16 July 2018

To Protest or Not to Protest - That Is the Question

4 Av 5778

This is actually a question which only concerns Israeli Jews, because there is one expectation from those of us living as a nation in our own land and something completely different for Jews living among the nations.

Now, to those for whom the question is relevant, everybody will have his own opinion about whether Torah Jews should actively protest the public desecration of Hashem's name that results from these so-called "Pride" Parades. But, those opinions are highly likely to be influenced by personal feelings. Those who like to "mix it up" will be all for a confrontational public protest in the name of zealotry for Hashem. On the other hand, those who shy away from confrontation and who prefer to run the opposite direction when conflict arises will be all for personal introspection, prayer, Torah study and advocate for increasing mitzvot and acts of kindness as a remedy.

You've heard the oft-repeated saying, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion." Not true. There is truth and lie, right and wrong, light and dark, and in the gray areas in between, there is halachah. And it is the Holy Torah that defines everything.

First, how do we know we need to do anything at all? I mean, beyond our own personal teshuvah?
The hidden things belong to the Lord, our God, but the revealed things apply to us and to our children forever: that we must fulfill all the words of this Torah. (Devarim 29.28)
Rashi's commentary: The hidden things belong to the Lord, our God: Now, you might object [to God, saying]: “But what can we do? You punish the entire community because of the sinful thoughts of an individual, as Scripture says, ‘Perhaps there is among you a man…’ (verse 17 above), and after this, Scripture continues, ‘Seeing the plagues of that land [and the diseases with which the Lord struck it]’ (verse 21) [which seems to indicate that for the sinful thought of even one individual, the whole land would be struck down with plagues and diseases]. But surely no man can know the secret thoughts of his fellow [that we could somehow prevent this collective punishment!” In answer to this, God says:] “I will not punish you for the hidden things!” [i.e.,] because “[The hidden things] belong to the Lord, our God,” and He will exact punishment upon that particular individual [who sins in secret]. However, “the revealed things apply to us and to our children” [that is, we are responsible for detecting the sins committed openly in our community, and] to eradicate any evil among us. And if we do not execute judgment upon these [open transgressions, over which we do have control,], then the whole community will be punished [because they would be remiss in their responsibility]. There is a dot placed over [each letter of] the words לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ here, to teach us homileticaly that even for open sins [which were not brought to judgment, God] did not punish the whole community - until Israel crossed the Jordan. For then, they accepted upon themselves the oath at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, and thereby [formally] became responsible for one another (Sanh. 43b).
Ok. But, even though we are residing in our own land, we are still essentially in exile, as we remain under the influence of the nations through a government foreign and alien to our Holy Torah. This is yet another tragedy that we have to mourn, but even under the civil laws, there is a right to public protest and Hashem will hold us responsible not for what we are unable to do, but for what we can do, but fail to do!

Lacking prophets among us, we must turn to the Prophets of old. That's why their words were recorded and kept for us until this very day.

The Holy Shechinah was leaving the Holy of Holies of the Holy Temple when the Prophet Yechezkel was given this vision...
And the glory of the God of Israel lifted itself from upon the cherub upon which it had been, to the threshold of the House, and He called to the man clothed in linen [a malach], upon whose loins was the scribe's tablet.
And the Lord said to him, "Pass through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and you shall mark a sign upon the foreheads of the people who are sighing and moaning over all the abominations* that were done in its midst." [*toeivot]

And to these, He said in my ears, "Pass through the city after him and smite; let your eye spare not and have no pity.

Old man, young man, and maiden, young children and women, you shall slay utterly, but to any man upon whom there is the mark you shall not draw near, and you shall commence from My sanctuary." So they commenced from the old men who were before the House. (Yechezkel, chapter 9)

Rashi's commentary: and you shall commence from My sanctuary: From those standing before My sanctuary. Our Rabbis said: Do not read וּמִמִּקְדָשִּׁי, and from My sanctuary, but וּמִמְּקֻדָשַּׁי, and from My sanctified ones, from those sanctified to Me. They are the ones marked with the sign, whom He had warned [them] not to hurt. [Now] He reneged and commanded [the angels] to destroy [even] them because the Divine standard of justice contended before Him, “Why are these different from those? Is it not so that they did not protest?” As is stated in Tractate Shabbath (55a).
Also regarding the sin of the Golden Calf, there is a source which says...
Our sages say that it was only the Erev Rav who committed idolatry with the golden calf and a small percentage of the Jews from the tribe of Shimon. So why was Hashem so angry? Angry enough to wipe out the entire Jewish people. Every single Jew except Moshe! Was no one innocent? No. No one was innocent because even those who didn’t participate stood by and did nothing to stop it.

