21 Shevat 5772
I don't know how much you all are aware, but there are money & power-hungry people who want to move Zionist (Israel-loving) Christians into the yishuvim. Here is one rabbi who has dared to speak against it. Yasher koach and Baruch Hashem!
HaRav Moshe Tzuriel Warns Against Mingling with Gentile Volunteers
(Sunday, February 12th, 2012)
HaRav Moshe Tzuriel, a prominent rav affiliated with the dati leumi community, has issued a stern warning against the growing trend of non-Jewish volunteers working in yishuvim throughout Yehuda and Shomron.
“On the one hand they announce their genuine desire to assist us in the battle against the Arabs. On the one hand, there is an element of pikuach nefesh, and we need all the assistance we can get”, the rav writes in his letter.
The rav however points to another ‘pikuach nefesh’, referring to the youth, the impressionable young residents of yishuvim who may be influenced by the non-Jews and move towards Christianity chas v’sholom. The rav warns even the loss of one neshama is too costly and he feels that befriending gentiles living in communities is a recipe for disaster. In his publicized letter the rav quotes the Rambam’s ruling on the prohibition of employing an idol worshiper.
He acknowledges that most of the volunteers appear to be Protestant, and there is a view that they do not fall into the same category, but adds that nevertheless, “with all the immigrants into our land, they do fall into this category”, explaining there are too many foreigners entering Israel and the youth must be distanced from them.
The rav calls for caution, to distance oneself from these volunteers, but adds to do so politely, and to make certain they are not harmed in any way. Nevertheless, he warns against becoming friendly, providing them lodging and giving them employment. “It would be best if they left our country” he concludes.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
And while we're speaking about taking a stand, I'd like to share a letter to the editor of the Beit Shemesh Connections Magazine that I read today. It concerns the recent hostilities between some Chareidi residents of the city and their Modern Orthodox neighbors.
To the Editor:
I agree that the behavior of the fanatics is intolerable and they need to be dealt with by the authorities.
One point, however, that I didn't see mentioned is maybe we've also overstepped our boundaries. Maybe we need the rabbis of our community to clarify for us the difference between halacha, minhag hamakom, and chumra in connection to the halachot of tzniut. How much hair is permitted to show from a headcovering according to halacha? Is there a halachic problem with wearing tight fitting or bright colored clothing? What is the halacha regarding showing the collarbone, elbows, and knees? Are there any halachic problems with men and women socializing? Are women permitted, according to the halacha, to dance in a public place where men can see them?
If we hope to achieve "shevet achim gam yachad," we as a community need to be sure that we are not overstepping our boundaries and that we are following the Torah properly.
Name withheld by request
Yasher koach to the letter writer. I see a lot of self-examination and self-criticism in the Chareidi publications, but almost nothing from the "other" side.