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New York - Agudath Israel Calls On Rabbi Sacks To Apologize For Anti-Charedi Remarks

Published on: July 4, 2013 10:50 PM
By: Press Release By Agudath Israel
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New York -

Statement from Agudath Israel of America:

Public remarks attributed in the media to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the outgoing Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth of Britain, as well as his comments in a recent pamphlet he published, are dismaying, deeply misguided, and harmful to both Jewish unity and Jewish integrity.

The rabbi bemoans “the world of inward-turning, segregationist Orthodoxy.” He portrays the multitude of Jews who came together to celebrate the Siyum HaShas nearly a year ago – an event that captured the hearts, minds and souls of countless Jews, and the reverent wonder of much of the non-Jewish world – as representative of such an “extreme.”
Rabbi Sacks sees Jews who choose to “embrace Judaism and reject the world” as parts of a phenomenon he calls “worse than dangerous” and “an abdication of the role of Jews and Judaism in the world.”

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Rabbi Sacks’ sentiments are not only inaccurate but un-Jewish and uncouth.

Portraying the “ultra-Orthodox” world as detached from awareness of, and interaction with, the larger world betrays an astounding ignorance of reality.  Not only are charedim in the workplace and the “outside world,” but the charedi universe has played a leading role, if not the leading role, in outreach to the rest of the Jewish community with a wealth of chesed, limud haTorah and kiruv projects.  Many charedi-sponsored initiatives touch the non-Jewish world as well.  Charedi communities have developed healthy, sophisticated relationships with their governmental representatives and public institutions.  Rabbi Sacks appears not to know the world he arrogates to judge.

Yes, the charedi world places great emphasis on shutting out pernicious elements of the surrounding culture.  But surely Rabbi Sacks recognizes that such elements have proliferated and intensified in our day.  Does he not agree that exposure to the excesses of modern society can be harmful to the Jewish spirit?  And does he not recognize that shielding oneself and one’s family from such negative influences is precisely what Judaism asks of Jews? 

Most important, Rabbi Sacks seems not to comprehend that the very insularity and intensive focus on Torah that characterize the charedi world are no mere sociological trends.  They are, rather, the means to accomplish the ultimate mandate for all Jews: the preservation of our mesorah, and its transmission, in as pure and clear a way as possible, to the next generation and beyond.

The urgency of that mandate intensified in the aftermath of Churban Europe, when the restoration of a Torah-centered Jewish world seemed a distant dream.  And it was the charedi community, beyond all, that rose to the challenge, establishing Torah-loyal families, building yeshivos and Bais Yaakov schools, establishing the primacy of limud haTorah throughout the Jewish world – recreating from the ashes with faith and dedication and, b’chasdei Hashem, incredible success.

And so, by deriding the charedi way of life, by characterizing it as some sort of petty and pointless – even dangerous – rejection of the larger world, Rabbi Sacks does a considerable disservice to not only the charedi community but to the Jewish mission of our day.  He seems now to have turned his back on the ideals he has ably championed for many years, the promotion of authentic Jewish knowledge and the fostering of true Jewish unity.

We call on him to apologize for the derision and condescension that, intentionally or not, were embodied in his recent remarks and writing.


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1

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:04 PM Anonymous Says:

He has no need to apologize. He is a genuine Jewish thinker and he is entitled to his opinion, which expresses a legitimate point of view that deserves respect and reflection.

2

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:09 PM InNY Says:

Agudath is totally off track here. Rabbi Sacks was referring to the zealots that are causing a tremendous bad name to the general good Charedi community.

Rabbi Zweibel your smarter then this, come on..

Agudath is slowly slipping to a non important organization.

3

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:10 PM Can't we all just get along? Says:

What does he mean when he calls the siyum hashas extreme?
So if I go to a giants game and scream till I'm hoarse that's ok and I'm adapting to my society. Yet if a go to celebrate Torah its extreme??
Also the siyum hashas was a milestone for all Jews not just charadim as anyone who was there would have seen.

4

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:20 PM berelw Says:

agudah is a bunch of cry baby sore losers...rabbi sacks has a valid point and is entitled to his opinion ...aguda is losing its esteem as a backwards organization. they tend to say or make stupid announcements or statements.

