Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Writing Was On The Wall

Some shockingly incriminating historical pieces of evidence have come to light regarding the cause of the Meron tragedy. (And to those who say that we shouldn't be pointing fingers or looking for someone to blame, I say: It is a terrible evasion of responsibility to avoid this opportunity to prevent this or similar things from happening in the future.)

Whether or not the police mistakenly closed off a particular walkway at Meron, it is abundantly, overwhelmingly clear that the entire setup was dangerous, and a mass tragedy could have happened anywhere, at any time. Even just within the Toldot Aharon area of the site, the official engineer’s report on the site had deemed it suitable for a maximum of 3,000 people, whereas around 20,000 people were estimated to have been there immediately prior to the disaster that occurred - almost seven times the permitted number. And so any discussion about the police closing off a particular path is not only irrelevant, it is a wrong-headed attempt to avoid the real issues. The entire Meron site was a disaster waiting to happen. People from charedi journalists to the State Comptroller's office had been warning about this for years.

So how did it happen that such a terribly dangerous situation was perpetuated for so long?

Some people - especially in the chareidi world - are blaming the police, or a national Israeli negligent attitude of "yihiye beseder."

But this is simply false. After all, there are plenty of other types of mass gatherings where there are very serious and careful protocols in place, and tragedies are therefore very unlikely to happen. If you tried to arrange an annual event for tens or hundreds of thousands of secular Israelis in some other small and totally unsuitable place, you'd just never get close to receiving police authorization. If you tried to put 20,000 people in a place that an engineer had deemed suitable for 3000 people, you just wouldn't be able to do it.

Today, there are voices in the charedi world crying out for the government to assert control over Meron. You can read an especially powerful article (in Hebrew) at this link. So why has this not happened, all these years, even though there were clear and present dangers?

There is one reason, and one reason only, why the safety standards and licensing requirements that are in place everywhere else in the country were not applied to Meron. There is one reason, and one reason only, why the government and the authorities were not able, and/or did not sufficiently desire, to assert proper control. 

That reason is charedi opposition.

Back in 2008, the State Comptroller's office was already warning about the severe dangers of Meron. In both 2011 and 2013 there were attempts to remove Meron from the combination of religious authorities who were clearly not running it with sufficient professionalism, and assert government control.

The charedim who were running Meron went berserk. The Edah Charedis even threatened demonstrations around the world against the Israeli government. They fought it and fought it and in the end the Supreme Court had to intervene, and ruled that there should be some sort of compromise and sharing of authority over the site. Such a compromise was never worked out, and the control of Meron was left in disarray, with the lethal consequences that we saw last week.

The charedi battle against government control of Meron was not only fought in political meetings and the courts by charedi politicians and askanim. It was also fought by the rabbinic leaders of charedi society, as publicized in various pashkevilim posted on the walls around Israel. Several of these have come to light over the last few days, from the Badatz and from Brisk. But here is one of particular significance:

The signatories are the biggest names in the charedi rabbinic world. Rav Elyashiv. Rav Wosner. Rav Steinman. Rav Michel Lefkowitz. Rav Scheinberg. Rav Karelitz. Rav Shmuel Auerbach. Rav Chaim Kanievsky. Rav Yitzchak Scheiner. Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. Rav Yaakov Hillel. Even HaRasha HaKadosh Eliezer Berland, serial sexual and financial predator, who was still part of the pantheon.

No doubt they were worried about Meron being turned into a tourist attraction, like the Western Wall, which would somehow desecrate the sanctity of the site. (And possibly they were encouraged to worry this way by various askanim, who had their own financial interests in benefiting from Meron.) As they wrote, Who can say what will happen if it is handed over to the government? And they therefore declared that it should be run "according to Daas Torah," as per the situation that we had last week, with no proper professional control of the site. After all, as we see again and again, that's how the charedi world does things. They don't need centralized government, and they don't need to run their society according to what engineers or epidemiologists or economists say.

This terrible tragedy, the worst civilian disaster in the history of the State of Israel, was not only predicted; the cause that would make it happen was clear. It was proudly and defiantly posted on the streets of Jerusalem, for all to see. The writing was, quite literally, on the wall.

 

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179 comments:

  1. This video is from the Boyan hadlokoh of this year at Meron.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTnsSGTf8JQ

    From @ 1:52:00 minutes until 2:08:00 there were 3 announcements about the danger to life from overcrowding... and about people not listening to the authorities about where to stand and not climbing over gates and fences.

    Just listening to those announcements makes my blood go cold.

    Even if nothing would have happened, it is clear from the announcements that the entire gathering is dangerous and liable to tragic events occurring.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There will be no change.
    "The Gedolim" don't watch the news or read the papers. The only information they receive is carefully controlled and transmitted by their Askanim. These Askanim have their agendas and manipulate the Gedolim into saying what they want by providing selective information and lies. And since "We obey our Gedolim!" is the rallying care for the community and since the Askanim have their control of the system locked in, there will be no change.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ''And so any discussion about the police closing off a particular path is not only irrelevant, it is a wrong-headed attempt to avoid the real issues.''

    So in your estimation if there is an accident in the BKLYN Battery Tunnel which in turn causes a pile up of cars, since the infrastructure was presumably constructed to code the pile up shouldn't have occurred?

    For such a mass casualty event to have taken place precisely when (according to reports - I wasn't there) either a barrier was put in place restricting the flow of foot traffic; and/or people were pleading with the police to open a path; and/or someone had a heart attack in the front; would seem to place the cause on these happenings and not your whimsical view on how the Chareidim ought to behave or change their ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your analogy to the BKLYN tunnel is utterly flawed.

      The entire place was called out as being dangerous.

      Delete
    2. We showed utter contempt for all restrictions and all safety concerns. We raged, threatened, and threw a tantrum like an overstimulated sugar-crashing toddler. But because of one detail the entire catastrophe is your fault.

      That's not how grown-ups behave

      Delete
  4. You still seem to be struggling with basic facts. Did police close off a walkway or not?

    Issues you care about are *not* the *only* real issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea. That will be investigated and dealt with. It has little to do with the larger danger, which in turn relates to a much larger societal issue.

      Delete
    2. Listen. There is the issue of safety.

      Then there is the issue of whether or not the police closed off the walkway. This post states that it is irrelevant considering the larger picture.

      Are you nuts? You don't dismiss the police issue due to another matter. They are two separate issues.

      I understand your will to denigrate charedim but call a spade a spade. The question of police conduct is very very relevant. If they prevented people from escaping then they should pay the price.

      You do the same shtick again in your post. You say the concern about a makom kadosh becoming a tourist attraction is silly. How so?

      We shouldn't prefer that people not visit the makom hamikdash/ kotel in shorts and flip flops?

      Even worse is when people violate the halachot of tzniut in such places. It's a real concern despite your animosity.

      Delete
    3. Recently an American miscreant was shot by a policewoman who mistook a Glock for a Taser. This prosaic reality was unsatisfying. Some people even suggested that she mistook her weapons in a racially motivated way. That was preposterous.

      She was professionally negligent, someone is now dead, and she will likely plead guilty to a criminal offence and spend some time incarcerated.

      Mistakes that leave people dead, even when they aren't facinating deep dives into large societal issues, demand addressing. They are real.

      The 45 grieving families are real.

      But you don't actually care. All you care about is weaponising it to your concerns about larger societal issues.

      Delete
    4. "Are you nuts? You don't dismiss the police issue due to another matter. They are two separate issues."

      The police issue - IF it exists - is a localized problem that will be dealt with. And it is irrelevant to the much larger problem, which in turn is relevant to the general public.

      "You do the same shtick again in your post. You say the concern about a makom kadosh becoming a tourist attraction is silly. How so?"

      You're right. This is much more important than basic safety.

      Delete
    5. You do the same shtick again in your post. You say the concern about a makom kadosh becoming a tourist attraction is silly. How so?

      What is holy about the site of a dead body? Sounds very Christian.

      We shouldn't prefer that people not visit the makom hamikdash/ kotel in shorts and flip flops?

      There's nothing holy about the Kotel. Or rather, its holiness doesn't date back more than about 70 years. And, in Israel, lots of natives wear shorts and sandals (not flip flops). Nothing to do with tourists.

      Even worse is when people violate the halachot of tzniut in such places. It's a real concern despite your animosity.

      Right. The real concern is tzniyus at a retaining wall or the site of a dead rabbi. The fact that ignoring safety issues led to 45 people being murdered doesn't deserve a mention. 馃檮

      Your priorities are exactly why no one can take Haredi claims about piety at all seriously.

      Delete
    6. The coincidentally (??) relevant discussions in the Daf Yomi this week are quite jarring.

      In Yomah page 21, the Gemara discusses the “miracle” that when the nation went to the Beit HaMikdash on the holidays, it was so crowded (tzefufin”) that Rashi explains it was as if the people were floating (“tzaf”) and they were packed in so closely that their feet dangled in the air off the ground. The is precisely how it was described by people who were in Meron - Their feet did not touch the ground, they didn’t move on their own volition but as a wave. It was described in the Gemara as being a miracle - perhaps the miracle was simply that no one died in the Beit Hamikdash due to such crowding. Unfortunately, the same Miracle did not occur in Meron - instead, the natural and foreseeable consequences of such overcrowding caused extreme tragedy. It’s a reminder that we cannot rely on miracles and must instead take precautions.

      Then on page 23 we learn that in the Beit HaMikdash, in fact on the Altar itself, in two separate incidents kohanim were more concerned with ritual than with the sanctity of Human life - in one a Kohen pushed another off the ramp to the altar so he would be able to perform the sacrificial service. As result, the one who fell broke his leg. In the other incident, one Kohen stabbed another through the heart - again so that he would be able to perform the services without competition. In this latter story, the Gemara also recounts how the slain Kohen’s father was apparently more concerned with the purity status of the knife used in the murder than with his own son’s condition.

      The priorities were screwed up back then, as they are today. Lack of concern for the sanctity of life in comparison to certain rituals. (Crowded weddings during COVID; Crowds at Meron).

      Isn’t the point of DAF YOMI to learn the lessons? Time to take them to heart.

      Delete
    7. The coincidentally (??) relevant discussions in the Daf Yomi this week are quite jarring.

