Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Endorsing Shysters

Agudas Yisrael held a "historic" national convention last week in Netanya, as reported by HaModia. It was attended by "hundreds of Agudas Yisrael members from all over Eretz Yisrael, representatives in the Knesset and the local city councils, public figures and askanim, activists of the movement and representatives of the many communities identified with Agudas Yisrael." Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said, “This is the time to unite and to proudly elevate the good name of this holy movement.” Leaders stated that the goal was to unite everyone in a mission "to increase kvod Shamayim."

And, in this mission of elevating their good name and increasing kvod Shamayim, they flew in a special guest speaker: Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin.

It amaze me that apparently there are people who see no connection between honoring a convicted felon and the recent news that the Jerusalem District convicted five senior charedi figures for hundreds of counts of fraud. This included swindling 24 million shekels from the Education Ministry by inflating the number of students learning at yeshivos, using forged identity papers, and busing in masses of impostors to fool inspectors.

When you honor someone who was convicted of 86 counts of fraud, along with numerous other charges against him, what does that say about societal values with regard to such crimes?

(It should also be noted that Litzman, along with Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism, also honored the truly evil Rabbi Eliezer Berland with a hospital visit.)

In sharp contrast, consider the following account, from Rav Shlomo Goren's autobiography, about how Rav Kook went to great efforts to save an accused Jew from an undeserved sentence - and yet would not honor him:
"...On his final appeal, Abraham Stavsky was acquitted of the murder of Dr. Haim Arlosoroff. I was sitting beside Rabbi Kook when he received a phone call from Stavsky after his release from prison. Stavsky said that he wanted to come and visit Rabbi Kook, to thank him for his tremendous efforts on Stavsky's behalf. Rabbi Kook asked Stavsky not to come to the Haifa hotel where Rabbi Kook was vacationing, but rather to wait until after he returned to Jerusalem.
"I asked Rabbi Kook about this. After all, he had made a tremendous effort and risked his position in order to save Stavsky from the gallows. Rabbi Kook had become embroiled with the British and with the high commissioner because Rabbi Kook was certain that Stavsky was innocent. Why then, when he wanted to come and thank Rabbi Kook, did the latter not want to receive him?
"Rabbi Kook replied that according to the testimonies in court, Stavsky was not of impeccable character, and his personal behavior and ethics were blemished. However, as long as Stavsky was in danger, and as long as Rabbi Kook believed that Stavsky had had no part in Haim Arlosoroff's murder, Rabbi Kook felt obligated to do everything in his power to save Stavsky. Under such circumstances, Rabbi Kook held that there is no difference in whether a Jew is an observant, God-fearing Hasid. Every person, as a human being - if he is innocent and in danger - deserves to be helped. As Hazal taught, "He who saves a single life, it is as if he saves the entire world," but now, when thank God Stavsky was out of prison and no longer in danger, Rabbi Kook had no interest in making a fuss out of the issue and in glorifying Stavsky's name. Thus, Rabbi Kook told Stavsky to wait. Now that he had been acquitted, there was no rush."
The sooner that charedi society adopts such values, the less shocking headlines we will see.

114 comments:

  1. maybe they contend it is a mitzva to steal from the government of the zionist entity. are the hilonim not the chamor on whose back Mashiach will ride? they must submit to haredi needs....

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  2. One of the best autobiographies around. With Might and Strength: An Autobiography https://www.amazon.com/dp/1592644090/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_L.EwCbFXR3KBV

    Best part in the book is where Rav Goren gets 1000 Yeshiva students to dig trenches on Shabbos....

    Both pro Rubashkin and anti Rubashkin groups are obsessed with him. They're both postions of extremism.....

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  3. Mordechai Cohen in his על התורה:
    ויקחו לי תרומה הקדימה התורה סדרת משפטים לסדרת תרומה ללמדך תרומה הבאה מנכסים כשרים, מממון שנרכש בצדק ובמשפט, בכושר וביושר, רצויה היא לפני הקדוש־ ברוך־הוא, אבל תרומה הבאה מנכסים שנרכשו בגזל ובעוולה, על ידי נישול וניצול, פיגול היא, לא תרצה לפניו יתברך

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  4. In the photo above I see a dais full of Chasidim.

    Chasidim traditionally have an "us and them" attitude to anyone not Jewish + religious + charedi + chasidish (Ideally + their particular chasidus). (Not discussing how this attitude arose).

    Rubashkin ticks most of the boxes. The goyim who put him in prison tick none. Ergo, Rubashkin = good.

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    1. Agudas Yisrael is a Chassidic political party.

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    2. Yes, Agudath Israel of America is a different organization than Agudas Yisrael in Israel.

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  5. You have to remember that the extreme tribalism plays a role: Goyish justice doesn't count because their laws aren't real laws. Only a conviction by Beis Din matters. Until that happens, the person is innocent and must be supported against persecution.

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  6. Leaders stated that the goal was to unite everyone in a mission "to increase kvod Shamayim."
    Oops!

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  7. You either don't get it or pretend not to get it, and either way its not impressive. Once again: Rubashkin is not there to speak about his case or the anti-Semitic Judge criticized by the AGs. He does not ask for, does not need, and did not receive, any "endorsement". He is there to speak on the subject of faith and belief, inspiration all of us can always use, no matter what his politics.

    The irony of you still complaining about this continues to amaze. There are countless shuls who would enjoy a lecture from you, because of the Torah knowledge you bring on an interesting and fun topic (zoology.) But you'll never get such an invitation from them, because of the ideological baggage you come with. But can't people put differences aside, and just focus on the Torah they can all use, as R. Meir did with Acher? As your own post demonstrates - no, they cannot.

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    1. "He is there to speak on the subject of faith and belief, inspiration all of us can always use, no matter what his politics."

      But you have to ask, Why him? Surely there are more qualified speakers on these topics.

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    2. There's an aspect of all this on which I'm uninformed: is Rubashkin remorseful?

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    3. Exactly right. There are no 'heroes' in chareidi Judaism. As we see time and again when someone has a good message we can all learn from he is promoted at that time to deliver his message.

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    4. You state:"He is there to speak on the subject of faith and belief". What is there about his behavior that would lead you to think that Rubashkin is the least bit qualified to speak on those topics? Besides that, having him as a speaker is a tacit endorsement of a convicted, unrepentant, felon.

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    5. "He is there to speak on the subject of faith and belief, inspiration all of us can always use, no matter what his politics."

      1. Would you listen to a rapist or murderer speaking on faith
      and belief if he was an inspirational speaker?

      2. I see what you did with the last word "politics". Disingenuous though, as critics of Rubashkin do not decry him for his politics but for his misdemeanours which he STILL has not acknowledged.

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    6. This is ridiculous. What is his qualification for talking about faith and belief that literally any other Jew doesn't have? He remained observant in prison? That's supposed to be a given. It's not like he was in a gulag or anything.

      Parenthetically, the 'divrei Torah' he gives are inane almost belief. That's hardly unusual of course, but it's not like there's some sort of drivel shortage in orthodoxy that only a Lubavitch crook with apparent traits of psychopathic personality disorder can fill.

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    7. if was such a great example of faith and belief, he wouldn't have cheated and stolen. he should have "had faith and believed" that he'd be ok...

