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Essential Reads on the Charedi Controversy
Rabbi Ron Yitzchak Eisenman of Passaic has issued a moving statement on the events in Bet Shemesh, including a wonderful, monumental story about Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld having nothing but blessings when facing a mixed group of secular Israeli youth. Especially notable in Rabbi Eisenman's statement is his saying that the possible unfair extrapolation and haredi-bashing is "not his issue." Exactly; the more that the charedi community ignores its own problems and just whines about being persecuted, the more they justify the generalized criticism towards them!
Meanwhile, VosIzNeias is showing photos of the charedi demonstration in Mea She'arim where they dressed as Holocaust victims. Check out the comments section, which shows how many frum and charedi Jews are utterly nauseated by it. Some of them are also wondering why the Gedolim, who are vocal on so many issues, are not saying anything about it. And check out Rabbi Adlerstein's brief but sharp headline and critique.
I was also sent the following comment which was submitted in response to Rabbi Menken's post on Cross-Currents but which, inexplicably, was not approved:
Nobody, including Tzipi Hotovely, is protesting the “voluntary separation of genders in public spaces.” What they are protesting is the INvoluntary coercion of others to abide by it. If Chassidim don’t want to sit behind women, this still does not give them the right to force unwilling women to sit at the back. I can’t understand how you can possibly argue otherwise.
It is likewise incorrect to state that “the only Charedi leader who legitimately should have done more was Mayor Abutbol.” How about the entire body of Chareidi rabbonim in Bet Shemesh and Ramat Bet Shemesh, not one of whom was willing to publicly condemn the extremists or express sympathy for the Orot school?
If you ever submit a comment to Cross-Currents and it is not approved, feel free to send it to me, and I may include it in a post.