      In Yomah page 21, the Gemara discusses the “miracle” that when the nation went to the Beit HaMikdash on the holidays, it was so crowded (tzefufin”) that Rashi explains it was as if the people were floating (“tzaf”) and they were packed in so closely that their feet dangled in the air off the ground. The is precisely how it was described by people who were in Meron - Their feet did not touch the ground, they didn’t move on their own volition but as a wave. It was described in the Gemara as being a miracle - perhaps the miracle was simply that no one died in the Beit Hamikdash due to such crowding. Unfortunately, the same Miracle did not occur in Meron - instead, the natural and foreseeable consequences of such overcrowding caused extreme tragedy. It’s a reminder that we cannot rely on miracles and must instead take precautions.

      Then on page 23 we learn that in the Beit HaMikdash, in fact on the Altar itself, in two separate incidents kohanim were more concerned with ritual than with the sanctity of Human life - in one a Kohen pushed another off the ramp to the altar so he would be able to perform the sacrificial device. As result, the one who fell broke his leg. In the other incident, one Kohen stabbed another through the heart - again so that he would be able to perform the services without competition. In this latter story, the Gemara also recounts how the slain Kohen’s father was apparently more concerned with the purity status of the knife used in the murder than with his own son’s condition.

      The priorities were screwed up back then, as they are today. Lack of concern for the sanctity of life in comparison to certain rituals. (Crowded weddings during COVID; Crowds at Meron).

      Isn’t the point of DAF YOMI to learn the lessons? Time to take them to heart.

      Delete
  5. Going off the rails on a crazy train.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting how you completely shrug off the counter argument that the entire disaster would have been averted had the policed not intervened at all. That was convenient . I agree with the need for proper planning and crowd safety. I do not agree with the one way agenda bashing.

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    Replies
    1. It's a stupid argument. Maybe fewer people would have died, but there were about 20,000 people in that space. There's no way that narrow, hard to navigate walkway was going to relieve enough pressure once things started happening.

      Delete
    2. "the entire disaster would have been averted had the policed not intervened at all. "
      Speculation. You have no experience or knowledge concerning crowd control & stampedes. Zero. You don't where the stampede started, nor where it would have ended had the barrier not been there.
      That being the case, hours before the incident a journalist on site reported that "it's a miracle that nobody has been hurt". In other words, that reporter sensed that tragedy was imminent- long before the cops had time to make an alleged error.

      Delete
    3. @Ephraim, so part of the tragedy is that the reporter didn't get his message out to the allegedly unsuspecting police early enough for them to avoid their alleged error.

      Delete
  7. Donny GreenhausMay 4, 2021 at 7:40 PM

    I read every post on your blog and I am generally a huge fan of yours who agrees with 90% of what you write, although I think you fail to acknowledge the flaws that exist within the dati leumi world as well as within all of the various sects that exist within torah jewry. Nevertheless, you are generally on the mark in your critique and most of the readers of the blog understand the nature of the journey that led you from the chareidi camp to the dati leumi camp. I am far from a chareidi apologist and acknowledge the many flaws inherent in the chareidi world, but found the recent posts relating to Meiron to be staggeringly flawed on a most basic level. All initial eyewitness accounts coming out of Meiron indicate that the direct (rational, if you will) cause of the tragedy was police error. For years the chareidim have (rightly or wrongly) lamented the police bias that exists against their camp. Yet you continuously downplay any role that the police had in the tragedy and lay the blame squarely at the feet of the chareidi leaders who pushed back against government control of the site. I find your reasoning here to be staggeringly, jaw-droppingly, stupendously flawed. Your only conclusion is that "the writing was on the wall". If the writing was on the wall, why didn't you read the writing last month? or last year? Or any of the 70 prior years that the event took place without issues? Isn't it possible that the lesson here is that the police department needs to be held accountable for their dictatorial excesses that go largely unchecked? I am not G-d forbid accusing them of trying to kill anyone, but all initial evidence points to them CLOSING UP A NARROW PASSAGEWAY WHICH WAS THE ONLY ESCAPE ROUTE. THEY THEN IGNORED THE CONTINUED CRIES OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE OF ALL AGES WHO COULD NOT BREATHE OR PASS THROUGH TO SAFETY. Does the case of Derek Chauvin come to mind? The mayor of Jerusalem himself said to a police officer that was there that people were going to die and that he was going to testify against him in court. This was ten minutes before the tragedy. Of course you come to the rescue again and blame Reb Chaim. Of course. He probably killed JFK too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find what you write to be staggeringly, jaw-droppingly, stupendously flawed.
      There may or may not have been wrongful behavior by the police which led to these particular deaths.
      But this brought to everyone's attention that the entire site has been an accident waiting to happen.
      And it turns out that all the normal protocols for events of such a nature were ignored and overruled.
      So, any police misconduct will be investigated. But the larger problem, which relates to a much broader swath of society, is what we need to be discussing.

      Delete
    2. Or, to put it another way: Do you really think for one moment that if the problem with that particular path is fixed, then everything else can continue as it did before??!

      Delete
    3. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. LET'S TRY THIS A DIFFERENT WAY. IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT THAT 5 POLICE OFFICERS OPENED FIRE ON THE CROWD FOR NO REASON AT ALL AND MOWED DOWN 45 PEOPLE. AND THEN WE CAN READ YOUR ARGUMENT AGAIN IN THE ABSURD CONTEXT IN WHICH IT SHOULD BE READ

      There may or may not have been wrongful behavior by the police which led to these particular deaths.
      THERE MAY OR NOT HAVE BEEN WRONGFUL BEHAVIOR BY THE POLICE THAT LED TO THESE PARTICULAR DEATHS. BUT THIS FINALLY GOT US TO DISCUSSING THE ABSOLUTE NERVE THAT THE CHAREIDIM HAVE IN YIELDING THEIR POLITICAL CLOUT TO REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF THE COMMUNITY THAT THEY REPRESENT

      But this brought to everyone's attention that the entire site has been an accident waiting to happen. SO OBVIOUSLY ANY DISCUSSION REGARDING POLICE REFORM OR MISCONDUCT IS TOTALLY BESIDES THE POINT HERE. WE NEED TO (FINALLY!!!) BE TALKING ABOUT THE INABILITY OF CHAREIDIM TO ENLIST THE POLICE WHO DO SUCH A GREAT JOB AT CROWD MANAGEMENT. FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME EVER, WE WILL BE CRITICIZING CHAREIDI LEADERSHIP ON THIS BLOG..................TUNE IN FOR BREAKING NEWS


      And it turns out that all the normal protocols for events of such a nature were ignored and overruled.PUSHING IN ISRAEL IS UNCOMMON? WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
      So, any police misconduct will be investigated. But the larger problem, which relates to a much broader swath of society, is what we need to be discussing
      JUST AS A QUICK REMINDER - IT WAS THESE PARTICULAR DEATHS THAT BROUGHT THIS DISCUSSION TO THE FOREFRONT SO WHY NOT FOCUS ON WHY THESE PARTICULAR DEATHS HAPPENED? CHAREIDI DISTRUST OF AUTHORITY CAN BE DISCUSSED ON ANY DAY AND IN ANY CONTEXT..........AND GUESS WHAT?? YOU HAVE INDEED DISCUSSED IT ON MANY DAYS AND IN MANY CONTEXTS - ITS ONLY THAT THIS ONE IS PARTICULARLY OFF BASE

      Delete
    4. Or, to put it another way: Do you really think for one moment that if the problem with that particular path is fixed, then everything else can continue as it did before??!

      Excellent question. I do not think all should continue as before and your point regarding this having been an accident waiting to happen is entirely correct. I just find it ridiculous that you can't acknowledge that if THIS ACCIDENT DID NOT HAPPEN IN THE WAY THAT IT WAS "WAITING TO HAPPEN" but was rather a case of police misconduct (using the nicest adjective possible to describe it) it would be EXTREMELY RELEVANT TO A DISCUSSION REGARDING THE MERON TRAGEDY. Yet you dismiss it out of hand as if questioning the competence of the police or the need for police reform in the wake of this tragedy is somehow blasphemous. One can use dozens of examples which illustrate why chareidim should make use of professional planners and consultants (which you in fact do all the time), but using the Meiron tragedy to illustrate a point that is not at all highlighted by the example, is what is generally referred to as intellectual dishonesty brought on by severe bias.

      Delete
    5. You genuinely seem to have no understand of the situation.

      Again: As charedi journalists and professional bodies warned again and again and again, the ENTIRE SITE WAS DANGEROUS.

      It simply wasn't constructed to cope with that number of people.

      At any point, there was a very real danger of a mass casualty event.

      THIS IS WHEN THE MAJOR CRIME WAS DONE. OVER THE LAST TWENTY YEARS.

      What happened last Thursday was just the straw that broke the camel's back. (There's probably a better analogy, but I can't think of it.) Had the entire site been safe to begin with, a single police error would not have led to 45 deaths.

      Again, to put it another way: Do you really think for one moment that if the problem with that particular path is fixed, then everything else can continue as it did before?!

      If there was a police error (and it certainly wasn't a police desire to kill people), it will be dealt with. But that is relatively insignificant compared the larger issue, which goes beyond a single police officer to a broad swath of society.

      Delete
    6. RNS
      I find your lack of intellectual honesty here astonishing.
      I assume this is due to your Unconscious biases against chareidim.
      1)you say "If there was a police error (and it certainly wasn't a police desire to kill people), it will be dealt with" now do you really think the chareidi askonim wanted to kill people??? They are uneducated on crowd control and cannot be blamed in this instance. Imagine a ignorant person in the UK convinces the government to allow a unsafe event will the police and government be blameless???
      2)My UK friend went there believing it is safe after all the police and the government authorised it. The police commander and Ochana said after the event that they take full responsibility on the tragedy.
      3)I showed the footage of the police closing the passageway to a UK Health and safety expert and he was astonished that the police in a modern country like Israel would be so ignorant on basic crowd control.
      4) I don't believe the police tried to kill anyone but they certainly watched people suffering as evidenced by the gruesome footage I have seen. This amounts to MANSLAUGTHER. They didn't care due to the huge incitement against chareidim in the media.
      5) The police commander didn't even bother to visit the site before signing it Off!! IS HE ALSO BLAMELESS????
      6) Closing a crowded passageway is very dangerous and even more so when there are steps. The tragedy could of happened with 3000 people as well.
      7) The Hillsborough disaster was a safe venue from a health and safety point and the commander was convicted of MANSLAUGHTER because he closed the exits!!!!

      Delete
    7. Watch this interview (in Hebrew) with a Hatzolo first responder on the scene:

      https://youtu.be/fiEcvheQPbI

      According to his account (and I'm not claiming it's the final word), the police weren't blocking anything.

