Monday, June 10, 2013

Another Letter To Yated

To the Editor:

In “The Identity of the Israeli People is at Stake - Understanding the Current Situation in Eretz Yisroel" (Wednesday, May 08, 2013), Rabbi Moshe Meiselman writes that "On Lag Ba’omer, Naftali Bennett visited Bnei Brak and declared that the lifestyle of the chareidi community is a greater existential threat to Israel than the Iranian nuclear threat." That is truly a shocking report, and one that would make it understandable that Rabbi Meiselman describes Naftali Bennett as an "enemy."

However, it turns out that Naftali Bennett said nothing of the sort.

What he actually said was that "the inclusion of tens of thousands of Chareidim to the workforce - with love - is a national goal, exactly like stopping the Iranian nuclear threat."

He did not say that that the lifestyle of the chareidi community is a greater existential threat to Israel than the Iranian nuclear threat. He did not even say that that the lifestyle of the chareidi community is an equal existential threat to Israel with the Iranian nuclear threat. He did not even speak about a "threat" at all, existential or otherwise. Rather, while speaking with joy at an institute that provides professional training to chareidim, he said that helping many chareidim enter the workforce (just as they do in the United States) is a national goal of great importance to the entire country, in the same way as stopping the nuclear threat from Iran is a national goal of great importance to the entire country.

It would behoove Rabbi Meiselman, and your newspaper, to retract the falsification of MK Bennett's words, and the resultant motzi shem ra.

Natan Slifkin

(Note to my readers: Thanks to Chopping Wood for pointing out this distortion; see there for further analysis of Rabbi Meiselman's letter. Yated will not be publishing either this or my previous letter; aside from the obvious reasons, their policy is not to publish letters that are also posted to the internet.)


  1. Is this a surprise?
    The Chareidi leadership has proven excellent at learning from our Muslim "cousins".
    They threaten to riot if a Jew tries to pray on the Har HaBayis so the Chareidim threaten to riot if the WoW try to daven at the Kotel.
    They run rampage in their villages and the army pulls back to avoid confrontation so the Chareidi riot in their neighbourhoods to force the police to do the same.
    They put their women in burkas so the Chareidim create the Burka Babes of Beit Shemesh (BBBS).
    So why is anyone surprised that after the Arabs invent things like the massacre of Jenin and the murder of Mohammed al Dura that the Chareidim wouldn't come out with similar amazing statements?

  2. Some years ago I read a column in Ha'aretz in which someone suggested that a grand bargain be made with the Haredim in which they would be recognized by the state as a group similar to the Arabs regarding IDF service, i.e. because of reasons of concience they can not serve and would thus be exempt, and in return, the Haredim would give up demands for special allocations for them and their institutions beyond what other Israelis get, and possibly for them agreeing to a separation of state and religion meaning civil marriage, homosexual marriage, no more public Shabbat restrictions, and the such.
    I wonder if their leadership would be prepared for such a bargain?

    Regarding the claim that "hilonim hate religious Jews", that is a myth at least in the circles I run in. I see great respect for Religious Zionists and an increasing willingness to accomocate their religious needs. The criticism I see of the Haredim focuses on the IDF service problem and workforce participation, not on religious observance as such. Most hilonim I know respect a sincerely religious person even if they don't want religious values imposed on him. It is true that that there once was a strong political anti-religious presence in politics (often made up of formerly religious people!) but it has largely died out.

  3. Well according to the rules of Daas Toira, and assuming that Rabbi Meiselman has it (he must at least according to some of his students), then if the Gadol said it, it must be true. Accordingly, Bennet should go back in time like Harry Potter, and make a statement referring to Chareidim as more dangerous than Iran. Then again, perhaps Daas Toira is so factual (emmesdik), that he need not go back in time. The statement attributed to Bennet actually happened - Tzaddik goizer Vehakadosh Baruch Hu mekayem.

  4. thats funny a paper, that has a website has a policy do not print anything posted on the web. IRONY!

  5. thats funny a paper, that has a website has a policy do not print anything posted on the web. IRONY!

    I don't think that this policy is due to the fact that those words appeared on the treifeneh internet. I think the idea is that once it was given publicity in an alternate forum, they are not going to compete and print a duplicated effort.

  6. @Y. Ben-David

    Along similar lines, I have suggested that instead of building new developments for Chareidim in cities and large towns, where they conflict with neighbors of different ideologies (like we saw in Ramat Bait Shemesh), the government turn over to them failed kibbutzim.

    Give them a grant to renovate the old kibbutz, and send garbage trucks to empty dumpsters from outskirts a couple days a week and that's it. Everything that goes on within the kibbutz fence is chareidi business. They owe the gov't nothing, and gov't owes them nothing.

    If they want to have a public area with shops, open to the public - they can and don't have to collect taxes. They can segregate the sidewalks, close the streets on Shabbat, tell visitors they can't go beyond a certain point, etc. Conversely it they don't pay the utility company for electric/water they have to go without. They can have their own farms, their own manufacturing, etc and be self-sufficient on their own terms.

    Turn it into a form of reservation like have been setup for Native Americans in the USA.

  7. ahg- Yea "reservation" how nice of you. Everyone knows what happened to the Native Americans after some time. Why don't you just say "concentration camps" instead of "reservations".

  8. But it is a greater threat than Iran. Charedism is destroying the Jewish mind. I am confident that it is a product of the erev Rav.

  9. @JS

    Concentration Camps were compulsory. This would be voluntary. The European ghettos were compulsory, the exclusively chareidi neighborhoods in Israel are self imposed ghettos.

    If they want to segregate themselves, I think it should be given the opportunity in a way that doesn't impose their standards on everyone around them.

  10. You say the leaders who organized this rally were the same ones who banned your books without reading them? All I can do is quote William Blake:

    Listen to the fool's reproach! it is a kingly title!


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