5

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:31 PM DavidCohen Says:

>> Charedi communities have developed healthy,
>> sophisticated relationships with their governmental
>> representatives and public institutions

Well, they have a point there. Section 8, Medicaid, food stamps ... to be able to suck the government dry you really do need to cozy up to governmental representatives.

6

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:37 PM 88 Says:

Rabbi Sacks is a true visionary, and he is only saying the truth. His philosophy is based on the Torah values of the great Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch Zt'l 'Torah im Derech Eretz' which formalizes a relationship between traditionally observant Judaism and the modern world.

7

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:37 PM Deveee Says:

The Agudah is right.

8

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:44 PM kim Says:

Bravo! Finally the agudah has found its long lost voice. Its about time they started to defend charedim against the attacks of the MO leadership.

9

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:45 PM Saychil Tov Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

He has no need to apologize. He is a genuine Jewish thinker and he is entitled to his opinion, which expresses a legitimate point of view that deserves respect and reflection.

Just because one can think, doesnt make one correct.

10

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
88 Says:

Rabbi Sacks is a true visionary, and he is only saying the truth. His philosophy is based on the Torah values of the great Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch Zt'l 'Torah im Derech Eretz' which formalizes a relationship between traditionally observant Judaism and the modern world.

It does not at all. The current modern orthodoxy/YU has nothing to do with Rav Samson Rephal Hirsh's hashkafa

11

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:46 PM Realistic Says:

Reply to #2  
InNY Says:

Agudath is totally off track here. Rabbi Sacks was referring to the zealots that are causing a tremendous bad name to the general good Charedi community.

Rabbi Zweibel your smarter then this, come on..

Agudath is slowly slipping to a non important organization.

#2 I read rabbi sacks statement and didn't infer the same idea you do. he berated the Ultra-Orthodox community, period. If you want to argue that this is what he meant, maybe, I doubt it, but what he said, and what everyone understood is simply what he said

12

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM Maybe Says:

After seeing what happened in the past few days in Ramapo School District, where a lawyer goes on a profanity tirade, and Jews with Beard and Payes sit there and do not say a word, proofs exactly the point what Rabbi Sacks is saying..

It's OK for AGudah to condemn Rabbi Sacks, but at the same time are they also going to condemn Jewish board members of Ramapo, the chilul Hahsme these guys caused is epic proportion.

13

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM shmuel Says:

His remarks were not "anti-charedi", and in fact he stated that charedis have an important role in the world. His remarks were actually sensible, on-target, and necessary.

14

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:50 PM AnonEsq Says:

Reply to #3  
Can't we all just get along? Says:

What does he mean when he calls the siyum hashas extreme?
So if I go to a giants game and scream till I'm hoarse that's ok and I'm adapting to my society. Yet if a go to celebrate Torah its extreme??
Also the siyum hashas was a milestone for all Jews not just charadim as anyone who was there would have seen.

To no 3, who says: "What does he mean when he calls the siyum hashas extreme?"

I don't know what he means, but before you criticise him, why don't you find his original remarks, and read them in their original context, rather than blindly accepting the characterization that Agudas Yisrael provides?

While I respect AY's right to comment and criticize, I thought this press release was way over the top, and unnecessarily harsh. AY advocates respect for Daas Torah, but apparently, only rabbonim who align themselves with the Agudah.
What a sad state of affairs.

15

 Jul 04, 2013 at 11:59 PM ifi Says:

Looks like someone was bored today on July 4, so they issued a press realease

16

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:03 AM ifi Says:

Really funny, The Charedim who Rabbi Sacks was attacking, have no love for Agudath, it's hilarious that the Agudath stands up for them.

17

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:06 AM InNY Says:

I like the below comment posted on the Facebook page of Rabbi Eliyahu Fink.


Rabbi Fink, writes,

Agudah talking smack to R' Sacks. This is serious stuff people.

Agudah says the Chief Rabbi is actually harming Jewish unity by criticizing the insular communities of charedi world and they demand he apologize.

Here's the thing. R' Sacks wasn't talking about Agudah types. He was talking about those to the right of Agudah. But Agudah likes to pretend it is in the same league as the truly insular communities. They are not. It's not even close. The average Agudist works for a living and has at least a HS education. They speak English pretty well and follow the news. They certainly contribute a lot to society aside from Torah. There are Agudah doctors, lawyers, accountants, business owners, and every other profession under the sun.