      Delete
    8. THEY THEN IGNORED THE CONTINUED CRIES OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE OF ALL AGES WHO COULD NOT BREATHE OR PASS THROUGH TO SAFETY.

      This is 100% false. There is video of the police assisting in tearing down the barrier. You seem unable to accept blame for anything. YOU are the problem that Rabbi Slifkin writes about.

      Delete
    9. Donny GreenhausMay 5, 2021 at 6:52 AM

      I am unable to accept blame for anything? You're absolutely right - I don't know what I was thinking. It must have been my fault. And I didn't realize that there was a video of the police assisting in tearing down the barrier - incontrovertible proof that the eyewitnesses were all lying. You must be a complete genius for being able to debunk my conspiracy theories so thoroughly. Now I think about it I'm realizing that Derek Chauvin couldn't have possibly been guilty of murder. There are clear videos of other policemen putting him in handcuffs......

      Delete
    10. "but all initial evidence"
      There is no initial evidence. Just initial testimony, speculation & narrative.

      Delete
    11. "incontrovertible proof that the eyewitnesses were all lying"

      There were no eyewitnesses, because there was no way anybody could see much through the crowded masses. So what people did see & report was a very small part of a larger picture. Any rapid conclusion derived solely from such so called eyewitnesses is shallow & most probably wrong.

      Delete
    12. @ Donny Greenhaus:

      If I may, sir, explain what I think is Rabbi Dr. Slifkin's point. And if I am misrepresenting what I think is his point of view, I apologize in advance.

      In such an incredibly dangerous, precarious situation that has existed for many YEARS, the particular proximate cause that precipitates the INEVITABLE tragic and deadly event is not so much relevant as the existence of the danger in the first place.

      RDNS used an analogy of the straw that broke the camel's back. I will give three others.

      (1) In a ski resort, there was a recent heavy snowfall, of such a kind and packing that an avalanche is particularly probable with even a relatively light stimulus. There are many warnings not to ski. Nevertheless and group of avid skiers goes out to ski. While they're skiing, a ski patrol person monitoring the area coughs slightly, causing an avalanche, killing some in the ski party.

      Who in that case is responsible for the deaths? If only that person had no coughed, nothing bad would have happened.

      (2) A building has dangerous electrical wiring that is put in illegally against all codes and standards. Everyone knows about this, but chooses to ignore it. A maintenance worker uses a new floor cleaning machine that draws a lot of electricity, which causes the fire, killing many people. If only the maintenance worker had not put on this machine, nothing bad would have happened.

      (3) It's an especially dry year. There are warnings not to light a campfire for fear of a dangerous forest fire breaking out. But a group of people light one anyway. After using it, they do indeed extinguish it with dirt, as water is scarce. Unfortunately the didn't notice that there were still smoldering embers when they left. A forest ranger who is a rookie is patrolling the forest and unfortunately misses seeing the smoldering embers. A terrible forest fire breaks out and kills many people and destroys homes. Perhaps a more experienced forest ranger would have seen the smoldering embers before it was too late.
      Who is responsible for the fire, the inexperience ranger or the people who lit the fire and left the embers? Perhaps the ranger does share some of the responsibility in this case, but what about the group that flouted all the signs, warnings, and prohibitions about lighting the fire in the first place?

      Delete
    13. Well said Samuel. The point is that seeking the "final straw" for the disaster is a diversion. If it wasn't (alleged) police incompetence, negligence or error it would have been something else- either this year or another.
      The statement "if the cops hadn't... there wouldn't have been a disaster- everything would have been okay" is nonsense. Because "if the cops hadn't," there could very well have been another cause. Statements like "everything was fine until the cops..." are the last refuge of the 讬讛讬讛 讘住讚专 crowd. A crowd that certainly includes more than just charedim.


      Delete
  8. I don't think we can blame it entirely on charedi opposition. After all, the police, who I generally support, did close a door to the back exit. I know you say it's a non-issue because the entire event had disaster written all over it, but why help it fail but closing a door? They knew the capacity far exceeded the preferred capacity of 3,000 people. What could locking the door possibly do? I'm not generally into conspiracy theoriy, but is the government trying to make charedim and the Gedolim look bad? After the Covid crisis, it seems as though someone is trying to delegitimize the charedim voice. I'm not saying this is the case but it is highly suggestive and I wouldn't discount it. And why would they even allow 20,000 in the first place? There seems to be a lot going on and we don't have the full picture. Closing the back door has to be more than an accident. These signs always indicate that something more is going on. Yet this implies something evil and I can think of no one who could do such a terrible thing. Perhaps it was an accident.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "did close a door to the back exit"
      Speculation. Some say it was an entrance.

      "What could locking the door possibly do?"
      Take a course in crowd control, event security, civil engineering & then report back.
      " I'm not generally into conspiracy theoriy"
      But on occasion your are?
      "but is the government trying to make charedim and the Gedolim look bad?"
      The implication of what you're saying is that politicians gave into Deri & other Charedi leaders over the years not out of short term political expediency. Rather it was a decade old plot, giving into Charedi pressure, again & again, knowing full well that such kow-towing would pay off when disaster would strike. Sick.

      "And why would they even allow 20,000 in the first place?"
      And here we have the first draft of the screenplay for the next foil-hat youtube blockbuster "Planmpede".

      Delete
  9. Zichron DevorimMay 4, 2021 at 8:54 PM

    Back in 2008, the State Comptroller's office was already warning about the severe dangers of Meron. In both 2011 and 2013 there were attempts to remove Meron from the combination of religious authorities who were clearly not running it with sufficient professionalism, and assert government control.

    The connection between sentence 1 and sentence 2 is hardly proven. Meron is a cash cow for various people, and the government was seen as wanting to take that over. I am not saying they are wrong, but that got those nameless people riled up, and behind the shadows of anonymity they got the public to believe that Meron is going to turn into a Woodstock, with nominal concessions to the religious sensibilities of most of the pilgrims. They got their money, the blame is being pointed elsewhere, and they will stay nameless.

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  10. To everyone mentioning the police, (1) seems there are conflicting reports what exactly the police did or didn't block, (2) even if there had been no police there at all, it does seem likely that having tens of thousands exiting via one slippery ramp and then slippery steps would have resulted in some form of tragedy.

    Or put this way: if the police had indeed blocked the exit, but there were only 3000 people in that area as opposed to 20,000, would the crush have occured?

    A lot of this is conjecture - we should wait for the facts

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    1. There's plenty of video footage you can see. The cops blocked the place with physical barriers, and once there were casualties, they opened them up to let in the first responders. It's quite clear.

      Delete
    2. I agree we should wait for the facts. Rabbi Dr Slifkin didn't have the sitzfleisch to wait for the facts. And a whole lot of necessary conditions - negligence from all angles - needed to be in place to create the crush we witnessed. If we removed any one of them, people walk away like they did in 2000-2019 where even more people were present.

      Delete
    3. NO. The situation was ALWAYS dangerous. YOU CANNOT SAFELY PUT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN A PLACE LIKE THAT.

      Delete
    4. Why did they allow 20,000 or hundreds of thousands in one place to begin with?

      Delete
    5. Charedi pressure. Read the previous posts.

      Delete
  11. One of the most upsetting comments coming from the Hareidi community is the justification that it was Ratzon |Hashem. I don't make any attempt to claim with such certainty about what the Ratzon Hashem is. But maybe His Ratzon was that they listen to all the warnings and act responsibly, and that after all those years of "Nissim" He just said "Do whatever you want, I give up"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hashem doesn't 'give up', every bullet has its precise target.

      Delete
    2. This is certainly the currently most popular understanding of hashgacha pratit, but it is not the only one.
      KT

      Delete
    3. ZD,
      The first part of your sentence is assuredly correct, not so sure about the second part. Whatever happened to mikrah, which plenty of Rishonim believed exists?

      Delete
    4. This is where Cheshbon Hanefesh being very subjective comes into play: some might say "The lesson that we draw from here is that we should listen to safety regulations more" and others might say "The lesson that we learn from here is that we really need to stop lashon hara!"

      Delete
    5. @arnoamya, what was the context and who was being addressed? There is the aspect of commiseration, in which that message is good, & is reflected in RDNS's first post "Morn, Don't Blame". Then after the emotions subside somewhat, there is the aspect of doing something about it, where "it was Ratzon Hashem, let's learn nothing and do nothing" is terrible.

      @Yosef R, or that either one is insufficient.

      Delete
  12. I have a simple question. Is it possible for you to let the families of the victims mourn in peace? Is it possible for you to stop using this event as an opportunity to vomit out your personal opinions?

    Over the past days you have written several articles on the tragedy. It seems you’re quite eager to let the entire world know what you have to say. Isn’t this the perfect opportunity? It sure seems so! Amidst all the suffering, agony and loss.. we really can’t let this one “settle” just yet. Let’s hurry and get to work, dissect the entire situation, figure out who’s to blame, get into arguments, encourage more division by consciously and actively triggering different camps during a sensitive time. Yes this seems exactly what a Ben Israel would do after 45 of his brothers get massacred!

    When Moshe tells his brother, Aaron, the terrible news of the death of his two children, the Torah records Aaron’s reaction in two words:

    讜讬讚诐 讗讛专谉 - and Aaron was silent.

    Aaron wasn’t silent only because he was overcome and overwhelmed by grief.

    This was a silence of acceptance. A silence of reverent and unwavering embrace in a good, loving, compassionate, and just Creator.

    Take this opportunity to evolve and transcend from your childish behavior and learn from your ancestors on the proper way to act during times like this: Accept the loss. Stay quiet. Save your ‘rationalistic’ rants for another time.

    The fact that you’ve called this an “act of man” in a previous article as a justification to analyze and project your own garbage onto the situation is even more tragic.

    Come back to the basics. We live in a multiverse that is far more complex than any human logic will hope to understand. Even in physics our models fail to explain reality time and time again.

    The most elegant response to complexity is simplicity, and this is the way the Torah communicates to us. Simple foundational principles. God is one. God has established a covenant with us. When a mass public horror happens, we stay quiet and utilize our energy to heal the collective psyche of our nation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaron was silent in the face of an Act of God. This was an act of man.

      Meanwhile, maybe I'll visit you daily and punch you in the face. Accept it in silence, as a reverent and unwavering embrace in a good, loving, compassionate, and just Creator.

      Why don't you go and campaign against all those (including plenty of people in the charedi world) who are calling for an inquiry. Tell them that we should just be quiet and accept it. And that things should stay as they are.

