Thursday, May 03, 2012

An Open Letter to Rav Aryeh Deri

To the Honorable Rav Aryeh Deri Amv"s,

It is with great disappointment that I learn that you are planning to start your own party called Kavod U’Mesoret.  It troubles me greatly that an agreement cannot be made with the party of your youth - the party of your Rav - the party where you belong - Shas. 

I am a big admirer of yours and have always felt that you were wrongly accused of wrongdoing.  You did not deserve any of the prison sentence you received and throughout the entire ordeal, you handled yourself with class.  As a Talmid of Rav Ovadia Shlit"a, you have always been loyal to his party.  It therefore saddens me that you would consider veering from your rav's path and blazing your own. 

I realize that you have been at odds with the current leader - Eli Yishai.  He too is someone I greatly admire.  In the name of Ahdut, it is time to bury the hatchet and join him.  It makes no difference who the leader is.  Will you be like Yeravam Ben Nevat and ask "Mi Barosh?"  Just join them in any capacity and you will make the party stronger.  And a stronger Shas means more means for spreading Yahadut throughout Eretz Yisrael.

Instead of Ahdut, if the reports are accurate, you have opted for division.  The name of the new party ironically is Kavod U'Mesoret.  However, if you are chasing after Kavod, you will get none, as it will run away from you.  If you seek Masoret (tradition), you will not find it by abandoning the party of Rav Ovadia, who is the guardian of our tradition. 

I know that you are a man of honor.  Do the honorable thing and join Shas, even if not as leader.  If you run away from honor, it will chase after you, and the party of the Sepharadim will be unified.


Yeranen Yaakov

Disclaimer: I am not an Israeli (at this time) so I have no voting power, but I deeply care about the Jewish people.


At Thu May 03, 02:49:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aryeh Deri could have stopped the terrible Oslo accords - but he chose to have him and his party abstain. I am not sure why you treat him with such kid gloves. The public chilul Hashem , the fact that he does not listen to his Rav - yes, the Rav,Posek Hador that initially put him into power, portrays his character. This is not Loshon ha'ra since the public needs to understand why not to vote for him! BTW - move to Israel and vote!!!!

At Thu May 03, 03:13:00 PM 2012, Blogger yaak said...

One enormous error in judgement was made - true, but one cannot forget how talented this man is, and how he managed to grow the party from nothing to being a major party in Israel.

He is a force - a positive force - one that attracts a lot of people. He is expected to get 3 seats if he runs independently, according to the latest polls. So as long as the force is in the game, I'd like him on our team - not splitting our team. He continued to have tremendous respect for Rav Ovadia - until this latest move. We will see how this plays out on Rosh Hodesh Sivan when he announces his new party. I hope it never happens.

At Thu May 03, 03:19:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Why should there be any specifically Sephardi or Ashkenazi dati parties? It's best that these two groups find common ground ASAP.

At Thu May 03, 03:28:00 PM 2012, Blogger yaak said...


Halevai! If Sepharadim would have gotten proper representation in the first place, there would have never been a Shas party. It was only created because their needs were not being dealt with properly. And it was created with Rav Shach's blessing.

In an ideal world, all religious parties should come together. May that happen soon.

At Thu May 03, 04:06:00 PM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

There is that problem of the Oslo Accords, and the disturbing thing is that unlike Rav Ovadia, he never took a step back and said that he was wrong for giving up pieces of Eretz Yisrael so that he could have peace and quiet studying Torah. As we have spoken before, Rav Ovadia did take that step back and admit that supporting further geirushim will cost more lives than save lives. He regretted his support of Oslo and was good to his word by telling Sharon as early as May of 2004, that Shas would never join his unilateral Disengagement Coalition. I poignantly remember this when in the days leading to the Likud Referendum on this very issue in May of 2004, several of us who were canvassing Jerusalem to convince the Likud rank and file to vote against Disengagement, came across a Sephardi who was on the list of voters. As we knocked on his apartment, we could hear Rav Ovadia speaking in the background on television haranguing against the entire idea of a unilateral Disengagement. The Sephardic gentleman came out to greet us, and when he realized why we had shown up, he pointed to his tv and said that we did not have to speak further. Rav Ovadia had already given his psak on the matter. For that reason alone, the entire proposition lost by over 60% of the Likud rank in file (whatever good that did). Sharon ignored the referendum anyway. In contrast HaAretz recently did a promo piece supporting Rav Aryeh Deri as their vision of what a Dati party leader should be like. Now that is a big red flag. To be hated by HaAretz would be a badge of honor. To be loved by HaAretz might cost one his soul if they are loving you for the wrong reason. There is a segment of the Chareidi world that will be part of the Erev Ze'ir until ben David shows up in year eight (5776?). We already know who the Ashkenazi leaders of the Erev Ze'ir are. We will find out this Rosh Chodesh Siwan who the Sephardi leaders are, and apparently Mr. Deri is choosing to lead the way. Hang on to your posek, Rav Ovadia. And let Eli Yishai lead his party. The situation believe it or not is far more stable in the Sephardi Chareidi world than in the Ashkenazi world. The Ashkenazi world is in a far more treacherous situation, and the Erev Zeir has taken control over some of its leaders. So as an Ashkenazi, one has to take far greater care trying to find the true tzaddikim right now. There are a plethora, the Admor of Sadigora and Rav Shalom Arush just to name two, but one must tread more carefully as an Ashkenazi. So hang on to the right people who put human decency kadmah to the Torah. You have Rav Ovadiah. Stick with him. Even if ben Ephraim takes firm control of the government in 5772 or early 5773, this is going to be a rough ride.

