Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Terrorism in Bet Shemesh

Over the last week or so, there has been a war by terrorists in Bet Shemesh. A fringe element of extremist Charedim objected to a dati-leumi elementary girl's school opening adjacent to their neighborhood (note that the adjacent dati-leumi neighborhood existed long before any Charedim moved into the area). They broke in to the school and vandalized it, and threatened violence to the children. Such threats, while dismissed as fictitious by the local charedi newspaper rag Chadash, are only too real; this is the same group that injured some of my neighbors' children, causing them to be hospitalized, as described in an earlier post. The (charedi) mayor of Bet Shemesh wanted to capitulate to their demands and relocate the school, but after massive protests by the dati-leumi community and orders from the education ministry, the school opened as planned.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story. The charedi zealots have been harassing - verbally and physically - the young girls from the school and others in the community. These are girls in the same class as my daughter - eight years old!

A local hero, Rabbi Dov Lipman, has been at the forefront of efforts to safeguard the dati-leumi community. I am posting a mailing that I received from him, along with videos of the latest incidents. But before doing so, I would like to make an observation of my own.

A friend of mine argued to me last week that this is not a charedi vs. non-charedi issue, because the thugs involved are a fringe element that are despised and feared by other charedim in their own community. I agreed with him, until I went to the massive demonstration at the school last week. I did not see a SINGLE charedi person there. Not one! Nor, with the exception of a statement by Eli Friedman of the TOV party, am I aware of any efforts by local Charedi leadership to address the problem or even to express solidarity with the students of the school. If the wider charedi community - including all the nice Anglo olim that are friends and neighbors of mine - are not willing to do anything at all about this terrible situation, even to show a minimal level of public support for their dati-leumi neighbors, then I think that the issue can be classified as a charedi vs. non-charedi issue.

Following is the email and videos from Rabbi Lipman:

Hello everyone.  I was really expecting a quiet day today.  We went to the school to protect the girls at dismissal and someone saw a group of the extremists up the block where girls were going to have to walk.  We went up there to make sure the girls would have the ability to pass without feeling scared.  As we approached they began to scream at us (including me by name, a bit scary) but we managed to get the girls through despite terrible shouts at them of "shiktza" and "prutza." They then surrounded me and others and one did spit in my face.  At the same time, two very young girls (first and second grade) from Ahavat Yisrael were chased by at least one of the extremists in Rechov Gad in Sheinfeld.  The sad videos below capture a lot of it and it is worthwhile to watch to see how bad it has gotten.

So what are we doing about it?  I have spent the entire afternoon in touch with some local police (not the chief) and the Public Security Ministry.  the latter plans to help but they are not yet responding in the immediate manner we are demanding which is additional forces tomorrow.  There is some action on a local police level and I will report about that at a later point.

I personally believe that all local schools should strike tomorrow since all parents are sending their kids to school without knowing that they are truly safe.  I am not trying to scare anyone, just sharing the reality.  I understand that it is being discussed by the vaad horim but not likely.

I want to also emphasize that in conversations with chareidim not in this group, they are scared for their lives and their children's lives in terms of coming out against these guys who will simply "do more to any of us than we will do to them."

An action committee will be developed and I am actually thinking of a massive protest in front of the public security ministry in Jerusalem which will only be effective if we have a few hundred people there.  I will send more later but for now please watch the videos just to understand.

Please just watch and internalize.  Again, no provocations, just escorting little girls.

See how they begin chanting my name (a bit scary) as we approach and see the venom and hatred - and we are simply there to escort the girls.  The woman being there was necessary as she literally had to put her arms around crying girls to help them through (for anyone who would even think to suggest that having a woman there was a provocation)

This is our police chief saying that he cannot arrest them or even move them away since "all they are doing is screaming."  Go back to video #1 to see the "simple screaming" at little girls. Then he refuses to commit to having some policemen on that sidewalk.

See how we had to escort the little girls and how they were screamed at.

click on the speakers to hear me explain what happened to me (including being spat on and called "nazi" and "sheigitz") and the other speaker to hear an 8 year old girl from Ahavat Yisrael explain what it was like to get off her bus and be chased by one of the extremists.

Thus concludes the email from Rabbi Lipman. I urge my charedi friends in Ramat Bet Shemesh to show up to the next demonstration, wherever it is. Otherwise, you are effectively assisting the terrorists. I also urge them to reconsider their voting for Abutbol in the last election.


  1. It takes a speacial type of tough guy to scream and spit at little girls.

    Rav Natan, I hope that readers join your suggestion and at the next demonstration or action in support of the DL school there are as many black hats as there are Kipot Srugot.

  2. Punch these MFer's in the face.
    If that was my kid, they wouldn't be standing. You should harass them, they are cowards in that they can't have a real fight soo they pick on girls.

  3. I'm confused:

    1. if they are doing gods work and protesting l'shaim shamayim, why hide their faces?