      Delete
    2. The only person opposed to an inquiry here is Rabbi Dr Slifkin. He knows it all already, and he's formed his own judgement. Any police negligence is irrelevant. He states he doesn't care.

      And he doesn't care. He has zero empathy for 45 dead people. Just 'wider societal issues.'

      Maybe vote Lapid next time and then you get to complain about wider social issues, without actually actively contributing to them.

      Delete
    3. Not opposed to an inquiry. It's essential. But the police will be dealt with by their superiors. Who is going to deal with the others who are at fault?

      Delete
    4. yet baal haturim in emor says after the death of nadaav and avihu, aharon did not let his children go into do the lecham hapanim/azara without him. So the vayidom didn't keep him from drawing lessons.
      KT

      Delete
    5. E.M, I am so happy you brought up the episode of Aharon's sons' deaths.

      For you are surely aware what happened after Moshe said Bikrovai Ekodaish, and then Vayidom Aharon...

      ....Moshe gave practical advice how to avoid the tragedy recurring!

      Delete
    6. Vayidom Aharon refers to Aharon not complaining and whining "why me?" It does not preclude him - or the surrounding populace - from asking if there is something that could have been done differently to avoid the tragedy.

      As a support for this, see the haftara: someone dies while the Aron is being transported, and David is distraught. But he learns from the incident, and the second time the Aron is brought, his behavior - and everyone's - is different, thus resulting in no tragedy (except for that of Michal, who could not make a shift in her perspective).

      Delete
    7. @Yosef R, Michal took issue with something else. As far as not to repeat the mistake she was on the same page as everyone else.
      (In an interesting twist, some say that Michal learned from her father losing the kingdom and thought that her husband was repeating her father's mistake--and she wanted to prevent that. She was thus on her husband's team and her comments were intended for his good. So she had a heightened sensitivity to learn from and not repeat previous errors.
      https://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=19451&st=&pgnum=195&hilite= )

      Delete
    8. Rabbi Slifkin, don't you think you are maybe too harsh on poor charedim? Is this not the fault of the police or government, not charedim?

      Delete
  13. Excuse the crassness but do you also blame rape victims for dressing immodest? Innocent people died while there was seemingly no attempt on behalf of the police of active crowd control. Is there even a sign (which the government could have easily put up) stating the maximum occupancy so ppl can make educated decisions? We all know when the Rabbis didn’t want the medinah taking it over what they were referring to and they were not assuming any responsibility for building codes. Even the eidah gets the papers signed when they want to build. I don’t know if it’s the government’s fault or the police but blaming chareidim in general is a stretch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post isn't blaming the victim. It's blaming the victim's family for encouraging the victim to dress in her underwear and loiter in dark alleys in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

      Delete
    2. Nonsense. The overwhelming response on one hand has been of mourning & charity- even from the secular sector. On the other hand there's been blame & scrutiny of the gov't & the charedi establishment. A few leaders in the Charedi world blamed it on Rashbi. But there's been very little blame placed on the victims themselves.

      Delete
    3. What your describing is still taking away the blame from the perpetrators

      Delete
    4. Um, CZ, this post is pointing out the perpetrators.

      Delete
  14. The site of Meron is run and controlled by members of the Toldos Ahron sect. One thing to know about them is that they are vehement Israel-haters who, with ferocity and vengeance, protect their turf and 'rights'. The Zionist dogs and all those perceived to be cooperating with them are deemed Nazis. Any perceived threat against them or their way of life results in violent rock-throwing and trash-burning demonstrations. There is no negotiating or compromising with them. No one can make any changes or modifications. And this is how it has been at the Rashbi for generations. The thought that police or fire recommendations would be considered, far less observed, is laughable.

    How did this relatively small Toldos Ahron cult rope in tens of thousands to revel with them every year I don't know. How did they get all the charedi MK's (who they don't recognize, of course) to support them, I don't know either. And how did they get the Lithuanian gedolim to sign a Kol korei for them is, too, beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) It is for the police to enforce the law. It seems common ground that they did not do this.
      2) The corrupt Charedi MKs have coalition partners. Corrupt Likud MKs. This is politics in Israel and corruption spreads from the top. Netanyahu has been a disaster for Charedi education and employment, but you tolerate him because he plays the Putinesque strong man.

      Delete
    2. Yes, Bibi has a lot of culpability also.

      Delete
    3. Did you vote for Bibi in the election?

      Delete
    4. Personally, I like Bibi. I think he does a good job. What don't you like about Bibi?

      Delete
  15. First insightful article I've read about this disaster. And with evidence to back it up.
    It's going to take a few decades for people to get what the author is getting at...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Side to comment to the people who make comments, such as this:
    All initial eyewitness accounts coming out of Meiron indicate that the direct (rational, if you will) cause of the tragedy was police error.

    This makes no sense:

    Plenty of people, who actually had a good view of what was happening and was involved in the situation present a totally different picture.

    This is the first first responder to show up:

    https://streamable.com/q38nqh


    It is very important to listen to him, because he is clearly level headed, his report is corroborated in the video being played on the side, and he had the best view.

    Keep in mind: The steps are a sharp turn to the right of the ramp, and there was a pile of people in front. The only people who could see a barrier, are those who are in the pile, or those on the other side. So many people claiming to be witness to this so-called barrier, could not have done so.

    Now there are a few general points to be noted:

    There is a claim that there is a barrier, but it plainly does not hold up in logic. I will just point out a few points:

    1. There is no way in the world, any such barrier would be able to hold up against the weight and crush of this amount of people (especially if no one is pushing back). Ask the capital police for details.

    2. There is no place to put down this barrier. The people were on the steps itself, and it makes no sense to hold in place a barrier in middle of the steps.

    3. There was a whole pile of people laying face for forward on the steps (and that was the true barrier BTW), right next to this pile, there were a few more people laying on the steps in front of that, in a total daze. Again, where do you put this barrier.

    4. There are clear videos of people being pulled out of the pile, while this barrier is officially still standing in place. How do you pull people through this invisible barrier.

    There is a lot more to say, but first I would like these questions to be answered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1)The first responder showed up after the tragedy when the police already opened and assisted the victims.
      My friends were there a few minutes before and the police were not allowing people to leave. One of my friends turned blue from suffocation and was "allowed" to leave after begging the police woman standing there for his life.
      2)The barrier was at the end of the steps.
      3) Again you are talking after the tragedy started ,the question is what happened before.
      4)The police should of stopped people from entering the site of Toldos Aharon many hours before this incidence. They were putting up barriers in many other places in meron.
      5)I spoke to one of the askonim and at no point were they told by anyone that it is dangerous or any cap on the capacity.They were told a few years back that the "parentches" they had were dangerous.They agreed to have them changed by the government. The "parentches" were also supplied by the government this year.(although he claims they paid for it).
      6)Only a Demagogue could possibly say the police are blameless when they were officially in charge of Crowd Control.

      Delete
    2. Exactly. It's more complicated that a closed barrier.
      When it comes to learning, we're not satisfied with just Rashi. We know that to truly understand, you've got to dig deeper.
      Why is it then that superficial speculations are acceptable outside the 讘讬转 诪讚专砖?

      Delete
    3. 1 - the ripple effect of stopping a flow would have been felt several tens of metres back. A plausible explanation is that the IP appeared to have stopped the flow after the 90 degree turn to go down the steps, precipitating crushing against the wall at the top of the flight of stairs.
      2 - agreed, it makes no sense.
      3 & 4 - the barrier was (per reports) a line of police officers threatening the use of pepper spray and pushing people.

      Further investigation is needed but of course Rabbi Dr Slifkin claims to know it all already. His unseemly rush to judgment needs a counterbalance.

      Delete
    4. Ephraim!! One of the few intelligent things you've written so far, but gotta give credit where it's due. It is definitely more complicated than a closed barrier, and we definitely need to look deeper. There may have been a closed barrier, perhaps not. "There is no initial evidence. Just initial testimony" - here's a fun fact for you to chew on - testimony IS evidence in just about every system of justice that has ever existed. There are probably many variables at play - whether you analyze this from a rational viewpoint or try and attempt to analyze from a metaphysical one. Only RNS has the clarity of vision to intuit that it is singularly the fault of the chareidi mentality and their leadership - everything else is just noise to him

      Delete
    5. To Talmid.

      讛专讜爪讛 诇砖拽专 讬专讞讬拽 注讚讜转讜.
      1. You are incorrect, and mixing up two things. I am not discussing the first responder from MDA, but rather Ichud Hatzalah.
      And when the first responder MDA came, there was nothing to open, because there was a pile of people lying in front of him.
      From all the actual testimonies (with names and faces of people) which I have read, there was never actual police people standing by that specific ramp, not letting people through before the incident. The whole claim is, when they officially made a barrier at the time of the incident itself. 
      In general, from your comment it is abundantly clear, that you did not watch the interview with the first responder in the link I put up. You would see the entire narrative fall apart. 
      This interview is important, because it is coherent, internally consistent, there is video evidence corroborating parts of his role, he was facing the front of the tragedy, while others who were inside behind, did not have a clear picture.
      2. That makes Zero sense. There was clearly a pile of people in middle of the steps and yet, the barrier was somehow on the bottom of the steps?!
      More so, all the videos being produced to show that there was a barrier (these videos show no such thing), all show everyone standing a lot higher and not on the bottom of the steps.
      3. If what you are saying is true, then there is zero video evidence for any barrier. More so, it is quite irrelevant if this was before middle or afterwards, because of the logical questions that are posed. Where was this barrier, that somehow would have caused this specific posture and position?
      4. First of all you are confused. You really mean to ask, that Police should have opened up other exits, not closed this exit and lock everyone in. 
      In any case, the specific claims in how the police set up the exact security situation is something to investigate. However that is not the discussion, the discussion is, what caused the original pile up, and the unequivocal answer is, that it was not a barrier. 
      5. This person must be a bad source, because he is either a liar or he is woefully informed, either way No one should rely on him for information. There is an abundance of evidence, that there were complaints about this specific ramp, and that the Askonim claimed they would be working on it (of course they did not). As a matter of fact a police assessment ahead of this year’s Lag B’Omer  warned of the dangers of overcrowding at access points as well as the possibility of structures collapsing, and specifically cited dangers surrounding the exit route where 45 people lost their lives in a crush. 
      The document warned of overcrowding in the Toldos Aharon area, the scene of the crush, and urged that the exit route be expanded.

