Jerusalem – Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovitch: Secular Media Attacks A Message From Hashem About Our Own Sinas Chinam

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    Jerusalem – In an address given this past Tuesday, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovitch, spoke about recent attacks on the Chareidi community by the secular media and said it is incumbent upon us not to hate who disparage us but to understand that Hakadosh Baruch Hu only allows problems to come upon Klal Yisroel only as a result of our own shortcomings.

    Rabbi Edelstein compared the actions of the secular media, who seem to delight in inciting the public against the Chareidi community, to those of Bar Kamtza, who deliberately slandered the Jews to the Roman emperor when he felt slighted by the Rabbonim who did not save him from embarrassment. Rabbi Edelstein cautioned his listeners to remember that Hakadosh Baruch Hu allowed the Beis Hamikdash to be destroyed, not because of Bar Kamtza’s words, but because of the sinas chinam that existed in that generation.

    Speaking just days before Asara B’Teves, Rabbi Edelstein said that while the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed because of the sin of sinas chinam – baseless hatred – the fact that the Bais Hamikdosh has still not been rebuilt is because we are still guilty of that same aveira.

    “When we see incitement against our community,” said Rabbi Edelstein, “the natural thing to do is to hate those who are making the inflammatory statements. But by doing that we are guilty of sinas chinam. When Hakadosh Baruch Hu allows things like this to happen, we need to remember that we are the guilty party and we need to atone for the sins that we have done that have allowed these problems to occur. It is our sins that are the source of these problems, not those who slander us and it is appropriate for us to overcome our emotions and not hate those who deliberately malign us, despite their actions.”

    To read the full speech here PDF

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    25 COMMENTS

    1. Yes, there is sinas chinam …… but he has it backwards. We do not wait until “seculars” start responding to absurd chumras to explain that “we should not hate seculars who incite bc it is sinas chinam” when fanatic charedim have been throwing stones and yelling verbal assaults at Jews for years bc they do not meet their standards of frumkeit. That was already sinas chinam and no one spoke up then.

        • No – Apikorsim are fanatical charedim who spit, throw stones and assault other Jews. And all those like you who support them. If they would realize a Jew is a Jew and only Hashem judges who is a “true Torah Jew” then they would not have been the originators of sinas chinam.

    2. The words of a true tzadik. Let’s stop blaming the chilonim for our problems, and concentrate on ourselves.
      I don’t know whether the Rav meant this, but there is a very clear and direct link between our actions and the chiloni incitement. We directly provoked the incitement with our hatred, violence and harrassment of chilonim and mizrachi, and now we are paying the price.

    3. “the natural thing to do is to hate those who are making the inflammatory statements. But by doing that we are guilty of sinas chinam.

      I need some one to explain this to me…Of course i can not and will not question a Gudel Hador but i am trying to understand what is wrong to Hate people who keep on Redifes against chareidi jews and embarassing us for the entire world..?

    4. Now, that’s a true daas torah by someone not holding a gvrmnt position and is not affraid to speak out the truth.

      May rabbi metzgar, rabbi lau, rabbi yosef and sons take a learning lesson.

      • you mean “we should look inwards not outwards”. if you are one of us that is. if not, then thanks for your comment. (no need to regurgitate the ravs words.)

      • In other words…’The ‘Chareidim’ should start being ‘Chareidim.’
        So, what you have is ‘finger pointing.’ Each group is pointing a finger at the other claiming: “We’re holier than thou.”
        Tell the ‘Chareidim’ to start learning ‘Chassidus Chabad.’ This will solve all problems.

    5. Interesting comparison to Bar Kamtza. Remember, the impetus for Bar Kamtza was, according to the talmud, the fact that the gedolim that were at the festive dinner did not object to Bar Kamtza’s humiliation. Sadly, this sounds resoundingly familiar.

    6. no offense but the incitement is not groundless. what about the spitting,yellow stars etc.? don’t those chareidim have a responsibility regarding these actions? all the hate is coming from the seculars?i don’t think so.

    7. Hate means someone is looking at the situation with physical eyes, instead of ruchniyusdik eyes. Looking at a situation with ruchniyusdik eyes means interpreting someone else’s negative response to us as a siman to examine our behavior, whether or not it is related to what is being criticized. Since we cannot control other people’s reactions to us, at least we can control our own behavior and improve it. We have to become aware of what we are doing that is wrong. Sometimes people’s reactions to our behavior is how we become aware of it. That is a message sent by Hashem to prod us to improve. What is Chassidus? Chassidus is light. Light lets you see what used to be not visible. It lets you see what is in the room – and whether the room is nicely set up or needs cleaning. When someone studies Chassidus, he becomes aware of Hashem’s viewpoint, so to speak, as to why He created the world and how we should think, speak and act in it. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said Moshiach is ready to come now. It is only up to us to increase in acts of goodness and kindness and that will bring Moshiach more quickly. I hope people will channel their energy into this and not negative and useless behavior.

    8. reply to 13: Hashem Yisboruch has his ways of turning against us, so to remind us that we have to do tshuva.Even if the message comes through a fellow jew…

    9. Throwing stones, spitting, etc. is worse than sinat chinam. It is the next step. First we have to stop pasulling rabbanim who pasken differently than what we would have liked.

      • I humbly disagree.

        The first step is to stop supprting rabbonim and yeshivos who teach us to disrespect other rabbonim and other yeshivos that follow a different mehalaich than we follow.

        How can a person who mocks YU and Rav YD Soloveitchick a”h ‘leshaim shomayim” also teach ahavas yisroel? If your child is being taught one he or she (am I still allowed to use the word “she”?) isn’t being taught the other.

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