    2. why can't Israel establish a geder like they do here in the states? You have to be a certain distance away to protest? that at least takes some of the intimidation factor away and allows for better safe passage

  4. I wonder if there is some clever indirect method of curbing these guys. I remember years ago a flair up against haPosek Rav Elyashiv where some zealots actually tossed rocks at the elderly sage himself! Apparently, they weren't pleased with a compromise that he agreed to with grave sites.

    The Rav was away from his home for a period in the summer and some zealots were planning a "warm reception" for his return to the neighborhood (round 2). Some askanim got wind of the plan and gave the eda hacharedi an ultimatum - something along the lines of "while we realize that you have nothing to do with this, chas v'shalom, we suggest that you take action to put down the riot before it starts, and if you don't, then we're going to boycott your hechsher". (Sorry - I can't confirm a thing here, so just take it as is).

    So is there some way to hit these guys where it hurts - the pocket book? Perhaps it is necessary to directly confront them. You can't just let thugs run you out of town. On the other hand, I doubt that we're going to beat them at their own game. They're too good at it.

  5. The hands of the police seem to be tied by the law, as the protestors are exercising a twisted right to free speech. The only way to get the police involved and stop them coming would be if their presence caused a large crowd of counter-protestors to arrive and create a disturbance that would disturb the public order. Another way to act from the safety of a computer is to contact the Ministry of Public Security (who are in charge of the police) at sar@mops.gov.il and inquire why this is allowed to go on. If another people would complain maybe action would be taken.

  6. This reminds me of the racists who violently opposed school desegregation in the US South in the 1950s and the 1960s. The government stepped in and put its foot down then. Why is this not being done here?

  7. RNS: "If the wider charedi community - including all the nice Anglo olim that are friends and neighbors of mine - are not willing to do anything at all about this terrible situation, even to show a minimal level of public support for their dati-leumi neighbors, then I think that the issue can be classified as a charedi vs. non-charedi issue."

    You don't understand the level of fear the mainstream chareidim have for the kano'im. Even R. Dov Lipman writes: "I want to also emphasize that in conversations with chareidim not in this group, they are scared for their lives and their children's lives in terms of coming out against these guys who will simply "do more to any of us than we will do to them.""

    Rabbi Michael Beyo: "I have a question. What is it of the Hassidic education (all the protesters that I saw in the video are clearly all hassidim and I dare say Satmar or of similar affiliation - Toldot something)that brings them to behave in that way? Why do we find Hassidim behaving in such form of Hillul Hashem. Is it my impression? or is there something intrinsic in their Hashkafa?"

    It's definitely their education, but it's not mainstream Hassidic education. Belz or Vishnitz for example, would never (well, ALMOST never...) behave in such a way.

    Yitz Waxman: "Perhaps it is necessary to directly confront them. You can't just let thugs run you out of town. On the other hand, I doubt that we're going to beat them at their own game. They're too good at it."

    See http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.com/2011/09/dati-leumi-take-orot-fight-back-to.html

    Why is y-or.co.il not covering the Orot story? They covered the Ohr Hachaim Seforim store story, but not Orot. Are they beginning to play politics?

  8. Sometimes I think these SOB's are the real OTD's.
    The reason no Chareidi will show up at a counter-protest is because of social pressure. A culture that will defend a pedophile at all costs will not stand up against thugs like this.

  9. We used to live in the Kiryah Charedi (and I wear a kipah srugah :-) ). Plenty of warm and welcoming chareidim there. Sad that they aren't voicing their opinions.

    How can we (non Beit Shemeshers) find out about demonstrations and such so we can attend?

  10. You don't understand the level of fear the mainstream chareidim have for the kano'im.

    That's true of charedim who live in their neighborhood. But there's no way that American charedim davenning in BTYA or the Gra did not come to the demonstration because they are afraid of kannaim.

    The reason why they didn't come is either (a) they don't see it as a problem affecting "their" community, and/or (b) they are afraid - of not appearing frum enough.

  11. How about simply tazering the dickens out of these guys?

  12. Lawrence Kaplan Comments:

    I agree with Charlie Hall: This reminds me of Little Rock. At least there, Federal soldiers (or marshals) accompanied and protected the girls.

    Daniel: The free speech argument is a red herring. These thugs can shout all they want -- from a distance! And there is no reason why police officers can't accompany the little girls. How does this intefere with freedom of speech?

  13. you say

    "The reason why they didn't come is either (a) they don't see it as a problem affecting "their" community, and/or (b) they are afraid - of not appearing frum enough.

    what about (3) do not lift a finger without consulting daas torah.

    if you want to bring the chareidim on board, to defend a community (who according to Rabbi wasserman have an ideology which is avodah zoroh beshituf) it has to be done sensitively, not by public calls join us or be forever condemned as being partly responsible

    you would need to go respectfully to their rabbonim in a private meeting and work out a way to deal with this

  14. “They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels … undecided in neutrality. Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out, but even Hell itself would not receive them for fear the wicked there might glory over them.”

    --—Dante’s Inferno, trans. Mark Musa (1971)

  15. Why aren't these guys in their Kollel learning? Since these guys are not fulfilling thier learning, their exemption from conscription should be nullified.

    Conscript them. Withhold their welfare benefits and otherwise encourage them to find meaningfull work.