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    8. Do you seriously believe that Rubashkin wouldn't have gotten the invitation without having been through his criminal justice experience? Even if that's not the direct topic he's speaking about, the fact that he's being invited is a direct result of having been imprisoned. I they just wanted someone to speak about faith and belief, they could have gotten some local Rav to give a D'var Torah.

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    9. @DF

      RNS is pretty on the money here and saying "he doesn't get it" is quite brazen when your comment is filled with some major issues.
      It's not about the content that rubashkin is expressing to the masses. It's about endorsing him and putting him on a pedestal, inviting him to speak at large conferences and gatherings. You said he "did not receive any endorsement" but, in my humble opinion, I believe you are misunderstanding what "endorsement" means here.
      Judging him favourably and not publicly criticizing him for past actions is one thing, but doing the very opposite by giving him a stage to inspire the masses (hence, endorsing him) is another and needs to be addressed.

      You then said that "all of us can always use" a dvar Torah about "faith and belief" irrespective of "his politics". Here's 3 points to ponder.
      (1) No, we can't "always" use divrei Torah about faith and belief. Would you say the same thing if Harvey Weinstein or Bernie Madoff got up and spoke about faith and belief? Hey, we could "always use" it! What's the big deal!? I am in no way comparing Rubashkin to those guys, but am rather pointing out the ridiculousness of the comment that "we can always" use a good dvar Torah irrespective of who's giving it.
      (2) Did Rubashkin have this same publicity before his sentence and was he speaking to the masses prior to his jail time? I will be happy if anyone tells me that yes he did, and therefore this point will be rendered incorrect. But from what I gather, he did not. The fact that he is only getting this platform now has everything to do with his time in jail. Now, if we is being invited to inspire the masses then he should be selecting a topic that has to do with his sentence, and the topic at hand should not be "faith and belief" but rather a topic about respecting mankind and keeping the law according to Torah. Now THAT'S something all of us can use because it is coming from a person who has done wrong in that area of halacha/life, has presumably done teshuvah for it, and is now inspiring the masses not to follow in his footsteps. And it would be a perfect dvar Torah for the Agudas Yisrael conference he was invited to, based on all of RNS' points.
      (3) RNS is not criticizing "his politics". What on earth did you mean by that statement?

      And I'm not quite sure what you meant by the Rabbi Meir/Acher analogy. Please care to expand on it. Did Rabbi Meir invite Acheir to speak on public platforms to the masses?

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    10. > No, we can't "always" use divrei Torah about faith and belief. Would you say the same thing if Harvey Weinstein or Bernie Madoff got up and spoke about faith and belief?

      Ironically, R' Avi Shafran wrote a glowing piece about Bernie Madoff he subsequently had to take down from Cross Currents on that basic subject.

      Reb Rubashkin was invited because he exemplifies the Satmar-influence hashkafah that is dominating Modern Chareidism(tm). In summary, when something happens you like, then God is involved. When something happens you don't like, it's the Satan and God is on a coffee break.
      So it counts that Rubashkin had faith that God would help him get out of prison but it doesn't count that he didn't have faith that God would give him the parnassah he deserves leading him to cheat and steal. A perfect example.

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    11. If one were to talk about how being imprisoned led one to remorse and repentance and renewed faith there would be value in that talk, because it would be about personal transformation. But heroizing a convicted felon who has shown no remorse? No.

      An aside: I having a feeling that a lot of the people touting Rubashkin don't understand the difference between a pardon and commutation.

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    12. In seeing the comments above its good to know that such hatred represents only a tiny, insignificant portion of orthodoxy (I presume commenters here are orthodox), and that both the masses and community leaders have roundly rejected it. But I suppose the commenters above are smarter than them.

      In any event, to those who wondered what message of faith Rubashkin could offer that others couldn't, I would have thought the answer is obvious. Many others would have had their spirits broken, and faith destroyed, after the way he was railroaded by palpable Jew-hatred, and sentenced (at his age)to essentially life imprisonment. Among other things, that his faith in God was not extinguished, that his letters to his family were always filled with cheer and hope, is indeed something to take heart in.

      Menachem Begin - who plenty of other Jews also called a "criminal" in his time, to their everlasting shame - had a similar message of standing strong while in prison. How they did it, and what they focused on, is something for all of us to hear and be encouraged by.

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    13. "no matter what his politics." No one is objecting to his politics or even knows what they are. They object to honoring a criminal whose message is not "hey I screwed up; don't do what I did".

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    14. As if the Aguda would ever let a chiloni like Begin give shiur at a convention.

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    15. Let's get real. Nowadays, there is no permission for even a R. Meir to learn from Acher. In fact, the anti-Zionism of Hareidism (i.e., the contempt for the state and civil authority) runs so deep that once the Rav, Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, endorse Mizrachi and the medinah, those Haredim who learned from him had to keep it hidden, just like many concealed their ongoing contacts with R. Shaul Lieberman .

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  8. Rubashkin is honored for remaining a Jew and keeping his faith in the prison, from which he was not expected to get our alive. He did not stop learning Gemara, fighting for his right to wear tzitzit, etc.

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    1. hurts me to say this, but rubashkin wasnt the only observant jew in american prison. he wasnt given a life sentence. it was excessive, but he was not going to die in prison. there is nothing to do in prison, so that gives one plenty of time to learn. and the federal prison system is very lenient when it comes to religious observance. not sure that rubashkin was there, but there is one prison with a kosher kitchen, and those who keep kosher eat better than the rest of the prisoners.

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  9. Secular power corrupts religious idealism and that is a fact. You have to go with "us versus them" to keep things strong and unambiguous. Sad to see Chareidim becoming what they primarily disliked about the idea of Zionism.

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  10. You are just rehashing your other posts about Rubashkin. Is there going to be a post for every time he is honored?

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    1. Don't shoot the messenger.
      The fault lies with those who honor him, not those who are Mocheh against the honor!

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  11. https://m.jpost.com/Blogs/Matters-of-Life-and-Religion/The-Facts-in-the-Rubashkin-Case-Speak-for-Themselves-520046

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  12. There is a whole book about Rubashkin's appalling behaviour spanning more than a decade, during which, at best, he showed no concern for how his conduct might affect attitudes to Jews, and, at worst, cynically acted in a way that matches anti-semitic stereotypes so that he could cry anti-semitism whenever some made a factual description of his behaviour. If he actually had emunah he would recognize his prison sentence as commupance for the scummy life he has led. Instead, he has the azut panim to give public mussar. He is just a really, really bad human beings and his defenders simply need to stop and tell him to shut up and stay shut up. End of story.

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    1. I read that book years ago, well before the name Judge Linda Reade became a byword for corruption. And it was obvious already then that the writer started with a preconceived agenda and mission. Or do you mean to tell us that, along among the human species, book writers are pristine and unbiased arbiters of the truth?

      Besides, who do you think underwrote the author's costs in writing the attack piece? You don't think he got any grants from interested parties? This is a writer who actually has a textbook out called "narrative journalism", a how-to book on how to write to advance an agenda. Or did you actually believe the guy just decided to write about this topic with no one paying him to do it? One has to be incredibly naïve to think so.

      Rubashkin doesn't need "defenders." He has already been invited by countless community leaders to countless community events, attended by thousands of the masses. In between there are pockets here and there of haters, gathered together in their little dark corners to snark and hiss at the Jew with the beard and earlocks. So be it, some things will never change. But Rubashkin has already emerged triumphant, and nothing anyone can say will change that.



