Friday, May 7, 2021

Meron: Those Responsible, And Those Responding

It's now been a week since the worst civilian disaster in the history of the State of Israel. Initially, there were rumors being spread about the police having blockaded people and thereby causing the tragedies. Video and eyewitness evidence has since largely seemed to refute these claims, but even if there was police negligence, it's become clear that this would at most have been only a proximate cause. There is an overwhelming body of evidence, along with the scientific study of such human crushes, clearly demonstrating that the entire site was a disaster waiting to happen. All it takes is one person falling in order to create a pileup that results in a huge loss of life. Such loss of life could easily have happened at any point over the last twenty years, as numerous people kept warning over the years.

In which ways was Meron a disaster waiting to happen? Because it was a site that was suited to a few thousand people at most, certainly not a hundred thousand. The most dangerous part - the narrow, slippery access ramp where the tragedy happened - was built illegally in order to create a "mehadrin" route without women (leading some to observe that Rav Chaim Kanievsky was indeed correct that the tragedy was linked to modesty - just in the exact opposite way to how he understood it).

So how, in a developed country, where no other group would be able to arrange an annual event of such reckless magnitude with such fundamental violations of safety codes, was this able to happen?

Rabbi Pini Dunner has publicly named the five people with immediate responsibility for the Meron site and its basic deficiencies: Rabbi Avrohom Frohlich, Rabbi Mordechai Dov Hacohen Kaplan, Rabbi Dovid Derli, and Rabbi Matityahu Shrem, who run the four hekdeshos that control the site, and are supported by a senior haredi government official: Rabbi Yosef Shvinger, director of the National Center for Holy Places in Israel and a close confidant of Rabbi Aryeh Deri. Together, they fought any attempt to have the government take over the site and implement the fundamental structural upgrades that the State Comptroller's office was calling for. Why? Presumably, for reasons relating either to power or money.

But how do these five people manage to pull off such a thing? How did they manage to defy the State enforcement of standards that are applied everywhere else? 

The answer is that they did not work alone. It was quite easy for others to be recruited to this cause. There are the chassidic sects which want to have power and control over parts of the operation. There are people with massive financial interests - government subsidies for the event which, directed by the non-government agencies involved in running the site and event, result in fat contracts for refreshments, buses and so on.

There are also the "Gedolim" of the various streams of the charedi world, who are easy to recruit into signing a campaign against secular takeover of a Holy Site. This is because (and I'm being charitable) they don't have a clue about the real issues involved, they don't understand the need for professional governance and expertise, and they have an ideological opposition to being subject to the State.

Then there are charedi politicians who want to cater to all these constituents. And so even though some of them tried hard to make the event safer in various ways, they weren't willing to do the job properly, which would have meant going all the way and fighting their constituents for the basic need to have the government take over the entire operation. (And they have since falsely claimed that they did indeed want a government takeover, refusing to acknowledge that the charedi rabbinic establishment was, across the board, opposed to this.)

All this has been coming out in the press in a steady stream of revelations. How is the charedi world reacting? There are a few different types of responses.

There are many who immediately adopt the typical charedi siege mentality. They blame the police and the government; some accuse them of being negligent, while others claim that there was a secret conspiracy by the police to kill charedim! And they attack whoever is trying to identify the real causes of the long-standing fiasco as being "out to get the charedim."

Similar to these are all the rabbinic leaders and public apologists who piously describe the tragedy as a Divine Decree, either unknowable in cause or resulting from standard sins such as neglect of Torah and sinas chinam, in order to avoid focusing on the human negligence and culpability (which would lead back to their own camp). Likewise are those who try to manipulate the tragedy of the event to avoid anyone looking for the cause; as one journalist observed, "Now is not the time to point fingers of blame, say those who are to blame!"

These public figures lead many naive common folk in the charedi world in their wake. They condition them to avoid ever holding those who wield power in their communities accountable for how they exercise that power. It's a very effective strategy for holding on to power.

But there are some charedim who acknowledge the clear facts of the situation and its connection to systemic problems in charedi society. Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer, the founding editor of the journal Tzarich Iyun, speaking to non-Jewish audiences, spoke about the issue of autonomy. He stated that "It's a call for rethinking what is it that we didn't do right. It's not about the leadership. It's about us as a community, as a society, because it's the underlying opinions, the prevailing mindset of the society, that is going to be reflected by the leadership." (Of course, this is also effectively a statement about the leadership.) He also observed that “Haredim don’t want to lose autonomy, but becoming big by definition means being much more involved, much more integrated, and handing over a certain degree of autonomy. That is something that Haredi society hasn’t quite come to terms with.”

Others in the community are also speaking up. Charedi journalist Avi Mimran states: "The charedi mainstream needs to unite and stand up against the extremists, due to whom it is forbidden to touch a rickety fence in Meron. Because of fears of their demonstrations and violence in all sorts of other areas, we are entering into fear and leadership paralysis. When an extremist young man calls a policeman 'Nazi', as we saw in Meron, we, the silent majority, say nothing. We need to stop being afraid of some children making noise, and stop allowing them to control the charedi street. We have to go up with an excavator on the entire Meron area, to uproot all the caravans, the amutot, hospitalities, charity collectors and hekdeshos. With all due respect to those who have held all kinds of territory for centuries, this area has become a national site, and it is impossible to manage it when no fence is allowed to be touched.... And I also mean politicians, activists and all sorts of bodies with a lot of interests, who have deep hands in this plate, and who for years prevented the regulation of this place. They too have an indirect responsibility, in all the pressures they exert every year to that no stone in Meron is touched. And those are the first who, right now, have dug into all kinds of caves and disappeared."

Rabbi Betzalel Cohen, a revolutionary charedi school principal in Jerusalem, observes how it fits into a larger pattern: "I find similarities between the disaster in Meron and the conduct in Corona... both stem from the same worldview. The charedi public is a champion when it comes to helping those who are in trouble, but is far behind when it comes to preventing safety, health or economic distress... We hear the words of rabbis in the style of 'God takes the best, and it is a Divine Decree.' I understand that it is comforting, but when I hear these things, I explode. In order to to prevent the next disaster, we need to distinguish between an Act of God and an act of man."

Dr. Yehuda Sabiner, a Gerrer Chassid from Bnei Brak (I'm not sure how he managed to become a doctor), addresses the issue of authority and professional expertise: "We, the charedim, need to improve in terms of discipline versus authority. There are people in the country who make the decisions and bear responsibility, and we need to know how to accept that... In the end, ultra-Orthodox society craves order, organization and responsibility; but this is not always reflected by its representatives, who for their part are enslaved to sources of power and egocentric interests. The most important is the subject of professional hierarchy. Just as there is a Rabbi who paskens on purity and impurity, and a Dayan who rules in laws of monetary matters, each an expert in his field, so you have to transform the charedi mindset and recognize the 'rabbis' of medicine, security, and so on; to respect the authority of knowledge." 

And so there are people in the charedi world who understand what caused the tragedy and what needs to change. One can only hope that they are sufficient in numbers and influence to make a difference.

 

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135 comments:

  1. https://www.kikar.co.il/391192.html
    דיווח מדהים נוסף שפורסם בעקבות האסון, הוא על צ'ק פתוח של עשרות מיליוני שקלים, שהעמידה בעבר 'קרן ספרא' לטובת שיפוץ המתחם ותיקון הליקויים הרבים בו, אך בעוד רוב חברי 'ועדת החמישה' המפורסמת, האחראית על המתחם, שמחו על כך, אברהם פרויליך, העומד בראש ה'הקדש' של הקנאים, סירב - בשל העיקרון שלהם שלא ליהנות מ"כסף

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Missing a word at the end: "ציוני

      Delete
    2. The fact he has not yet been arrested or even interviewed is a matter of deep shame.