    The only reason these hooligans can make trouble like this (and the reason that they do) is because they have no worthwhile activity to spend their time on. (Sort of like the rioters in Engalnd really.)

  16. "Anu mashkimim veheim mashkimim"

    These are the truest incarnation of yoshevei keranot I've ever seen, and they're digging and miriging themselves in their own be'er shachat.

    Is there anything at all that Jews in America can do to help?

  17. The woman being there was necessary as she literally had to put her arms around crying girls to help them through (for anyone who would even think to suggest that having a woman there was a provocation)

    It was the dog that was the provocation.

    (My attempt at being humourous.)

    The videos brought tears to my eyes. As I said earlier, make them get a job or send them to the army. These hooligans clearly have too much time on their hands.

    "He who does not teach their sons a trade teaches them to be highway robbers." We see that right here, right now!

  18. You criticize the Chareidi community for not participating in the rally to condemn the violent extremists. But for your criticism to have real weight, you should first clarify the following issues. A. Was the rally primarily an anti-violence rally, or primarily a pro-Orot girls' school rally? B. Was the rally co-ed or separate?

  19. What needs to be done, and I have no idea how to go about doing it, is to have a beit din of atleast 7 rabbis make a ruling that anyone harrasing these girls are breaking halacha, and if they continue, are no longer part of the Jewish community.

    I don't care if nobody, (i.e. the people these thugs live with), will listen to the ruling, it needs to be done, and it doesn't have to be done by other 'charedi' rabbis... any beit din will do. Perhaps Rabbi Aviner can be contacted to do such a beit din.

    People who dress up in black coats and black hats pretending to be 'charedi' have been given way too much leeway in breaking all sorts of halachot, and they need to be taken to task for it!

  20. Ameteur, if you think that there is any chance at all that that would make the SLIGHTEST difference, then you are completely out of touch with the situation.

  21. You stop them like any other terrorist threat. Intelligence. You need an inside source to give you information on who the ring-leaders are. I noticed some of the chassidim did not really participate in the abuse, but stood off to the side and seemed to be there just to feel like they are part of the "gang". You pay off a couple of them to get you information. (Or have a friendly chassid infiltrate for you). Once you have the names and address of the ring leaders, and you make it known to them that you know who they are and where they live, they may be a little less brazen.

  22. Spend some time and effort finding out the exact names of ALL these fellows and who their rabbeim are [or perhaps these ARE the rabbeim]. Then spend significant resources targeting their funding sources and informing these sources exactly what their money is producing.

    By the way... always include a link to the donation section of the targeted schools. This will provide a response cost to activities directed at discouraging Jewish education. Donations can be given in honor of the girls. The girls should have some public honor.

    Gary Goldwater

  23. Providing special treatment for ringleaders should do the trick

  24. This whole business of mainstream Chareidim being too intimidated to act is irrelevant. The responsibility rests on the mainstream chareidi leadership. I remember 5 years ago when they called for a public demonstration against resturaunt proprietors that they should close early at night so they shouldn't be a distraction for Yeshiva students. It was a great photo opportunity to show of their proper zealousness.

    If these leaders really want to do something productive with themselves on behalf of the community they will grow a pair and organize against these so called zealots.

  25. the video of these girls having to be escorted past the charedi demonstrators made me cry. How horrific. My daughters also attend a dati leumi school in a charedi neighborhood. How sad that girls going to learn Torah are treated like criminals by these kanaim.

    I commend rabbi slifkin for joining the protest against this outrage, and I hope that his like-minded charedi neighbors will join him at the next protest defending these holy girls.

  26. To call these people fringe elements who are bored is not exactly accurate. A more acurate description of them would called "astro turf".

    They are funded and organized by various people with their agendas. This is why a coordinated community response is necessary. The best way to innitialize this is through the mainstream chareidi leadership. especially if they work with the politicians and the police. This will allow the authorities to get tough with these people knowing that they have community support and the politicians will know that they will not lose any votes for acting. They will also know that acting will not cause an even greater public disorder.

  27. Regarding the behavior of the police in this matter, I am reminded of the motto of the Los Angeles Police Department which appeared on all their vehicles (at least when I lived there 25 years ago) which was "TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE". Very noble sentiments, but today, we are seeing something else. Recall the recent rioting in Britain...there the police were seen to be keen on avoiding friction with the rioters and NOT with protecting the public and its property. Yitzhak Rabin once bluntly stated the truth regarding the role of the army when the big suicide bombings hit after he brought Arafat here...he said "It is NOT the job of the IDF to protect the public, it is to protect the STATE" and he said those who protested the lack of secruity were "crybabies". We see that the police seem to view their job the same way. Not only do we see this mentality reflected in these Ramat Beit Shemesh incidents, but the police are notorious for not going entering the Arab towns and villages which has led some of them to a point of anarchy with violence a day-to-day happening (the media also plays along by downplaying these events and not reporting them). Add to this the coziness that is seen between some police officers and officials with organized crime. The bottom line is that the police seem to view avoiding "trouble" as their main goal and NOT 'protecting and serving'.
    I do not mean to imply that all policemen are bad or don't take their responsibilities seriously, but the problem comes from the top. The new police commander, Danino, said he is aware of these problems, he said is knows the police are held in low esteem by much of the public and he is working to change things. One thing I can suggest is to make a large, foreful protest to the police commanders in the to get going and protect the girls going to the school. There is no doubt in my mind they can prevent these hooligans from causing trouble if they want to.

