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"With regard to his first reason, that John Hagee is part of a movement that supports Jews only because they want to see them converted, I consulted an expert on Hagee. He told me that this is “patently false, and can only come from people who live in their own bubbles and make assumptions about everything outside, rather than bothering to learn the truth.” ... (Conversely, the number of people who get turned off from Judaism by the various selfish antics of the charedi community is considerable.)"

I consulted an expert on Slifkin and he told me that only bitter ex-charedim think that.

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Lots of sociological speculation in the rabbi's post, but no data. Only an appeal to an unnamed 'expert' on the pastor with whom the rabbi consulted. The rabbi claims to be anti charedi but reminds us of nothing more than a bitter, cold Litvak from back in the day. Lots of divineness, no love to be found here, certainly not ahavat chinom such as demonstrated by the chayalim and the populace. The Rosh Yeshiva didn't participate in the rally. Rabbi Slifkin, a public figure with a voice, refuses to participate in the achdus while our nation and people are fighting for our lives. He lost the plot. When the ferocious unabated anger? Is this righteous indignation - or something personal? It's not too late to repent.

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As is slicky Slifkins way, he embellishes things to suit his purposes.

Examples:

R' Feldman wrote:

"I originally supported the rally because I felt it was necessary to influence Congress to continue sending arms to Israel and to stop Congress from forcing a cease-fire."

But Slifkin says:

"He makes it clear that he acknowledges that rallies can have a powerful impact; it was only this particular type of rally that was problematic. Had the rally been of a different nature, it would have been an invaluable way to influence Congress to continue sending arms to Israel and not to force a cease-fire..."

R' Feldman did not say he thought the rally is "invaluable". He wrote he thought it would influence Congress. Slifkin blows up R' Feldman's own view of the extent of the effectiveness of the rally. "Invaluable" means something much more than intended.

Another example:

R' Feldman wrote: "A Christian pastor was set to address the crowd. He is the head of an evangelic Christian denomination which believes that Jews need to be supported so that they eventually convert to Christianity."

But Slifkin wrote:

"With regard to his first reason, that John Hagee is part of a movement that supports Jews only because they want to see them converted"

Notice that word "only". It changes things! R' Feldman didn't take it that far. He gave a reason for their Israeli support; he did not say they cannot have any other considerations.

Another example:

R' Feldman wrote:

"...and it would have (this, from an advertisement) a massive chant by the attendees of “Never Again!”— implying that the physical might of the army—not Hashem—will protect the Jewish people."

Slicky wrote:

"And while Rav Feldman claims that the phrase “Never Again!” is secular, it is simply a vow to make every effort to prevent such things from happening; and it was popularized by none other than Rabbi Meir Kahane who, whatever else his failings, certainly was not secular."

Once again we see reading comprehension issues. R' Feldman didn't say it was "secular". Slifkin did. R' Feldman discussed the implication. Remember that word: Implication. R' Kahane being frum is irrelevant. R' Feldman maintains that there is a mistake in the message, even for religious people.

These examples and many more are TYPICAL of Slifkin here and everywhere. It is a reason also , I think, why his books are not truly scholarly. What he writes is persuasive...he pushes his ideas without enough care for facts.

Be warned!

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u guys are a bunch of clueless bitter nasty boomers speculating about stuff you have no clue about. I live here and am part of hardi culture and most of you guys are way off including nosson slifkin

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author

To all those claiming that my comments are just the rantings of a charedi-hater - here is a recording of R. Beryl Whitman, a maggid shiur in the Mir, about Rav Feldman's letter:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vuRD-kHFwR_GwDvyLnpIn18wOsJfKoMl/view?pli=1

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Furthermore I found out they would be selling kosher food at the rally. This implies that we get our nourishment from food and not from HKBH R”L. I felt it was not good for a Ben Torah to be exposed to such Kefirah.

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Nov 21, 2023Liked by Natan Slifkin

Excellent response. Moreover, why then according to R. Feldman is it ok for his UTJ representatives in the Knesset to respectfully stand (though ח"ו not sing) for Hatikva and have excellent relationships with every President of the State of Israel? Does R. Feldman not have any hakarat hatov for all of the Talmud Torah and Yeshivot funded by what he calls Secular Zionism?!

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Nov 21, 2023·edited Nov 21, 2023Liked by Natan Slifkin

Charedim love to say "secular Zionism." Of course, it's a lie: They don't approve of any Zionism, even the most religious forms. Use of "secular" is a sneaky way of avoiding that fact.

I think a lot of this stems from the fact that many in the charedi world- and we've seen this in these comments a lot- have a hard time grasping that they are not the entirety of the Jewish people. The vast majority of Jews have no problem with Zionism, or its flag and anthem.

