Monday, December 06, 2010

Proudly Defending Eli Yishai!

30 of the Ninth Month-Hanukkah 5771

It is interesting that "right-wing," religious Israel National News reports on calls for religious Interior Minister, Rabbi Eli Yishai (Sha"S) to resign. Yet, left-wing YNET News' reports do not focus on one of its favorite targets. It simply questions his actions, as well as the actions of other government officials, perfectly reasonable scrutiny from the press. YNET News also includes an opinion piece, supportive of Yishai.

Why are their calls for Minister Yishai to resign?

Israesl National News
...the Jerusalem Post reports that the International Fellowship of Christians [IFCJ] and Jews wanted to donate eight firetrucks to Israel, but that Minister Yishai refused to accept the donation because of the organization’s evangelical ties. In 2004, former Chief Rabbis Shapira and Eliyahu signed a religious ruling urging followers not to accept money from the group, which was said to have accepted money from groups involved in missionary activity.

No doubt, Sha"S's spiritual leader former Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef concurred with the above ruling. Nonetheless, Minister Yishai followed the ruling of the gedolim of the day, unlike other people an institutions.

Women In Green's Ruth Matar publicly blasted Rabbi Simcha Kook's special Chief Rabbinate committe's ruling (2007) against participation in a particular interfaith, women's conference. Not only did the "Religious" Zionist Israel National News publish her open, scathing letter, one of its talk show hosts actually called Rabbi Kook a "ghetto rabbi" on air.

National Religious Party [NRP] leaders went to Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu ztz"l to ask whether it was permissible for them to include a woman on their party's list of candidates. When Rabbi Eliyahu's response was an emphatic "No" The NRP put Gila Finkelstein on its list anyway, stating the lame excuse for picking and choosing halachah that they "have other rabbis."

Certainly, people have asked what about piqu'ah nefesh (the saving of Jewish lives)?

Well, first off, this question can be addressed to the secretaries of Rabbis Shapira and Eliyahu ztz"l. Their rulings are a matter of public record. You could also ask Rabbi Simcha Kook, who I understand is very approachable.

Minister Yishai did what he could. He obtained NIS 100 million from the Finance Ministry for fire fighting efforts (easily confirmable). In addition,...

Israel National News
Eight years ago, I asked the government to renew the Israel Air Force's fire-fighting activities; all the ministers, except those of Shas, voted against.” (also easily confirmable)

Say what you will about Minister Yishai, but cannont deny that on this issue he has been consistent. His Sha"S Party, Hassidei Gur, and [not even all] leftists seem to be the only ones who have awoken to the serious, spiritual and psychological dangers of dealing with Christians.

And, who exactly is calling for Yishai to resign?
Reporters.
No surprises there.

Now what I would like to know is, why doesn't anyone seem to be asking about the IFCJ's ties to missionaries?

Good question!

Actually,
Jewish Israel, which has reported extensively on the IFCJ.

It is no surprise that this was even mentioned by Israel National News and the Jerusalem Post. Both are known or suspected of having close ties to Christians and their money. The Jerusalem Post even has a Christian Edition.

5 comments:

Ze'ev said...

When your house is burning and your nation is in danger, I think you take whatever help you can get and then sort out the motives afterwards. If we really have emuna and avodat hashem as a nation we have nothing to fear from Christian missionaries or any other group. Until then we work on ourselves and trust the helping hand of Hashem that sometimes works through our "enemies", because in the end they are only there to bring us to where we need to be.

Ze'ev said...

After reading the pathetically, obviously biased JPost article I agree that they definitely have an agenda, which probably rests largely on pleasing their Christian donors. That doesn't make Eli Yishai right. My Jewish brother has behaved disgracefully time and time again, particularly in the way he and the rest of the Shas inner circle are treating the wonderful, brave and (lamentably) exceptionally sane Rabbi Chaim Amsalem. For this, Yishai and the rest of Shas owe Amsalem a giant and public apology, and must step down to allow him to assume leadership of a party that currently teeters on the 49th level of spiritual blindness.

Ariel Ben Yochanan said...

B"H - I'm on the mailing list of Israel's Rome Embassy and they diffused a KKL world wide fund raising campaign for 10 to 100.000 euro contributions for the reforestation. Now this worries me, as some of these funds will come from goyim and will be plugged into the Land, literally, in the form of trees. Just another controversial aspect, for which we will have to be punished - again. Besides, in their letter soliciting funds, the KKL describes the age of some of the burned trees as “older than the State of Israel”. This too worries me a lot, as these people define time now as Before and After - the foundation of the State of Israel: B.F.S.I. – A.F.S.I.? Absurd. Want an example of what I’d call as “extreme mamlahtism”? My father was born in 23 B.F.S.I., I made Aliyah in 56 A.F.S.I. and my mother died in 57 A.F.S.I. How do you like that? Put things in contemporary Israeli context, doesn’t it?

Ben-Yehudah said...

Ze'ev, Thanks for writing.

Regarding your first comment, the issue is a halachic one. If you want to present a counter argument, you should provide a halachic one to do so. Halacha is involved in ALL aspects of Jewish life, not just "kashrus shailos."

Rabbis Shapira and Eliyahu did not simply go with their feelings. But in the event that they did, that was because they were the level that their feelings matched the halacha.

The result of the argument you present may be correct. We can only know with further HALACHIC research. However, the manner of your argument is not halachic; it is Western. It may have to it, but it is Western logic, nonetheless.

The halachic question here may be related to the fact that refraining from avodah zarah is dohe piqu'ah nefesh. So, they question here is whether taking money from missionaries is considered hana'ath avodah zarah, and whether refraining from that is also dohe piqu'ah nefesh.

Or there could be halachic reason that neither nor I can think of right now.

Emunah and avodath HaShem are important, but as you can see, not everyone in Israel is involved with these, are certainly vulnerable.

Regarding your second comment, I cannot argue with it.

Ben-Yehudah said...

...meaning that obviously I agree with your comment about JPost, but cannot argue with your points about Yishai.

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