  28. "A friend of mine argued to me last week that this is not a charedi vs. non-charedi issue... I agreed with him, until I went to the massive demonstration at the school last week. I did not see a SINGLE charedi person there"

    SO what??? What kind of self-serving argument is that? There were no Chilonim either!! (Or Arabs and Christians) SO it's the whole world against poor OROT!! Would OROT parents on their own initiative join Chareidim in a protest for the Chareidi schools that are missing classrooms (if posters all over the neighborhood are correct)? You can't expect ever single community to run over to every protest of another community - and I mean delineated by any affiliations - Anglo/Israel/French/Chareidi/Dati-Leumi/Sefardi/Ashkenazi just for the sake of showing that "we're not against you" - especially when it also entails a sacrifice of nasty harassment, possible incessantly - "you don't grab a passing dog by the ears".

  29. Fellow religious Jews of all stripes:If you're not part of the solution to the woes of these young girls then you're part of the problem.

  30. Yitzi B.,

    We religious Jews are a pathetic bunch if we can't unite when young girls are under attack.

  31. To all those who go to defend these young girls. Bring lots of dogs!

  32. Yitzi B-
    Your comparisons completely miss the point. IT IS a Haredi issue, because the hooligans are carrying out their terrorism in the name of Haredi values. By its silence, the mainline Haredi community could be misconstrued as approving these actions.
    The relationship of moderates in ANY ideological movement to violent extremists who act in the name of that ideology (and religion is an ideology in the sense I am using it here) can be a complex one. There are several possible responses by the non-violent majority (NVM):
    (1) The NVM's say "these guys are heroes, I wish I could join them but for whatever reasons I am staying on the sidelines.
    (2) The NVM's say "these guys mean well, but they are mistaken in what they are doing" or "their intention was good, but they are going too far".
    (3) The NVM's say "these guys are bad and do not represent the values we stand for".

    Without the Haredi leadership or rank-and-file making any sort of statement, the public will make various assumptions about what the NVM's are really thinking, which may be correct or incorrect. This could prove to be very damaging to the image of the Haredim in general society.

  33. Chareidim do not work with any other group. Even if they want the same result. It is just the way they do it. For some stupid reason. Therefore, they cannot join with DL people to protest extremists, even though they sympathize. They also cannot join protests with chilonim over the cost of housing even though they complain just as much. And they also make problems by getting havtachat hachnasa only for kollel's and not for all students, causing the court to declare the laws void.
    It's a stupid way to act. Sort of like the stork (you probably have a more accurate translation for chassida).

  34. In response to the shouts of "shiksas" to the poor little girls I suggest that counter-demonstrators point at them and chant: "hem lo haredim, hem lo yehudim".

  35. HaRazieli, it's the first time that I agree with you.

    I just don't get. Parents send their kids to school to be harassed, insulted and intimidated by hooligans and do not take immediate action? Calling a girl pruza is sexual harassment, no? This is a case were immediate and brutal violent response is appropriate. The kids will be left in peace and the rabbis, judges and surgeons will be left to sort out the mess.

  36. Does anybody know if Rav Chaim Malinowitz or Rav Elimelech Kornfeld, two prominent American Haredi rabbis in Beth Shemesh have spoken out about the haredi fanatics?

  37. "IT IS a Haredi issue, because the hooligans are carrying out their terrorism in the name of Haredi values."
    Y. Ben-David - If Chareidim would go out on an arm and a leg for everyone who did stuff in the name of Chareidi values, they'd be a travelling circus.
    Do you and yours go around and condemn all the stuff that the boys from Bat Ayin or the Noar HaGvaot do in the name of Religious Zionism?

  38. Carol,

    I'm touched. :)

  39. Kollel Nick said: "Chareidim do not work with any other group. Even if they want the same result. It is just the way they do it. For some stupid reason. Therefore, they cannot join with DL people to protest extremists, even though they sympathize."

    Thanks KN for making the comment that I wanted to make.

  40. "Do you and yours go around and condemn all the stuff that the boys from Bat Ayin or the Noar HaGvaot do in the name of Religious Zionism?"

    No, we agree with them, they are the true religious Zionists. I don't understand what you are complaining about here especially with the Noar HaGvaot?
    Don't you know Halacha and how we are to fight agains't our enemies (the Arabs and other's) it is much much more strict then the pathetic ways we are currently fighting them. The Torah says to drive them out, you and yours can twist the Torah all you want (with western values) but the truth is in the writing.