I turned on the livestream and saw Van Jones and said, "Oh, the Communist." I don't like Van Jones, never did. I find Chuck Schumer loathsome. (He spoke at one of my graduations, as it happens.) I am very disappointed in Deborah Lipstadt and what she's become. But you know what? I know why every one of them was there, I appreciate that they were there (and the same for those who weren't on the stage), and appreciate every word they said, even those I might not have agreed with. Because there are millions of Jews in the world and only one of them (me) has my exact views.

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Nov 21, 2023Liked by Natan Slifkin

Thanks for the analysis.

The key issue I had was his assertion that "the program had two elements which pikuach nefesh does not override". According to what I was taught, there are only three things that Pikuach Nefesh does not override - and I did not see any of the three in the rally program. Your points about how the rally was not intended to promote secular Zionism, but rather Zionism, is also right on point. His trotting out the long-disproven allegation about Hatikva (the original wording of which did not even include the words he finds objectionable) as false proof would be almost funny, but for the influence he and the Moetzes have on a large swath of Judaism.

Overall, I thought this was pretty pathetic - but I will at least give him credit for presenting his reasoning rather than hiding behind the "We're Daas Torah, so don't you dare even think of asking why" shield of the Fakewood leadership.

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This explanation is laughable. Rav Feldman only discovered on the morning of the rally that this would be the type of event that include the singing of Hatikvah and speeches from prominent officials of the State of Israel?! That’s not remotely believable.

Everybody (or at least everybody with some knowledge of Ner Yisroel) knows that the real reason he began to oppose it the morning of is because the night before, the Lakewood roshei yeshiva issued their own letter condemning it. Rav Feldman has long been embarrassed by the general perception in the yeshiva world that Ner is more liberal/worldly than BMG and similar institutions. So once Lakewood was opposed, he rushed to get on the bandwagon...

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When R Feldman writes, "Even though joining with secular groups is forbidden even for a mitzvah"...in what way is this forbidden? What is his source for this? And second question: Is he insecure of the value, appeal and draw of Torah that exposure to secular groups would sway his religious faithful?

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Rather pathetic and embarrassing letter.

Difficult to recognise anything that is based on Torah. Some sources would help explain the positions in the letter.

So what are Agudah doing to help Acheinu? Nothing. We're just carrying on as normal with our davening and learning.

My daughter has experienced untold Chessed in her community in Givat Shmuel, with so many husbands, fathers and sons away from home for the last few weeks.

So thanks to the ex-sem girl who came to help with the little ones when the Ganim were closed.

Thanks to the people who cooked meals.

And thanks to the teenage boys from Ezra Youth Movement who came round to take down the Succah, as my son-in-law is called up.

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RA Feldman was wrong, 'Nuff said. All this post shows, however, is how out of touch NS is, all claims to "secret back channels" to the yeshivah world notwithstanding. He apparently believes RAF's opinion represents either the Moetzes or the American yeshiva world. That's funny. RAF doesn't even represent Ner Israel - the president of the Yeshivah, RB Neuberger, was at the rally himself, as were many, many talmidim from nearby Baltimore. The Yeshivah went en masse to the Washington rallies in 2002 and 1967. RAF is not from the founding Ruderman family or ruling Neuberger family, and doesn't represent the yeshiva's legacy and tradition. No disresepct intended, he is entitled to his pov, but he doesn't represent either the Moetzes or american yeshivah world. Their view is no more represented by him than the Mizrachi world is colored by an MK speculating about nuking the Gaza strip.

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What truly fascinates me, is that many readers, particularly those who take the time to post comments, seem to profoundly dislike the author... Seems quite masochistic to me, given no one is forced to read this blog....

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I appreciate Rabbi Feldman's response for its clarity and directness. While it might appear divisive to those outside the chareidi community, it's important to recognize that Rabbi Feldman is maintaining a longstanding and respected religious stance that has been consistently upheld since 1947.

In practical terms, the mutual respect on the ground is palpable. My sister recently shared an inspiring initiative in her neighborhood where religious and non-religious women gather weekly for a shared activity. This isn't about influencing beliefs but rather about building bridges and understanding each other as individuals.

Regarding the topic of military service, my sister mentioned that it hasn't come up in their discussions. Nonetheless, there's a deep sense of gratitude for those who serve. This sentiment hits close to home for us, as we recently lost our cousin, Hayim Katsman. This loss has only deepened our appreciation for the sacrifices made by those in service.

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Nov 21, 2023·edited Nov 21, 2023

"I hope have clarified the matter and will be happy to address any further questions." Maybe just raise your concerns directly instead of second guessing his intentions

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