      “Despite the addition of extra bleachers, it is evident that the area is too small to contain the numbers of celebrants,” the document said. “There, preparations should be made to expand it… and to widen the exit.”
      The only question on the police is, why the order was not followed through. We can assume, that it was in part due to the Askonim you quote.
      6. The question is, did the police put up a  barrier to cause the crush? The answer is no. 
      Now do they share some blame about the overall situation? I will just say this:
      Only a Demagogue, would have the Chutzpa to say, that the Askoniom on site, are totally blameless, when they had control of the site all the years, and consistently pushed back on any attempt to improve the  security situation of the site.

      Delete
    6. To the hat.

      1. I am sure I understand. But in any case, I want to point out something. In addition the points which I pointed out, as to why witnesses on the ramp itself could not have exactly seen the barrier, I want to add another point. Talmid claims that the Barier was on the bottom of the steps. At such a sharp turn right, going down, it makes further sense, that people on the ramp can see a barrier on the bottom of the steps.

      Again I urge you to watch the interview with the responder from Ichud Hatzolo, he describes exactly what took place.

      (Though he was probably unaware that people on the ramp itself were also suffocating at the time.

      3-4. Not only does it not make sense, is not supported in any video testimony, but it does not even work for such a crowd which is fighting for their lives. If it did not work in the capital, then it wont work for a few policemen, against hundreds were are trying to live.

      Delete
    7. To Donny Greenhause.

      I have already explained why testimony itself is flawed.

      Before I go further, you should know, that Al Pi Torah there is a Sugyo called Trei UTrei, there is a Sugyo of Chakiras Ha'Eidim, there is a discussion in figuring out, if the testimony is even plausible.

      How can we take certain testimony at face value, when they are both implausible, and is contradicted by other better testimony and video evidence?

      Delete
    8. I want to add to Talmid and others about this first responder who is interviewed:
      He did not come after the police, because he brought the police.
      Another reason why his testimony is so crucial is not only that he faced the front, but because he was there the entire time, from when the first person fell, till they cleaned up the place.
      The way he speaks, it is clear that he had the best handle as to what is happening, and it fits with everything else we know for a fact in this case.
      What is fascinating is, that people who actually fell in the crush at the font itself, and almost died, and had relatives who died, like Chayut dont say that that there was a barrier which caused them to fall. Instead they thank the police for saving their lives.
      (I am not discussing those that got hurt within the ramp itself, only those that got hurt in the crush at the bottom of the ramp)

      Delete
  17. Maybe the charedi ideologues here who insist that we must be silent and not look for who is responsible, and the charedi ideologues here who insist that the police are responsible and should be held accountable, should argue it out between themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The charedi ideologues here are not insisting to be quiet they’re complaining about where you seem to focus the primary blame.

      Delete
    2. I support boycotting West Bank produce, gay marriage and a full secular education. I self describe as a modest Zionist. You need a better smear.

      Delete
    3. @ The Hat
      I feel no point arguing with RNS and I don't think you will not get anywhere either.
      When he starts with a Ad Hominem attack saying anyone disagreeing with him must be chareidi you know you are on to something.
      The facts are very clear:
      1)The Police had 5000 officers for one reason: CROWD CONTROL
      but of course they are not to blame according to RNS for their total incompetence and lack of training.( Remember They are not charedi)
      2) The police chief signed the event as safe without even attending but of course that is no problem.
      3)The police did NOT warn anyone that it is unsafe but that is OK.
      4) Ochana took responsibility for the tragedy but RNS knows better.
      5)Police closed the main passageway as witnessed by many people due to lack of basic crowd control training but that is no problem!
      6) There is only one problem according to RNS some askanim putting pressure and going to Bagatz against the government as they didn't want it to turned into a tourist attraction due to their ignorance of the dangers (They weren't told by anyone that it is dangerous and the government did not even mention that in court).
      7) of course supreme court are also not to blame for stopping the transition.
      8) The "vaad of 5" which consists of askonim and a government representitive in charge of meron wanted to move the Toldos Aharon bonfire but were stopped from doing so by police!

      Delete
    4. "Charedi ZionistMay 5, 2021 at 9:26 AM
      The charedi ideologues here are not insisting to be quiet they’re complaining about where you seem to focus the primary blame."
      That's not true. Some of them are insisting that while people are mourning deaths, it's completely inappropriate to talk about blaming people. Look at E.M.'s comment above.

      Delete
    5. And look at the comments of A. Schreiber and Donny Greenhaus. They insist that it's not the time to blame anyone.

      Delete
  18. Next we will be hearing the lunacy of defunding the police; replacing them with social workers. ACJA

    ReplyDelete
  19. Welcome to the Chelm Gazette. A guy who we'll call Reuven goes riding on his motorcycle in the rain every night. One evening Shimon who is driving his Ford Explorer while under the influence of both drugs and alcohol runs into Reuven and kills him.

    Natan Slifkin: Don't you see??? This was an accident waiting to happen!! How could Reuven be so foolish? How could he do something so dangerous?? Let's do a sociological study to determine which culture factors in his life helped contribute to this terrible tragedy?

    Everyone else: Umm, I hate to bring this up, but isn't it possible that Shimon had something to do with this??

    Natan Slifkin: IDIOT!!! Why are you bothering me with such pesky details like Shimons drunk driving habits? Can't you see that I'm dealing with a much larger, more global issue? If we can only get to the bottom of what caused Reuven to drive in the rain to begin with, this never would have happened......

    Everyone else: Forget about what I said - I obviously wasn't thinking rationally.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You chose the perfect pseudonym for utterly perverting something.

      Delete
    2. Daas Baalei BaatimMay 5, 2021 at 9:55 AM

      In the town of Chelm, the rabbis decided that people don't need to wear helmets when riding motorcycles, because it's more religiously appropriate to wear a hat. They also decided that motorcyclists don't need to stop at traffic lights, because it's bittul Torah. One day Shimon, a traffic cop stationed at a junction who was overwhelmed with the chaos, misdirected some drivers and a motorcyclist was killed. The rabbis of Chelm ruled that Shimon should go to prison, in order that such a thing should never happen again.

      Delete
    3. There is no way to avoid human error completely. The decision to close or not an entrance should not lead to 45 deaths. Like R. Slifkin wrote if there was not 20'000 people in such a small place (ie if Haredim accepted to enforce security measures), sporadic human errors would never kill and injure so many people in such a short time.

      Delete
    4. @Squall, nobody is denying that. This was disaster waiting to happen. The design was faulty. It was negligent.

      The only thing you and Rabbi Dr Natan Slifkin are obsessed with denying is whether the decision to close a passageway was negligent or not *as well*.

      I would say it was negligent, it was not something a reasonable person would do, the risks of doing so were reasonably foreseeable, and, because 45 people died proximate to that decision, the negligence amounts to a criminal act.

      Delete
    5. Huh? I'm not denying that it may have been criminally negligent to have closed a passage (if it even happened). I'm saying that that's not where the general public's focus should be.

      Delete
    6. Other than partisan convenience, why should the general public not be concerned with allegations of police negligence?

      I would like venues to be safe and well managed.

      I would also like police officers to be competent and accountable.

      Is it too much to ask for both?

      Delete
    7. There will be an inquiry into police conduct. It will be dealt with.
      Who is going to deal with the larger problem of the entire chareid worldview of resisting being part of the state and disregarding the views of professional experts, out of a disdain for secular expertise?

      Delete
    8. How do you know police misconduct will be dealt with. The Hillsborough police misconduct was not timeously dealt with. The police blamed the victims and the mud stuck for more than 20 years. The perpetrator got a promotion.

      It's not just Charedim who have a transactional relationship with the state. You all do. You voted for it. My suggestion for that is to vote Lapid.

      Delete
  20. Had it been your own son who was crushed to death and evidence shows that had the police barrier not been there he would still be amongst the living - Who would you place the blame on? The chareidim for causing the overcrowding? Or the police for placing the barrier? Maybe both of them. But placing the blame on only one party where there were obviously many factors involved is dishonest.
    EBN

    ReplyDelete
  21. "sporadic human errors"? Maybe the chareidim not accepting government control over the event was the sporadic human error, while the police ineptitude is more of a global issue that's been going on in Israel for decades??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, charedim refusing to accept government authority is a systemic and pervasive behavior that is formally enshrined in ideology. Nothing sporadic about it, and they don't even consider it to be an error.

      Delete
  22. A few years ago, when some bochurem from the West Bank were murdered, the Satmar Rebbe gave a speech blaming the parents for living in such a dangerous place. Was he technically correct, that had they lived elsewhere, the murders wouldn't have happened? Maybe, but it was still highly inappropriate.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/satmar-rebbe-blames-parents-for-kidnapped-teenagers-murders/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two of the three young men who were killed only studied in the West Bank. Two were from Israel proper, while the third (Gilad Shaer) was from the settlement Talmon.

      In today's news (May 5th, 2021), an Israeli man visiting Baltimore for a wedding was murdered, in an "apparent robbery". Would the Satmar Rebbe say that he should have stayed in Israel?

      Delete
    2. I think the Satmar Rebbe was wrong. Even if it was true that the tragedy wouldn't have happened had they not studied in the West Bank. It is HIGHLY inappropriate to use such a tragedy to advance your anti-Zionist agenda.

      Same thing here, of course. Even if true that the chareidim in charge of Meron were to blame for the disaster, to use the disaster to advance your overall anti-chareidi agenda is sick and disgusting.

      Delete
    3. It's not to advance an agenda. It's to prevent the entire country from going the way of Meron.

      Delete
    4. The Satmar Rebbe would of course say the same thing as you. It's still WRONG.

      Delete
    5. If you would have written something blaming the people in charge of Meron, who are chareidi, or the chareidi politicians who fought against proper safety measures, I would have no problem. No problem at all, I agree they are to blame, probably.

      But noooooo, that wasn't enough for you, was it? You couldn't pass up the opportunity to use this tragedy to highlight other problems you have with chareidi society... the economy, the army, covid, secular education. Everything and the kitchen sink, as they say.

      This is called "using the tragedy to advance your anti-chareidi agenda". There are no other words for it. No matter what inane and ridiculous excuses you give, such as "to prevent the entire country from going the way of Meron". Sick and disgusting.

      Delete
    6. It's all the exact same problem. Meron is just the canary in the coal mine.

      Delete
    7. Again, the Satmar Rebbe would say the same thing. It's the exact same problem as Zionism, etc. EXTREMELY INAPPROPRIATE, you are so blinded by your biases against your enemies, you don't see how obviously inappropriate you are being!