  41. What a travesty of justice! How can police who are obligated to protect it's citizenry allow for hoodlums to intimidate, taunt and invade the "space" of others.
    Someone in the upper echelons of government needs to recognize that these incidents are parallel to Brown v Board of Education and send down the national guard (it's equivalent) and protect their citizens from these hoodlums.
    They need to recognize that such incidents can easily escalate into a much larger problem. A show of force is the only way to send a clear message that the government will protect its citizens.

  42. Yitzi B-
    Excuse me but this is not a case of a particular Haredi individual carrying out criminal acts out for self-aggrandizement. We are constantly told by Haredim spokesmen that the Haredim are a group of idealists bound together by a rigid code of Torah and who do things ONLY at the behest of their "gedolei Torah". They all say they would NEVER do ANYTHING against the will of the gedolim. Since this is an ideological issue, we can only reach the conclusion that their gedolim approve of what they are doing. This issue has reached the national media, everyone has heard about it. Thus, if the gedolim DO NOT approve of what these hooligans are doing, they are doing themselves a disservice by not making clear that they are against these actions.

  43. Come on, that's ridiculous. The Haredim are not a single entity. This particular group couldn't care less about the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah or Rav Elyashiv, and would have no reservations about saying so explicitly.

  44. Very well said, Rabbi Slifkin. And I think it's important for another reason. Whether we like it or not, and whether it's fair or not, I think there is a tendency among many people, especially impressionable children, to identify the charedi style of dress with Jewish religiosity, at least on some level. Therefore, when the children at OROT see these people acting in such an ugly way, I think that it can't help but influence their feelings towards Judaism in general. If they would see other cheredim protesting this ugly behavior, it might counterbalance some of the damage.

  45. Rav Slifkin-
    Now you really have me confused. You say you were disappointed that no Haredim came to the counter-demonstration. But, you yourself just told me that the Haredim are "not a single entity", so why should you expect the other, moderate Haredim to get involved in an issue that doesn't affect them?
    The fact is (and you know this very well) that there IS an essential Haredi unity in which one group of Haredim do recognize other Haredim as being "members of the club". In their literature they will acknowledge leaders of various groups within the camp as "gedolim". An example of this is the respect that is shown between Hasidei Satmar - Eda Haredit and the Agudat Israel-Degel HaTorah Haredim. There is a major gulf between the two regarding participation in the political life of the State of Israel, but they do recognize each other as being "Haredim". Thus, I am convinced a united call by the leaders of the Haredi camp against this sort of thing would be very useful, because whether you and I like it or not and whether they like it or not, this type of gangsterism reflects badly on the whole community. It would also give the police and the political echelons the backing to do something about this, as well.

  46. why should you expect the other, moderate Haredim to get involved in an issue that doesn't affect them?

    It doesn't affect me either - my kids are not in that school. But we are all residents of this town. And when a school is terrorized, and the mayor capitulates, everyone should show support.

  47. Le’mah higanu! Horrified, I mentioned this to my mother. She went to Bais Yaakov seminary in Yerushalayim in 1953. Since the school was located in Katamon they allowed the students to wear three quarter sleeves. Even in those days, there were pashkvillim about it in Mea Shearim, and demonstrations of “pritzuuuuuuuus!”
    Yes, how is it that there is not a peep from ‘normal’ charedim about this? How is it that I am even unable to discuss this with American Yeshivish friends and relatives, since it is “lashon hara!?!” I do intend to make my Rosh Hashana calls to certain Israeli relatives early this year, and have the uncomfortable conversation.
    Yehi shalom be’chelenu, shalva be’armenotenu.

  48. why should you expect the other, moderate Haredim to get involved in an issue that doesn't affect them?
    Perhaps a (re)reading of "The Crucible" is in order.
    Joel Rich

  49. Maybe no one informed them (the potentially sympathetic charedim you know) of the demonstration? Maybe no one mentioned it to them and said charedim are welcome there and their presence would be appreciated? As someone with a background in the sociology of social movements, I can tell you that there are always a million different possible reasons why someone didn't come to a particular demonstration. Sometimes it takes a little push. People often get involved in movements because of pressure and encouragement from friends.

  50. Isn't this what the Taliban does in Afghanistan? Perhaps acid in the face will be next?

    Just horrendous...

    - M. Singer

  51. Does the city of Bet Shemesh or any major business receive American funding in any way? That's the way to pressure the mayor to act. Who own the main businesses in the city? Which government minister controls the purse strings on issues that the mayor finds important? Answer those questions and you'll figure out how to get the mayor to instruct the police to intervene.

  52. Gil, policing in Israel is not like in the US. Mayors do not control the local police. Police are really national. The police precinct in Bet Shemesh really has responsibility for all of "Mateh Yehuda", which is physically a very large area.

    Another issue is that certain Chareidi and Arab areas have become "no go" zones like you have in London, Paris and Detroit with radical Moslems. The amount of manpower it takes to make a single arrest makes it not "efficient" to arrest people in these areas save for the most heneous crimes.

    That said, I'm not sure I understand why the police haven't cordorned off the protesting Chareidim in a way that protect their free (yet stupid) speech and also protects the girls.