      Delete
  2. See, there is a huge difference between a community making their own cheshbon hanefesh, and coming up with things they should improve. Versus an antagonist, who has attacked the community on a constant basis for over a decade, using the tragedy to continue his long record of attacks. Dredging up all sorts of things about education and army service, everything and the kitchen sink, which none of these writers brought up.

    A good example would be, if after the murder of the three kids in 2014, if some DL writers questioned their community's cavalier attitude towards safety and security by building settlements in such dangerous places. That would be fine. Whereas the Satmar Rebbe using it to attack the "Zionist mentality"....is not.

    Even if you are completely sincere, and had no intention to use the tragedy for your larger agenda (like the Satmar Rebbe was no doubt convinced he was), YOU of all people should hold back. At least right now. Since your posts are FUNCTIONALLY INDISTINGUISHABLE from an enemy who is using the tragedy for his own agenda.

    Even if you are completely sincere and correct, it comes across as very cynical, inappropriate, and insensitive. Whereas for these chareidi writers, even if they are saying exactly the same thing, it doesn't. Since they don't have your record.

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    1. I've just showed you that my posts are also FUNCTIONALLY INDISTINGUISHABLE from people in the charedi world. What's happening is that you are judging things not by their content, but rather by who says them.

      If something is true, and beneficial, then it should not be rejected merely because of who is saying it. I hope that one day you will be able to appreciate that.

      And then one day, maybe you'll realize that it is not about people being "out to get the charedim," but rather people who are aware of the severe problems with that community, and who fear for the consequences.

      Delete
    2. Except I am not rejecting frank discussion about safety standards in Meron. I am criticizing YOU having frank discussion about the "chareidi mentality", while the families are still grieving. Because as I said , it comes across as very cynical, inappropriate, and insensitive. Just like the Satmar Rebbe. So you are not helping the situation at all.

      Secondly, they did not say the exact thing that you said. You are the one who brought up secular education and army service, which certainly SEEMS like you are using it for your larger agenda. They did not. You compared chareidi society to moronic Chelmites. They did not. They are writing from a point of view of solidarity with chareidi society. Your writing could not be further from that. So, it's very distinguishable from what they wrote, but indistinguishable from what you have constantly written for over a decade.

      I think it would be impossible to extricate your long record of antagonism from your posts here, and write in a sympathetic way. So you should just stop.

      Delete
    3. Another example. Suppose there would C"V be a similar disaster at an Israeli football stadium, for whatever reason.

      And all of the Israeli media blamed the cavalier Israeli attitude towards safety procedures.

      And then Richard Falk (look him up) started making similar public statements. Or even worse, he would blame "the entire Israeli mentality, as seen in their conduct to Palestinians and their belligerence towards the international community". While the dead were being buried

      Would you assume he is just sincerely trying to help Israeli society, and that his remarks are completely appropriate?

      This is EXACTLY what is happening here with you. And you are too blinded to realize it.

      Delete
    4. Here's a post from you, very similar to this issue!

      http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2020/11/too-outrageous-to-be-true.html

      Why can't Rashida Tlaib, Peter Beinart, Barbara Ransby, and Marc Lamont Hill discuss anti-semitism? Surely there are many valid points anyone can make about anti-semitism, are there not?

      In your words, "If something is true, and beneficial, then it should not be rejected merely because of who is saying it."

      Surely Peter Beinart thinks his points are true and beneficial! And you can probably even find Israelis who would agree with him! So what's the problem??

      Even better, what about if Peter Beinart would give some of his "true and beneficial" advice about anti-semitism, immediately following a terrorist attack?

      Delete
    5. "Why can't Rashida Tlaib, Peter Beinart, Barbara Ransby, and Marc Lamont Hill discuss anti-semitism?"

      Because they ARE antisemitic (or very close to that).

      This, on the other hand, is you saying that a person who has spent years pointing out flaws in charedi society should not point out when tragedies happen that these are precisely due to those flaws.

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    6. "Secondly, they did not say the exact thing that you said. You are the one who brought up secular education and army service, which certainly SEEMS like you are using it for your larger agenda. They did not."

      Gosh, you're right! They only said that there is a fundamental charedi problem of not seeing themselves as part of the wider country with its consequent obligations, not caring about professional guidance for their communities, and of shirking human responsibilities in favor of placing things on Hashem. They didn't make any connection between this and the charedim not seeing themselves as being part of the wider country with its military and economic obligations, not caring about what professional economists say about their communities, and of shirking work in favor of relying on Hashem. They probably wouldn't see any connection at all.

      Delete
    7. Executive summary: You're right, but how dare you!

      Delete
    8. "Why can't Rashida Tlaib, Peter Beinart, Barbara Ransby, and Marc Lamont Hill discuss anti-semitism?"

      Because they ARE antisemitic (or very close to that).


      They are antisemitic in EXACTLY the same way you are anti-chareidi. They also would say they are merely "pointing out severe flaws in Israeli society".

      As I asked, what would you think if Peter Beinart would give some of his "true and beneficial" advice about the severe flaws in Israeli society, immediately following a terrorist attack? This is exactly what you are doing! EXACTLY!

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    9. The similarity between these voices and other Chareidi voices blaming spiritual causes: They are all looking inward blaming themselves for the tragedy, discussing ways to rectify it.

      Whereas you are an outsider. And not only an outsider, an antagonist. Blaming the victims, who are also chareidim and share the chareidi mentality.

      As I said, this is exactly like Peter Beinart, giving "constructive criticism" following a terrorist attack. Constructive criticism about the severely problematic Israeli attitude towards Palestinians.

      Delete
    10. "As I asked, what would you think if Peter Beinart would give some of his "true and beneficial" advice about the severe flaws in Israeli society, immediately following a terrorist attack?" Well, if the terrorist attack itself really was due to severe flaws in Israeli society, and not due to evil terrorists, and Beinart nailed those flaws, I like to think that I would welcome his statement.

      Delete
    11. "Whereas you are an outsider." I've got news for you: The entire non-charedi community in Israel is also pointing out that the obvious things that I am pointing out. See, for example, this excellent article in Mekor Rishon:
      https://www.makorrishon.co.il/opinion/345163/
      Here's the money quote:
      אסון מירון משקף את תמצית הכשל שבמערכת ההפעלה החרדית: היא לא מותאמת בשום צורה למספרים גדולים. ההסדרים שהתגבשו בימי בן־גוריון התאימו לקהילה של 400 לומדים. הם קורסים ונמחצים כשהחברה הזאת גדלה ותפחה למספרים של מאות אלפים. אסון ההימחצות הוא לא רק אירוע טרגי קונקרטי אלא גם דימוי מדויק: עקומת הגרף החדה של ריבוי האוכלוסין במגזר החרדי, שאינה נתמכת בתשתיות הולמות, מובילה בהכרח לקריסת מערכות כוללת. כך בקורונה, כך בכלכלה, וכך במירון.
      Seeing as the charedi leadership certainly can't be trusted to recognize their own problems and change their society accordingly, it's crucial for EVERYONE to point it out.

      Delete
    12. HappyGoLucky, I find it amazing that you are so upset and obsessed with RDNS pointing out the problems in the charedi community that led to 45 dead, and apparently nowhere near as upset about the problems in the charedi community that led to 45 dead.

      Delete
    13. "The entire non-charedi community in Israel is also pointing out that the obvious things that I am pointing out"

      And they are similarly cruel and insensitive, blaming the victims. Pointing out obvious things is not always appropriate. If you see an obese person, do you say, "You're obese, it's not healthy, you have to lose weight."? Only if you're someone he trusts, and only with the utmost sensitivity.

      Again, nothing you say now will make chareidim start joining the army. The connection, which makes sense to you and other anti chareidim, does not make sense to them, and is only seen as victim blaming. Which it is.