      And it's absolutely NOT the same problem as everything, and you know it. This type of thing has happened in many other places, for the same reasons. Lack of proper safety precautions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Parade_disaster
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Shanghai_stampede

      But you are just cynically using it to advance your agenda. Sick and disgusting.

      Delete
    8. If you are comparing it to other stampedes/crushes then that shows that you simply are refusing to understand what happened. It would NEVER have happened with a non-charedi event. Because no non-charedi event with 100,000+ people would ever be allowed to take place in such an area.

      Delete
    9. No, you are just totally wrong, in the Love Parade, organizers expected 1.4 million in an area approved for just 250,000. Some chareidim they were! Hillsborough happened because of overcrowding in parts of the stadium that were never meant to hold so many people. Incompetence and lack of attention to safety protocols is not specifically a chareidi problem! You are just cynically using it to advance your anti-chareidi agenda, without realizing how insensitive and inappropriate you are being.

      Again, do you approve of what the the Satmar Rebbe said (lshitaso that Zionism is bad)?

      Delete
    10. You're not grasping the situation. Of course there are accidents that happen due to planning error or negligence. But the point is that the TYPE of mistake that happened with Meron would NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITH ANY OTHER SECTOR OF THE POPULATION.

      Delete
    11. It DID happen at the Love Parade! Of course it could have happened anywhere else!

      Again, do you think that somebody who is against Zionism should make remarks like the Satmar Rebbe did, just because he thinks the tragedy was "part of the bigger picture"? Or would that be extremely insensitive and inappropriate?

      Delete
    12. You're not grasping the situation. Of course there are accidents that happen due to planning error or negligence. But the point is that the TYPE of mistake that happened with Meron would NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITH ANY OTHER SECTOR OF THE POPULATION.

      Delete
    13. You are just copying and pasting in an attempt to save face for your EXTREMELY inappropriate post. I showed several other examples, not involving chareidim, where overcrowding beyond capacity, due to negligence of those in charge, caused similar disasters. And you have no response.

      The point is, I agree that the people in charge of Meron, or the politicians who fought safety regulation, whoever they were, are probably to blame. But to use this for your overall anti-chareidi agenda is cynical and disgusting. I am dan lekaf zchus that you simply don't realize how bad it is, due to your bias.

      You never answered the question. You did not find the Satmar Rebbes remarks in poor taste?

      Delete
    14. You seem to be under the misapprehension that opposing Charedi Hashkafa is a bad thing.

      Delete
    15. "I showed several other examples, not involving chareidim, where overcrowding beyond capacity, due to negligence of those in charge, caused similar disasters. And you have no response."

      No. I have responded again and again. You are just refusing to acknowledge what I am saying.

      Of course there are accidents that happen due to planning error or negligence. But the point is that the TYPE of mistake that happened with Meron would NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITH ANY OTHER SECTOR OF THE POPULATION. Because only with charedim is there autonomy from standard government processes.

      Delete
    16. Ridiculous. Lack of autonomy is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition to make an event safe.

      Meron could have been made safe, even with autonomous chareidi organizers, had they followed safety protocols.

      It could have been unsafe, even under government control, due to pressure from special interest groups or just plain negligence. This happens all the time, in all societies.

      Meanwhile, rather than blaming the ones who obviously deserve blame, the organizers, you blame the entire chareidi society for exercising autonomy in completely unrelated areas. This cannot be anything other than bias against your enemies. And it's stunningly thoughtless and insensitive to use this tragedy for that purpose.

      Delete
    17. What do you say about the Satmar Rebbe's remarks? He would also say THIS TYPE OF TRAGEDY (narrowly defined as a yeshiva in the West Bank, flanked by hostile, murderous, enemies) wouldn't have happened without Zionism.

      But of course I know what you would say. You would find his remarks abominable and disgusting.

      Yours are just as bad. Worse, even.

      Delete
    18. Apparently you just don't understand the situation.

      Yes, non-government controlled events can be safe.

      Yes, government controlled events can sometimes be unsafe.

      But the CHANCES of a mass event being unsafe, as a result of not being under government control, are VASTLY higher.

      Read this article for a primer: https://www.jpost.com/opinion/meron-tragedy-reflects-relationship-between-israel-and-the-ultra-orthodox-666999

      Delete
    19. I don't want to get involved in the hypothetical question of, "If the government would have been in control, would they have scrupulously followed safety protocols, completely changing everything about the event, despite all the special interest groups?" Maybe, maybe not, there are plenty of cases of government negligence and malfeasance, and without statistics, one can't assign probabilities.

      But the problem is, you wrote a whole post blaming chareidi society in general, even those who had nothing to do with Meron, for resisting government involvement, even in completely unrelated areas.

      This is called "using the tragedy to advance your anti-chareidi agenda". There are no other words for it.

      All while the dead were being buried.

      This is exactly what the Satmar Rebbe did in his inappropriate speech about the three bochurim.

      Despite your miserable, twisted justifications for how, actually, all resistance to all government involvement in all areas is the same thing, and therefore all of charedi society is to blame. Twisted logic that only makes sense to yourself. You just don't realize how terrible and inappropriate you sound. Because you view chareidim as enemies, so in your mind, of course anything goes.

      Delete
    20. "But the problem is, you wrote a whole post blaming chareidi society in general, even those who had nothing to do with Meron, for resisting government involvement, even in completely unrelated areas." Right. Because it's all the result of the same worldview.

      I urge you to read this article, from a woman in the charedi world quoting other people in the charedi world, all of whom are honest enough to see how the Meron tragedy is the result of a systemic chareid problem: https://www.mekomit.co.il/ps/111578/

      Delete
    21. Are all these charedim also "using the tragedy to advance their own anti-charedi agenda"? No, of course not. They are doing exactly what tragedy requires: Looking honestly at the cause, in order to stop it happening again.

      It must shake you to see charedim saying exactly what I say. It's so much easier to dismiss me than to dismiss them.

      Delete
    22. Again, your twisted logic about how resistance to government involvement in some areas necessitates resistance to government involvement everywhere. I am against government regulation of yeshiva education, therefore I must be against the FDA. I am against government regulation of how shuls should conduct davening, therefore I must be against traffic lights and fire codes. It's all the same mentality, right?

      Do you even realize how ridiculous you sound?

      Charedim are fine with government involvement in streets, traffic safety, fire codes (for the most part), building codes, health care system, countless other things. They don't want the government to interfere with their education, they don't want them to close down yeshivos and shuls. They don;t want to be forced to go the army. This is your basis that all chareidi society is to blame for improper safety in Meron? And this absurd theory is the type of thing you are saying as the dead are being buried?

      Delete
    23. Charedim are fine with government involvement which benefits them and does not restrict them in any way. But basic charedi ideology is that they do not want to be an integral part of wider society. They do not want the obligations of being an integral part of wider society. They do not want to be subject to any limitations imposed by wider society. They do not want (or expect) to be subject to the Covid restrictions of wider society. They do not see themselves as being morally bound to the laws of wider society. They do not see themselves as being subject to the scientists and experts that wider society is subject to. All this is so patently true, it's just bizarre that you don't see it.

      As Deri said about overcoming the Covid restrictions for Meron - "they (the non-charedim) just don't appreciate how Rashbi's protection renders their concerns irrelevant."

      Delete
    24. No, this is not true at all. It is all your own bias and hatred speaking. Every single last bit of it. Your whole paragraph would not have looked out of place in the Daily Stormer.

      Chareidim are fine with building codes, fire codes, traffic lights, food safety, just as much as anybody else. DESPITE the fact that it restricts them. If you would have asked most chareidim, "should the government regulate capacity of buildings so that there is no similar danger to what happened in Meron", of course the answer would be yes. And you know this.

      Why don't you take a survey of chareidim you know and ask "Should the government enforce building codes so that buildings are safe and don't collapse, even in chareidi neighbourhoods?" and see what the response would be.

      So this has nothing, NOTHING to do with chareidi resistance to government involvement in other areas.

      Delete
    25. Did you not read the pashkevil in this post??

      Delete
    26. "Chareidim are fine with building codes, fire codes, traffic lights, food safety, just as much as anybody else. DESPITE the fact that it restricts them." Where do you live? Passaic? Baltimore? Certainly not Beit Shemesh.

      Delete
    27. You bring evidence from pashkevils? Really? Do you really think pashkevils are representative of what the rabbis allegedly signed on to them think about safety? Did you confirm that they knew about the safety situation in Meron? That they even visited Meron? That they even signed?

      Of course not.

      As for Bet Shemesh, I may not live there but I know people who live there. And they have no problem with traffic lights, building codes, fire codes, traffic lights, food safety, or most other things. And they are chareidim. Do people build illegal additions? Sure, but they do that in Passaic and Baltimore as well. And they are not limited to chareidim or even Jews. This doesn't mean that they don't value safety regulations.

      Again, your bias is causing you to say things that are outright false, not to mention as one commenter said "exaggerating and magnifying every flaw, ignoring all their successes and virtues and failing to make any nuanced distinctions between the dozens".

      You are waging your petty, ridiculous war over the bodies of the niftarim.

      Delete
    28. Nobody is going to openly say that they are against safety.
      What they are against is government control.
      But the problem is, safety is part and parcel of that.
      And safety is less important to them than independence.

      Delete
    29. So nobody says they are against government safety regulations, yet somehow you know that most chareidim are against them. Despite the fact that the vast majority of yeshivos and schools are safely built, and the vast majority of kosher restaurants have safe food standards. But you imagine that deep in the chareidi psyche, they are against building and fire codes and food safety.

      If you are claiming everybody thinks something that nobody says, the problem is with YOU.

      But you know to whom safety was really less important the INDEPENDENCE?

      Hmm... I can't quite put my finger on it.

      Delete
    30. The reason the Satmar Rebbe's words were obnoxious were because he has no influence on the activities of the Mizrachi people in Eretz Yisrael. So why did he say them? Because he doesn't really care about the dead Bochurim, he was taking a ride on the tragedy to convince his people that they are right. He was saying 'told you so', which is extremely insensitive.
      If he had the ability to change something in the Mizrachi community, we could discuss if he is right, but that isn't the case.

      Now switch some words in there, and you will see the same is true regarding these posts.

      Delete
    31. "Did you confirm that they knew about the safety situation in Meron? That they even visited Meron? That they even signed?"
      I confirmed that they signed. I have no idea if they knew about the safety issue in Meron and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they didn't know anything at all about it. They probably signed because some askanim told them that there was a spiritual threat to Meron.

