Category Archives: Achdut

A Yom Kippur Lesson

Yair Lapid and an anti-Zionist Hassid: The lesson I learned in 5772

As the holy day of Yom Kippur brings 5772 to its official close and truly begins 5773, I have been thinking about the greatest lesson I have learned during the past year. There is no question that the most significant message I take with me into 5773 is not to judge people by their externals.

See the rest here:

Historic Meeting: Belzer Rebbe & Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Yoel Meet

After years of distancing from one another, the highly-anticipated reconciliation meeting between Satmar and Belz took place on Wednesday night. The meeting between HaRav Aron Teitelbaum Shlita, the Satmar Rebbe from Kiryas Yoel, and the Belzer Rebbe Shlita, took place at a home of the Belzer Rebbe in Telz Stone. (Source: The Yeshiva World)

Ponovitch Rosh Yeshiva: Extremists Are Lampooning Our Gedolim

Jerusalem – Following criticism of his statements last week praising even irreligious Israeli soldiers, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovitch spoke on Monday to a group of students affiliated with the Eida Chareidis in order to further clarify his words and said that those who engage in extremist behavior are making a mockery of the leading Rabbonim of our generation.

R’ Gershon Edelstein was approached by the group of students who wished to better understand his statement that even those Israeli soldiers who are not religiously observant have earned their share in the world to come by virtue of the fact that they are willing to give their lives for the sake of others.

According to reports in Israeli news source Kikar Hashabat, R’ Edelstein told the students that while there were those who felt that his words last week contradicted the Gemara, the Rambam and others, his statements were not his own thoughts but those of Gedolei Yisroel. Quoting R’ Yechezkel Levenstein zt’l and the Chazon Ish zt’l, R’ Edelstein said it is forbidden to hate the chilonim and while we must hate any sins, we must have pity on the chilonim who fall under the halachic classification of “tinokos shenishbu” and are therefore not responsible for their sins.

R’ Edelstein took to task those extremists who continue to incite animosity against the chilonim.

“There are those who go out of their way to foster hatred for irreligious Jews and ultimately all they accomplish is to make a mockery out of our great Rabbonim,” said R’ Edelstein. “There were those who lampooned the Steipler and the Chazon Ish when they instructed their followers to go out and vote in the elections, but it is clear to all that their motives were only to belittle our gedolim, not for the benefit of klal yisroel.”

R’ Edelstein concluded by making it clear that he welcomed the opportunity to further clarify his statements for anyone who had any additional questions.


Further responses to the Beit Shemesh incident

If you have any other references to articles, please leave them in a comment and I will add them to the post.

An Open Letter To The Beit Shemesh ‘Spitter’

How dare you?

How dare you spit on an 8-year-old schoolgirl and terrorize her as she walks to school? I don’t care what she’s wearing; spitting, verbal abuse, and threats of violence cannot be tolerated.

How dare you call yourself a Hareidi, God-fearing Jew? Your despicable actions are diametrically opposed to Judaism. You are a thug and a hooligan whose conduct, in the words of the statement from Agudath Israel of America “is beyond the bounds of decent, moral – Jewish! – behavior.”

How dare you put us in a position where we need to state loud and clear that we condemn your loathsome actions. We do not share the same theology; we resent having any association with you that necessitates our stark denunciation.

How dare you wear the garb of a religious Jew and create a massive Chillul Hashem, a desecration of God’s name, where uninformed Jews and non-Jews around the world mistakenly believe media distortions that you somehow represent religious Jews in Israel. You are like the kippah-clad thief who dines on pork; he cannot call himself a ‘religious’ Jew. You refuse to listen to rabbinic leadership and your actions are causing irreparable harm to the Jewish people.

How dare you – through your reprehensible actions – turn off Jews who are curious to learn about their Jewish heritage.

How dare you reject the Torah’s way of “love your fellow man” and instead erect barriers of hate and intolerance.

Perhaps you should try following the example of a real Torah Jew, the great Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, of blessed memory.

A non-religious Israeli couple was married for 12 years and could not have children. They were distraught and decided to seek counsel from the renowned Rosh Yeshiva. It was a hot summer day and the couple knocked on the door. The woman was wearing her typical summer attire and was not modestly dressed.

Rebbetzin Finkel opened the door and greeted the couple. “How wonderful that you came to meet my husband!” Then she turned to the wife and warmly said, “You know, my husband is a great scholar – he learns all day. When I go in to speak with him, I wear a shawl out of respect. Why don’t you come with me and see if I have one for you, too. I think I even have a perfect piece of jewelry to match. And we’ll go in together to speak to him.”

They entered his study and told the rabbi why they had come. Rabbi Finkel had great difficulty talking due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s. He mustered his strength and said to the woman, “You and I have a lot in common. We both know what suffering is.” He began to sob, along with Rebbetzin Finkel. Then the couple started crying.

Rabbi Finkel spoke with the couple for a while, offering words of comfort. He then took their names, and vowed to pray for them.
No yelling, no threats, no spitting. Just love, respect and compassion of one Jew for another.

Maimonides writes (Laws of Character Development, 6:7) that the only way to draw people close is through love. That is how the Almighty relates to us, and that is how He wants us to relate to others.

Abandon your hate and choose the Torah’s path of warmth and understanding.

I dare you.


Hinduism’s Message to the Jewish People

(Hat tip to for the link)

Also see this post (There is only One)

The Rabbi and the Paratroopers


It is always nice to see unity among our people, unfortunately it always takes unfortunate circumstances to bring us together. Enjoy the song.


Achdut & Ahavat Yisrael

February 7, 2010

Maran HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita has called for an atzeres tefilla on behalf of Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Mordechai [Tzemach ben Mazel] Eliyahu Shlita, whose condition took a sharp turn for the worse, now listed as critical in Shaare Tzedek Medical Center.

Rav Kanievsky stated the most appropriate place for the atzeres is the Rav’s shul in Kiryat Moshe, where he regularly disseminated Torah to the tzibur. In addition to that main tefilla event, others will be held around Eretz Yisrael, as per Rav Kanievsky’s call. Tefillos were recited at the Kever of the Chid’a on Har Menuchos on Sunday afternoon. 
An speacial atzeres tefilla was held in the Rav’s shul on Sunday evening for women.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


The Dignity of Difference: The ways in which religions can be a source of peace rather than conflict

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is a true gadol and outstanding spokesman for our people. Please take the time to listen and absorb his thought provoking  and deeply insightful commentary how we as mankind can live in peace and harmony. Enjoy (Note the introductions lasts about 10min) Please distribute this lecture widely, it is truly remarkable.

(Hat tip to R'Dovid Sears for the link)