      Yirmi, read my other comments. He is blaming innocent people (including the victims) rather than the ones who were responsible.

      Delete
    14. It's just not true that nothing I say has any effect. This blog is read by many thousands of different people and has several types of effect. And change can be caused from the outside too - e.g. by who people vote for.

      Delete
    15. It's never occurred to you that your paternalistic contributions to tribal sectarianism aren't helping the natives convert to the One True Path has it?

      You are using basic health and safety, which shouldn't be a tribal issue, as a sectarian and theological hammer to attack aspects of Charedidom which have nothing to do with Meron

      You aren't the right messenger even when the message isn't the usual output of sectarian over generalisations and outright falsehoods (e.g. - that nobody in the Charedi world is saying that things need to change at Meron).

      Delete
    16. The fact that your blog is read my thousands of people doesn't prove that you are making your desired difference. In fact, it's much more likely that chareidim are appalled by your stunning cruelty and insensitivity, blaming innocent people (including the victims and their families) rather than the ones who were responsible.

      "If this is how non-chareidim act... DON'T sign me up!"

      Delete
    17. I don't know why you keep claiming that I am blaming the victims. I've never said anything of the sort. They weren't the ones running things at Meron.

      Delete
    18. "rather than the ones who were responsible."

      Huh? Who do you consider responsible?

      Delete
    19. Ahhh...we are getting somewhere. I consider the primary culpability to be with the owners of Meron, who knew about the danger and had the responsibility of maintaining the site. If a civil/criminal lawsuit would theoretically be brought in an American court, they would likely be held criminally negligent. I think politicians, both chareidi, as well as secular politicians who succumbed to pressure, also possess a degree of culpability.

      But you are placing the blame on everybody else, countless innocent people, who had nothing to do with this, but you consider culpable because they possess the "chareidi mindset". Including the victims and their families, who also possess the "chareidi mindset". This is called "blaming the victims", there are no other words for it.

      Delete
    20. No, I am not placing the blame on everyone in the charedi world. I am saying that the tragedy was a consequence of the charedim mindset. Not everyone in the charedi world is responsible for creating the charedi mindset. It is the responsibility of the leaders and influencers.

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    21. So you acknowledge that the owners of Meron are ultimately responsible, but you are just arguing that they (probably) wouldn't have been negligent, had they not inculcated the chareidi mindset? And therefore responsibility lies with whoever gave them that mindset? Is that correct?

      The big problem is, who is responsible for the chareidi mindset? The Chazon Ish? The Brisker Rav? R' Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld? R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin? The Bais Yisrael?

      All these people, you must acknowledge, are responsible for creating the chareidi mindset. MUCH more than anybody alive today. These are the people you are blaming...for Meron?? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? You may as well blame the Arizal, or Rashbi himself!

      Here's an idea. Instead of looking for root causes behind the owners negligence, why not blame the owners themselves? They are autonomous human beings who knew very well what they were doing! The fact they were raised chareidi is no excuse, I can think of plenty of chareidim who would not be so negligent. Every bit of blame you assign to their rebbeim, or their rebbeim's rebbeim, or their rebbeim's rebbeim's rebbeim, you detract from them. And is ultimately counterproductive, as it shifts the problem elsewhere, to a place where it is MUCH LESS LIKELY to be rectified.

      Delete
    22. But the main problem is, your posts very much sound like you are blaming all the chareidim, not just the leaders. Your constant references to "chareidi community", "chareidi world", your comparison of chareidim to moronic Chelmites, they don't just sound like the leaders.

      If you would have just blamed the leaders (bizzarely connecting the Chazon Ish to the Meron owners' negligence), I would have vehemently disagreed. Perhaps I would have still accused you of using the tragedy to further your agenda (given how counterproductive your shifting of the blame is). But it wouldn't have been as crassly insensitive as talking about blaming the "chareidi community", the "chareidi world". Oh well. Too late.

      Delete
    23. Peter Beinart is anti-semitic? He's Jewish.

      You meant ilhan omar. Now, she's an anti-semite. She needs to be deported.

      Delete
    24. Neither Ilhan Omar nor Peter Beinart are really anti-semitic, any more than our host is anti-chareidi.

      They just make perfectly valid point about systematic problems with Israeli society's conduct towards the Palestinians and belligerence towards the international community, and how that contributes to terrorism. The vast majority of the world recognizes this.

      If you call that anti-semitism, you're just shooting the messenger.

      Even so, I don't think it would be appropriate for them to point that out immediately following a terrorist attack. And as far as I know, they have shown that courtesy. Which should be the minimum courtesy expected.

      Delete
  3. "even if there was police negligence, it's become clear that this would at most have been only a proximate cause."

    I think you need to look up the definition of "proximate cause" on Wikipedia, because in the context that you are using it, adding the word "only" before it is definitely an oxymoron.

    As an aside, is there any Rav that is alive today who you would respect enough to listen to if he were to disagree with certain elements of your articles? Or would you persist in writing everything you currently write solely based on your own opinion/authority?

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    1. The way one is respected while disagreeing is by presenting sound logic, not by the fact that you happen to have semicha.

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    2. Actually Rabbi Dr Slifkin states that he considers deferring to (medical) gedolim rather than evidence to be rational.

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    3. I happen not to have semicha and I wasn't disagreeing at all (not sure what led you to believe that I was) - I was simply asking a question,which I would genuinely love to know the answer to. Is there any Rav that is alive today who you would respect enough to listen to if he were to disagree with certain elements of your articles? If yes, can you please share the name of the Rav? If not, I certainly need to hand it to you for your level of self confidence.

      Delete
  4. Better than previous iterations because you quote sensible Charedim.

    However because of crass over generalisations ("typical charedi siege mentality") this is still not even remotely a serious contribution to public discourse.

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  5. @Dovid,

    You may have made a correct pedantic point about the word "proximate" and its legal usage. In this case, the proximate cause was the decades long dangerous situation at Meron created knowingly and willfully by the various people discussed in RDNS's post.

    If certain police actions, which under "normal" and safe circumstances would have had NO effect in putting ANY lives in danger, had in this case contributed to people getting killed and injured, then surely they are NOT the proximate cause for the disaster. That responsibility would fall on the leadership and on all who knew for many years of the dangers and the INEVITABLE loss of life.

    In ANY event, that inevitable loss of life and severe injury would have occurred in some other particular way. The point is that the disaster could and would have happened under MANY and various possible particular scenarios, all of which had NOT the proximate cause existed (the manifest danger of so many people at this site), would NOT have precipitated any harm.

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    1. I certainly hear your point although I am far from convinced that it's true under all circumstances nor that a court would (or should) see it the same way. Probably depends on the level of negligence on the part of the police and the level of negligence displayed by the askanim who set up the event. Halacha and secular law recognize the concept of זה וזה גורם and that could very well be the case here. I actually don't know but the major difference (among many other differences) between myself and RNS is that I admit that I don't know and I am willing to wait for the facts to emerge. I also have no agenda - I am not a chareidi nor a chareidi apologist nor am I a cop. As an aside, how many scientific studies are there out there which prove how much influence pre-bias can have on the process of reaching a fair and just conclusion in a given set of circumstances? Is there really even any debate regarding that question among the scientific community? Among the members of ANY community? Yet RNS can openly admit to being biased and yet has no problem "concluding" that this is only the fault of the chareidim. Fascinating.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous PersonMay 7, 2021 at 9:01 PM

    I think you aren't fairly representing what Rav Chaim said in this case. He didn't say that the disaster in Meron was caused by a lack of women's tznius. He gave a "We don't know why" answer (which is a different problem) and when pressed what people should do, essentially suggested what seem like generic religious improvements, which for women, always means "more tznius" in what appears to be the prevailing Haredi view (this too, is a bit problematic, but again, it isn't quite the same)

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    1. Excellent point. This is being elided in a lot of discussions of Rav Kanievsky's response

      Delete
    2. Actually, what I wrote was that Rav Chaim Kanievsky connected it with tzniyus, which he indeed did. And by the way, I think that saying "We don't know why it happened but we what we need to fix is tzniyus" is not much different from saying "it happened because of lack of tzniyus".

