Friday, June 18, 2010

The Real Issue Behind The Emmanuel School Protests

Erev Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Huqath 5770

Thursday was marked by massive protests against the recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling forcing the integration of Askenazy and Sefardi students in a religious school in the town of Emmanuel in the Shomron (Samaria).
Israel National News: 100,000 Accompany Hassidim To Jail
Hillel Fendel, 6 Tammuz 5770, June 17, 2010

...Though the Supreme Court based its ruling forcing school integration in the Shomron town of Emanuel on the principle of opposition to racist segregation, many say that the separation is not rooted in ethnic differences at all. Rather, they say, the Slonim Hassidim wish to continue the religious traditions of their fathers and rabbis, and educate their children in a school that adheres to particularly stringent religious standards.
I have been confused about this issue since it began, years ago.

I have heard compelling arguments on both sides. Most recently, I have heard that Sefardi Rabbis Ya'aqov Yosef and David Batzri were now involved, suggesting that the Ashkenazy arguments regarding religiosity and minhagim (customs) were weak. Rabbi Batzri's grandchildren weren't religious enough to attend the school in question? I think not.

On the other hand, I have heard that Sefardi parents themselves wanted their children to remain in a homogeneous, cultural environment, and thus supported the so-called "segregation." Irregardless, I do not think most people realize just many Sefardim participated in the protests: A lot!

So, which side is right? They both are.

Sound like a cop out? I'll explain.

The real conflict here is not between Sefardim and [Slonimer] Hassidim. We have seen this countless times before. The anti-Torah Erev Rav*, including judges and other government officials relish in any conflict between groups of religious Jews, be they Sefardi and Askenazy, or Haredi and Zionist.

Divide and conquer. It's quite simple, and it's all part of their desperate strategy to maintain its control.

They actively search out such conflicts, and feed their fires by any means necessary.

At the bottom of all this, the real issue was revealed by Justice Edmond Levy himself:

JPost: Emmanuel Parents Ordered To Jail
Jonah Mandel, 5 Tammuz 5770/June 16, 2010

...The parents’ attorney, Mordechai Green, then consulted with rabbis, presumably including Barazovsky (The Slonimer Rebbe), and told the court that in a conflict between the laws of Torah and those of men, the divine decrees must prevail.

The response raised Levy’s ire.

“I don’t know of any legal obligation for court rulings to receive the approval of some rabbi or another,” said Levy, who is himself religious. “I’m terrified by the fact that a rabbi instructs his community to act against a court verdict.”

In the ruling on imprisonment later in the day, the justices alluded to the fact that the parents gave precedence to their rabbis over the court, and repeated what they had said more than once during the hearing: “There is no need to note that our verdict is not subject to, or stipulated by, the approval of any exterior factor.”

In other words, not even the Almighty himself can overrule Justice Levy?

This conflict between Torah and the State is the real issue.

We had to confront it before the expulsion from Azza. Rabbi Avraham Shapira ztz"l, Rosh Yeshivath Merkaz HaRav Kook told soldiers to refuse orders which were in contradiction to the halacha, such as orders to remove Jews from their homes and land and hand their land over to goyim. Other rabbis disagreed, failing to acknowledge that such a conflict even existed.

But this was not the first conflict between Torah and State.

Not too long ago, the Israeli Supreme Court attempted to order the Chief Rabbinate to certify various products kasher, even though the Rabbinate had ruled otherwise. One of the issues was regarding a particular frozen meat, and another was a bakery owned by an apostate in Ashdod.

Even though I still do not know all of the details of the case in Emmanuel, I don't have to in order to know that the real issue isn't in Emmanuel.

Many have cried warnings to avoid a mihemeth ahim (civil war). Yet, do these same individuals know what the sides to the conflict even are?

It's not Sefardi vs. Ashkenazy, not Haredi vs. Zionist, nor even religious vs. secular.

It is Jew vs. Erev Rav.

In the words of the Kol HaTor (2:2)...
Anyone who does not participate in the war against the Erev Rav, is actually becoming a partner of the “layer” of the Erev Rav. Whoever he is, he would have been better off had he not been born.

The mamlachtim (Religious, un-dying State loyalists) are going to have to acknowledge the increasing number of conflicts between the Torah and State, and make up their minds as to which side they are on.

It seems that non-mamlachti Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beth El has.

Sefardim standing with Ashkenazim...

Zionists standing with Haredim...
Chalk one up for Jewish unity (Ahduth Yisra'el),...real Jewish unity...

...against the Erev Rav.

*********

Erev Rav - descendants of the mixed multitude/false converts who accompanied us out of Egypt.

6 comments:

Batya said...

Interesting take on it.
But for the court to jail parents for choosing a different school, that's against all precedent.

Ben-Yehudah said...

You are absolutely right.

The Erev Rav Courts gave the order, no?

Ben-Yehudah said...

You are absolutely right.

The Erev Rav Courts gave the order, no?

No stirah between my post and your comment.

Boy, do I look forward to getting Internet at home again!

I miss blogging.

mother in israel said...

The Jerusalem Bet Din, that Slonim went to about the issue, agreed with the "erev rav" and ruled that the children should all learn together.
Just because the court doesn't consider G-d's opinion, doesn't mean that its decision is wrong or that G-d opposes it. Shouting that G-d is on your side doesn't make you the moral arbiter for all of society.
Batya, they didn't choose a different school. They started a new one, using the government's facilities. The parents weren't jailed for sending there, but for contempt of court.
EA, what do you have to say about the Poneviz case that is now in the secular court?

Ben-Yehudah said...

MII, Thanks for writing.

I believe that you are correct on several counts:

1. Just because the court doesn't consider G-d's opinion, doesn't mean that its decision is wrong or that G-d opposes it.

Agreed. However, the fact that they are right from time to time (and not just religious Justice Levy, but Beinish and Arbel), does not make this system correct, ideal, or kasher.

That being said, Rav Tzuriel from your neck of the woods has suggested the acceptability of going to the secular courts to adjudicate some issues. I'll tell you why in private, if you would like to know.

2. Shouting that G-d is on your side doesn't make you the moral arbiter for all of society.

Definitely. However, that is because most groups of Jews let hashqafah get in the way of understanding halacha. As the Mishnah states [upon Ge'ulah] the truth is spread out, and we must go out and search for it. There is truth is all segments of Jewish communities, including Satmar and in a Tel-Aviv coffeehouse open on Shabbath. Most of us, myself included sometimes, are too stubborn to see and/or accept this.

Thus, God is not on my side or your side, not on the Slonimers' side or the Sefardim's side, but on all our sides.

I am not familiar with the Ponivitch case, but see above regarding Rav Tzuriel.

When we teachers were not getting paid, and won twice in Beth Din, we had no choice but to go to the secular courts to bring suit, so that Betuah Leumi would pay out our salaries.

My understanding is that Batei Din don't have much power over issues besides giyur and divorce, and that doesn't necessarily include that monetary aspects, in this country, unless two parties go to one like an arbiter.

I still believe that whether Justice Levy happened to be right and the Slonimer Rebbe happened to be wrong (it wouldn't be the first time that Rabbeim weren't getting the full unbiased story. Just look at Rav Eliashiv and the advantage people take of him.), Justice Levy's reasoning was incorrect, and the Slonimer Rebbe's statements regarding the Torah vs. State were correct.

I hope this clarified things.

Devash said...

Best take I've seen on this anywhere. Thank you.

You Might Also Like...