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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What is Happening in the Haredi Community in Relation to its Rabbis?

Translating an opinion piece by Yoni Katz over at Kikar:

I am walking on the street today extremely absent-mindedly.  A driver almost runs me over.  He cried out toward me hysterically: "Are you blind or what?  How are you crossing the street?"  I look at him staring - he's right.  Apparently, I didn't see the street.

My heart was simply too busy and blurred my eyes.

I happen to be close to the Haredi community in Netivot, and I know from a reliable source that Harav Hagaon Yissachar Meir ZT"L commanded in his last will and testament to the heads of the Haredi community (Rav Montag) that after his death, everyone should listen to Rav Yoram Abergil and to conduct themselves according to how he decides at the time of elections - for only he will guard the Haredi community in Netivot.

And now I hear that he was brought to jail.  He is a great rabbi, unassuming and modest, for whom his whole life and all his moments are holy for learning Torah and its dissemination.  He does not give slumber to his eyelids day or night.  He carries the burden of thousands of Kollelim, worries for thousands of families, and supports thousands of Ba'alei Teshuva.  He is the one put behind bars.  And for what - because of an ugly episode of the elections???

And as I am going about, caught up in my meditations, coming up like from necromancy: the episode that occurred 2 and a half years ago - the time when a crazy Haredi murdered the Admo"r Gaon Rav Elazar Abuhatzeira ZT"L because he advised his wife to get a divorce from him.

And immediately after that old memory, came up a fresh and painful memory: the time when a crazy Avrech tried to murder Maran the Rosh Yeshiva Harav Shteinman, where his mind was confused in the wake of wild incitement during the period of the elections.

And then, I tell myself that something bad and ugly is transpiring in our community.  Even if we're talking about crazies and thugs, still, they had not done these things a decade or 2 ago.  Why?  Were there no crazies or thugs then?  Or maybe our street started to question the authority of its rabbis to argue on them in secret as in the open - to express an opposing opinion to them, to claim that they don't understand politics and the like.

Don't the "normal people" create an atmosphere that allows for the breach that is breached by the "not normal people"?

Is the period of the judges judging threatening to return to us in a big way???

One thing is certain.  Something evil is passing over us.  And it's impossible to ignore it.

I think about my children who go to Heider and every day, their pure innocence of youth is being corrupted upon them, and they no longer know what is permitted and what is forbidden to say about Gedolei Yisrael.  Or whether it is forbidden or permitted to connect with these or others because of their rabbis.

I think about my firstborn son who comes back from Yeshiva Ketana despondent.  No.  He doesn't understand what's going on.  This is a crisis that is hard to digest.  And I hug him and tell him that this is a difficult period and that we must strengthen ourselves in Emunat Hachamim in a way that doesn't cause any Mahloket.  But today, when I get home, what can I tell them???

Already, the driver is fuming after he stopped his car and threatened me in the midst of a volley of point-blank blessings.  I am humbled.  It is forbidden for someone like me to walk on the street today.  I should really close myself up in my home with my thoughts if I want to live.

The street, even the Haredi one, is very dangerous today!


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