      Delete
    3. Spot-on, R' Slifkin. Or at least that's how it comes across, especially (but not only) to the secular world, and if R' Kanievsky (or in this case, his son) don't know that, they shouldn't be saying anything.

      Also, "We don't know why" is a nice theological statement. But in a case where we *do* know why, and that *why* relates to the very people he tells his followers to vote for, then it's just self-serving dishonesty.

      Delete
    4. It's difficult to comment without RCK's exact words i.e. that he signed (which I saw the other day) in front of me, but IIRC he emphasized more the idea that we don't know, & the tznius & netilas yadayim & some other things that I forgot were somewhat of an afterthought.

      Generally, there's a concept of כשיש דין למטה אין דין למעלה, which is understood to mean that as long as you're introspecting into your own conduct to the best of your limited abilities, the harsh judgment from above eases even if you're off the mark as to how the harsh judgment was sparked in the first place. So possibly out of a lack of clarity we should strengthen the areas that we already believe significant.

      If this is correct, so the RCK statement is indeed taking focus away away from safety measures, which aren't mentioned at all, but focuses, or perhaps semi-focuses, on tznius but only as some sort of default recommendation.

      In general, I see that everyone is giving reasons that they are predisposed to.

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    5. if you read the original , the askan who asked r chaim , asked 'what should women do ' . it was not r chaim picking out women , as was the case by an israeli rebbe who said women being in meiron at all is the cause.

      but since there is a presumption that women are the root of all evil , we are always expecting that tragedy- is either due to sheitel , lack of sheitel , women shoes clicking , women driving , women working , women not working etc etc etc

      Delete
  7. The Chareidim as a community are paying the price for the Meron disaster as we speak.
    Lapid and Bennett will not include the Chareidi parties in any government discussions for a number of reasons, Meron being just chronologically the last of them, but looming large in the whole picture.
    If the center will form the next government, there will be pay-back time from the Chareidim.
    Hafganot will be next.
    The US state department is rearing its ugly head already.
    Sadly enough, intifada to follow closely.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm generally suspicious of you and your museum of natural history with yearly feasts on exotic animals, but on this topic you are correct. In fact the issue is so simple and obvious that I don't know why there is a need for all these posts. I, a simple working guy, always felt that Meron was obviously very dangerous after having been there once over 40 years ago. Your analysis of the charedi attitude is also correct, but that's nothing new either.

    Israel isn't a developed country, but a corrupt, dysfunctional, chotic Miditeranean country with a uniquely Jewish shtetl twist. It's an absurd society. But this is who we are and there is nothing that can be done about it. Iran and Saudi Arabia are more advanced and capable of integrating in the modern world then the orthodoxy. We haven't functioned as a living country for 2000 years and are not able to make the transition. It's regrettable, but it's not likely to change.

    Maybe these posts can be an eye opener for the unaware. Still, it's too much, I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "In fact the issue is so simple and obvious that I don't know why there is a need for all these posts."

      Look at the comments, and you can see why.

      Delete
    2. Natan, pretty much nobody disagrees with the general gist of your points. We just hate it that is coming from you, an outsider who is clearly biased against our camp. It's like if a family member suffers from obesity. If you're outside of the family, even if you want to help, you need to be 1000% extra sensitive and generally have no business of saying anything. The fact that you feel the need to repeat your points so many times just makes it worse. It is simply much more painful coming from you.
      That is the awareness that you clearly lack and show no signs of picking up any time soon.

      Delete
    3. "Natan, pretty much nobody disagrees with the general gist of your points." Unfortunately, that is REALLY not the case. Aside from the commentators here, how many rabbinic leaders and influencers in the charedi world have admitted the truth? Virtually none.

      Also, the reason why these people are finding it painful is because they are not ready to acknowledge that it's true even though deep down they probably realize it. And it's especially painful when it's pointed out by someone such as myself, who has been pointing out these sorts of problems for years. But that's not a reason for me not to point it out.

      Delete
    4. Rabbi Slifkin
      The Karlin Stolin Rebbe clearly said what you are saying: he is a far more influential figure than these journalists.
      https://www.jdn.co.il/j_world/1521174/

      Delete
    5. "And it's especially painful when it's pointed out by someone such as myself, who has been pointing out these sorts of problems for years. But that's not a reason for me not to point it out"
      Based on what are you justifying causing this pain? Again, considering you are admittedly biased, have you ever considered that you are not in the best position to clearly make such a determination?

      Delete
    6. Because that's how to effect change.
      כל מי שסיפק בידו למחות ולא מוחה להחזיר את ישראל למוטב ואינו מחזיר כל הדמים הנשפכין בישראל אינם אלא על ידו (מדרש תנא דבי אליהו)
      And yes, I am biased, but since what I write is obviously supported by evidence and agreed upon by unbiased people in the charedi community, I don't see any reason to doubt it's truth.

      Delete
    7. Can you acknowledge that even speaking the truth can be hurtful and unproductive if not done in the proper way?

      Delete
    8. The Karlin Rebbe is clearly a man about whom it could be credibly said "beyodo limchos".

      Rabbi Dr Slifkin clearly is not, not least for the counterproductive tribal sectarian digs he is incapable of surpassing even on the graves of 45.

      Delete
    9. "Because that's how to effect change."

      That statement is patently false. That is davka NOT the way to effect change. The way to effect change is with sensitivity and a sense of balance. The fact that you can not see or acknowledge that basic fact should be enough to demonstrate how far off the plantation you have strayed. The gerer rebbe asks a very basic question about bedikas chametz. Why has the minhag become to burn the candle together with the chametz? What did the candle do? He answers that since the entire function of the candle is to search for the bad, it has no place in this world. Similarly, it is only the kohein who is supposed to check for נגעים since the kohein is the one that is able to bless klal Yisroel באהבה. The real chaval is that you could actually do so much good for ALL factions within klal yisroel if you were only able to get past your own petty grievances (strike that - even if they're NOT petty - getting past them would make you so much more effective). The same way that the growth of the chareidi community imbues them with the responsibility of thinking beyond themselves and taking on a role that considers the larger community, the very same argument applies to you. You are no longer just a disenfranchised individual complaining to your inner group. You've developed a very large platform among friends and foes alike and you should consider the responsibility that comes along with that. Think about it

      Delete
    10. The real reason for burning the candle, a בל תשתית in itself, is a the possibility that it has become chometzdik in the process, I think. This is more in line with how these minhogim come about.

      Delete
    11. Thank you, Yakov

      That is definitely a likely explanation as well (perhaps even more plausible than the one I offered), but it doesn't change the truth of the message I was trying to convey

      Delete
    12. "Because that is the way to effect change"

      Professor Slifkin, since you began your blog, has the orthodox world gone more rational or more charedi?

      Delete
    13. As much influence on the chareidi world as the Satmar rebbe of KJ has on the DL/MO world, every time he bashes Zionism, he makes more converts to Satmar.

      Delete
    14. A little late to this discussion, but using Raymond's analogy of obesity: yes, it is hurtful to go after the members of the obese family and berate them for being fat. It is NOT inappropriate to go after the family's doctor and remind him (or her) that this family has many obese members and could he please help them change their lifestyle. Or if there are overweight children, to talk to the parents. Sure, in today's world, with this issue, the answer might be "don't you think I know and am trying?" In which case, great. But the analogy here would be that the doctor or the parents would then argue about whether obesity is even a bad thing and that the advising person is just a busybody and just is out to get them because he likes to make fun of fat people.

