Jerusalem – The letter released yesterday by the Eida HaChareidis that was signed by the leading Rabbis of the Eida Chareidis caused some serious consternation among Bnei Torah throughout the world. VIN News asked Rabbi Yair Hoffman to reach out to his contacts within the Eida Chareidis to verify the accuracy of the Kol Koreh and to see what is behind it.
Firstly, it should be noted that the letter is authentic, and all the Rabbonim whose signatures appear on the letter were contacted. This being said, as in numerous letters that are issued by organizations –certain requests made by Rabbonim for paragraphs and or clauses to be removed – were not honored and their signatures were appended to this version, nonetheless.
The two most prominent signatures were R’ Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss and R’ Moshe Shternbuch, and the general tone of the letter came out in support of the Sikrikim. There was strong condemnation for those who oppose voluntary gender segregation on buses, and the extrememly harsh and violent methods of the police.
The letter describes Shmuel Weissfish, who finally admitted to causing both bodily and monetary damages to the owner of the Spice electronics store “a respected individual.” It characterizes recent events as “another chapter in our golus, with evil Jews who are in a position of authority persecuting righteous individuals because of a deep seated jealousy of those who fear G-d and worship Him in truth and sincerity.”
It further stated that the obligation to maintain standards of modesty is even more necessary in light of the current situation “It is incumbent upon us to guard ourselves in all matters of tznius and holiness, to be extra vigilant in matters of tznius on our busses and to check the foundations of our houses to ensure that no strange influences, even those that claim to be from the chareidi community, penetrate our homes.”
The letter also characterized the media as unfairly portraying the religious Jewish community and that many of the charges against the religious were false and trumped up.
All the Rabbonim were very concerned about the daily religious oppression that is occurring. Some Rabbonim did not want the Weissfish section of the letter put in because they disagreed with it and only signed the letter on the condition that this be taken out. This was ignored by those who put out the letter. The fact that Mr. Weissfish received a sentence of two years, however, was deemed excessive by everyone.
Members of the Eida believe that the spitting was isolated incident blown out of proportion and of course is “stupid.” The rock-throwing has been condemned in the past but will not be listened to each time. The silence of the Eida before the “holocaust rally” shows that there was no support for it from the Eida.
Privately, members of the Eida Chareidis once again reminded this author that the Eida Chareidis has no spokesman and that anyone claiming such a position is misrepresenting things.