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    2. A lot of the reviewers said that book had poor standards of journalism. Don't get too excited by it.

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    3. So which parts of the book are inaccurate and why? And which parts of his conviction and are inaccurate and why? What corruption did the Judge commit and can you provide evidence of that? What is the evidence that appeals court was corrupted? Where does Rubashkin deny that he committed the crimes he was convicted for?

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    4. He has already been invited by countless community leaders to countless community events, attended by thousands of the masses. In between there are pockets here and there of haters, gathered together in their little dark corners to snark and hiss at the Jew with the beard and earlocks

      Perhaps this analogy will appeal to you. George Soros is a rootless cosmopolitan who uses his illicitly gained wealth to interfere in the internal politics of multiple countries with the consistent theme of undermining national distinctive. That and he's so ugly it looks like he's wearing some sort of ugly make up. Now that's an anti-semitic stereotype. It's also a factually accurate description. Therefore, when anyone makes a factually accurate description of George Soros his minions start shrieking anti-semitism and this is effective because there is actually no way of attacking Soros without echoing anti-Semitic stereotypes.

      Now, Rubashkin is a a greedy conniving businessman, who shows wanton disregard for every principle of business ethics and doesn't care - or even pretend to care - about the non-Jews he hurts. He also happens to look like a Nazi cartoon. That's an anti-semitic stereotype. It's also a factually accurate description.

      I have no problem with healthy ethnocentrism, not for Jews and not for anyone else. However, every group has to recognize that to the extent that they cultivate in group preference, psychopaths will try to exploit this to their benefit, often with disastrous results for the group. There needs to be a mechanism to stop this happening and 'don't invite psychopaths to give ethical homilies to crowds of thousands' has to be in there somewhere.

      . And it was obvious already then that the writer started with a preconceived agenda and mission.

      The author is a typical New York liberal Jew and, as such, was brought up with strong feelings of hostility to rural, white, christians. He expected to find that the locals were mostly at fault because of 'anti-semitism', which New York Jews imagine to be some sort of primal force that exists completely independently of their own behaviour. The more he investigated, the more he found that Rubashkin was to blame.

      But Rubashkin has already emerged triumphant, and nothing anyone can say will change that.

      Rubashkin is a textbook psychopath and it's close to being a dead cert that he will do something in the next decade that will put him in hot water. The same inability to engage in moral introspection that leads him to give drashas in front of thousands will lead him into more reckless activities. There's also that pesky afterlife to worry about too; chillul Hashem is kind of a big deal.

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    5. In response to Gavriel M comment above -

      The identity politics cat is long out of the bag, and everybody now plays it (like accusing opponents of the Beit Shemesh mayor of mere woman-hating, rather than any substantive disagreement.) This is the legacy the left wing of America has given us. For a long time those on the right refused to stoop down to that level, and basically allowed themselves to be punching bags. Perhaps they believed the insanity they were witnessing couldn't possibly last. Unfortunately, it has, and its only gotten worse, and so they've had no choice but to jump into the fray too. And so yes, of course this is a disaster, for the reasons you said. But its the world we're living in. The wave of massive reverse racism class action lawsuits is just over the crest.

      Given that, there is absolutely no reason in the world Rubashkin too, shouldn't focus the light on the anti-Semitism that underlay his case. That is, after all, the reason the President commuted his sentence.

      Re the book writer - I don't know anything about him. I don't know for sure he was given grant money by left wing funding, I simply (very) strongly suspect it, and I've learned to trust my suspicions. And while its true that typical liberal Jews hate rural white Christians, they like bearded Hasids even less.

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    6. Given that, there is absolutely no reason in the world Rubashkin too, shouldn't focus the light on the anti-Semitism that underlay his case.

      What underlay the case is the fact that Rubashkin was employing 100s of illegal aliens in order to evade the minimum wage and employee safety law. Because of the way his company was structured it wasn't possible to convict him of that, so the Feds rooted around till they found something and the judge gave him a big sentence. This is how the Anglo-American legal system works all the time because of the unusual difficulty of securing a conviction combined with the unusual degree of leeway judges have in handing out sentences. It's an odd system to be sure, but complaining that Rubashkin's sentence was disproportionate is like saying Al Capone got a disproportionate sentence for tax evasion. Yeah it's true, but it's something only someone who's trying to be obtuse would say.

      Now, I agree that the Anglo-American legal system is kind of dysfunctional, ad there are real problems with the way the Feds handled the case, but, then again, we're talking about an agency that
      shot a woman cradling her baby because her husband was a weirdo and wanted to live in the woods and not pay taxes. No need to bring anti-semitism into it.


      That is, after all, the reason the President commuted his sentence.
      Trump did it in order to defuse allegations of anti-semitism cynically used by the (disproportionately Jewish) elite who are unwilling even to make minor sacrifices to accommodate the desire of ordinary Americans for decent jobs and wages. I thought it was a reasonable move, especially since he commuted the sentence rather than granting a pardon, and I even understood the tasteless way Rubashkin celebrated when leaving prison. Since then, however, his behaviour has become more and more absurd and shameless. I'm starting to wonder at what point exactly his defenders will admit that he would be better advised to steer clear of the limelight.

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    7. After reading that I see we have absolutely zero common ground, so no sense continuing.

      Regards,

      DF

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  13. Hello Rabbi

    I am roughly 100% in your court when It comes to looking at Judaism rationally. I have written several articles and defend you in my charedi shul where many vilify you. However, with this Rubashkin case I am bewildered at your action. At first I was with you, asking the same hard questions. I even wrote the judge after the sentence was communed.

    After thinking long and hard, I now do understand his status and popularity, it has nothing to do with what he did wrong - and he did wrong! In Monsey where I live there are load of convicted frum criminals that got out of jail and no one is celebrating. We do not celebrate criminal conduct. Here it is a different story, he was railroaded by an anti-semitic judge, an over the top prosecutor. Later by whatever you want to call it, divine intervention, political-pull he was freed from this unfair and unethical sentence. That is what I told the Judge - we all see his crime, however had you been fair and equal with him under the law and given him a 10 year sentence all this would not come to pass.

    The celebration is only that he was finally ended up being treated fairly, that is the sigh of relief in our community. You, that are supposed to be logical and reasoned, I am now starting to question your motives. What can't you understand what that the community is celebrating? What fascination do you have just to continue knocking him and the community.
    Believe me there is a lot to critique in our community, which you gracefully do and for that you deserve thanks. I understand one article showing your bit of displease - okay., but your fascination of this.. Here you are the one not being reasonable. I asked myself the same questions you bring up, however I come up with a different answer. Do you really expect him to go around saying "I am a criminal" etc etc. If you do, carefully examine you motives. If he would ever even once utter "I was put in jail for nothing" that would be something else, however that is not what he is claiming. He is only inspiring others showing that even if you did something wrong, and unfortunately wgot a horrible disproportionate sentence, hashem can still help. Might not be perfect , but what is wrong with that??

    Check you fascination and motives on this issue. If some other Rabbis acted differently, not everyone has to act in the same manner. You can also attack Rav Kook ZT'L for even defending that guy, there is a court case with evidence and who are you to mix in. If you were living at that time you would have attacked him as irrational. Comparing this to the other bums as posing as rabbis who went to Berland, they are no better them him. I wrote a piece about him on Thinking Yid blog site, blasting our community - how we can follow a true nut and rapist. He is worse than any dark alley rapist, as he raped a married woman while her father sat outside the door. May g-d help us all.