      Eventually, the advisor - who might simply be someone involved in public health or might be a teacher who cares about the children or simply a caring friend - might see fit to talk to the overweight children themselves in order to teach them and have them convince their parents to feed them better.

      In the world of politics, THIS is the tool: raising awareness, public discussion and discourse, and changing policy. Clearly quieter options of going over to the askanim and the gedolim and the chareidi MKs and whoever else you deem as appropriate to discuss this with - have not worked as ALL OF THESE PEOPLE are not interested and outright argue and get defensive and retaliatory.

      Delete
    15. unless all the medical staff are 500 lb and feel that the more obese the people are , tavo aleihem bracha . and as fat activists they believe anyone tackling that taboo are infact anti-fattites and May Hashem curse them and bless us with unlimited food until the Ultimate Fatty will come , v'hu yigaleinu...

      Delete
  9. Dr. Yehuda Sabiner, a Gerrer Chassid from Bnei Brak (I'm not sure how he managed to become a doctor)

    This is a very snarky comment that can be misunderstood-

    How about: Dr. Yehuda Sabiner, a Gerrer Chassid from Bnei Brak (which is an impressive feat given his educational background)

    or no comment at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't mean it snarkily. I couldn't figure out he pulled off such an accomplishment if he had a Gerrer upbringing.

      Delete
    2. And yet nevertheless you were objectively and needlessly rude on sectarian grounds. As usual.

      Delete
    3. Maybe he didn't have a Gerrer upbringing. Or maybe his upbringing was before the madness.

      Delete
  10. Slifkin is the happiest about this whole saga. It means more posts!

    The part that gets me, and which Natan is guilty of too, is about the lies that come at the beginning of MANY of these editorials.

    "I've been in a state of grieving for a week now". Liar. "I haven't been able to sleep for nights...".

    Are you a close relative of someone who died? If not, and especially if you have a blog or are a contributer to some magazine or whatever, your full of it.

    Slifkin wrote something like "originally I wasn't going to write anything other than express grief..."

    Haha. Liar. Plain and simple.

    The second you heard about it you knew you would milk it for all its worth. At least don't lie about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Slifkin is the happiest about this whole saga."

      I wish you a refuah shelemah.

      Delete
    2. "I wish you a refuah shelemah."

      I second that. Really sick accusation.

      Delete
    3. Do you really think that very first line of Natan after the Meron tragedy was honest?

      "originally I wasn't going to write anything other than express grief..."

      Not even remotely honest.



      Delete
    4. Do you really think that very first line of Natan after the Meron tragedy was honest?

      "originally I wasn't going to write anything other than express grief..."

      I think that was his honest intention but couldn't help himself

      Delete
    5. "Slifkin is the happiest about this whole saga. It means more posts!"

      Ezra, what a stupid thing to say. Shame on you!

      Shame. Shame. Shame.

      Delete
  11. There are two reasons why the cops must be blamed (at least by the more extreme elements of the Charedi world) :
    1) It fits into the anti-Zionist narrative so dearly held by the Toldot Ahron & their circle.
    2) If any non-State authorities are shown responsible to blame, it means that the State is actual necessary for at least the narrow purpose of ensuring the safety of visitors to holy Meron. Even this token acceptance of Zionist authority is anathema to the extremists- for them it's יהרג ועל יעבר.
    3) Aside from the problem of deferring to the Zionist State for any reason whatsoever, there's also the problem of deferring to any authority who's not the rebbe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. for them it's יהרג ועל יעבר.

      Literally.

      Delete
    2. You seem to have missed a slightly more obvious one - far more plausible even if it doesn't feed hangups. Maybe because numerous eyewitnesses blamed them? NO WAY, CAN'T BE!! MUST BE THE CHAREIDIM SINCE THEY HATE PHYSICS

      Delete
  12. https://www.makorrishon.co.il/opinion/345163/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent article. Really nails it. Money quote:

      אסון מירון משקף את תמצית הכשל שבמערכת ההפעלה החרדית: היא לא מותאמת בשום צורה למספרים גדולים. ההסדרים שהתגבשו בימי בן־גוריון התאימו לקהילה של 400 לומדים. הם קורסים ונמחצים כשהחברה הזאת גדלה ותפחה למספרים של מאות אלפים. אסון ההימחצות הוא לא רק אירוע טרגי קונקרטי אלא גם דימוי מדויק: עקומת הגרף החדה של ריבוי האוכלוסין במגזר החרדי, שאינה נתמכת בתשתיות הולמות, מובילה בהכרח לקריסת מערכות כוללת. כך בקורונה, כך בכלכלה, וכך במירון.

      Delete
    2. Really. Ben Gurion felt the political need for Rabbinic approval. Look at the choice of signatories in the declaration of independence. He courted them then as a serious political force, likes Netanyahu does now. Is there any actual historical evidence for this 400 claim which isn't self-exculpatory in nature?

      Delete
  13. RNS
    Your unprofessional approach to the Meron disaster is unhelpful, irrational, divisive and possibly dangerous.
    You often mention that we must take advice from experts. All the crowd management expert I have spoken to or read their articles unanimously agree that in order to avoid the next disaster a independent public enquiry must be established, ideally headed by a foreign judge investigating everything and everyone connected including whether the police had given enough or any training on crowd management to the 5000 officers on site or why all government agencies and planning departments confirmed to the highest court of the land that the site of the tragedy is SAFE (YAKTER V POLICE 2016) and most importantly why the Health and safety record in Israel is from the lowest in the world( A huge amount of people die when swimming in sea or hiking, car accidents ,Versaille ,the 38 police officers in the fire, the children drowned in a outing and the unsafe buildings etc.) You take a article of a chareidi Uk based blogger which is based on fact ,rumour and assumptions and turn that into a conviction.
    You then become the Judge Witness and Jury and say they are the ones guilty! You even go further saying with regards to police negligence "it's become clear that this would at most have been only a proximate cause". REALLY? after the police had clearly confirmed in 2016 to the highest court of the land that the site of the tragedy is in fact SAFE??? and after they didn't even bother stopping people from overcrowding a site when they are responsible for the crowd control as confirmed by the supreme court ruling in 2016.
    Your article also has some basic errors I will mention a few:
    1)"leading some to observe that Rav Chaim Kanievsky was indeed correct that the tragedy was linked to modesty" WRONG he said we dont know the reason he just suggested what people should be machazek in many things including learning etc.
    2)"The most dangerous part - the narrow, slippery access ramp where the tragedy happened - was built illegally in order to create a "mehadrin" route without women" WRONG anyone who has been to meron knows that the Mehadrin route is from the village of meron to the tomb. Those steps are a passageway to get to the Toldos Ahron site and starts after the Mehadrin way, furthermore it was deemed safe by all relevant planning authorities.
    The fact that some chareidim are reflecting on their own community and checking whether this could of been avoided is a positive thing but for a person like you who doesnt like them and blame them for their own tragedy is not just distasteful but also dangerous.If someone in MO community reflects on his community after the 3 poor boys were murdered by hitchhiking saying that it can be dangerous it is a positive, but if say Satmar rebbe says it it is distasteful and will not create the desired effect anyway as people will not listen to him. If we blame the charedim only you may be discouraging a public enquiry and this might obstruct the avoidance of another disaster by the chilonim g'd forbid.
    It is a big shame that at a time when the whole country united you and Yaron London felt a need to be divisive. If you really wish to avoid the next disaster you should be pushing a public enquiry which the government are currently unwilling to commit to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll just make two points which illustrate how off-base you are.
      First of all, you're not addressing the most basic problem with the site which is that it's simply not suited to 100,000 people and no non-charedi event would ever get authorization to put so many people in so unsuitable a space. And that it only was able to happen annually because of charedi askanim/ rabbis/ politicians.

