Monday, January 21, 2013

Israeli Elections - For Which Party to Vote?

For me, there are a number of issues raised in these elections that are important for the State of Israel (in no particular order):
  1. Keeping Israel a Jewish state where its Ministry of Religious Affairs and all government offices follow Halacha
  2. Keeping the Land of Israel intact
  3. Keeping Yeshiva students learning Torah - for its own sake and to help protect the country
  4. Keeping illegal infiltrators out and expelling those that already came in
  5. Keeping poverty to a minimum
  6. Keeping Iran from going nuclear
  7. Keeping Hamas and Hizbalah from attacking Jewish communities
  8. Keeping the Crown of Sephardic Glory in its rightful place
  9. Keeping the rulings of Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a
These issues are the ones important to me.  There may be those who think that #9 doesn't belong there, but I disagree.  I consider it important for the integrity of the State of Israel.

Which party can one count on to fulfill all 9 issues?  Only Shas.  With #9 in there, it seems pretty obvious.  But even without #9 in there, it's true.

It is with this in mind that I take issue with the Muqata's assessment of the Shas party.  I like and respect Jameel and agree with him most of the time, but he's very wrong in his rant there.  Some of the rabbis I respect have also erred here, Bimhilat Kevodam.  There are many other rabbis who have not erred and have supported Shas.

Anyone that says that Rav Ovadia is being misled by those around him is erring, again Bimhila.  Rav Ovadia knows what's going on - and he himself explained that the same thing happened with R' Akiva Eiger.  When R' Akiva Eiger was older, people started saying that you couldn't rely on any of his Piskei Halacha since those around him manipulated him.  R' Akiva Eiger said, "I can forgive on my own Torah, but HKB"H will not forgive on His Torah."  Rav Ovadia said that the same thing applies to him, but he didn't want to say this publicly since he didn't want to compare himself to R' Akiva Eiger.

What has prompted Rav Ovadia to attack his political opponents?  Not ח"ו that he hates the members of the other parties.  G-d forbid.  It's that he loves all of Kelal Yisrael and that these parties are deceiving typical Shas voters into voting for parties that are not going to uphold the Torah values that Shas represents.  This is especially true regarding drafting Yeshiva students.  He is visibly shaken with the prospect of the loss of Torah learning that will inevitably come as a result of such a decree.  Only a strong Shas will help prevent this from occurring.

Rav Ovadia has been a target his entire life.  It comes with the territory.  When you stand up for what you believe and say what needs to be said without fearing man - only Hashem - that's what makes a Gadol.

When Torah values are respected, that is something that will help promote real Ahdut more than anything else.  Not being PC to the PC crowd.  Not compromising with Halacha.  Those planning to vote Bayit Hayehudi, in Rav Ovadia's view, are not upholding Torah values.  Now, you can argue with that, and you may have a respected rabbi to back you up, but the Gadol Hador has spoken.  Who could dare argue on it?

17 Comments:

At Mon Jan 21, 11:13:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

#2 = keeping Eretz Israel... Don't you remember the fact that Oslo came on us because of Arye Deri and Shasss ?...

 
At Mon Jan 21, 11:58:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as always in judaism , the question is who is a gadol?--the gadol of my team.... thus if you are not haredi or sefardi , neither UTJ nor shas-ic gdolim are noge'ah.....

 
At Tue Jan 22, 12:26:00 AM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

The oslo fiasco was not the fault of shas. Shas may have been able to prevent it, assuming rabin didn't use the nuclear option of including the arab parties, but all that doesn't mean that they don't believe in the entire e"y. Of course they do. All religious jews believe in the first rashi in the torah. Whoever tells you otherwise is a liar. At the time, peace prospects were flying, and land 4 peace was halachicly permitted acc. To Rav Ovadia - assuming a real peace. The decision was regretful, and Rav Ovadia has regretted it many years ago. But I repeat: anyone who tells you that shas doesn't believe that the entire e"y is ours is a liar.

 
At Tue Jan 22, 12:29:00 AM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Anonymous 11:58, this is how Rav Ovadia is different. You need not be Haredi or Sepharadi to appreciate his gadlut.

 
At Tue Jan 22, 01:04:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you one of the Sefardic meshiachists behind the Rav?

"Not being PC to the PC crowd"

-Uri

 
At Tue Jan 22, 07:28:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yaak, i believe to vote shas just bec. maran asked. however re: if they tell him everything, or present certain info a specific way, is very possible that what to of his son said rav yakov and rav dovid. assunming the r akiva eiger story is true its plausible they tell some of whats going on and also that people say that we dont tell you everything..... read amslems new book dont tell me everything is lie, watch amnons video from last night a response to maran, sometimes nikarim divrie emes.

you are correct, maran is the ultimate ohiev yisroel.

as far as deri, what about the story that amnon revealed two days ago the 30mil shkolim missing.....? what about the fact he said that if certain cuts were made for the poor he would not join the govt even maran instructed him? its on utube. what about the fact he was going to open his own party had rav sholem cohen not been sucsseful in getting him back in shas? like i u cant trust kikar shabos as was exposed they get paid in exchange for favorbale news

 
At Tue Jan 22, 07:53:00 AM 2013, Blogger rabbi david katz said...

to anonymous: ohev yisrael must include the ger.

 
At Tue Jan 22, 08:55:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, are you ger?

--Tsaddik Nistar

 
At Tue Jan 22, 10:11:00 AM 2013, Blogger David said...

Not halachically

 
At Tue Jan 22, 11:22:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mean that you was born from a Jewish mother?