...there were Jews, few though they were, who were guilty of idolatry. The rest of the people did not resist the Erev Rav or the Jewish worshipers. This constituted either silent acquiescence or lack of faith, which was a condemnation of the nation as a whole. (Ki Tisa, Shemot 32:7-10)
In Or Hara'ayon (Vol. I, Ch. 17 - Mesirut Nefesh, pp. 523 - 526), Rabbi Meir Kahane wrote...
...As R. Tanchum bar Chanilai said, "The verse, 'The compromiser blasphemes the L-rd' (Ps. 10:3) was said only about the Golden Calf episode." In other words, whoever compromises on G-d's attributes, reviles and blasphemes G-d and this is what Aaron did. Although his intentions were good, he was still obligated to go all the way when confronted by Chilul Hashem, and to let himself be killed for Kiddush Hashem, because that is what complete bitachon involves.
...Let a Jew not evade his duty, claiming that today there is no Divine revelation, no heavenly voice or prophecy of any other sort by which G-d could decree the need for an act of self-sacrifice. Surely, the whole Torah, all the deeds of our ancestors and of the judges and prophets, and the words of our sages were meant to be a lamp unto our feet and to show us the path we must follow. These deeds and G-d's ways were set down in our sages' homiletics as eternal guidelines, presenting our duty regarding how we must act when there is no Divine Revelation.
Personally, I absolutely do not want to go out and make a public protest of the "Pride Parade." I'd much rather go into hiding until it is all over. That's how I felt each time I went and then, I gave up going. It seemed so pointless. But, we have a responsibility and there is no permission to shirk it. Some way, somehow, with God's help, I will do what must be done. I hope you will, too.


  1. How can you decide which chilul HaShem to "demonstrate" against? We would be spending every waking moment of our lives if we tried, and wouldn't even cover half of them.
    Knowing how the demonstrations work here, and other places around the world. The cops shove you into a corner and try to keep you quiet. And if they can't, they beat you and arrest you. Nothing is put in the media about this. Only a handful of people actually see you demonstrating. It is absolutely not effective in any way and a waste of time.
    If you say that it is to prove to HaShem how you feel, you can prove that through your everyday actions and what you teach your children, and what you say to others. G-d doesn't need to see you railing at the evil government to know what you want, nor that you go once a year to protest a single disgusting event.
    If there was some action that had a chance of affecting these things in a positive way, that would be different. Such as teaching other Torah like this blog. But demonstrations, this is just a waste of precious time.


    1. When there are so many things wrong, we have to prioritize. The series of earthquakes recently experienced were a clue as to what is the number one priority in Heaven's opinion.

      You underestimate how important it is that not only Hashem knows, but that the public - both domestic and foreign - see that there is fierce opposition to this abhorrent activity in our Holy Land and even more so in our Holy City - as many times as it takes until it ends.

      It is the Yetzer HaRa telling you that it's no use or we are off the hook because what we do has no effect. That is a lie which must not be believed. Standing against chillul Hashem can never be a "waste of time."

      As I wrote, our sources prove that we are obligated to protest openly. The results are in Hashem's hands.

    2. Btw, I know it was the Yetzer HaRa because I heard him, too. And I believed it, too. ...for awhile. It relieved my conscience. But, it won't work anymore, because now I understand the truth.

  2. יישר כחך

  3. To enter into a struggle for the kedusha of eretz yisrael we will need to be prepared for the long term...to be waged in the streets but also in the courts, the press, the parties in the Knesset. Rabbis need to be persuaded that it's possible to prevale and all of this will require strategy, organization and money.

    1. We're already in it. And we're failing miserably because the vast majority of us don't even realize it.

      I guess a lot of Jews standing outside the circle of Golden Calf revelers thought they were out of it, but according to the Torah, God considered all of them to be involved. That's why He told Moshe Rabeinu that He was ready to destroy the whole bunch of us and create a new nations from his offspring.

      Silence is tacit consent.

    2. Bs''d
      I protest.
      Against the abominations of all the nations in tel aviv and the like.
      Get out of the Eretz Israel!
      I will not protest between them, for the same reason i do not like to be in severs.
      I hope the MAGMA is ready and put back soon what is upside-down!!!

  4. and to prevail in such a struggle requires most of all siyata d'shamaya.

  5. I believe that things like this should definitely be opposed and spoken against, but standing holding a sign and hoping to be noticed by evil people who don't care doesn't make sense. I will continue to vocally oppose this and other chilulei haShem in the most effective manner I know of, but I won't stand on a street corner for a few hours and think it is helping the situation at all.


    1. I also don't think this is the most effective way to protest. Right now, I'm just trying to get across the idea that any kind of protest is required. Help me think out of the box. Have you any suggestions of how a better protest can be mounted?

      In my view, it's less about showing the paraders that there is opposition and more about informing the inhabitants of both Heaven and Earth that Torah Jews will open their mouths, raise their hands and stand up against the desecration of all that is holy in Israel. We won't let this atrocity of trampling the Torah in the dirt in our Holy City pass without a public outcry. I'm also convinced we have not found the best way to do this until now. All ideas are welcome.