      Second, when you write "It is a big shame that at a time when the whole country united you and Yaron London felt a need to be divisive." Yaron London was divisive because he wrote that he doesn't care about the victims. What I wrote was about the cause of the disaster, and it's EXACTLY what everyone in the country (with the exception of most charedim) is UNITED in saying. All the press is saying the exact same thing. See, for example, this excellent article in Mekor Rishon, if you understand Hebrew: https://www.makorrishon.co.il/opinion/345163/

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your reply
      On your 2 points
      1)I have no problem to have the Chareidi askonim dealt with by the full force of the law IF they are found to be guilty by putting unduly or illegal pressure on the authorities in a public enquiry with teeth. . In any case this should be part of the enquiry.The main issue in my view is that police are there to save lives and should not be subject to political pressure. They are more educated than the Haredim and should of known better. The infrastructure in the Toldos Aharon site was provided for by the government including the scaffolds and music. The reason for that is that they were told by police in no uncertain terms that their own were dangerous and a immediate danger to life. The same should of been said about the amount of people allowed.
      2)You say "What I wrote was about the cause of the disaster, and it's EXACTLY what everyone in the country (with the exception of most charedim) is UNITED in saying" I am afraid this is is not how a modern country should work you don't convict someone because everyone says so. The ONLY way to avoid the next disaster is by public enquiry. I am not sure why a supposed rationalist like you would try to avoid that.

      Delete
    3. I have no idea why you think that I want to avoid a public inquiry. I most certainly want one!

      Delete
    4. Do you know who is NOT demanding a state-level investigation?
      https://twitter.com/kann_news/status/1390654193153847304?s=19

      From 3:30, Yossi Elituv, Mishpacha editor, protests the inaction of the Charedi Knesset members since the Meron tragedy and especially the fact that they are not demanding a state-level investigation.

      Delete
    5. They are more educated than the Haredim and should of known better.

      It doesn't matter what one knows if one is not permitted to act. Political pressure neutralizes the police. This is seen with respect to Charedim all the time. Meron is just the example with the worst possible outcome.

      Delete
    6. @Avi
      1)Do you want to live in a country where Political pressure neutralizes the police on safety of its citizens should that not be investigated. Do you not think Israel to be a corrupt state?. Are successive governments totally exonerated?
      2)"Political pressure neutralizes the police" Do you have proof? have you actually read the 2016 supreme court ruling where all government departments deemed the site to be safe?See below actual excerpts after being judges where being shown people fainting on the site of the tragedy:

      עתירה זו עניינה סדרי ההילולה לר' שמעון בר יוחאי במירון מדי ל"ג בעומר, והיא מסבה עצמה על מתחם אוהלים ויבילים שהרשויות מאשרות קיומו בתנאים שונים, ולדעת העותר קיומו מגביר חשש בטיחות, נוכח ריבוי הבאים להילולה והצפיפות הרבה. לשיטת המשיבים הנושא נבחן מדי שנה בקפידה, מוצבים אלפי שוטרים ומאבטחים לשמירת הסדר, ומקימי האוהלים והיבילים מוחתמים על תנאים מגבילים לשם הבטיחות. מובן כי האחריות לבטיחות ולסדר במקום מוטלת על הרשויות והן הנושאות בה. לשאלתנו נמסר גם כי המצב נבחן תקופתית לקראת ההילולה, וככל שנדרשים שינויים אין מניעה לכך כמובן. לא ראינו מקום להתערבות בשיקול הדעת של הרשויות, שאינו מגלה אי סבירות, לא כל שכן אי סבירות קיצונית. חזקה על הרשויות הנושאות באחריות, שיתנו דעתן לצרכים משתנים ככל הנחוץ.
      בנסיבות אלה הצענו לעותר למשוך את עתירתו והוא נענה. אין צו להוצאות.

      Delete
    7. @RNS
      "Do you know who is NOT demanding a state-level investigation?"
      I don't like to rely on bloggers like you. I like to look at the facts. Please see below evidence of Charedi MK's demanding state level investigations:
      http://www.kolhazman.co.il/449815

      Delete
    8. have you actually read the 2016 supreme court ruling where all government departments deemed the site to be safe?

      Talk about missing the point. The government has been lying. For decades. Every year they sign off on it, even though it's only gotten more dangerous. That's exactly the point we're trying to make: political pressure has caused a tragedy. And the pressure didn't come from Meretz or the Joint List. It came from Charedim.

      Delete
    9. @RNS
      I also dont think Mossi Raz from Meretz to be Chareidi and this is what he said about the charedi MK's and Meron and a disaster waiting to happen in other places in ISRAEL (not necessarily by the Charedim) :
      ח"כ מוסי רז: "בכנסת גם אתה ח"כ גפני, וגם אחרים התרעתם גם חברים ממפלגתי התריעו, לכן צריכה לקום ועדת חקירה ממלכתית שיפוטית כדי שתקבע כללים כדי שאירועים כאלה לא יקרו בעתיד, כי רוב הסיכויים שהאסון הבא לא יקרה במירון, זה יכול להיות כל דבר אם אנחנו לא יודעים להיערך מאירוע מהסוג הזה".
      http://www.kolhazman.co.il/449815

      Delete
    10. Avi
      You say:"The government has been lying. For decades. Every year they sign off on it, even though it's only gotten more dangerous" are you suggesting that the supreme court is also controlled by Haredim??? Why don't you suggest that Charedim are controlling the world? You also clearly dont have the most basic knowledge of the Israeli society. In any case if you believe the highest court of the land to also be compromised by corruption than you may as well call Israel a Third World Country. And this would of course be the main issue at hand.

      Delete
  14. Rabbi Slifkin, I believe that your underlying assumption is wrong.

    A misfortune can happen as a result of human negligence and at the same time be an Act of G-d.

    If someone is murdered, the murderer is evil, but G-d decreed that the victim should die.
    By this tragedy there is no contradiction with saying that there was human negligence – the crowd was too large, etc. And at the same time G-d decided that these people should die – for whatever his reasons are – maybe so that we should do Teshuvah, etc.

    If someone is negligent with his own life – if he crosses the street when a car is coming – he has sinned. As the Ramchal writes in Mesilas Yesharim – a person’s own negligence with his own life is a sin and even more of a reason for G-d to punish him by the car hitting him.
    However, people are not going to die from someone else’s negligence unless it was decreed by G-d, the same way a person will only die at the hand’s of a murderer if G-d decrees the victim’s death.

    This is logical. People don’t have free will to do any sin they want. For example, many people don’t care about being honest. However, they don’t steal since they don’t have the opportunity to steal. And when they do steal, they are bad for stealing, however, G-d decreed that the victim should lose the money. G-d arranged for the victim to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "[A] person will only die at the hand’s of a murderer if G-d decrees the victim’s death." The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh would seem to disagree with you. See his commentary to Bereishit 37:21.

      Delete
    2. @Hendon
      הקב"ה מזמינן לפונדק אחד in Makot 10b appears to suggest that unintentional murder is a punishment. our hachaim is talking about intentional

      Delete
    3. Mr. Mous: let's say you are correct, that the dead person has a Heavenly decree that he (or she) will die. It is still our responsibility that WE are not the cause of such a thing. Remember Ir Miklat - the question is why does the accidental murderer go to galus, and one answer is that clearly, if he was chosen to be the tool of death on the part of Hashem, then there is something that IS wrong about him that he needs to work on.

      If you hit someone with your car, do you not regret? Do you not wonder if you could have done something differently? Should you have checked your brakes, your tires, in advance? Should you have checked that side mirror an extra time or given an extra second before heading into the intersection?

      So too here - should there be a different way of running an event that 100,000 people go to?