    Sholi Katz
    Monsey NY

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    1. >Do you really expect him to go around saying "I am a criminal" etc.

      Yes. If he is giving talk about his experiences, I would expect him to give over exactly the message that you claim he is giving over: "He is only inspiring others showing that even if you did something wrong, and unfortunately got a horrible disproportionate sentence, hashem can still help." But that is NOT the message that he is giving over. There is NO acknowledgement that he did anything wrong.

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    2. "What can't you understand what that the community is celebrating?"

      Because that is NOT the sum total of what the community is celebrating. They are also celebrating HIM, as a hero. There is NEVER any acknowledgement that he did anything wrong.

      "What fascination do you have just to continue knocking him and the community."
      It's exactly as I have said. I (and many others) are disturbed that he is being celebrated as a hero without any clear acknowledgement that he did anything wrong. As you say, in Monsey there are many convicted criminals. Do you really not see any connection between this, and the celebration of Rubashkin?! The yeshivish (and even more so the chassidish) community does not sufficiently care about white-collar crime.

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    3. Here is a statement by Nshei Chabad:

      "The N'shei Chabad Newsletter, will never, in any way, print anything written by anyone (no matter who) that is critical of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, who was TRAPPED AND FRAMED by the psychopathic, corrupt, hypocritical anti-shechitah activists in this country. You may quote me on this one! Rishe Deitch, N'Shei Board"

      The narrative is all about "innocent tzaddik persecuted by evil goyim." No allowance for any acknowledgement of any wrongdoing on his part.

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    4. To add to what R Slifkin said, whenever you discuss this topic with a defender of the celebrations, they always claim that he is innocent.

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    5. I guess we are closer than it seems. If Rubashkin said he did something wrong and shows remorse, we can all agree that would be the right thing to. If he claimed he did nothing wrong, that would indeed deserve our sincere ongoing criticism.
      We differ, now that he chooses not to start speaking with an open acknowledgement of his crime, just wants to move forward from there. I can understand and give him the benefit of the doubt. Like blogger YA stated further down below - Do we expect Jonathan Polard to walk around saying I am a traitor. Do we expect all others that got out of prison to openly state they are crooks. How would WE act in G'f in such a situation. Would we hang a sign over our necks saying "CROOK"? I think we should move forward, and not insist Rubaskin embarrass himself in public. Also if you want to attack anyone, look a6t Israeli politics, look at Arye Deri, as a convicted thief we allow him to serve us again. Have the Safardei Charedim gone off the wall., he walks out of prison right back into a leadership role exactly where he left off. He also seems he does not start his talks saying "I am a convicted crook". My argument is lets move past this.
      WE all bump into defenders that claim he did nothing wrong, as everyone inflates his inventory for a greater loan. I ask them, are you sure "everyone"? Anyway we can't attack a person for others remarks, but only for by his own words or actions.

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  14. 1. SR is on Israel to pay a Shiva call on family whose father supposedly helped get him out.
    2. The question of who murdered arlosoroff was revealed about 10-20 years ago. Let's just say he just returned from his old country Berlin a few days before he was murdered. Had nothing to do with IsraeI, revisionists, internal Israeli politics. Thus, Rav Kook was right (though the accused may still have been an unsavory character.)

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  15. I haven't heard anyone make the argument that he wasn't guilty of anything. The argument is he was railroaded and sentenced highly.
    http://crownheights.info/op-ed/601725/shliach-responds-jew-disgusted-rubashkin-celebrations/

    People are having the same reaction as they had over Pollard, overjoyed, welcoming of him but saying he did make a mistake but was railroaded and highly sentenced.

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    1. "I haven't heard anyone make the argument that he wasn't guilty of anything." Then you have no knowledge of the topic. That is the predominant position among those defending these celebrations.

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    2. I suggest you read the links I gave. He himself had told the judge he did wrong and he told the community. Read slso the link where the Chabad rabbi says that he made mistakes.

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    3. Excellent point - did not think of this correlation. We don't hear anyone saying Polard did not do anything wrong. All we arguing about is the unfair sentence he got. How do we know it is unfair, we compare it to others who were sentenced while committing similar crimes We only argue of "unfair"

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    4. You said "I haven't heard anyone make the argument that he wasn't guilty of anything." Then you haven't been listening. That is the main argument being spouted. Those people either don't know what he said during sentencing or would say that he lied to try to curry favor with the judge (assuming that he acknowledged his guilt there).

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    5. Excuse me the moment they eould say he lied he would already be looked at as not perfect. Further the argument the Jewish community had made for his release was that he was guilty of something but that it was harshly treated. No one simply said he was innocent. It was the same strategy for Pollard's release, the same playbook.
      What you're saying makes no sense for the real world. I'm telling you what you encounter not accepting stereotyping to fit a narrative.

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    6. "Excuse me the moment they eould say he lied he would already be looked at as not perfect." Of course not! You can lie to an unjust authority.

      "Further the argument the Jewish community had made for his release was that he was guilty of something but that it was harshly treated. No one simply said he was innocent."

      Not much point in arguing further. His lawyer's didn't make argument, but his defenders do all the time.

      Delete
    7. You aren't having a real picture of how things work just some bizarre unthinking caricature and for goodness sake his trial was a disgrace and you are simply going with it. Not much point in arguing further with unthinking condemnation. Further Alan Dershowitz is certainly correct that AntiChareidi bias was involved.

      Delete
  16. https://www.thegazette.com/2010/04/29/rubashkin-apologizes-during-sentencing-hearing

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  17. " Never apologize. Your friends don't need it, your enemies won't believe you anyway." - Elbert Hubbard

    RNS, you're really out on a limb with this. Sure, Rubashkin knows he may have violated a law [he may also believe he didn't], but so does anyone who exceeds the speed limit or drives while talking on a cell phone. So does any lawyer who notarizes something without the individual being present. Thousands of people, every day, pad their expense accounts and steal from their employers. Etc. An older first offender like Rubashkin, in a minor non-violent matter, should have received a warning and a fine. The whole legal community, here and in the 8th Circuit, knows very well Rubashkin was the victim of anti-semitism and corruption. In the circumstances of what happened, its flat out irrational to expect him to "apologize."

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    1. If I was incarcerated for talking on a cellphone while driving, I would celebrate being released early, but I would most certainly also say in any celebration speech that it is wrong and dangerous to talk on cellphone while driving and I shouldn't have done it.

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    2. But if you got a harsh sentence disproportionate to your crime, it's highly unlikely that you'd focus on your crime. More likely than not you'd focus on the disproportionate and unjust punishment you got. Well , Rubashkin does neither - instead he chooses to focus on a Emunah - not a bad reaction for someone is his position.

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    3. Who's asking for focus? Inclusion is also good.

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    4. DF,

      I tried that line on God last Yom Kippur. He said I was right and that He had been wrong all along and that we should throw out Hilchos Teshuva.

      I'm never fasting or apologizing ever again

      Delete
  18. Natan your failed coup of hijacking hareidi Judaism and "teaching them the true derech - rationalism" has turned into a smear campaign of Orthodox figures.
    While reading your blog is a fascinating study in human behavior, I suggest you move on. To think no one sees through as to your motivations is a true lesson in human deficiencies.

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  19. It is the height of irony that this obsessive desire to incessantly highlight others' wrongdoings is so predominant on a blog so opposed to misplaced zealousness.

