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Bet Shemesh Update (UPDATED)
Here are some important updates to yesterday's post about Terrorism in Bet Shemesh. First, a mailing from Rabbi Dov Lipman:
Many people saw the scary videos from Tuesday and question whether the police take action. While we were sleeping late morning, the professional detectives of the Bet Shemesh police station who want to protect the community as best they can (many grew up in the city) spent a few hours making arrests. Those whose girls had to walk through those crowds can also reassure their daughters that the police arrested people. This is not to say that they won't be out in the streets again and it may mean that even more come out today but the police do deserve credit for taking action.
Thank you to everyone who came to Orot Banot yesterday to help escort the girls home and to their bus stops. The police specifically asked that we continue to do so and expressed their thanks because it does help them as well. Please make every effort to come today at 12:50p.m. and we will daven mincha right after we know that every girl has gone safely. Those who were posted throughout Herzog and at the kikar yesterday are asked to do the same today. Thank you in advance for your help and let's hope today passes quietly. Dov
Second, a mailing from a moderate-charedi shul in Ramat Bet Shemesh Aleph, Beis Tefilla, to its members:
Subject: [btya-members] Men - please give half an hour to protect Orot girls from abuse - and make a Kiddush Hashem
I have been asked by someone from Orot to put together a group of at least 10 men to be outside Orot girls' school tomorrow at 12:50 pm. The presence is intended to deter anyone from starting up with the girls. It will be a peaceful gathering, with no intention to interact directly with any "protestors."
There would be added Kiddush HaShem value in at least some of the participants being of chareidi appearance. (You can get dressed up for the occasion if you like :-)
If you can make it, please let me know. Rides may be available. If you need mincha gedola, it is planned there for about 1:15 pm.
Third, a later mailing from Rabbi Lipman:
God is proud of Am Yisrael. A number of chareidi men and women came to Orot Banot to show support for the right of the girls to walk home safely today including from Beis Tefila and Chabad, and some yeshiva bochurim came from a yeshiva in Nachala Umenucha. This demonstrated incredible achdus and will serve as a merit for the community in the month of Elul. To remind everyone - this is not about anti-chareidi
and no one has expressed such sentiments in this saga. It is about the simply right for parents to know that their children can go to and from school safely and that we can livein a city in total harmony even if we have different ways that we live our lives. This is why I have only used the word "extremist" in my posts about the people harassing
the girls and never chareidim.
I am happy report to that the police did not allow the extremists onto the sidewalk today so the girls had clear passage to their bus stop. They even arrested the one extremist who insisted on remaining on the side walk. As a result of our public pressure campaign and contact with government officials which included videos of what happened on Tuesday, the police presence today was strong and effective.
I want to call to all chareidim who support Beit Shemesh and RBS as being a city for all Jews and we can live together and respect one another to please be in touch with me. I will put you in touch with a group of Chareidim which is forming to join the rest of the city's populations in working to create such a city.
May we continue to hear only good news. Dov Lipman