      Delete
  15. Just a random thought: If one wanted to put a (positive) spiritual spin on the disaster, a reasonable one might be "it happened because people didn't listen enough to experts". Or possibly if you want to go out on a limb, "because people were not making a bracha before learning physics".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe people shouldn't curse learning Physics, or at least those who do.

      Delete
    2. We say brachos on seeing secular scientists. Maybe we SHOULD make a bracha on physics. It sorta fits with Rambam philosophy

      Delete
  16. Dr. Slifkin: the writing in on the wall for violence this evening in Jerusalem if religious Zionists in your community insist on their provocative parade/protest march which will incite Arab resistance. If you are sincere in pointing out danger wherever it exists and trying to prevent recurrence of tragedy, please use your pulpit to combat the anti-rational Kabbalistic worldview of the Messianic Zionists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nonsense. You would have a point if there were no security measures taken in anticipation of violence during ריקודגלים. The writing may be on the wall, but the eraser is nearby.
      There's no comparison: no significant measures were taken at Meron to prevent disaster- that's simply not the case for ריקודגלים.


      Delete
    2. Thank you Ephraim for prefacing all your nonsensical comments with the introductory word "nonsense".

      NO significant measures were taken at Meron to prevent disaster? NO significant measures? 5000 members of the police force you revere (them and physics that is) on call? Weeks of advance preparation? And you can't see ANY comparison to provoking the arabs in ostentatious displays of nationalism since "the eraser is right near by". Try telling THAT stupidity to any of the thousands of victims of Arab terror since the establishment of the state. I'm sure they will find your imaginary eraser to be a huge source of comfort.

      Delete
    3. "5000 members of the police force.. on call? Weeks of advance preparation?"
      Like I said: "no significant measures were taken at Meron to prevent disaster"

      " And you can't see ANY comparison to provoking the arabs in ostentatious displays of nationalism "
      It's up to security experts to determine that, not you. Indeed, ריקודגלים is not a free for all. The police severely restrict the marches though the Muslim quarter, ensuring that effect on the locals is limited. (I suspect that certain Satmar types are more likely provoked by such displays. The Arabs may very well be subdued by such displays.)

      Another difference is that ריקודגלים is held with the cooperation of authorities; the Meron festivities were held with the capitulation of authorities. ריקודגלים organizers have already said there will be changes this years in light of the Meron tragedy. There is no indication that any security restrictions, if they are demanded, will be ignored by parade organizers.


      "you revere"
      Now you're just making things up.


      "to any of the thousands of victims of Arab terror since the establishment of the state"
      You're changing the topic.

      Delete
    4. Either the security "experts" should be trusted or they can't be - you really need to make up your mind. If they "capitulate" on standards because of political considerations, how do determine whether they're expertise is being compromised.

      "You're changing the topic."
      Think about it hard or ask someone to explain it to you. It's the same exact topic just pointing your fingers inwards

      Delete
    5. So anti-Semitism and riots against Jews only exist because of Zionism?!

      Delete
    6. "So anti-Semitism and riots against Jews only exist because of Zionism?!"

      I didn't say that - it's a bit more complicated. But so is the cause of the Meron tragedy....... which is exactly my point.

      Delete
    7. "Either..."
      "Both..."

      "how do determine whether they're expertise is being compromised."
      Their expertise is not compromised- they are.

      It's quite simple: when the doctor gives me advice, I do my best to listen. On the other hand, the doctor may get exasperated at the next person and say- "do whatever the hell you want, you're not going to listening anyway." That particular directive should be ignored.

      Life is not black & white. Embrace the grey.

      "Think about it hard"
      Hmmm. Ok. Done thinking hard. You've changed the topic.

      Delete
  17. The king is naked. If we need another proof of this, the handling of the corona, and the Meron disaster are proofs of that.
    The people who manage the chareidi society : politicians, askanim, Menahalei mosdot, they fear to loose control of the people. They do not put the real interest of the people first but their own narrow ones. What about the corruption? Someone knows where all the money of that the government gives to the chareidim really goes?
    More than a milliard shekels each year...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not very different from the chilonim or the Gentiles, but the amounts are small change compared to earmarks in the US or what the politicians steal in Israel. Two wrongs dont make a right, I know.

      Delete
    2. The real issue is not the corruption , that exists everywhere with different degrees, but the control of what people can do or not; never in jewish history, an amount so big of people was supported by others to learn. Even before world war II, all the chareidim went to ieshiva but after they married, almost everyone went to work and only the real prodigy kept learning.
      Why the majority of the chareidim must be condem to poverty, why is so spread the cheating in this society, like not paying taxes, every citizen has rights but also has obligations, here among the chareidim they keep asking for rights but forget about obligations.Also when someone says anything not pleassant , they just scream antisemistism, this people really don't know what is antisemtism.
      This is a tragedy for the chareidi people and for Israel too.

      Delete
  18. Dr. Slifkin: I was at a number of the shiva houses of the victims, and listened as well to a few of the bereaved fathers speaking publicly. Not one of the families speaks with the same passion as you regarding finding whom to blame amd hold accountable, and they all relate primarily to this as an act of G-d. I wonder why this is so - donypu care more, or is it because they are all Charedi and must toe the party line (though I am not sure they had the chance during shiva to read as many pashkevillin as you)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Walter

      That's for obvious reasons: they are morning a family member and ים וכבוד החיים כבוד המת is the context. RNS is speaking from the national and communal perspective on the whole his passion is commendable. I think he feels for the tragedy and means well. But mates, the greatest national failure and disaster had been the Yom Kippur War and after years of commities nobody was found responsible. As president Kazir had said: כולנו אשמים, ,which is the equivalent to saying nobody is responsible. This most likely will happen in this case. It's not just the charedim - it's the whole political and social culture that is corrupt, byzantine, Mediterranean, shtetl, galuti, chaotic, irresponsible, tribal, primitive, dishonest to the core that is the problem.

      It's a hopeless situation, but I appreciate that RNS isn't burned out and haranguing for a change. I see no real hope for a fundamental improvement.

      Delete
    2. Yom Kippur war — your statement that “nobody was found responsible “ is TOTALLY untrue. The Agranat Commission found six senior named individuals culpable, and they were dismissed from their posts. Plus, Golda Meir resigned the following spring, and the political fallout and consequences were immense,

      Delete
    3. Paul Shaviv - yes, but no one suggested, as Prof. slifkin does, that control of the Govt be stripped from the chilonim and given to the charedim.

      Delete
    4. The political leadership was exonerated. Neither the minister of defense nor the prime minister were found to bear any responsibility by the report. That was a disaster of epic proportions and according to the report only 4 or 5 officers were responsible? And what happened to them? They had to resign? And what did it change? Nobody takes responsibility for anything they just blame each other. The system is hopeless. We just have to live with it.

      Delete
  19. https://www.foxnews.com/us/malibu-beach-house-balcony-collapse-leaves-2-critically-hurt-others-with-minor-injuries

    The chareidim even made it to Malibu. They truly have no shame

    ReplyDelete
  20. ועשית מעקה לגגך I understand as a ביניין אב that teaces us the responsibilty for the safety for of buildings and working conditions. Having worked in HVAC for the last 12 years, I have seen plenty unsafe conditions and charedim owning the properties and running the projects were no exception. I have serviced units placed at the edge of the roof without any fence while the yeshiva bochurim were watching me work from below and nobody expressed surprise by the situation. There is a disconnect between learning and practice, but we all know that. Nothing is going to fix this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I understand..."
      Both the רמב"ם & the חינוך make it clear that מעקה includes the removal of all dangers.

      Delete
    2. I haven't learned either and am very rusty after 35 years of working, but now I know. Tnx.

