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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Well Said

From an e-mail sent out by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, on the topic of the Boro Park riots :
Dear Readers:

This email list is used each week to spread Hashem’s Torah and thoughts on parenting Jewish children to readers around the world. With a heavy heart and firm resolve, I would like to use this forum this evening to publicly repudiate the actions of those in the Boro Park community who shamed Jews worldwide yesterday with their lawless and violent actions.

As a Torah Jew, I am obligated to judge people l’kaf zechus (favorably). With that in mind, and considering the fact that I was not there to witness these protests firsthand, perhaps I should listen to those in our community who defend or excuse the actions of the protesters by pointing out that there were allegations of police brutality that sparked the protests.

However, there is no set of circumstances that permit the torching of a police car and the setting of fires in this malcus shel chesed (benevolent country). These criminal acts are a dark stain on our community and constitute a disgrace of Hashem’s Torah. And I firmly believe that those who perpetrate these actions are ‘rodfim’ who are putting all of us in danger.

L’man Hashem; haven’t we learned anything at all from history? Aren’t we afraid of creating needless animosity among our neighbors? We have been given a privilege that was denied our grandparents for two thousand years. It is one that we should accept as the gift that it is, not endanger it with acts of hooliganism.

Instead of reactive comments from people defending the protestors, or suggesting that these are the actions of a few individuals, I would like to see universal and broad-based condemnation of these actions from responsible community leaders, rabbonim and heads of schools. I plan on speaking about this matter in my Friday dvar Torah to my talmidim. I hope that many others will do the same.

I strongly believe that all parents should speak to their children about this matter at their dinner and Shabbos tables. Our children are watching our response to this very public chilul Hashem. Very carefully.

There are hundreds of amazing acts of selflessness and Kiddush Hashem in our community on a daily basis. However, these beautiful messages are being snuffed out by the negative actions of a few. In this 24-hour news cycle and Internet blog world we cannot allow the misguided youth who commit violence to speak for us.

May Hashem grant us wisdom in these troubling times.

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
Menahel, Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey
Director, Project Y.E.S.


Blogger DAG said...

Someone told me the Boro Park Chasidim were just trying to burn their Chametz a few days early.

Seriously, when Chasidim riot, and as some community members say, the reason for attacking the police is the fact that they are upset about getting parking tickets, we are all up "Schick's creek." I think there should be a general boycott of all of Boro Park until the culprits are caught and punished and the leadership, political AND Rabbinic, apologizes to the Police and Jews everywhere. We CAN live without Boro Park.


9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on.Boro Park has always had some of the lowest scum possible among it's residents .The reckless driving,double parking and otherwise uncouth behavior by many beheimishe yidden must be repudiated in no uncertain terms.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Romach said...

Great letter. I'd like to see a lot more of these. I find it troubling that the Menahel of a yeshiva in *Monsey* had to send this out.

Nu, rabbonim in Flatbush and Boro Park, where are you? Queens, the Five Towns?

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologize? Are you crazy? What do you suggest we do when a 75-yr old man is assaulted by a police man? Ask him if he still loves us?

Dag and anon are both using this incident to express your pre-existing hatred of Boro-Park. Just because someone double parks that does not make him a beheima.

And it certainly DOES NOT justify mistreatment by the nypd.

We are the only group of people that feels the need to constantly and consistently apologize. Should we have apologized to the SS?

12:57 AM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

Thankfully, some rabbinic figures have the guts to speak out against the hoodlums that gave all Jews a bad name this week.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What do you suggest we do when a 75-yr old man is assaulted by a police man?"

still living in a fantasy world...

10:04 AM  
Blogger westbankmama said...

"Rodfim" - putting us all in danger...

I agree that the aspect of Chilul Hashem is in play here, and should be addressed. But I am also surprised at Rabbi Horowitz's depth of fear. Scratch the surface, and maybe the American Jew really does know that he is in galus.

11:49 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

A general boycoot of Boro Park... I love it!

12:33 PM  
Blogger Romach said...


Regardless of whose story you believe, that of the NYPD or the civilians, rioting was not a correct response.

What do I expect you to do? File a lawsuit. Call the press. Do you think the police won't be subject to an investigation if every newspaper and show is talking about how they beat up a 75 year old man?

But riot? Are you crazy?

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, really that people are satisfied by this rabbi's comment. I'm not.

The main reason he is against the riot is that it will encourage anti-semitism and causes a chillul hashem.

The main reason that the riot was wrong was that such behavior is out of order. The anti-semitism and chillul hashem are side effects. The real problem is the culture that says that such behavior is acceptable.


1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no question that the NYPD in Jewish neighborhoods look to give us trouble. Then again can they give trouble if none was being causded??? Is it the cops fault that a car is double parked? Their fault that cars are making illegal U-turns on busy streets? I mean come on, put it into persepctive. Do Boro Park Jews think think they own the streets and can do whatever they want? As Jews aren't we supposed to act with a little decency??

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking as a boro park jew...

yes, I want decency, but it does appear to me that people around here think they can do whatever they want and act with little consideration for others.

If any blogger wants to post about the use of a car horn, or inconsiderate parking, then now might be a good time.


2:36 PM  
Blogger DAG said...

The Jewish Press has just reported that the protests in Boro Park the other night were staged by the RCA to get their inexcusable, anti halachik dismissal of Mordy Tendler out of the headlines. According to Jewish Press sources, Harav Kanievsky Paskened that the RCA acted inappropriately by instigating a protest that made Orthodox Jews look like animals. As a result of Harav Kanievsky's Psak, the Jewish Press reports that dozens of food production companies are questioning whether to maintain their CRC certification or move to a less political, more honest organization, like the OU. In an unrelated story, the Jewish Press has learned that no one accepts conversions certified by Rabbi Schwartz anymore.


6:07 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

Uh, is OrthoMom supervising the comments on this site?

And as for the letter, if you live in Monsey, I guess it's easier to be harsh about Boro Park. Distance is a great protector.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, ymedad
I live in boro park. the letter was a weak condemnation since it didn't actually condemn the awful behavior, it merely warned of potential anti-semitic repercussions.

close enough for you?

plus, not to get into the whole thing, but who cares about distance. I'm quite happy to condemn arab terrorism here from boro park. I'm quite happy to condemn settler violence too.

wrong is wrong, doesn;t matter where you live, just make sure you understand the issue first


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