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  20. Thanks to this quote, I got hold of the book you mention by Goren. That is so full of fantasy and inaccuracies, it is impossible to use as a source, even though sometimes I really want to.
    He had this dimyon about his role in the world, along with his getting photographed with a sefer torah and wearing just tefillin shel rosh, because that was all he had at the time (against the halacha).
    Rav Kook may, or may not, have said that. But this source is useless

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  21. And what bigger shysters are there than Zionist, particularly the early leaders. They fooled the whole Jewish people to trade in their judaism for secular nationalism. And the rabbis that helped them and gave them credibility, what do we say about them?

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    1. The Zionists were messengers of God to rebuild the land of Israel. Had the old Yishuv not been so opposed to the Zionists, they wouldn't have been so radically opposed to Judaism as they were. Either way, the Zionists are long gone in their stead is a new group opposed to chareidim - be they secular or "religious". Many of the old complaints against the old Yishuv are alive and well today - unfortunately there is much basis for those complaints....

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    2. Messengers of God violate Shabbos? Messengers of God are atheists? Today, 4.5 million "Israelis" violate Shabbos every week. You think that's good for the land? The Zionists are the worst enemy that the land of Israel has ever endured. The Zionists endanger all of klal Yisroel with their sin.

      Delete
    3. @Israel

      Wow! How did this thread go from rational to lunatic?

      Delete
    4. How did we go from frum to fry? I have to explain to this poor tinuk sh'nisba that we Jews obey a halacha and that failing to do so endangers us and it's all the more so in Eretz Yisroel. If you read the Shema it says if you obey me it will be good for you, if not you are in danger. He doesn't know these principles, poor thing. He thinks the Jewish religion means singing songs and joining the army.

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    5. Read this book very important for understanding the other side with whom you disagree.
      https://www.amazon.com/QUESTION-REDEMPTION-Modern-Beginning-Redemption/dp/9659071205/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=a+question+of+redemption+israel&qid=1550249403&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

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    6. @Israel

      #1. Sorry, but anyone who says something outside of your hashkafic views is not a "poor tinok sh'nishba" and based on his other comments in the thread it's likely that he isn't one. You sound like a Jew who takes the teachings of chachamim seriously, so if you believe the current exile we're in is because of sinat chinam, then it is people like you, not him, that are the problem. Jumping to conclusions that he "doesn't know these principles, poor thing. He thinks the Jewish religion means singing songs and joining the army" is absolutely absurd, and all it tells me is that you're someone who has a very superficial understanding of matters, and that likely your take on Judaism is shallow and misinformed as well.

      #2. The "if you obey me" part of the Shema also includes bein adam l'chaveiro. Notice how your examples were about "violating shabbos" and being an "atheist", neither of which are bein adam l'chaveiro. It seems you are failing to recognize that there are two aspects to keeping Hashem's Torah, and it's obvious from the disregard you quickly share for other Jews. A tinok sh'nishba can easily be someone dressed up in a black hat and peyos if they have the approach that you seem to be espousing

      #3. You said, and I quote "The Zionists are the worst enemy that the land of Israel has ever endured". Those are the words of a mad man, or the words of an ignoramus who knows nothing of our history and the enemies we've encountered over the course of Judaism.

      This forum is supposed to be one where people have some semblance of intelligence in their remarks, not a springboard for you to lash out at the Jews you revile in your heart. Find another blog to unleash your hatred, or make some attempt in being respectful and somewhat thought-out in your comments.

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    7. Did you not say to me "Wow! How did this thread go from rational to lunatic?" And you want to complain about someone being disrespectful?

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    8. @Israel

      That was quite sneaky of you skirting all the other points I made.

      When someone says something outrageous and harmful to others it needs to be called out. It's like those people who say whatever they want and hide behind the fence of "free speech", but in reality those people need to know that "no, you can't just say what you want". By shutting down their free speech you are actually refining, if not defending, what free speech is meant to convey.

      If you want to reply to the main points I made, feel free to do so. Looking forward!

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    9. The shema is not an hashkafic view. It's basic Judaism. Sin brings punishment. Sin in the Holy Land brings much more punishment. That's not an opinion. that's the way it is. If you don't know that, you are either a tinui sh'nishba or an apikoris. It's incredible that I even have to debate this. More proof that modern orthodoxy is no longer orthodoxy. It's a separate religion. It has become orthopraxy. We share some practices but our beliefs are quite different. Modern Orthodoxy has become a kind of materialism where sin is not considered a problem but not getting a college degree is, where the head of the army is more respected than a torah gadol, and 20,000 deaths in Eretz Yisroel are considered worth it because now we have a flag and lots of apartment buildings. I have my doubts that some MO people should be counted in a minyan. not all but many of them. But you have the power to change. Rather than complain about being insulted, just change and drop the materialism.

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  22. I'm not quite sure where in my statement I disagreed with the tenets of the Shema. Regardless of the verses in Nach (which are far more plentiful than that of the Shema) about bein adam l'chaveiro laws in relation to exile and the destruction of our people, my main issue with your comment was that "The Zionists are the worst enemy that the land of Israel has ever endured". Really? The worst?
    (Do you know the Nach part of the Tanach or can you only quote the Shema?)

    Your other statement was that the guy was a "tinok sh'nishba" and I'm not seeing where he was disagreeing with the shema, and rather that he was stating hashkafic views different than your own. Please care to share.
    Was it that he called the Zionists "messengers of God"? Is it possible for a non-Jew to be called a "messenger of God"? If so, why can't a "zionist" be one; because he abrogates the Torah?
    Furthermore, I think you are misunderstanding what he meant about being "messengers of God"

    You then go into this rant about modern orthodoxy without actually reading the statements in the thread, and it seems you simply have a bone to pick with a hashkafic view outside your own.

    I don't know what form of modern orthodoxy you are referring to. "Sin" of course is a problem, but perhaps the overobsession with avoiding it is far more extreme the more chareidi circles. "Not getting a degree" isn't bad, it just means that someone is less educated than others and believes that everything you need to know is in the Torah and nothing else is needed or even respectful to know.
    I don't even know the name of the "head of the army" and I don't think any of my friends do and I don't think any of us "respect them more than a Torah gadol". What I do know is that the more chareidi circles take the time to denigrate the Israeli army, while modern orthodox circles don't spend their time denigrating Torah scholars. Furthermore, I also believe that chareidi circles believe a Torah gadol can only be chareidi. Id hope you don't believe that.

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    1. "I don't even know the name of the "head of the army" and I don't think any of my friends do and I don't think any of us "respect them more than a Torah gadol"."

      You don't the head of the army. I see that you really are naive about Zionism. Read up on it a bit. I suggest Benny Morris. He's one of the foremost Israeli historians. He said this: “Israelis liked to believe, and tell the world, that they were running an “enlightened” or “benign” occupation, qualitatively different from other military occupations the world had seen. The truth was radically different. Like all occupations, Israel’s was founded on brute force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers, and daily intimidation, humiliation, and manipulation.” (Israeli historian Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 341)

      Delete
    2. Me not knowing the current head of the army has nothing to do with being naive about zionism. That's like saying is you don't know the name Chaim Kaniyevsky then you are naive about chareidi Judaism. Your rationale doesn't make any sense to me. Quoting me from Benny Morris does not make you sound smart either. There are numerous Israeli historians, many of which don't agree with Benny Morris' analysis of the evidence on the ground.
      Furthermore, I don't quite see what you're getting at here. If someone were to objectively look at our Torah and the tactics we used to conquer and outsmart our enemies then they would say the same thing. Women and children were killed by the sword, heads were decapitated, treachery was sometimes a critical part of defeating our enemies. Do you even read the words of the Torah when you're learning it? Who is being naive here?
      This is not me saying that the wars in the Torah were a moral failure, but rather that when you compare it to the words of your Morris guy, there isn't much of a difference.

