshiva world and the State of Israel. Moreover, in his litany of complaints about the shortcomings of non-Haredi Israel, he lumped together left and right, secular and religious, and even… Israeli and Palestinian:

“Our right to exist in Eretz Israel is based only on the merit of the Torah scholars. Those who have relied on ‘my power and the strength of my hand’ have long since become a mockery, when it’s been proven visibly that they don’t have any power at all,” the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe said.

He gave an example: “You can see it when you arrive at the Tomb of Rachel, you must enter a tunnel reminiscent of the entrance to the Auschwitz camp, or, for example, when the Ishmaelites are insolently disturbing with the sound of their prayers the residents of the holy city and no one protests.”

It appears the Rebbe is quick to pepper his conversation with Holocaust imageries, even if on occasion it is difficult whether he is urging the Israeli authorities to use some earthly force to deal with the insolence of those noisy Muslims, or is he urging them to pray harder so the noisy Muslims would stop.

But there was no doubt that his favorite target were the non-Haredi Israelis closest to the Jewish faith a la Sanz-Klausenberger, namely the Religious Zionists, whom the Grand Rebbe accused of sanctifying Eretz Israel, for which mitzva they are willing to uproot many other mitzvahs.

“The root of destruction emanates from an absence of faith and of the diminishing of the self before the teachings of our sages and of the righteous of the generations. They (the Religious Zionists) think that we must adjust the Torah according to the needs of the time, and, according to their corrupt opinion, for the sake of settling Eretz Israel we should uproot all the 613 mitzvahs of the Torah. Now it turns out they have no interest in upholding the Torah, and they’ve become partners with the endeavor of uprooting the Torah.”

“Clearly,” the Rebbe added, “all the talk about the military draft are just a cover-up of their true purpose which is the uprooting of Torah and turning the children of Israel away from the faith, as we can see from their destructive insistence to ruin the education of the younger lambs, young schoolchildren, by integrating exterior studies and street terminology into our camp, breaking through the walls of the sanctity of the nation of Israel, and their entire purpose is that the name Israel would no longer be remembered.”

The Rebbe suggested that the conspiracy to annihilate Haredi Judaism comes out of a fear of the unprecedented growth of the Haredi community, and a jealousy about Haredi achievements and prosperity.

Apparently, the statistics about the Haredi community living, by and large, below the poverty line in Israel, have not reached the good Rebbe. but he did promise that the “faithful Jewry” in the U.S. and around the world “are standing by your side and empathizes with you as one, with prayers and supplications, and anything you may need.”

Cash would be nice, I suppose.

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Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth,,, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.