    I'm less critical of the police than others here, but their actions have left a vacuum which we, the community feel, we need to fill. So the result is that today, even though the terrorists were out it was a real balagan.

    Ironically, now, instead of having a few "pritza" 8 yr olds walk by their apartments, today there were dozens of adult women, men, dogs and police roaming in front of their buildings.

    This historically, has been one of our best weapons; showing them that if they don't leave us alone we'll bring to their doorstep the very thing they are most "terrified" of.

  53. In connection with Rav Student's suggestion, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (that's Washington, DC not Washington state)
    partners with (i.e. funds stuff in) the Bet Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda region.


    Hm, I know a guy who's fundraised from probably the same people who donate a lot to the Federation of Greater Washington ...

  54. R' Natan,

    if you want to change something, it is time to stop playing games. "A fringe element of extremist Charedim" doesn't mean anything. Why not state what group they belong to? Why not tell us whether their Rebbe has been informed about this and whether he is coming to NY and other places every year to collect money?

  55. These videos under estimate the true character of the Charedim.
    For a more clearer perspective of the Charedi nature, go to youtube-mea shearim, also, youtube-Jerusalem Post.

    There is a Law in Israel that gives any group or individual complete freedom of religion. The Charedim are preventing the dati-leumi elementary girl's school from exercising this fundamental right.

    This is the meaning for The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. A Jewish land, The land of Jewish freedom of religion.

    This is the front that should be fought in the courts. Not have Jews fight in the streets with the Charedim. Peaceful demonstrations, yes, as long as we donot become like them.

    We may not be able to obligate the police to stop this gross injustice. But there is nothing stoping anyone from filing a lawsuit. The Jewish way of settling the score.

    To all Jewish Lawyers who need to fulfill their Pro Bono hours.

  56. it is time to stop playing games. "A fringe element of extremist Charedim" doesn't mean anything. Why not state what group they belong to? Why not tell us whether their Rebbe has been informed about this and whether he is coming to NY and other places every year to collect money?

    Why not realize that of course if I knew these things, I would publicize them?

  57. "Why not realize that of course if I knew these things, I would publicize them?"

    Oh, I thought it is davar yadua and you are just trying to be nice. My apologies.

    The flat hats don't leave you with that many options... :-)

    $20 that their Rebbe's name starts with a K and ends with an ohn.

  58. I heard that the haredim are protesting about the ownership of the school building. Does anyone have more info on this?

  59. '"no go" zones like you have in London, Paris and Detroit'

    I haven't been to Detroit, but I was in London and Paris this summer and I found no such "zone". And while I didn't travel to much of London, I traveled all over Paris, always wearing my yarmulke. Couldn't find any anti-Semitism, much less a "no-go" zone.

    "Do you and yours go around and condemn all the stuff that the boys from Bat Ayin or the Noar HaGvaot do in the name of Religious Zionism?"

    I have frequently condemned the terrorists who are responsible for the "price tag" campaign. And more importantly, so have Rabbis Aharon Lichtenstein and Shlomo Aviner, the leading gedolim of Religious Zionism. I'm still waiting for a Charedi gedol to say something about what is happening in RBS.

  60. As I (re)read through the posts here I wonder why such emphasis and thought that the police will actually do something? Don't you (especially you who live in Israel) understand by now that the system in Israel is designed to work agains't you? Besides the fact that the police are incompetent.
    Seriously don't expect police or the government to do much for you and the Jewish people. They won't/don't help you when the Arabs attack you, nor with these "hassids" either.
    You (we) need to stand up and rely on G-D and ourselves to fight our oppressors and enemies. Destroy them both physically and intellectually as well (through proper ideas, etc.)

  61. Their "Rebbe's" name is Heller (Y"S). He lives on Yarden.

    Moshe Friedman (Y"S)is the head terrorist. He lives on Herzog 35/6.

    Shimon Zlotnik (Y"S) lives on Mitzpeh Reshef 4/17

    Chaim LOSER Heimlich (Y"S) lives on Yarden 8/1

    And I'm sure people know others.

    I'm not sure they are from any one sect. Maybe Hamas, I don't know.

    And here is where they get their terror training...


  62. Charlie, these aren't zones where YOU can't go. There are areas of these cities where the police are very, shall we say, lenient when it comes to criminal behavior. Anywhere that there are strong radical Moslem populations you have these areas. Similarly with Bet Shemesh and Mea Shaarim. YOU could walk there and not notice anything is different. But, see the article I linked to above about the terrorism in Mea Shaarim to understand what I'm talking about.

    I know for a fact that the police will not make arrests in Bet unless it's extremely serious. And then they need the entire force there.

  63. extazy17, that is a ridiculously ignorant statement. Could policing be better, sure. There are lots of places in the US where it's pretty bad too.

    As I'm writing this, I just received the following from Dov Lipman:

    "Many people saw the scary videos from Tuesday and question whether the
    police take action. While we were sleeping late morning, the
    professional detectives of the Bet Shemesh police station who want to
    protect the community as best they can (many grew up in the city)
    spent a few hours making arrests. Those whose girls had to walk
    through those crowds can also reassure their daughters that the police
    arrested people. This is not to say that they won't be out in the
    streets again and it may mean that even more come out today but the
    police do deserve credit for taking action."