      Lastly, my point was addressing your remark that modern orthodox gives more respect to the head of the army than a rabbi. And you ignore all my other points. A normal dialogue is where one responds to the other with points that address the comments made, not one that ignores half the points and brings up new issues that were never discussed.
      If you have nothing intelligent to say, don't say it.

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    3. I'm not trying to 'sound' intelligent. That's your fetish. I'm trying to put forth worthwhile arguments. And I have done that so please stop with the petty insults. It doesn't make you sound intelligent. It is significant that you don't know the name of the head of the army. Not that such is an obligation in life. But if half or all of your identity is Zionism and you keep promoting it and attacking anyone who is anti-zionist, then you better be informed about it and not just a promoter of its fairy tales. The Benny Morris quote is very important. He's a master historian, very detailed, objective, widely respected. And he's telling you that the State isn't the saint that you likely think it is. Will you accept that information and inform your outlook. Or will you just snarl and snip and attack back at anything that dares question the secular state? Because if you are angry, if you are on the attack, you must be right, no?

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    4. Sorry, but I'm not the strong zionist you describe me as. Being modern orthodox does not mean I'm a raving zionist. I don't believe the state is anywhere near where it should be, and I truly believe that the land of Israel should be governed under genuine observance of Torah and commandments. Nevertheless, I do believe that where it's at now is a necessary step toward the final goal, and thats because the Beit Hamikdash will not fall from heaven.
      I never said that "the state is a saint", you put those words into my mouth.
      You automatically equate someone who's modern orthodox as someone who has "at least half of their identity" of being zionism. I don't keep "promoting zionism", where did I insinuate that? I only made it a point to respond to an lunatic who made an insane remark that "The Zionists are the worst enemy that the land of Israel has ever endured. The Zionists endanger all of klal Yisroel with their sin." Me getting up and putting you in your place does not make me someone who "promotes zionism", or someone who "thinks the state is a saint", or someone who "attacks anyone who is anti-zionist".
      You are failing to miss the point of my comments, and you continue to demonstrate that you are a quick-to-comment bigot, who cannot see the sinas chinam you espouse

      Delete
  23. Zionism has brought, largely through trickery, political pressure, propaganda, and terrorism, 4.5 Shabbos violators to Eretz Yisroel. Actually, many of the ancestors of those people arrived as Shabbos observers but the Zionists manipulated and abused those people, many of them children, so they'd become non-religious. Could be as many as a million like that. Judaism is not a religion of fighter jets and apartment buildings. It's a religion of mitzvos and the opposite of that is sin. 4.5 million people sin on the land every day, major sins. Nothing like that ever happened in all of world history. Prior to the state there were a few thousand Shabbos observers on the land. Going all the way back to the Roman occupation and earlier, the great, great majority of people observed the commandments. Thus, Zionism has polluted Eretz Yisroel to a degree that is mind boggling. 85% of soldiers are sinners. They jeopardize us all every day with their sin, with eating traife, with violating Shabbos, with sleeping with single Jewish women who have not been to mikvehs, with so many kinds of sins, we could list them for hours. Over one million abortions have been performed in Israel. That's one million Jewish babies who never had the chance the breathe the oxygen that sweeps over the land. Anybody who is happy about the state is a hater of Hashem, heaven forbid, a hater of the Jewish people, and the worst enemy of the land of Israel. Or just really, really intellectually dishonest. At this point Modern Orthodoxy is just materialism and worship of things whether they be big houses in Teaneck or fast American made jets in Israel. Soldiers do not protect you. Hashem protects you. And He does not protect you in the merit of young men who eat milk and traife meat together. May Hashem bring them to teshuva, may He help them to see through the Zionist fantasies and find their true purpose which is not to be soldiers with big muscles but Jews. Not Israelis, Jews. Side note, if the army, the politicians, and the Israeli public did not harass Charedim, did not threaten to destroy religious observance with their draft of Charedim, if they left us alone and stopped being among the worst enemies the Jewish people have ever had, we would disparage them much less.

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    1. Now let me ask you honestly. Would you agree to the creation of a charedi enclave right on the border with Gaza that isn't protected by Tzahal but is protected by Torah Study?
      We'll move all chareidim there.
      Deal?

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    2. Sounds like a piece out of Yakov Shapiro’s book "The Empty Wagon". As a matter of fact all previous posts seem to be taken straight out of the book. The main reason why the book is irrelevant, is because Zionism as a movement to shmad Yidden is long gone. Seems the author was caught in a time warp of 50 years ago. The discussions in the book are outdated nearly half a century bearing no relevance to today's time and age.

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    3. His book and my comments are straight out of the comments of gadolim over the last 100 years.

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    4. Israel, on that point I agree with you.

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    5. According to the Chafetz Chaim's son in his biography of his father, the Chofetz Chaim put on bigday Shabbos when he heard about the Balfour Declaration. All the other accounts in his book "The Empty Wagon" are selective and mostly out of context quotes and stories. Using the book as Ta source is narrow minded and relying on fanatical authorship. Yakov Shapiro has gone on TV and public forum bashing the leadership of Israel as they are responsible for the founding of the State that occurred 70 years ago (when most current israeli politicians weren't even born yet!

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    6. It is not proper to just claim he quotes selectively or out of context. You need to cite examples of how a 1,300 page book is too narrow.

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    7. Assuming the story of the Chofetz Chaim is true, why did he dress up? Was it because someday there would be 1 million abortions in Eretz Yisrael? Was it because the government passed a law banning government employees from referencing G-d? Perhaps it was because the Balfour letter could be a sign of Moshiach. Meaning Moshiach would come and then we'd go to EY in peace. And that's not what happened of course. The opposite happened. They went without Moshiach and engaged in war.

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  24. I cannot believe people like you actually exist.
    I'm sorry to break it to you but the 3rd beis hamikdash is not going to drop down from heaven. It will take time to materialize and the first situation of the land won't be perfect. I believe it was the meshech chochmah who said that first it will be "yitgadal" and only later will be it be "yishtabach". Agreed, the holiness of the land won't be a result of those who don't obey the precepts of holiness, namely the commandments. The people who will be held responsible for carrying it out are the ones who are indeed observant. But with an attitude like the one you're espousing, you will not be one of them because all you're focusing on are the negative aspects of all the sinners. Sitting in beis midrash all day long, growing your peyos down to the floor, or putting all your passive trust in a gaol b'Torah won't change the reality on the ground and has no basis in Torah in terms of bringing the geulah.

    You said "Anybody who is happy about the state is a hater of Hashem". Right, so instead we should be happy about being in ghettos and ovens? That's a better situation because the heiligeh neshomos of klol yisroel won't be metamei b'aveiros chos v'shooloom? No one here is saying the state of Israel is perfect. The original statement the guy made insinuated that. It's a process. Instead of focusing on the sinners, focus on the nevuos that are coming true. Wait a second, do you even read Navi? Or are you so stuck on the Shema?

