Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's not about Tzniut! (Agudat Yisrael's "condemnation")

First, read their statement on the violence in Beit Shemsh:

Agudath Israel Statement on Recent Events in Beit Shemesh

Just want to add my 2 cents on Agudat Yisrael's "condemnation":

There's no reason to throw tzniut into it. This has zero to do with tzniut. The issue isn't about people dressing immodestly, and them reacting. The issue is about them acting inappropriately, and using "modesty" as an excuse. I'm quite aware this is a minority, extremist sect, but... Now it's the modesty of an 8 year old girl. But it was girls sitting in the front of the bus. It's also Manny's selling books in English, or "Zionist" books. Or opening up a parking lot on Shabbat. Or moving the bones of pagans to build missile-proof ER (Barzila, Ashkelon).
Agudat Yisrael would have been just as good by condemning violence in the name of God, as that's clearly assur and a Chillul Hashem. Instead, they added extra, extraneous paragraphs, that serve more as a red herring. TZNIUT IS NOT THE ISSUE!!

The Sikrikim have decided to wage war on the rest of the Jewish people, not unlike the original Sicarii (for whom they take their name).  Remember that the original zealots helped bring the downfall of the second Temple, and were heavily condemned for their behavior long before the destruction by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, one of the foremost Jewish leader, and a Tanna of major importance.  So it's not without precedence to be utterly repulsed by the actions of the current Sikrikim, even if you are a member of the Charedi (ultra-Orthodox) world.

The most important thing to remember is that the Sikrikim in no way represent what true ultra-Orthodoxy is about, and CERTAINLY do not represent religious Jewry or the State of Israel.

They take whatever issue they can in order to terrorize the population.  We must not get sucked into the idea that this is about tzniut or women.  Many times in the past this has been about hundreds of other issues.  And if we don't act soon, there will also be many times in the future.

Here's a small sampling of other issues that have been battle-cries for the Sikrikim:

1 comment:

  1. No one is disputing the right of individuals to act and dress with tzniyut. What is being protested is having supposed exemplars of religious behavior threatening, spitting and insulting others who do not hold the same opinion, in order to force them to do so. Is this tzniyut? Is this Ahavat Yisrael? Is this the kind of behavior that will influence others to look upon religious Jews with favor? I think not! And I am saddened to see this statement change the subject of what the issue is here in Beit Shemesh. As a Dati-leumi Jew, I find the behavior of the so called zealots to be disturbing. But what disturbs me even more, is the lack of the response by the Rabbanim in their communities! The talmudic dictum, 'silence is assent', would lead one to believe that at best they agree with the zealots, and at worst, that they are so afraid of them that they refuse to lead their communities by speaking out. Honestly, I can't imagine which is worse.

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