      Delete
    32. Ok, so this in no way proves they are lax about safety, or anything else about the "chareidi mentality". All it proves is that chareidi politicians will sign anything their "staff" or special interest groups tells them is important. Which we already knew. And which, by the way, is extremely common with politicians everywhere.

      By the way, how did you confirm? All you told me on the other thread was that "there was a lot of discussion about it" and "there were numerous similar pashkevilin".

      Delete
  23. None of your arguments are persuasive or factual, but its sadly beside the point. Why do you persist in the hate mongering even while the bodies are still yet fresh? Have you really convinced yourself that your hatred - not any different from raw anti-semitism - is actually intended as a positive? You can't understand that the worst enemies of the Jewish people also always believed their motives were pure? Its hard to believe, though I guess maybe for a left-wing academic it shouldn't be, that someone can be so self-unaware.

    I know I wont change your mind, anymore than you'll change anyone else's. I don't have the heart to argue, after penning letters of condolences to parents I don't even know, just to share in their sadness in some small measure. I just think its sad that you've come to this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a typo in your first sentence. You wrote "None of your arguments are persuasive or factual". You forgot to add "to me." They are perfectly factual and persuasive to anyone who is not so insecure about their religious worldview that they cannot admit serious wrongdoing. Even plenty of people in the heart of the charedi world are saying exactly what I'm saying. But you are so unwilling to acknowledge the painful truth, that you would prefer to dismiss all these charedim as antisemites. Sad.

      Delete
    2. @ A. Schreiber

      I would rather think that real antisemites are rejoicing at our terrible tragedy - perhaps take a look at real Twitter antisemites, for example. Obviously and loudly, RDNS is trying to change the situation such that something like this or worse never happens again.

      It's strange to observe someone taking real, not superficial, love for its opposite.

      Delete
  24. Donny GreenhausMay 5, 2021 at 5:34 PM

    A. Schreiber - right on. This is not the time for this (even if these arguments were convincing)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you should be busy challenging all the people here who are blaming the police. It's not the time!

      Delete
    2. Donny GreenhausMay 5, 2021 at 5:55 PM

      You are correct. I don't actually blame the police since I'm not sure whether they were actually negligent or not. That should wait until a real investigation is completed. But now isn't the time to blame anyone so I'm going to retire my blogging pen for the time being. All the best, Donny

      Delete
  25. Donny GreenhausMay 5, 2021 at 5:37 PM

    https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/worker-dies-li-wal-mart-stampede-article-1.334059

    I must be missing something here. The stampede at Walmart was a chareidi event? Were they having a black friday sale on cholent perhaps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not grasping the situation. Of course there are accidents that happen due to planning error or negligence. But the point is that the TYPE of mistake that happened with Meron would NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITH ANY OTHER SECTOR OF THE POPULATION.

      Delete
    2. But the point is that the TYPE of mistake that happened with Meron would NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITH ANY OTHER SECTOR OF THE POPULATION.

      It's not even that. It's that no other sector would spend decades ignoring warnings because of their source. Charedim don't believe in Pirkei Avos, and it shows: none of this learning truth from whatever the source for them!

      Delete
  26. In debating whether the police or unsafe conditions are to blame, an important factor is missing. Unsafe conditions may have created a situation where a police error could lead to tragedy.

    If there are unsafe conditions, then as soon as anything goes wrong – whether police error, or someone having a heart attack, etc, the result could be a tragedy.

    If there would be safe conditions, a police error would likely not have caused this tragedy.

    The point is that a mistake by police or an accident at a door, should not lead to a tragedy. It only led to the tragedy due to unsafe conditions. Mistakes and accidents happen, however, we need to have safe conditions that will ensure that tragedy doesn't result from human error and accidents.

    People are in situations all the time where police cut off access or a door is jammed shut. However, as long as there isn’t a fire or some other unsafe situation it would not result in tragedy.

    ReplyDelete
  27. A great post with hopefully even greater implications for your audience, who may now begin to see you for who you are and what you stand for.

    I have nothing to add to the arguments that have been made considering that you have not even attempted to answer any of the comments. Aside for insulting anyone that calls a spade a spade you have put forward nothing of substance as to why you believe Charedi mismanagement was a bad thing considering that the very first year that the authorities tried to take control, they caused a accident. I don't doubt you also know of the other stampede which killed people at Reb Vosners Levuye which also "happened" to be the only mass funeral where the police took charge. You've also certainly considered the near tragedy that took place at Meron two years ago also due to police negligence. And yet you persist.

    As already mentioned, this also happens to be an extremely distasteful post coming so soon after the deaths of so many innocent Yiden but oh' how enlightening as to the malicious intent of the author.

    I also always to like to compare and contrast, in this case your condemnation of an accused sex offender BEFORE he admitted to anything, despite NO eyewitness who came forward PUBLICLY - and your laughable attempt at absolving the police of any proven wrongdoing.
    If it would help you I would be happy to email you irrefutable eyewitness accounts that you seem not to have noticed, that the tragedy had NOTHING to do with the Charedim and EVEYTHING to do with the police.

    If I may offer a piece of helpful advice for the future: Would you mind cutting out all of your pious preaching you so readily doled out in one of your previous posts about not not pointing fingers whilst the tragedy is still so fresh as you have since shown it to be but a shallow attempt at giving yourself the legitimacy to use this tragedy at yet another opportunity to attack the scores of Yidden who have done you no wrong.

    One final point. A Chavrusa of mine was Menachem Ovel the poor father who lost two kids in the tragedy. This amazing man was sitting there being Mechazek everyone who came in, telling them all to believe how its all for the good and whatever else Hashem does is to be accepted with love. I suppose to you he's also just another one of your foolish little non-rationals who prefer the Mystical path. Don't you think so?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "why you believe Charedi mismanagement was a bad thing"

      Good grief. As I wrote, everyone from charedi journalists to the State Comptroller's office noted that the event was a mismanaged chaotic mess and a disaster waiting to happen. Do you really disagree?!

      "an extremely distasteful post coming so soon after the deaths of so many innocent Yiden" Right, it's so distasteful to do a Cheshbon HaNefesh, to search for justice, to see what went wrong and how to stop such tragedies.

      "telling them all to believe how its all for the good and whatever else Hashem does is to be accepted with love." Hold on, a minute ago you were saying that the police should be held responsible. Now you're changing your mind?

      Delete
    2. So, Rabbi Slifkin, how is your cheshbon hanefesh doing? How are you going to change your life?
      After all, you claim that public blog posts are 'cheshbon hanfesh'. So are you going to do teshuva for something, or point the finger at someone else?

      When I hear a Rabbi blaming the length of sheitels, or Slifkin blaming Charedim, I hear the same thing. It is everyone but myself.

      Delete
  28. I don't see why the blame here doesn't fall on the government. You write,
    "They fought it and fought it and in the end the Supreme Court had to intervene, and ruled that there should be some sort of compromise and sharing of authority over the site. Such a compromise was never worked out, and the control of Meron was left in disarray, with the lethal consequences that we saw last week."

    People are allowed to fight for something they believe in, that is how it's supposed to be done. At the end of the day, if the government truly believes something is going to result in mass casualties, they need to step in and control the situation. Why would the supreme court leave it so unresolved? It seems so obvious this is much more a failure of the government and supreme court than the "chareidim" (as you like to lump tons of different ppl into one name). And if you hide behind the fact that there was tons of political pressure, then you have no backbone, because that means you're ok with bowing to political pressure over saving people's lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "People are allowed to fight for something they believe in." Good grief. Yes, it's a free country. So people are allowed to fight for something that's very, very wrong.

      "And if you hide behind the fact that there was tons of political pressure, then you have no backbone, because that means you're ok with bowing to political pressure over saving people's lives." Not hiding behind it. This is EXACTLY my critique of Bibi. He mortgage the country's interests (including the charedim's interests) for the sake of short-term political gain.

      Delete
    2. I need to check again, but I don't think Bibi is on the Supreme Court, and he certainly wasn't back in the day when this decision was made.

      Delete
  29. RNS
    You appear to finally agree that the government is also to be blamed.
    Lets take it to the next stage you say "This is EXACTLY my critique of Bibi".
    1) Why are you blaming Bibi only? this has been a problem for many years including when Ehud Barak and lapid were in charged without Haredim being in coalition.
    2)Can you please explain how bagatz are also influenced by Haredim when they stopped the transition and didn't follow it thru endangering people's life?
    3)Why didn't Police advise against going to Meron???
    4) My take on all this is that unfortunately Israel is turning into a banana republic in most departments:
    a) The Health and Safety is appaling in Israel this is evidenced by the Versaille tragedy where there was no oversight and a corrupt individual endangered many lives (maybe Haredim are also to blame??)
    b) Road accidents and work accidents are from the worst in the world.
    c)Police brutality is very severe especially against Haredim.
    d)Most Prime minister were investigated for corruption (unless they give into the left like Sharon did.
    e) I would blame corrupt governments in a Banana Republic rather than the corrupt laymen.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Let me try to make sure I got this straight - it has taken a while but I think I have gotten the hang of following your impeccable logic.

    1) You acknowledge that the police may have made terrible, deadly mistakes which contributed directly to many deaths.

    2) Nevertheless, you are fully confident that the powers that be will be able to properly identify, acknowledge and correct whatever the underlying causes that led to those mistakes might have been.

    3) Therefore, you have find no need to acknowledge those mistakes, discuss them, or even to entertain the possibility that they might also have some systemic issues behind them which has led to the (SOMETIMES) legitimate distrust with which the chareidim view the authorities (and specifically the police)

    4) The deficiencies in the chareidi culture, however, has nobody out there that is willing to identify and fight them but you.

    5) You have therefore taken up the selfless and noble task of positively impacting the chareidi worldview by reaching out to your audience with your trademark even-keeled temperament and well known balanced approach towards the chareidi world. In your opinion, this is exactly the cheshbon hanefesh that is called for by this tragedy, regardless of the proximate cause of deaths.

    6) Just confirm that this pretty much sums up your position here, just so I can be 100% positive that you need to be institutionalized

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) You acknowledge that the police may have made terrible, deadly mistakes which contributed directly to many deaths.

      It's possible. It actually seems increasingly unlikely. The video that just came out shows that the police were not even there when it happened, and all this talk of them blocking people is false. Of course, charedim are determined to blame the police.