    Again, not perfect, but your words border on those of the "Meraglim".

  64. As a parent of 3 girls of the school and have been doing auxiliary police duty this week for traffic control, I'm going to mention a number of things not covered here.

    A. Bet Shemesh is getting slammed by this story. I am hoping those who have heard the number of stories about these incidents over the years who are Dati Leumi or chiloni decide to make their homes here. You might ask and say "what? We would never come to a city like this." But friends that IS EXACTLY why you should come. They have manufactured this "sensitivity" to 6-12 year old girls with only one purpose - to make us flee which is very similar to the Arabs tactic of terrorism. I can tell you the chesed and incredible people who make up this DL community fighting back know that this is a red line in the sand and WILL NOT BACK DOWN! Therefore, come spend a Shabbat in our community. Whether it is Sheinfeld, Nofay Aviv, Savion, Migdal Hamayim, or the neighborhoods in RBS Aleph you will immediately be smitten by its family feel of warm hospitality and bonds, tolerant of all. If we infuse this city with more of us we will not only be able to stand stronger against these elements but make great inroads to getting a REAL leader for Bet Shemesh in 2013 who cares about all the citizens here.

    B. Those who think this is a local battle err! This is happening from Ashquelon to Ramot in Y-M, from Rechovot to Chevron where, I call them fascists, whether Arab or Jew, is trying to make facts on the ground by intimidation at least and terrorism at worst. Get involved in one of these battles and join with the locals before it becomes a battle in your own neighborhood.

    C. My daughter, distraught about Gush Katif in 2005 (she was 9 then) asked me, "could the gov't come and do that to our homes in Bet Shemesh, too?" At the time imminent domain was a raging political issue in the US. I told her, "yes I guess they can. There is always some group whether our enemies or our own who will want what you have and try and take that away. You just need to remember what Menachem Begin said of the Jewish people's will to survive against their enemies, "We fight, therefore, we are." Hashem makes us work for his blessings. As a former combat medic I will fight till the end to keep the precious gifts Hashem gave me and my people in my life time. Am Yisrael Be'eretz Yisrael Al Pea Torat Yisrael. Again, what these Vilda Chayas want is our desertion of our loved communities - only on my dead body!

  65. Aren't these guys being paid to be in Kolel?. Why aren't the Tax authorities checking them out and taking away their stipends. Look at how our tax money is being spent

  66. No, these people don't take anything from the government.

  67. Extazy17,

    Kol hakavod for your defense of hilltop youth who indeed have their priorities straight and fight the fight in accordance with the authentic values of the Torah. Unlike these child-abusers in Beth Shemesh.

  68. This Staement was made by Rabbi Avrohom Leventhal of Lema'an Achai..a great organization in Bet Shemesh which I support.

    The behavior affecting the innocent children at Orot Banot is intolerable.
    The silence from RBSA is equally intolerable.

    The time has come to express our support to the girls,their parents and the
    entire Givat Sharet community at large. One can only imagine the thoughts
    running through the minds of these young and impressionable girls as they
    trek off to school each day. Will I be screamed at? Will someone try to
    throw something at me? There has been a need to bring therapists into the
    school to help the kids.

    Can you imagine?

    How would we feel if our children would be terrified to go to or return from
    school? What is most concerning is that the source of this fear is other

    This is the time to show achdus and unity for others in our own community.
    Let us show these children that it is in fact only a very small group that
    behaves in such a way and the rest of us will not stand for it. Nothing can
    justify what is happening to the girls.

    The famous words of a German cleric come to mind (and I paraphrase):
    They came for the Jews, but I wasn't a Jew so I didn't protest.
    They came for the workers, but I wasn't a worker so I didn't object.
    They came for the Communists, but I wasn't a Communist so I didn't stand
    When they came for the clergy, there was no one left to stand up for me.

    Today it is Orot Banot. Tomorrow it could be a school in RBSA.

    The residents of RBSA can not be silent. Please voice (and write and post)
    your support of our fellow Jews and neighbors.

    B"Birchas Shalom Al Yisrael,
    Rabbi Avrohom Leventhal
    Lema'an Achai

  69. they are afraid - of not appearing frum enough

    That really is the crux of it, Rabbi. There's a tremendous amount of pressure to conform. Furthermore, the entire Orthodox world suffers from a "wagons in a circle" mentality - "us against them". When you were being attacked, there were, supposedly, rabbis who were angered by it. I still have the Moment article:

    It’s a kind of power struggle, and those who didn’t sign the ban are outraged right now. I’m talking about rabbis with long white beards who are furious about it.”

    Yet how many of them were willing to be seen defending you publicly?

    I see this behavior even among the Modern Orthodox. It's a kind of pervasive illness endemic to all religious orthodoxies, and I don't see that anything can be done about it.

  70. RBSer, I have no doubt that such a beit din and psak will have little affect on the people who are harassing RBS.

    However, it will have a HUGE affect on the Jewish community world wide, and sometimes (like now) these things are needed.