 
At Tue Jan 22, 11:54:00 AM 2013, Blogger Akiva said...

Hi Yaak,

The Gadol is a Gadol, but he's not mine. As when the Litvishim tell me I must hold by positions of Rav Shteinman because he's the Gadol Hador, my reply is the same. Until Moshiach.

To your points:

1. I respect and appreciate Shas's governance in the Ministry of Interior via Eli Yishai. Aryeh Deri's track record was nowhere near as good. Who will be the Minister? Governance doesn't come via the posek, but via the management skills of the minister.

2. Shas was unable to convince Chabad's rabbinic leadership for this election that they stand strong on this point, therefore Chabad's gedolim in Israel instructed Chabadniks to NOT vote Shas due to this issue!

3. B"H, Shas has been successful in aiding in the growth of Torah learning, and increasing Torah learning in the Sephardic community. And similarly the frum population has more children and is therefore growing as a percentage of Israel. AT WHAT POINT WILL the army collapse because there are not enough recruits with everyone learning in Yeshiva? (Similarly, since yeshiva's protect, shouldn't they be deployed to rocket areas and war fronts to protect the soldiers?) This is not a pie in the sky issue, in 10 years the demographics will cause the army to be seriously undermanned. Maybe we should prepare now so charedi officers will exist to manage the needed charedi battalions then? Or should we not worry about it and simply assume Moshiach will be here by then?

4. Appreciate.

5. Preventing learning of job skills in yeshivot is setting up the next generation FOR poverty. Getting free kindergarten is great, building an economic skill base is necessary as well.

6. Huh? What is Shas doing about this?

7. Huh? What is Shas doing about this?

8. Achdus and appreciating each other might be better. While the sephardi community was depressed in Israel in the past, it's not true now. Would you now have them lord it over the others, or drive achdus?

9. I actually do appreciate that a gadol has input on national policy, and that Netanyahu has consulted the rav on numerous major issues. But insisting on _your_ gadol, divisiveness.

PRIOR to Shas's election campaign, Shas actually had my vote. Note I am NOT sephardi. But their campaign was extremely divisive, and their rhetoric disturbing.

Shas has generally been a positive and reasonably balanced and Torah force in Israel's governing coalitions. But their campaign and statements during the campaign season make me sick. (I should note NO such statements came from Eli Yishai - all were from Deri or the rav, who I would HOPE was either taken out of context or misinformed to make such statements.)

 
At Tue Jan 22, 12:46:00 PM 2013, Blogger rabbi david katz said...

i was born of a jewish mother and a kohen father.

 
At Tue Jan 22, 01:29:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Akiva,

Thanks for replying and allowing me to respond to your replies.

I'm not forcing the Gadol Hador's psakim and Hashkafot on anyone, but I'm very strongly suggesting that people listen to it. He is the greatest Posek living today and he is a respected leader who leads based on Torah. Don't listen to him at your own risk.

Re: your points:

1) True that governance comes via the leadership skills of the minister, but that's not what I was talking about. I'm talking about keeping it Jewish, and with Shas ministers in there, you know that you're getting authentic Judaism in those offices.

2) This is unfortunate for Chabad.

3) Shas agrees that Haredim should go to the army - just not Yeshiva boys in Yeshiva. I believe your demographic statistics are based on all Haredim - not Yeshiva boys who actually learn Torah. And, as believing Jews, we know better than to rely on numbers for our army.

4) Good.

5) Shas doesn't believe in preventing learning of job skills. You may be confusing them with a different sect. In fact, Rav Ovadia's daughter set up a college.

6) See here and here, for example.

7) See here and here, for example.

8) Of course, Ahdut is good. This is Bedavka what they are fighting for! No one wants them to be lord over the other, my gosh. And the Sepharadim are not as on equal footing as you make them out to be. Things have gotten better, for sure, but it's not great. Remember Emanuel?

9) Again, this is not divisiveness. This is reality. After the Yom Kippur War, Rav Ovadia ensured for the non-Aguna status of all the widows of the war. He worked tirelessly for all of Kelal Yisrael, just as the Lubavitcher Rebbe had. Is Lubavitchers being Mekarev people only to a Chabad derech divisiveness? According to you, it should be! But of course it's not. It's saying that this is the derech we hold and this is the Rav we hold by, but we are tolerant of everyone. This is what Chabad and Shas both do.

As I said in the post, Rav Ovadia was not misinformed. He said what he thought about the other party - not about its voters. Please understand the difference.

Kol Tuv,

Yaak

 
At Tue Jan 22, 01:37:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No comment Yaak? Moshiachist or not a Moshiachist?

-Uri

 
At Tue Jan 22, 02:10:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Yes, no comment, Uri, since I decided not to dignify your comment with a response. But, if you're going to continue hounding and harrassing me, here goes:

I have no idea whatsoever who the Mashiah will be.
Would I be surprised if Rav Ovadia were the Mashiah? Not at all.
We all pray that he should live to see the Mashiah and continue to lead us until then, Amen.

 
At Tue Jan 22, 02:24:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, Amen!!!

--Tsaddik Nistar

 
At Tue Jan 22, 04:19:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yaak, kol hakavod for standing up for maran. rebbe ovdia is kodesh kadashim period. I personally dont understand this new trend of posek hador or manhig hador or gadol mezake harbim or zekan this or zekan that, who says there is always one ashkenaz manhig hador and one sefardic, for me rebbe ovadia is alwasys was the manhig,posel,mekubal etc...Hador! and im ashkenaz no kidding. if you please link for everybody what rav shick said this past motzie shabbos about rav ovadia

 

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