A potential chilul Hashem in the making

As has been widely reported in the press, leading Chassidic rabbis will be making an unprecedented trip to the United States in the near future. The purpose of this trip will be to strengthen support and generate solidarity among Charedi Jews against legislation, currently in the Knesset, to draft ultra-Orthodox men into military and civilian service.

While a final date has not yet been set, the mission is expected to leave in the next couple of weeks. This venture is being planned in coordination with the Agudat/s Yisrael movement in the United States.

I certainly hope I am not the only one who sees this as a potential for a HUGE Chilul Hashem (desecration of the name of Hashem)! Imagine the news headlines in both print and video media. The headlines screaming that tens of thousands of JEWS gathered in (where, Madison Square Garden?) to protest the government of Israel. In that gathering, and assuming they continue to use the same language that has been used for a long time, they will refer to the Israeli government as “evil” and, as organizers have been quoted as saying: the purpose of this rally is to “enlist the Jewish community of the United States to generate diplomatic pressure on this wicked government.” (emphasis mine ZMS)

These are the very same words that the enemies of Israel use! And these words and epithets will be hurled by JEWS at JEWS.

MK Eichler (UTJ) has said that:

 “If the government continues with these decrees, international human rights will be required to investigate the discrimination and to ask how a prospering state creates 800,000 poor children.”

There are two VERY disturbing issues with all of this. First, the issue of Jews in Chutz La’aretz getting involved in matters that affect the citizens of Israel. If you want to have your voices heard and truly have your fellow Jews’ interests at heart — MOVE HERE. Make Aliya and become involved as a citizen. Do NOT feel that standing side-by-side with your fellow Jews in Chutz La’Aretz at an event that will decry the government of Israel as “wicked” and as “evil” serves any purpose… especially saying it from thousands of miles away.

Secondly, do you even think of the ramifications of your actions?! Do your realize that headlines that will speak of JEWS uniting against fellow JEWS to call them evil and to tell the world that Israel is responsible for creating a situation that places children at the poverty level. Excuse me? That (in MANY cases) is a result of CHOICES by families to lead a life-style that has put them in that situation.

And what of the money that will be spent on flights, accommodations, food, etc for all those travelling and for all those who will attend. Couple that with the amounts of money that will be spent on publicity, rental, security, etc. all of which could add up to tens of thousands of dollars that indeed could feed thousands of hungry children.

A very dangerous message will be broadcast with this planned rally. A message of Sin’at Chinam (baseless hatred); a message of great divisiveness; a message of a Chilul HaShem that will play around the world.

I pray that organizers of this rally and those arranging to bring in these leading rabbis will re-think this and realize the folly and danger in their actions.

About the Author
After living in Chicago for 50 years, the last 10 of which Zev Shandalov served as a shul Rav and teacher in local Orthodox schools, his family made Aliya to Maale Adumim in July 2009. Shandalov currently works as a teacher, mostly interacting with individual students.
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