      4) The deficiencies in the chareidi culture, however, has nobody out there that is willing to identify and fight them but you.

      Only me? What a joke. You're completely off the mark. Almost everyone outside the charedi world is saying exactly this, and so are many people within the charedi world. Read this article: https://www.mekomit.co.il/ps/111578/. There are plenty of charedim who are honest enough to acknowledge that what happened was the result of a systemic problem with the charedi world. It's a pity, but I guess only to be expected, that so many are unwilling to admit to the serious problems in their own community.

      Delete
    2. Your earlier post certainly seems to have indicated exactly that.

      "There will be an inquiry into police conduct. It will be dealt with.
      Who is going to deal with the larger problem of the entire chareidi worldview of resisting being part of the state and disregarding the views of professional experts, out of a disdain for secular expertise?"

      Wasn't that from you?

      Delete
    3. It must shake you to see charedim saying exactly what I say. It's so much easier to dismiss me than to dismiss them. Or are you going to say that all these charedim need to be institutionalized, too?

      Delete
    4. It must shake you to see charedim saying exactly what I say. It's so much easier to dismiss me than to dismiss them. Or are you going to say that all these charedim need to be institutionalized, too?

      I have no idea what you are talking about. I completely agree with your point about chareidim and have from the beginning. Just not sure why you think its appropriate to continuously excuse the behavior of the police here when many many eyewitnesses indicate that they were to blame.

      Delete
    5. I have not once said anything about the police (though I will note that there are conflicting reports). The point is, again, that the larger problem, of it being a disaster waiting to happen, had nothing to do with the police, and everything to do with a general chareidi problem.

      Delete

    6. "There will be an inquiry into police conduct. It will be dealt with.
      Who is going to deal with the larger problem of the entire chareidi worldview of resisting being part of the state and disregarding the views of professional experts, out of a disdain for secular expertise?"

      "Wasn't that from you?"

      Yes, my point is that this is not going to be done by a commission of inquiry, but rather by the general public, including me.

      Delete
    7. Dovid - R. Avigdor Chayut, who lost his son and narrowly escaped with his life, says there was no police barrier:

      https://twitter.com/ishaycoen/status/1390029944659578883?s=19

      See here too:
      https://mobile.mako.co.il/news-israel/2021_q2/Article-249099ac79d3971026.htm?sCh=31750a2610f26110&pId=173113802&fbclid=IwAR2MUS7cJyQrbopmH3kyg-W6_HnJRIU-JpCUuS5E1t3PZ40gl9cyboBOlS4

      Delete
  31. The crowd was dangerous for quite some time before the tragic events.
    See this brief clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG0us7aRPUc
    At just before the minute mark you can see the crowd losing control for a few seconds.
    You can see here at 27:20 :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YyRWVlKxz8
    It would be another half hour before the music stops & it becomes clear that something has gone wrong.

    So when the crowd lost control a half hour earlier- was it the fault of the cops?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I personally would rather lose control than be crushed to death because an exit that I needed to use was locked - though that might very well just be me. You don't seem to understand a basic point here. I have no agenda here to "blame" either side. I AM NOT CHAREIDI AND I AM NOT A POLICE OFFICER. I am just a fair-minded citizen who was terribly shaken by a tragic event and trying to make sense of it somehow. I would be thrilled to learn that the police did nothing wrong and that might very well be the outcome of the inquiry.

      Nonetheless, I read this blog occasionally and have seen RNS become less and less balanced over time, with this latest series of posts really taking the cake. He has gone from "It is not the time to point fingers or play the blame game during this time of tragedy" to "those damn chareidim have a sick and backwards worldview that literally leads to the deaths of innocent people" in record time. It is hard to take someone seriously when they take the same side in every argument, and don't seem to have an ounce of self awareness when it comes to self-identifying their own biases. Let's hear a few posts about some of the sociological and cultural issues facing the community that he has chosen to become part of so that some people besides his hard core cheerleaders on this blog can recognize a drop of legitimacy in some of these crusades. Certain members of the chareidi world did RNS a terrible injustice many years ago, and he has dedicated his life to trying to punish all of them by exaggerating and magnifying every flaw, ignoring all their successes and virtues and failing to make any nuanced distinctions between the dozens, if not hundreds of stripes of chareidim that exist. Its pathetically transparent and you don't need any degree in psychology to recognize it, but as is so often the case, the one he harms the most is himself. The bitterness continues to eat him up and no amount of chareidi bashing can assuage it. Some exercise in introspection might actually bring him back to a point of balance where this blog can actually make a positive contribution to the healthy and constructive dialogue that is so badly needed between the different factions amongst us, rather than the destructive and negative force that it's become

      Delete
    2. Sure, I'm biased. It's also clear that what I'm saying is true, but if you are disqualifying it merely because of who's saying it, then listen to the charedim who are saying the exact same thing.

      Delete
    3. I DO listen to the chareidim who are saying it and agree with the main point that both you and them are making. I just wish that you would also recognize what I am saying which is that you rarely even acknowledge your own bias let alone recognize how much it distorts your thinking. There are many valid, legitimate historical reasons that explain the distrust between the chareidim and authorities in this country. To start the process of repairing that distrust, it needs to be acknowledged and systemic biases need to be rooted out. You failing to acknowledge that and acting as a political hack for only one side does nothing to foster the reconciliation that is needed - it only impedes it and in doing so causes you to share in the blame that you so readily cast onto others.

      Delete
    4. Sure, there are historical reasons. I've discussed those in other posts. Doesn't change the fact that the current charedi mentality is terrible.

      Delete
    5. The only mentality that is terrible is the mentality that blames only one side. It closes off any possibility of reconciliation and exacerbates the issues you claim to oppose. You have brought Antifa to Israel to combat the BLM mentality of the chareidim. See how well that worked in America

      Delete
    6. Natan, for the love of G-d, please take Dovid's posts very seriously. He is spot on. If you truly want to make a change in yourself and the world, consider very carefully what he is saying to you.

      Delete
    7. I would say this line of yours is really telling:

      "Sure, I'm biased. It's also clear that what I'm saying is true"

      I don't think you appreciate how challenging it is to clearly arrive at truth when you have a bias. And you should be extra cautious when that "truth" just happens to be exactly in line with that which you have been pushing for the last decade.
      It doesn't make you automatically wrong, but it does make it hard to take you seriously because you are unlikely to accurately present the full picture.

      Delete
    8. "I personally would rather lose control than be crushed to death because an exit that I needed to use was locked"

      I didn't ask about your personal preferences. I asked whether it was the cops fault that the crowd lost control 30 minutes before the accident. You didn't answer.
      What you're missing is that when the crowd loses control like that, disaster is imminent. The writing is on the wall, and so is everybody else.

      " I am just... trying to make sense of it somehow. "
      You're not making sense of it. If you can write you're somehow OK with losing control, it means you're not making sense of the tragedy. Losing control means death is around the corner. That's what the expects who've studied these tragedies say. (Experts! Phooey- they went to college!)

      Unlike you, less fair minded people have already found their narrative. After all are cops are 谞讗爪讬诐! 谞讗爪讬诐! (And if the cop is a woman- it's 砖讬拽砖注! 砖讬拽砖注!) They all become overnight experts in crowd control and start paskening- unlike this person who spent YEARS studying the phenomenon:
      https://theconversation.com/ten-tips-for-surviving-a-crowd-crush-112169
      But 讬讛讬讛 讘住讚专- next year we can continue to have 100,000 gather at Meron with one difference- hire the 住讬拽专讬讬诐 to handle security.

      Delete
    9. Indeed. So don't take anything that I say as true merely based on my "authority," whatever that might be. Consider instead the evidence and the logic. And note too whether any charedim are saying the same thing.

      Delete
    10. Ah yes, the evidence and logic.

      The logic being, that since chareidim oppose government intervention in some areas, they must oppose it in all areas, since they want autonomy in some ways, they must want it in all ways, since they reject recommendations about secular education, they must also reject recommendations about crowd safety or any other safety. And therefore all of chareidi society is to blame for any unsafe activity that happens at any chareidi venue, even those who have nothing to do with it. And any bad thing that happens due to the negligence of particular chareidi individuals or institutions must reflect on the entire chareidi society.

      This is the entirety of the "evidence and logic". There is nothing more to it than that, as I gleaned from you in the above discussion.

      Delete
    11. Er, the evidence is that nobody did in fact do anything to make the area safe for absorbing anywhere close to the number of people that come on Lag B’Omer, which was one of the aims of the nationalisation plan.

      Delete
  32. Here is a video of a father of one of the victims, who himself was there. He says that he slipped, and there was no police barrier. The crush was due to people piling up on top of and into each other. https://twitter.com/ishaycoen/status/1390029944659578883?s=19

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/30/world/europe/deadly-stampede-israel-mt-meron.html
      Here is an article from the NY times that quotes two eyewitnesses and references tv images as well. Allegations regarding the police "errors" have been widely reported all over, from many very non-chareidi sources. It is completely pointless to litigate this question over a blog discussion between two people who were not there. And I already acknowledged that I am not married to the concept of the police bearing culpability - I have enough of the modesty that you lack to acknowledge that I don't really know based on a few conflicting articles here and there. I am only suggesting that you try and become part of the solution rather than art of the problem

      Delete
    2. As I said, the police issue must be dealt with, but the real problem is much deeper and goes back decades. It was an accident waiting to happen.

      Delete
    3. It appears that the police are almost admitting responsibility and paying for legal representation.
      https://www.ynet.co.il/news/article/SJB96ZxOO#autoplay

      Delete
  33. You seem to just ignore the points that you can't answer or don't have the courage to confront. Try and help fix things - join the firefighters and not the arsonists

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny, I was about to say the exact same thing to you!

      Delete
    2. That is indeed funny, since I am not sure what I haven't answered. Let me know what question I missed and I will be happy to answer

      Delete
  34. Inspired by BreslovMay 5, 2021 at 11:51 PM

    Nobody needs to choose between safety and government control - that's a false dichotomy reminiscent of the way the jews in Germany used to think

    ReplyDelete
  35. I just went back and looked at parts of one of the 9+ hour live streams. Add lack of fire safety to the equation. It is a miracle this didn't turn into a mass inferno with thousands killed in a real stampede.

    ReplyDelete
  36. The supreme court didn't "rule" that the government and the hekdeshim need to reach a compromise. The government and the hekdeshim agreed to mediate the issue and the Supreme Court accepted this agreement.

    ReplyDelete

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