Once again, charedi Jews worldwide were shamed and disgraced yesterday, by association, due to the actions of a few violent criminals dressed like charedi Jews.What should be done:
This time, it was in Beit Shemesh, where according to reports in Israeli papers, a group of five chareidi young men assaulted a woman for refusing to move to the back of a ‘charedi’ bus where the front seats were ‘reserved’ exclusively for men. A male soldier seated next to the woman was reportedly also assaulted – “murderously” beaten, according to the soldier. When police arrived to arrest the individuals, dozens of other ‘chareidi’ men attacked the police officers and punctured the tires of a police car, according to the newspaper reports.
I believe that the vast, overwhelming majority of charedi Jews worldwide feel as I do; disgraced and shamed when these events occur. We also feel frustrated; as there is little that we can do to remove this collective stain from our shirts. We do not seem to have a voice in this process at all.We all hope that someone will follow the suggestions laid out in this piece; sadly, we've hit the point where nobody is going to be holding their breath in waiting.
Do you know what I would like to see happen? I would like the Rabbonim of Eretz Yisroel to use the platform of the charedi press to:
1) Clearly and unequivocally condemn the violence in the strongest language.
2) Issue halachic rulings that:
- Violence is forbidden by our Torah under any circumstances
- Those who commit violence constitute a real and present danger to the safety of the public and one is halachicly obligated to report them to the police, and
- If one finds himself in the presence of a violent act perpetrated by criminals, he is halachicly obligated to defend the victim as the Torah says, “Lo sa’amod al dam re’echa”