So it's disingenuous for Agudah to get insulted. They don't fit the typology of Judaism that R' Sacks criticized. They are living up to R' Sacks' challenge. It's time Agudah stopped pretending to be insular charedim and got on board with the rest of us.

18

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Deveee Says:

The Agudah is right.

It is as right wing as they come outside of Satmar and those like them. What is your argument? Or are you uncouth enough to think you declare and it will happen automatically?

19

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:03 AM Yerachmiel Says:

Wow. Agudah is calling Rabbi Sacks "uncouth." The thugs are calling him uncouth. He said a simple truth they admit and then deny, they have turned away from the larger world. They are educating (or should I say miseducating) their kids so they don't even have decent English skills.

20

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:08 AM LionofZion Says:

Where is the Agudah proclamation when Ovadiah Yosef calls another rabbi evil?
BTW, I read the text from Rabbi Sacks last week and there was nothing derogatory about Agudah. I don't know where they dug up a statement about him calling the Siyum Hashas extreme.

21

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:09 AM metsfan123 Says:

went to siyum hashas last year for the first time . one of the best nights of my life.would rather go back to another siyum hashas this year than a world series game. it was not chareidei at all . it was enthralling and spiritually awakening.all segments of the spectrum participated.

22

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:25 AM MO Says:

I believe the Agudah is also defending the benei hayeshiva and kollels. The Agudah would never come out with this notice without first consulting the Moetzes Gedolie HaTorah. This is not the norm for the Agudah to come out with such a letter and if they did and this is legitimate- then there must be a good strong reason they felt to.

What is interesting is that i did not receive this via their emails i usually receive.

23

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:53 AM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #20  
LionofZion Says:

Where is the Agudah proclamation when Ovadiah Yosef calls another rabbi evil?
BTW, I read the text from Rabbi Sacks last week and there was nothing derogatory about Agudah. I don't know where they dug up a statement about him calling the Siyum Hashas extreme.

did you go to school together with chacham ovadye? Are you his age YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING! And after seeing how you mention him not even with a title I understand how silly you are to compare this rabbi/Lord to rabbi ovadya

24

 Jul 05, 2013 at 01:14 AM modern heimisha Yid Says:

The chareidishi velt has to stop being such a bunch of cry babies. They pretend that they are the sole voice of Hashem, and they and only they are entitled to have any opinion about life and Yiddishkiet. It's a complicated world and there are other view points that people are entitled to have..Grow up Agudah.......GOOD SHABBOS YIDDEN..

25

 Jul 05, 2013 at 01:34 AM proud-mo-israeli Says:

Rabbi Sacks is spot on. It's astounding how much cleverer he is than the hareidi rabbis. Simply worlds apart.

26

 Jul 05, 2013 at 01:44 AM ShimieG Says:

Nobody can ever replace the legendary R' Moshe Sherer, the last of Agudath Israel's lay giants. He is sorely missed.

27

 Jul 05, 2013 at 02:17 AM Agudah should apologize to Rabbi Sacks! Says:

Rabbi Fink's analysis and commentary on this, as posted by commenter #17 above, are right on the money.

Agudah unfortunately seems to be taking cheap shots at Rabbi Sacks here. The sensationalist media reports of Rabbi Sack's speech were distorted to make it seem like all he did at his farewell was lash out with a diatribe against Haredim. In actuality, he spoke against both extremes, extreme isolation as well as extreme assimilation, and advocated a middle path, like the shvil hazahav (golden mean) recommended by the Rambam (Maimonides).

For Agudah to demand that Rabbi Sacks apologize is laughable. Let them first put their own house in order. They should apologize to Rabbi Sacks for such a cowardly attack.

28

 Jul 05, 2013 at 02:25 AM RebKlemson Says:

rabbi sacks is a well-respected and well-meaning rabbi who was trying to drive a point. the agudah pretty much proved his point for us. hes saying that the chareidi world especially of israel is moving in a certain direction of isolation unheard of to even previous generations. rav pam z"tl, rav nesanel quinn zt"l and rav noach weinberg ztl are great examples of men who were very down to earth and participated in daily life activities in and out of the yeshiva walls. they made a difference because they werent cut off cavemen but rather educated and humble people. chareidi extremism is becoming something that cant be sustained if we are to continue being members of planet earth. there must be a connection somewhere.