    You said it's not a religion of fighter jets, but a religion of mitzvos. I'm having trouble finding where in Tanach the Jews stayed put learning Torah and keeping mitzvah and the enemies died all by themselves. Please find me a source. The reality is you need both.

    The chareidi bums who are merely pretending to be sitting in yeshiva are the ones destroying religious observance and the face of Israel. Indeed, there should be a core group of full time learners, but that is simply not the case right now, and a huge subset of them know nothing and do nothing. There are plenty of Jews wearing black hats and beards that are committing daily sins far worse than the clean shaven chilonim.

    "we would disparage them much less". Wrong. Long before the decision to put chareidi puppets into the army, I myself witnessed firsthand videos spread across my yeshiva (yes, charaidi) that demonized the "Israeli sinners" exactly in the way you did in the vile comment you just wrote.

    Lastly, where in the Shema, which you are such a professional at saying, does it say that "sin brings punishment to the land"? You yourself said the Shema is not a hashkafa, it's basic fact. Where does it say it? Quote chapter and verse if you please. (I'm not necessarily disagreeing on that point, but I don't think your source of the Shema is correct)

    If Hashem doesn't protect me "in the merit of young men who eat milk and traife meat together" he for sure doesn't protect me in the merit of ignorant Jew-Hating pretenders who do nothing to help their brothers and sisters and have a perverted skewed view of Judaism.

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    1. Actually the 3rd Temple will drop down from heaven.

      Charedim are not bums. Do know any? They are busy all day long? You think they are surfing on the beach? If not enough of them work in Israel that's because of the Zionists. Draft exemption is nullified if a man works even one day in his life. The gov. of Israel prevents men from working.

      Deuteronomy 11:13-21

      And it will be, if you will diligently obey My commandments which I enjoin upon you this day, to love the L-rd your G‑d and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, I will give rain for your land at the proper time, the early rain and the late rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine and your oil. And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be sated. Take care lest your heart be lured away, and you turn astray and worship alien gods and bow down to them. For then the L-rd's wrath will flare up against you, and He will close the heavens so that there will be no rain and the earth will not yield its produce, and you will swiftly perish from the good land which the L-rd gives you.

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    2. The verses you quoted are from 11:13-17. If you're gonna quote, then at least get it right. Sheesh.

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    3. I said Deuteronomy 11:13-21. I was directing people to the whole passage. Can we be more petty?

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    4. It would have been just as easy to copy and paste the entire passage until v21 if you were directing people there, or to have written 13-17.
      The point is that your comments are done quickly without thinking, which seems to be the general pattern of the Judaism you follow.

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  25. So you are saying G-d could not protect us but the IDF can? That makes you a heretic. Did the Holocaust happen because the Jews didn't have an army or because of sin? The answer will tell me if you are a heretic. Can the IDF fight Russia or only weak Arab nations who send a small portion of their forces. Because that's all the tiny little IDF has ever fought. You think they can beat Russia or Turkey or stop a nuclear bomb. What if a plague ravishes their ranks? You think they are safe from G-d's wrath? I think you do and that's why you are a heretic. Zionism is heresy and it has sucked in so many yetzer haras.

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    1. If you would have read my comment you would have seen that I said " The reality is you need both. " So no, it doesn't me a heretic, it makes you an idiot. An idiot who fails to read and understand what people write, and who does a cursory glance at remarks being made. And that spills into your understanding of Torah where you superficially quote the Shema, which only speaks of Idolatry (וַֽעֲבַדְתֶּם֙ אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֔ים וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲוִיתֶ֖ם לָהֶֽם) as the leading cause of God becoming angered at us (וְחָרָ֨ה אַף־יְהֹוָ֜ה בָּכֶ֗ם), withholding our blessings (וְעָצַ֤ר אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙ וְלֹא־יִֽהְיֶ֣ה מָטָ֔ר וְהָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה לֹ֥א תִתֵּ֖ן אֶת־יְבוּלָ֑הּ ), and ultimately kicking us off our land (וַֽאֲבַדְתֶּ֣ם מְהֵרָ֗ה מֵעַל֙ הָאָ֣רֶץ הַטֹּבָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה נֹתֵ֥ן לָכֶֽם). You say the Shema multiple times a day and don't even understand it. Where are the idols in the land of Israel you speak of? Are you referring to the fighter jets; are they the getchkes that the Shema is referring to? (Again, I'm not disagreeing with the notion that sin brings punishment, but rather on your poor understanding of Torah and bringing the wrong sources)
      You have been fed a myopic misinformed form of Judaism that you probably haven't matured out of since the time you were in cheider, and judging by your poor reasoning and uneducated statements, was probably only 10 years ago.

      No, the temple will not drop down from heaven. Keep waiting. You are a Torah sh'baal peh karaite if you believe every statement of chazal as literal. Do yourself a favour and read the Rambam's introduction to perek ha'cheilek (it might be a bit long for you though and you will need to use your brain to focus) and you'll find that you're in that misinformed class of Jews who fail to truly understand chazal. Believing that the 3rd temple will drop down from heaven creates the mindset that we can just sit back and do nothing, because Hashem will do everything for us. We can sit in beis midrash and just learn Torah, we can just do the mitzvos, and Hashem will do the rest. There is not one story in Tanach where this is the case. The last time I checked, the land of Israel that we have returned to did require an army to get us there, and yes of course Hashem was behind it all. But it did not come from a bunch of kollelniks learning Torah.
      Indeed, you do need the Torah and you do need the mitzvos, but you also need your brain and body to physically get stuff done. Anyone who puts all their trust in either of the two is, in your words, a "poor tinok sh'nishba".

      Lastly, instead of focusing on all the sinning that's going on, it would do you some good to channel your negative energy into recognizing all the positives of being back in the land of Israel.

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    2. The point is that sin results in being pushed off from the land. It seemed you needed that basic point explained to you. 4.5 million Israelis violate Shabbos. That is sin. And they do lots of other sins too. Nothing to do with fighter jets. You want to tell me the state protects Jews. i'm telling you history teaches us that sin gets us killed. Why now, when there's never been more sin, will the result be any different?

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    3. Shall I even comment on the intellectual arrogance you show in your post? If I had known that you were so many levels above the rest of us, so educated and brilliant, I might not have tangled with you. How dare I approach your masterful arguments with my small brain that I fail to use.

      It is not only idol worship that drives us from the land - and worship of the military is idol worship anyway. (Yoma 9b), the first Temple was destroyed because of the sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed. It wasn't destroyed because of chillul Shabbos because people kept Shabbos in those days. Even Shabbos observers lost the land because of other sins. And Shabbos violation is a denial of Hashem anyway. There's no way you can get around this, even with all your state worship. Israeli society is secular. Jews are supposed to be religious. Zionism is a failure and listings on the NASDAQ don't change that.

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    4. Read the words.
      "And it shall come to pass if you surely listen to the commandments that I command you today..." One must do all the commandments to stay on the land. This is not just about idol worship. Are you going to outsmart the posuk now? It's not about being positive or negative - spare me the new age psycho babble. We are debating an issue here. Stay with me. Does the State keep Jews safe. Answer is no because most Israelis sin. Maybe the logic is too simple for you because you like to touch your nose by going around your head.