      What did you think of my earlier suggestion of having a Torah and Purity Parade in a completely separate location? That would require a permit and a lot of organization which we probably don't have time for now. Thoughts?

    2. CORRECTION: NOT a parade, but maybe a rally and men and women separate. You don't fight impurity with immodesty. I wondered to myself whether women should even be involved, but this is an obligatory war and when that happens even the bride goes out from her bridal canopy to fight.

      We need some ideas, people. If you don't want to comment publicly, you can email me tdnjslm@gmail.com.

      If anyone would be willing to consult their rabbanim and then share here that would be great.

      If we treat this as a display of the Golden Calf, THINK! What must we do to repair our mistake of standing by and doing nothing while it happened? What should we have done then that we did NOT do? HELP!

  6. I think that all good Jews (even the normal secular ones, not leftists) must demand of the Rabbis that something be done, lest the whole nation suffers for it. If enough Jews would unite for this and meet with the big Rabbis and bring to them all the above reasons (as stated in this post) and make enough noise to catch the attention of the decent knesset members, maybe it can start the ball rolling. In the meantime, the silence is deafening, so the good people think they are just the 'one' so what power do they have. There has to be enough of the 'doers' that can influence this worthy cause to go forward.


  7. Naturally there were always sinners ,this however makes it public policy
    And yes it matters !

    There are Red Lines

    And while a someone may grow up from childhood a Tinok Shenishba regarding Shabbat and the like ,there is no such tolerable possibility regarding deviant acts

    We absolutely have to push them out totally, if Orthodoxy means anything at all
    Should we also embrace incest ?!
    If they control themselves from acting upon and glorifying their urges as they ought ,then they’ll merit Yeshaya 56:2-5

    Keep up the Good fight,we can ill afford to weaken

  8. The cardinal principles of Judaism aren’t important ?

    If someone is running to be mechalel Shabbat,even in the old days(not referring to the eccentric of a couple years ago) you were forbidden to kill him on the spot,
    if he wass running to do the act of ...
    we were (if feasible) dictated by halacha to kill him

    ( dear me how unPC)
    would they say the same of a serial murderer ?

    NOW for those who wish to control their urges- which obviously is irrelevant and just a foil-

    People self define themselves and if they do so, Yes,they are sinners
    The rubric who you umbrella under is your grave responsibility
    At best, they are akin to people who voluntarily moved BACK to Spain to be a Marrano
    And If some have a long term problem with their Faith,
    Own up and avoid these use of foils

  9. These parade goers are part of global movement ,pushing a social transformation that Judaism views as worse than murderers. Their insidious goal is to bring " the middle Israeli" kachlon supporters over to their side and then eventually ram through the Knesset.....

    1. Am Yisrael has yet to realize that we are in a war for our very existence and the whole world is at stake. We're like soldiers asleep at our posts and the enemy is overrunning us without our even taking notice. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I think a day of prayer dedicated to teshuva and reuesting salvation from HaShem for all of Am Yisrael would be awesome. Everyone knows that Jews are all connected and pass information at FTL speed. I don't eblieve we need big rabbis to speak for us, nor run a campaign for months and have people sign up for such an event. Everyone can tell everyone they know of that this is a one time thing, very important to come, even if it is only for 15 minutes. If HaShem wants it to succeed it will. The prayers will be heard no matter what anyway. And if bezrat HaShem hundreds of thousands of people show up, no one will miss that. And it could definitely stop the desecration.


    1. I have some feelers out. Will keep you informed.

  11. Bs''d

    If the rabbi's do nothing, perhaps its time to get all our COHANIM together to ask what to do? What about a prayer? You are right, we have to wake up, be as ONE but we need a leader! One that is not scared of the pharao!
    12.000 to pray,
    12.000 to fight.
    Who is for HASHEM?
    Are there 24.000 of us for Hashem?
    We must pray, ACTIVELY, for A LEADER! To serve H A S H E M.
    Abba, let us find a way to pray for this...

    1. As a convert, I am forbidden to assume any kind of leadership position, but I am spreading the information around so hopefully, someone qualified will take up the charge.

  12. Just to add a few more words to show how imperative it is to fight this evil. Before the great Flood, the world was full of sinners with thievery, murder, etc., but not until the people began to write contracts of 'marriage' between two of the same sex, did H' decide He had enough and was sorry for even creating man. He needed to destroy the world and there was only one family worthy of saving - Noach & his family. This world has regressed and not progressed, as these 'new' thinkers think of themselves.
    Praying for success to be victorious against this tzorah.

  13. Come to think of it. Why are our leaders not leading?! We should all stand together (whether figuratively or leterally) and DEMAND that our leaders lead Am Israel and speak out against these chilulei HaShem! If all of the real Jews stand together nothing can stop us! But our leaders need to make this happen, as they can actually get it done!


  14. Why block me please give an explanation

    1. You are not "blocked" and this is the first time I have received a comment from anyone by this name. What do you want to say?

    2. I don't understand your comments - you DO or do NOT want them published?