29

 Jul 05, 2013 at 02:27 AM Agudah needs to stop grandstanding Says:

There used to be, for a number of years, a large gathering in Brooklyn during the nine days, arranged by a great man, Mr. Gross, zecher tzaddik livracha, which focused on educating and exhorting the frum community about the imperative to follow dina demalchusa. Part of it was having leading Rabbis giving mussar, as well as leading professional figures relating actual horror stories, to warn people of the grave consequences of not complying. One year the Agudah got involved with it, after le'affair shel haAdmor meSpinka.

If Agudah wants to be taken seriously as a moral voice, it should get involved in putting on such programs in various locations. Rabbi Sacks knows what is going on, and the problems emanating from some of extreme groups. The Agudah cannot fool everybody by attacking him and pretending that everything is great. In the internet age, word gets out, and cover ups are more difficult. Agudah should not adopt an ostrich mentality. The ostrich is a non kosher bird. Wake up Agudah and cut out the nonsense. Intelligent and well informed people are not fooled by your bombastic statements.

30

 Jul 05, 2013 at 03:00 AM sechelyoshor Says:

I think the reason the Agudah came out with this statement was because they are identifying more and more with the Chareidim in E"Y who are feeling under siege.

People like Jonathan Rosenblum have been speaking at a few gatherings lately explaining why they are angry at the impending doom of having to follow the gov't mandate to teach 11 hours a week of English and math or face big losses of gov't funding for their schools.

So the leaders at Agudah are currently hypersensitive to anyone making a public declaration that Judaism wants Jews to engage in the outside world, because that is the subject of the battle in E"Y right now.

Funny thing is that many Agudahniks in America studied Math, English and much more. Rav Pam was an accountant! This declaration seems to be drawing a line in the sand. Sounds like the Moetzes have now decided that American Agudahniks must become more like their Israeli counterparts.

I think this will have a polorizing effect on the tzibbur. Some will rally around this and become more isolationist than ever, others will simply come to the conclusion that Agudah no longer speaks to them.

Me thinks the Agudah just made a huge mistake.

31

 Jul 05, 2013 at 06:37 AM WiseDude Says:

Reply to #9  
Saychil Tov Says:

Just because one can think, doesnt make one correct.

Even if you disagree with Rabbi Sacks, he did not say anything he has to apologize for.

32

 Jul 05, 2013 at 06:42 AM menachemwh Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

It does not at all. The current modern orthodoxy/YU has nothing to do with Rav Samson Rephal Hirsh's hashkafa

If you would read the works of the Sredei aish vol 4 you would see that Rav Hirch and Yu really are the same ideology....oh you cant , you know why? The open minded great thinkers of the chareidi world have censored the volsume. It is out of print.You can only find the first 3 volumes.
If yuo wantt o knw he writes that rav hirsch believed that Secular knowldge is a lechatchila not a bedevid
Rabbi Sacks is 100% correct. And if Agudah doesnt like generalizations .....wow well hypocrisy has found no better home,

33

 Jul 05, 2013 at 06:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
metsfan123 Says:

went to siyum hashas last year for the first time . one of the best nights of my life.would rather go back to another siyum hashas this year than a world series game. it was not chareidei at all . it was enthralling and spiritually awakening.all segments of the spectrum participated.

Do you recall how there was an argument about inviting Chief Rabbis? They couldnt invite YU rabbis until the last minute. He is so right.

34

 Jul 05, 2013 at 07:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Can't we all just get along? Says:

What does he mean when he calls the siyum hashas extreme?
So if I go to a giants game and scream till I'm hoarse that's ok and I'm adapting to my society. Yet if a go to celebrate Torah its extreme??
Also the siyum hashas was a milestone for all Jews not just charadim as anyone who was there would have seen.

what does he mean? if you read the article you would know what he means.

And no one said going to a Giants game was ok. you can't make an argument by fabricating quotes.

siyum hashas was not a milestone for all Jews. many types of Jews may have attended it, but that doesn't mean it was important to all Jews.

Learn a little about logic!

35

 Jul 05, 2013 at 07:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Saychil Tov Says:

Just because one can think, doesnt make one correct.

and it doesn't make one incorrect.

He is entitles to his opinion, and doesn't have to apologize for it.