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  26. You said "worshipping the military is idol worship" . What on earth does that mean? Do you think that the "idol worship" of the military is in any way more tangible than the "idol worship" the ultra-orthodox world places on rebbeim? I myself like to judge favourably that the chareidim are not committing idol worship per se, but when you say that "worshipping the military is idol worship", then recognize that the same issue will apply to the ultra-orthodox, and therefore they will be the ones to get us kicked off the land as well.

    Yes, you're quoting me Yoma 9b. And that's what I was referring to in one of my first comments to you that if you believe every word of chazal is literal, which you seem to do, then you have to take into account that the current exile we're in is because of "sinas chinam", and your words expressed a deep-seated hatred for Jews. The gemara there doesn't say "oh by the way, sinas chinam is not a problem if it's on secular and modern orthodox Jews".

    "even with all your state worship". I don't worship the state. I never said anything of the sort. My point here is to show how your remarks are based on a misinformed view of Judaism. The point is that you can't get up and say insulting statements to people, rooted in your sinas chinam, and think that's okay. You should change your approach.
    I myself do not believe the state of Israel is anywhere near the ideal, but I do recognize that it's the first necessary step to get us there, and that's because the temple will not drop down in a flash. sorry. Did you read that Rambam?

    Instead of focusing on how "zionism is a failure" focus on your own failures and that of the chareidi world, unless you for some reason think that the chareidi world has no failures. What good will it do anyone if the only faults you're trying to improve are those of others? Again, my suspicions are that it comes from an immature view of Judaism that nothing needs to be done to make the situation better; stay in koyllel, sit back, keep the toyrah, have a heilegeh neshomo, the bais ha'mikdosh will fall into my lap and all those apikorsim will eventually be eradicated and ha'kudaysh burich hee will be my best friend.

    I am not trying to outsmart the posuk. You said that sin will kick us off the land and you brought the Shema. When it comes to being driven off the land, the only sin mentioned in the Shema is avodah zara. Furthermore "if you shall surely listen to the commandments" doesn't concern "being driven off the land" but rather concerns parnasah from rain and the environment, not the actual dwelling in the land. The only time the notion of "being kicked off the land" is mentioned in the Shema it's in the context of idolatry. Again, I'M NOT DISAGREEING that sin results in negative results, one of which is being driven from the land. I'm arguing that your quote of the Shema is a poor one, and it just confirms that your comments rest on shaky foundations.

    You say "4.5 millions Israelis violate Shabbos". Where are you getting this statistic from? And "israelis" doesn't mean "jews"! So, please provide for me some reputable source that "4.5 million Jews violate Shabbos", I would truly love to see it. And lastly, find me a source for how many Jews in Israel keep the Shabbos, that is if you're capable of focusing on the positive. And one last thing, find me a statistic for "how many Jews have the same level of hate for other Jews as you do". Once we have all these values we can do the math and see what's going on, lol.

    You said your logic is "too simple". So please explain the logic. You said "Does the State keep Jews safe. Answer is no because most Israelis sin." If that's the case, then how are Jews safe now? If they sin, then who is keeping them safe? Hashem? But they sin! How can He keep them safe?

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    1. The Shema says explicitly "if you keep the commandments" you want it to list every one? It references all of them. And that makes sense. Do you serve Hashem or not. If you violate some of them then are you serving Him? This Zionist habit of being so clever all the time and outsmarting the verses and not seeing the obvious, it's a very annoying habit. It's an intellectual snobbery of the sort that gets people into big trouble, where the uneducated man starts to make more sense than the brilliant intellectual who finds a way to condone say partial birth abortion. William F. Buckley, Jr. said "I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."

      Yes, you can make an idol of anything, including rabbis. That happens today too. It's an era of idol worship.

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    2. You are a racist. Saying that it's a "Zionist habit" to "outsmart the verses" is plain bigotry, and people like you are the reason our nation is lacking in unity, and you are the prime example of sinas chinam that is responsible for putting us into the mess we're in. If it weren't for the "zinosists" then we'd be no step closer to geulah.

      Your William F. Buckley comment. There you go misquoting once more. Indeed, he said a comment almost like that, but the fact that you misquoted his words shows you probably googled it and just copied and pasted from a site with poor sourcing. you do things too quickly, like you did when you misquoted the verses of the Shema. Semantics? Yes. But it's in order to demonstrate your pattern of just not thinking about what you're doing.

      At what point does Hashem make the decision "ok I've had enough, too much violation of Shabbos, it's time to kick them out"? Does He do it after one Jews breaks the Shabbos? After the majority of Jews do it? But then how many times does it have to happen before He makes that decision? What the Shema makes evident is that the point of no return is "v'avadtem Elohim acheirim", and that's not happening now in the land of Israel. If you say that "you can make an idol out of rabbis" then in all likelihood it's the ultra-orthodox that will ultimately push us to that extreme of idol worship that will get us banished from Israel, since they are doing so in the arena of religion and God. Do you really think it's the "tinok sh'nishba" that will get us kicked out, or the ones that actually were raised religious but keep failing to get it right?
      Lastly, if the zionists who founded the state were absolute reshayim then how on earth did God allow for us to win the war and re-enter the land? Was it to equalize things out so that we can have free will?

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    3. I read the first three words and said, do I have to continue reading? A racist? I take it you are under 40, maybe under 30. Everybody is a racist, right? Zionists are a race? You can't decide if you are a fascist or a leftist? You want to be everything that's convenient. Influenced by the gentiles on every side. Except the hysteria is not a gentile thing. We specialize in that.

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    4. You meant the first four words. There you again.

      "Everyone" is a racist? Why are you even asking me that? Did I call other people or other chareidim racist?
      Based on our conversations, if I were to call every chareidi an "idiot" (with you as the prototype), what would that make me? Pick a word if you don't like "racist". So then you're an antisemite. A self-hating antisemitic naval b'reshut haTorah.

      If you want to use whatever excuse you can to ignore my comments, go ahead. You ignore the anyways

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  27. Following your '2nd paragraph of the shema' logic, it would seem that God hates the behavior of settlers and charedim, as He threw them out of Gush Katif and removes the livelihood of the charedim who live in abject poverty.
    Tel Aviv folk who are thriving are receiving מטר ארצכם בעיטו

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    1. The Shema speaks to the nation and works on a national level. The whole nation gets kicked off the land. And that could be what will happen eventually in EY. When individuals who are reshaim prosper, it's so they receive all their reward in this world.

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    2. The rare good point.
      Still if I was them I'd take the hint.

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    3. Why do some tzaddikim prosper then?

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    4. The Lord mixes it up so as to maintain an environment where there's a test of free choice. But generally tzadickim are happy and reshaim are unhappy no matter how well they have it materially.

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    5. so if you don't keep shabbat then you're a rasha and by definition you're unhappy regardless of what you have, correct? this is your world view? And if you keep all the mitzvos then you have to be happy, and if you're not happy then there's a pegam in your avodas Hashem and you're really not a tzaddik? And if you happen to be a tzaddik who prospers and are getting schar in this world, then you're an exception because Hashem is trying to mix things up to give people free will?
      A more logical explanation is that if you work for a living, you will have money in which to exchange goods such as food, a dwelling, etc. That's just common sense. Irrespective of that, if you keep the mitzvos then you will get schar in the next world as well, and if you don't then you won't.
      Whether or not you're happy has to do with your free will, as you put it, and it is not an automatic feeling because you're a tzaddik.

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