      Delete
  21. How about no investigative commission, no passing around blame?
    Bulldoze the whole area less the actual kevarim (plus 2-4 meters around them), put up stadium seating, food and drink behind the seating in another section, some better arrangements for busses.
    Yes, some will perceive preferences for one group or another, etc. Get over it.
    2. By the way, temporary extra mobile cell towers. There are such things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would really be the ideal solution, however pigs will fly before it ever gets put into place. Too much Gaavah and Money at stake here.

      Delete
    2. Give each of the four hekdeshim an equal (or unequal) amount of tickets to distribute (scalp)
      They get to charge for food and or right to distribute food and drink. I'd add right to light medurot bonfires. But that's another story.
      2. You can position stadium seating to face each hekdesh area.

      3. In exchange, no blaming different parties, no investigative commission. They'll save a ton of money, and tons of embarrassment, in exchange for agreeing. And reasonable insur rates. And they can blame the tziyonim for "forcing" them into this.

      Private dinei Torah seeking damages, medical reimbursement, and loss of life is something else.

      Delete
  22. If you Dr Slifkin would like to have credibility then it is crucial that you get your facts correct. If you cannot get your facts correct, then you are just another rather trying to score points.

    Relying on some article form Ha'aretz or Pinni Dunner, who dont understand the facts on the ground of the location won't make you more correct.

    Just to give a few examples.

    Pinni Dunner is unaware, that the Va'ad Ha'Chamisha, is only in charge of the actual Shrine, but they are not in charge of entire immediate surrounding perimeter. Those in charge, should be investigated, however if you don't know they exist, then there is a problem with your reporting.

    The Haaretz writer, and then Dr. Slifkin seem to be unaware that the ramp where the tragedy took place, was not on the Derech HaMehadrin, but rather on a ramp which was made at a later stage to connect to the Derech HAMehadrin. In addition this Ramp was not paved in an illegal fashion contrary to the claim made by the Haaretz article.

    3. Slifkin quotes Avi mimran. He is entitled to do so, but he should be aware that the same person has been attacking the police the past week. You do't have to agree with him, but to only mention one part of his view, is either ignorant or disingenuous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dunner makes it quite clear that two of the hekdeshim are for the shrine and two are the rest of the area.

      Delete
    2. Whether or not the committee of 5 had formal authority over the passageway - or at all! - it seems to me that the dogs in the street know that their writ was law, that they had expressed views opposing modernising the passageway, and that those views prevailed.

      Delete
    3. @The Hat
      "it seems to me that the dogs in the street know that their writ was law, that they had expressed views opposing modernising the passageway"
      This is factually wrong they never expressed any view against modernising the passageway. In fact Freulich asked the police to move the entire Toldos Aharon site and he was told by police :You are a Litvak and you hate chasidim . Freulich was against taking government funds for the actual tomb as it is a Shul not for the surrounding infrastructure. The ones who are documented to be against modernising the passageway and removing all the surrounding tents and structures was the police and Supreme Court in the "Yakter V Police 2016 case"

      Delete
    4. "The ones who are documented to be against modernising the passageway and removing all the surrounding tents and structures was the police and Supreme Court in the "Yakter V Police 2016 case""

      This doesn't make sense. It's not the job of the police to renovate the place. Nowhere in the case does it say that they were against renovations.

      Delete
    5. @Ephraim
      It is very simple Yakter filed to the supreme court against the police and planning authorities allowing this dangerous pathway his suggestion was to remove all tents and structures which were authorized by the police and planning authorities and are situated around the Toldos Aharon site. This would make the whole site a lot safer as it would not be necessary to use the passageway, it would essentially turn the site into a open area similar to demonstrations etc were no one is confined to a narrow exit and the tragedy might not of happened. If you wish to understand more see below:
      https://www.kikar.co.il/391127.html

      Delete
    6. Talmud, as far as I can tell Supreme Court decided to do nothing for three years (which is in itself disgraceful). They made no other decisions or findings in law.

      https://www.nadlancenter.co.il/article/2317

      If you know better show me.

      Delete
    7. @ The Hat

      See below the link and the excerpts:

      https://lite.takdin.co.il/%D7%91%D7%92%20%D7%A6%203036%2015%20%D7%90%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9F%20%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%98%D7%A8%20%D7%A0%20%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%A8%20%D7%9C%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA%D7%99%20%D7%93%D7%AA_hd_5209061.html

      עתירה זו עניינה סדרי ההילולה לר' שמעון בר יוחאי במירון מדי ל"ג בעומר, והיא מסבה עצמה על מתחם אוהלים ויבילים שהרשויות מאשרות קיומו בתנאים שונים, ולדעת העותר קיומו מגביר חשש בטיחות, נוכח ריבוי הבאים להילולה והצפיפות הרבה. לשיטת המשיבים הנושא נבחן מדי שנה בקפידה, מוצבים אלפי שוטרים ומאבטחים לשמירת הסדר, ומקימי האוהלים והיבילים מוחתמים על תנאים מגבילים לשם הבטיחות. מובן כי האחריות לבטיחות ולסדר במקום מוטלת על הרשויות והן הנושאות בה. לשאלתנו נמסר גם כי המצב נבחן תקופתית לקראת ההילולה, וככל שנדרשים שינויים אין מניעה לכך כמובן. לא ראינו מקום להתערבות בשיקול הדעת של הרשויות, שאינו מגלה אי סבירות, לא כל שכן אי סבירות קיצונית. חזקה על הרשויות הנושאות באחריות, שיתנו דעתן לצרכים משתנים ככל הנחוץ.
      בנסיבות אלה הצענו לעותר למשוך את עתירתו והוא נענה. אין צו להוצאות.

      Delete
    8. Yakter said nothing about the supreme court. He seems to have complained to the municipality, the police, and sundry others. Not surprisingly - a law suit is expensive.

      All this proves is what we all know. This was an accident everyone knew was waiting to happen.

      Delete
    9. @The Hat
      how many times do I need to send the link to the actual supreme court ruling until you read it????
      See below link again

      https://lite.takdin.co.il/%D7%91%D7%92%20%D7%A6%203036%2015%20%D7%90%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9F%20%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%98%D7%A8%20%D7%A0%20%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%A8%20%D7%9C%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA%D7%99%20%D7%93%D7%AA_hd_5209061.html

      Delete
    10. @The Hat
      If you wish to view the full interview with Yakter see below (the other one is a shortened version):

      https://www.kikar.co.il/391135.html

      Delete
  23. I agree with the charedim you cited.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "Palestinians fear loss of family homes as evictions loom" - One of todays headlines at AP news. Is there anything that is even remotely factually incorrect about this statement. And yet.....

    ReplyDelete
  25. If it was Charedim that put up the barriers and/or closed them off, then certainly "they" (as haters think of them) bear heavy responsibility. If it was not, then they don't. No one anywhere claims otherwise. The criticism against this site is for suggesting the government seize control, not because Charedim believe themselves infallible.

    Pini Dunner - or as he grandiosely calls himself הרב פנחס אליעזר הלוי דונר, on the website he named after himself - is an irrelevancy in general and on this topic in particular. He doesn't even believe Rashbi is buried there, as he makes clear in the condescending history lesson he opens with. If so, he's not invested in the place at all, and his suggestions how to run the place should be dismissed for that reason alone. Perhaps he should advise the Amish how they should conduct their services on Sundays.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Why did you not post my other comment?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Whilst flicking through yesterdays headlines a thought struck me. The two single voices I keep on hearing passionately advocating for the guilty parties to be held accountable and that justice for the poor victims be served are - Rabbi Doctor Nosson Slifkin and Avigdor Lieberman. How fortunate are we, the Charedi community to have two such worthy advocates fighting on behalf of the Niftarim that were taken from us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The TWO SINGLE voices I keep on hearing passionately advocating..."

      Lies. More than two.

      Delete
  28. https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.jpost.com/jerusalem-report/marketplace-yehuda-sabiner-haredi-soon-to-be-md-574683/amp

    ReplyDelete

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