36

 Jul 05, 2013 at 07:56 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
ifi Says:

Really funny, The Charedim who Rabbi Sacks was attacking, have no love for Agudath, it's hilarious that the Agudath stands up for them.

you obviously have no idea what the words funny and hilarious mean.

37

 Jul 05, 2013 at 07:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
InNY Says:

Agudath is totally off track here. Rabbi Sacks was referring to the zealots that are causing a tremendous bad name to the general good Charedi community.

Rabbi Zweibel your smarter then this, come on..

Agudath is slowly slipping to a non important organization.

slowly? Come on unfortunately it is hardly relevant anymore.

38

 Jul 05, 2013 at 07:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
MO Says:

I believe the Agudah is also defending the benei hayeshiva and kollels. The Agudah would never come out with this notice without first consulting the Moetzes Gedolie HaTorah. This is not the norm for the Agudah to come out with such a letter and if they did and this is legitimate- then there must be a good strong reason they felt to.

What is interesting is that i did not receive this via their emails i usually receive.

interesting to whom exactly that you did not get an email from them?

39

 Jul 05, 2013 at 08:14 AM DrUriBakay Says:

This is fantastic. Moshiach must be on the way, with the achdus and ahavas yisroel portrayed by all the yidden. (sarcasm alert)

40

 Jul 05, 2013 at 08:14 AM Gesher Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

He has no need to apologize. He is a genuine Jewish thinker and he is entitled to his opinion, which expresses a legitimate point of view that deserves respect and reflection.

Genuine Jewish thinker-Yes,BUT is he not a chief Rabbi rather than a professor!!

41

 Jul 05, 2013 at 08:21 AM Dan S. Says:

I totally agree with Rabbi Sacks. The Haredi way of life IS petty and pointless, and an absolute turn-off to most Jews. If it weren't for the fact that Haredim have on the average eight children, the Haredi way of life would have disappeared long ago.

All you need to know about Haredim can be personified by the vile rant a non-Jewish (I think) lawyer representing a school board made against people attending a school board meeting in Ramapo, NY. The Haredi-dominated board sends its children to yeshivas, so why should their tax money go to fund secular institutions attended by goyim? Screw them, they say.

That lawyer almost got into a fistfight with a couple of attendees in the parking lot following the meeting, and called a woman a bunch of vile names. Meanwhile, not a peep out of the Haredim at the board. This story went viral so nobody can accuse me of making it up.

42

 Jul 05, 2013 at 08:25 AM JamesDean Says:

I wouldn't pay much attention to the Agudah's idiocy, Avi Shafran probably wrote it. Remember? Avi is author of other gems such as saying Madoff is a bigger hero than Sully the guy who landed the plane in the Hudson.

As far as many folks can tell, the Agudah exists to perpetuate the Agudah. They can be safely ignored.

43

 Jul 05, 2013 at 09:20 AM brooklynjew Says:

Non of the above commentors including the agudah understand what rabbi sacks is onto....
Rabbi sacks is echoing partly what lubavitch is teaching as well as the modern orthedox doctorine...
The lubavitch rebbe argued that it is time that every jew become an ambassador for g-d just like father abraham...
The role of every jew in the world is to spread the light of torah values and be a light unto the nations, if thousends of jews get together to celebrate a siyum hashas, why not take adventage and explain to the world what it is that we are celebrating, the beutiful values and moral teachings our sages taught.
It is a joke that 90, 000 people come together and all you have is a few amature wannabe politicians speak to the camereas of the media, scratching their heads with no idea what to say....
Don't any of you realize that the world hungers for some enlightning messege coming out of the estranged jewish community who live amongst them...
And for those who argue, that jews have in all generations turned inward, segregating themselves from the world, and therefore we must do the same,is redicilous...
The jews since after the destruction of the bais hamikdosh were always on the offensive, deffending themselves from the evil around them, never having an oppertunity for a listening ear, in all generarions they were barely surviving, fearing fr their lives all the time, now after a few thousend years, it is the first time in this long exile that the world is listening to us, and we are gradualy heading towards the time of redemption when the whole world will know g-d, with all the freedom we have, we now must step up to the plate and speak to the world, telling them what we are here for, what the messege of the jewish people is...
Many of the charaidy community are leading innovators and saavy business men, doing business with the entire world, is business the only thing that we are aloud to discuss with gentiles? Is g-d messege off limits to discuss with gentiles?
When rabbi sacks mentions that the charaidim are not reaching out, he is not talking about the few organizations who do the right thing, but he means the entire attitude that we have as individuals towards the the world, what does it mean that israel is a light onto the nations? Does it mean to lock yourself into your own world and be misunderstood by the entire universe? Avraham avinu certainly didn't think so!
Those who say that, sure we have connections to goverments, we do business with the world, are so missing the point, and that just shows you why our leadership fails every single time, every step of the way, and thousends of todays yungeleit don't adhere to or respect our leadership...
I'm not a chabadnik, but in this regardwe can all learn from them, the posotive jewish messege they spread to the world, they ddon't need organizations to speak for them, every 8 year old lubavitch kid knowes how to explain to any goy what yiddishkeit is , why we are here, and what we represent...
And know this, the fact that you can daven in the airport in paris without anyone shouting or laughing at you, is a direct result of a chabadnik kindling a menorah in Wisconsin...
They are the ones who are spreading the light...