At Fri May 04, 07:30:00 AM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dov Bar-Leib,

Interesting comment but can I ask a few questions?

What is the "Erev Ze'ir" and who created that term?

If you know who the Ashkenazi leaders of Erev Ze'ir are - who are they?

what does it mean "even if ben Efraim takes firm control of the gov't" - which individual do you mean? And are you hinting about Mashiach ben Yosef?

Thanks and a Good Shabbos

At Fri May 04, 01:06:00 PM 2012, Blogger Daniela said...

Anonymous: really it's a very easy concept. "Less stringent than me = apikorsim and heretics; more stringent than me = fanatic and pious fools".
If you don't like the new party, don't vote it.

At Sat May 05, 03:16:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Neshama said...

Anonymous, read Dov's recent post at

At Sat May 05, 04:04:00 PM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Here is a link explaining the polar opposite nature of the evils of the Erev Rav and the Erev Ze'ir. It is an excellent article, but the Erev Ze'ir is not simply all non-Zionist Chareidim as the article implies. There are many non-Zionist Chareidim who do not cross over into the evil realm of the Erev Ze'ir. The founding of the Medinah was suspiciously done by atheists and Bolshevicks, very inauspicious beginnings for a holy task of the in-gathering of the exiles. One can be a cautious non-Zionist who understandably is not overly thrilled by the prospects of such a founding (unless one has already learned about that in Sefer Kol HaTor and therefore one understands why it had to happen that way):

A good outline would be to say that the Erev Rav are the gilgulim of the mixed riffraff that came out of Egypt when Klal Yisrael left Mitzraim. Moshe accepted them as Jews so that we have to accept them as Jews too until some or most of them fail the test in this generation to not worship a god called popularity and "World Public Opinion" which has replaced the Bolshevism of the founders. Most of course are secular and have accepted the dog faced god called "World Public Opinion". And they need korbanot every 2 or 3 days in order to feed this god since worldwide appreciation for their Avodah only lasts a day or two. The most recent korban is Col. Eisner for daring to smack an anarchist before the video camera. But you can be sure that there will be another korban very soon because this god in insatiable.

The Erev Ze'ir is quite different. They are gilgulim of Jewish souls who rejected the gift of the Land of Israel with the Sin of the Spies. Their rejection is based on the fact that Galut in the desert was a pleasant phenomenon where they were fed every day with Mon and they never had to change clothes. And think of all the Torah that they could learn by remaining in the desert without having to work for a living in Eretz Yisrael. Because we had been away for so long in 5765, G-d added the additional aspect of human decency to the test of 5765, but in both cases the Erev Rav and the Erev Ze'ir failed the test. The answer about who in the Ashkenazic world qualifies as the Erev Ze'ir is a more complicated question since we really don't know how the decision to enable Sharon by the "Gedolei HaTorah" of U.T.J. came about. More and More it seems like there were a group of thugs around one of the poskim of U.T.J. And these thugs seem to have limited the access of certain Gedolim to certain information that they needed to know in order to make the proper p'sak. This is a time honored form of thugery that was first perfected 2800 years ago by Geihazi who limited access to Elisha the prophet in Sefer Melachim. Chazal are very critical of Geihazi and his tactics (for example Melachim Bet 4:27) as they would be of the modern version of Geihazis as they go about shielding poskim from necessary information. They are kind of like offensive tackles who for their own Erev Ze'ir agendas keep the Gedolim that they are hired to protect in the dark. So right now until it becomes more obvious about who knew what when, it is best to wait and see. Ya'ak might have some information. What he sent me is informative.

At Sun May 06, 06:11:00 AM 2012, Anonymous Neshama said...

Dov, the Baal Shem Tov said to his disciples that it will be the religious leaders who will hold back the Geula, in the final days. Now these could be your erev zeir. It is not a far stretch of the mind to see that taking place now, in that we are seeing many of them leaving this world. We may not be so "bereft" (as they say) after all.

Also, the same way that his lineage brought forth Dovid HaMelech, is the same way Israel and the Geulah need to be brought forth. Clandestinely.

As soon as anyone can identify a reincarnated neshoma in a current generation, then we will have our proof. But who will be so wise as to recognize it?!

At Thu Jul 12, 10:26:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize that I'm asking this question over two months after you posted this post, but I'm curious how you feel about Rav Haim Amsallem and his party, Am Shalem. (A few months ago he spoke in my town and I was very impressed.) If you don't mind, please respond with your usual teriffic insights.

At Thu Jul 12, 11:35:00 PM 2012, Blogger yaak said...

I have no comment about Rav Amsallem.

At Mon Jul 16, 10:35:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please forgive me for pushing the matter, but does "I have no comment" translate to "I have things that I could say regarding Rav Amsallem, etc., but it's better to avoid potential lashon hara", or "I feel neutral/I truly have nothing to say regarding the matter"? (I very much value your opinion, so I'd like to make sure I understand you.)

At Mon Jul 16, 10:47:00 PM 2012, Blogger yaak said...

All I'll say is that there are many things that he says that I agree with and there are many things that he says that I don't agree with. That probably doesn't help you, but I must leave it at that.


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