    We need to prevent this from spreading as well and stopping it where it is.

    But it seems that nobody has the guts to say that Charedim (even a small subset) are breaking halacha.

  71. What I saw in the videos is symptomatic of the machala that afflicts the entire Israel. Forget Charedi, Chiloni, this issue, that issue, whatever. Israelis just don't think or behave like normal people. They're backwards. Period. Whenever analyzing any issue there, always start with that premise.

    You want to bring your daughters to school without being yelled at? Don't expect the police to help you. You have to think outside the box. Here's an idea: put pictures of women on posters and walk down the street with them to school. The Chassidim will scramble and your daughters will have a clear path to the building.

  72. Can we trace where the money comes from that these guys live off of?

    Does the sh'ver have an appliance store downtown? It can be boycotted.

    Do these guys troll the shuls each morning for tzedaka? They can be kicked out.

    Do they run a kupat tzedaka? Publicize the connection and scare off the donors.

  73. Menachem Lapin:

    "Their "Rebbe's" name is Heller (Y"S). He lives on Yarden."

    No, Heller is their Ruv (at best), I mean Rebbe = Admor.

    Just look to what schools do they send their children.

  74. Menahim Lipkin- "but your words border on those of the "Meraglim".

    Really? How is that? How is me stating what is and was happeneing between the system (including police) now flipped unto me and now accuse me of possibly being like the "Meraglim"?
    Anyway people can watch this (sad) video titled "Miraglim" and decide who the real Meraglim of today are. People like me and the "Hilltop youth, etc." or the collaborators of the gov. (like the Yesha council) and what they did during the disengagement.


  75. Does anyone know about this Rabbi Leventhal and Lema'an Achai?

    Are they for real?

  76. extazy17, The maraglim were Jews who came here saw "bad" things and reported those thing back to Clal Yisrael. You, virtually, doing the same things However, at least what the maraglim said was true. The things you're saying are a mixture. Certainly perfect here, but don't need people from the outside telling us and others how bad they think it is.

    The police here were terrific today. In Bet Shemesh, in general, they're pretty decent.

    The whole issue with Yesha is very complex. There's no one right "The Torah says X" answer, sorry. It's very easy to be a radical from far away.

    It's very sad what happened in Gaza. Meraglim? Quite a stretch.

  77. Menahim Lipkin-

    YES meraglim. Its not a stretch at all. Did you see those video's? The exposure is plain and simple.
    Personally I don't understand people like you, do you work for the government or something?
    (assuming no) these people and the system is working agains't you (or us National Religious).
    Ask yourself would this happen to arabs? NO because of 2 reasons. 1 the gov. wouldn't allow it, and 2- Arabs wouldn't tolerate this bull crap and don't rely on the system, that is why they don't have these types of problems.
    Don't be sheep to the slaughter. It already happened wayyy to many times. Don't forget the Holocaust, don't forget the disengagement where we were lead like sheep to the slaughter. Ask yourself why are we lead this way and who are the collaborators and the enablers, and shouldn't they of all people be stopped first and foremost?

  78. For those who may support the Kupa Shel Tzedaka of RBSA (Israel Food Distribution, Inc.)

    Please read the following from an older Life in Israel Post:

    From Life in Israel 10-2-08

    "The hooligans in RBS B opened up a Kupa shel Tzdaka. Generally those who run the local Kupa have a lot of power, especially in these types of neighborhoods, because they control the money and the tone of the neighborhood.

    In any case, some of the money from the Kupa went towards tznius signs (to intimidate the people of Sheinfeld), along with other signs protesting various breaches. They admitted as much to a number of people, because they were proud of what they did and they thought they would garner support for it.
    Money given for a kupa shel tzdaka should be used to support the needy and not for these types of things. If they come asking for money, make sure to ask them what the money will be used for.

    Rav Eidensohn, who heads the kupa of RBSA, spoke last Motzei Shabbos at the inaugural dinner of the hooligan kupa. (not last night's kupa shel Tzdaka dinner - this happened the week before) This gives them great legitimacy because he heads the Kupa of RBS A which does great work and already is a large organization with a great reputation.

    When asked why he was going to be speaking there (someone present at the conversation told me) considering it gives legitimacy to the hooligans and they will use it to control their neighborhood even though they are a minority within it, he responded that he has to give them legitimacy because otherwise RBS will become too modern."

    If Rabbi Eidesnohn believes the kanoim should be supported to keep RBS from becoming too modern perhaps we shouldn't be supporting his organization.

  79. This might be a naive suggestion, but what about tactics such as holding up posters facing these chareidim, and similar ones all over the neighborhood, and ads in newspapers with words to the effect of "YOU are the real Amalek, you are the desecrators of Hashem, you have no part in Klal Yisrael etc". Perhaps they don't appreciate that this is how they are regarded by the vast majority of Jews,so that if they did they might be shamed into desisting.

  80. Perhaps they don't appreciate that this is how they are regarded by the vast majority of Jews

    They don't care. They don't consider the vast majority of Jews to be Jews.


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