Monday, April 7, 2008

YU's rosh yeshiva cracks a bad joke

I think as little of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as the next guy, but some Orthodox leaders have shown the propensity to take that animosity way too far. In January, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe said that if Israel were properly run, Olmert would be "hanged from the gallows" for collaborating with "these Nazis." And last week the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva University joked that Israeli soldiers should resign from the Army if Olmert divides Jerusalem, and should shoot the PM too.

Jewschool reports:
Yes, yes, yes, that’s what he said. Unfortunately, the YouTube video of this unfortunate quote was removed, but the Jewish Week wrote down a transcript. That’s called incitement folks, it’s bad. Here in Israel, we’ve already had one prime minister murdered after Rabbis couldn’t keep their mouths shut, and apparently this Rabbi thinks the world would be better if it were to happen again.

In all fairness, I should also report the apology that Rabbi Schachter issued recently,
Statements I made informally have been publicly excerpted this week. I deeply regret such statements and apologize for them. They were uttered spontaneously, off the cuff, and were not meant seriously. And they do not, God forbid, represent my views. Jewish law demands respect for representatives of the Jewish government and the State of Israel.
OK. It’s something of an apology. However, it seems difficult to accept. Rabbi Schachter apologized for speaking off the cuff and for not respecting representatives of the Jewish government. Where’s the concern for human life? Where is the apology for saying the same things that have already resulted in one murder? Rabbi Schachter is an important public figure and a rabbinic leader. His words are received hungrily by thousands of students, and even among other Rabbis he calls the shots. He is the halakhic decisor for the Orthodox Union and for dozens of rabbis across the country. The Mishna (Avot 1:11) tells us, “Sages, be careful with you words!” We know in our own recent history how important a principle that is. Rabbi Schachter needs to know it too.
(Hat tip: Luke Ford)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I disagree.

Rabin showed profound dis-respect for the whole of his people and history by forcing through Oslo with neither referendum nor Jewish majority in Knesset. (Even the US congress requires 2/3 majority for treaties.)

Had Rabin done either - Jewish majority in Knesset or referendum), Amir would have had to blame the Israeli people, not Rabin, even in his own mind. In that sense, Rabin sealed his own fate.

Similarly, Olmert seems to be indeed negotiating away Jerusalem, in violation both of Jewish history and of public opinion. It's Rabin's mistake all over again.

Any decent respect for democracy would have Olmert resigning in favour of early elections, which are sorely needed. If assasinated, it will have been his own fault, and I for one wouldn't cry for him.

Shoded Yam said...

Please. Another lame attampt at rationalaizing the crimes of Kachniks, Kahanists, and their Haredi fellow travellers. The only people who buy that nonsense are haredi ignoramuses, misguided, orange-shirted hooligans in the West Bank, and know-nothing rightwing American Jews with small dicks. But thanks. That same rationale will come in handy when it becomes necessary to deal with the plague bacillus of anti-gov't seditionists in the West Bank. I'm sure there'll be more than one Shin Bet operative who will rationalize his actions in much the same way after having to liqiudate several mitnachalim in the coming confrontation with the ultra-orthodox and the settlers. By that time, they will be deemed; "enemies of the state". Payback's a bitch, ain't it?

Anonymous said...

if anybody would actually know rav shechter at all, they'd know there are probably few people on the planet who have better character and respect for other people.
rav shechter is humble and genuinley greets every fellow person he comes in contact with, with a hudge smile and greeting. his sensitivities to others may even outweigh his genius. he is man of integrity and people who are ragging on him are just clearly revealing their lack of character, integrity and intellegence. his words were takin out of context . we all say things tounge and cheek informally soemtimes that we dont really mean in the exact way it's being said. we have all been misinterpeted and have had are words scewed and perverted in interpretation. shame on all those who have caused embarressment to such a brilliant,incredible, honorable and humble person.
if we were all a 10th of the person rav shechter is, maybe the world wouldnt be in such a deep rut as it is today.