44

 Jul 05, 2013 at 09:22 AM OYVY2 Says:

Reply to #8  
kim Says:

Bravo! Finally the agudah has found its long lost voice. Its about time they started to defend charedim against the attacks of the MO leadership.

really? they should find their "voice" when "frum" people steal, molest , and lie against each other. Rabbi Sacks spoke his opinion, he is a thinking bright man. Come one Agudah speak up against the ills of our society and try to set things on course there, get with the program.

45

 Jul 05, 2013 at 09:30 AM Anonymous Says:

This was just done to get the Agudah's name out in public. Heck, even the Satmar get more publicity and do more.

Agudah - like Young Israel - are organizations whose time has come to an end.

46

 Jul 05, 2013 at 09:31 AM benalt Says:

Reply to #7  
Deveee Says:

The Agudah is right.

I am blown away by your compelling arguments.

47

 Jul 05, 2013 at 09:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Yerachmiel Says:

Wow. Agudah is calling Rabbi Sacks "uncouth." The thugs are calling him uncouth. He said a simple truth they admit and then deny, they have turned away from the larger world. They are educating (or should I say miseducating) their kids so they don't even have decent English skills.

Thugs? I prefer "Mafia".

48

 Jul 05, 2013 at 09:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
rebbe123 Says:

did you go to school together with chacham ovadye? Are you his age YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING! And after seeing how you mention him not even with a title I understand how silly you are to compare this rabbi/Lord to rabbi ovadya

When you don't have an argument you need to lower yourself to name calling and attacking the person rather than submit an argument against what they say. Typical.

49

 Jul 05, 2013 at 09:58 AM YossiGinzberg Says:

One does not have to decide if Rabbi Lord Sacks is right or not, one can simply look at the Agudah's recent history of exactly who they attack and who they ignore.
The ignored the many many from the community that have been convicted of fraud, theft, extortion, abuse and so on, including well-known rabbis. They ignore the abuse of rabbinic power in relation to abuse-reporting issues, women's issues, and dina d'malchusa. They ignore the many Chilul Hashem issues committed by their more right-wing fellow travellers.
They condemn those who show any sign of independant thinking. They condemn those who fail to follow in lock-step with the radical right-wing self-appointed Gedolim that the Agudah supports.

50

 Jul 05, 2013 at 10:24 AM ayoldguy1 Says:

Reply to #27  
Agudah should apologize to Rabbi Sacks! Says:

Rabbi Fink's analysis and commentary on this, as posted by commenter #17 above, are right on the money.

Agudah unfortunately seems to be taking cheap shots at Rabbi Sacks here. The sensationalist media reports of Rabbi Sack's speech were distorted to make it seem like all he did at his farewell was lash out with a diatribe against Haredim. In actuality, he spoke against both extremes, extreme isolation as well as extreme assimilation, and advocated a middle path, like the shvil hazahav (golden mean) recommended by the Rambam (Maimonides).

For Agudah to demand that Rabbi Sacks apologize is laughable. Let them first put their own house in order. They should apologize to Rabbi Sacks for such a cowardly attack.

Agreed. Some serious quote mining and massaging going on here.

51

 Jul 05, 2013 at 10:26 AM favish Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

He has no need to apologize. He is a genuine Jewish thinker and he is entitled to his opinion, which expresses a legitimate point of view that deserves respect and reflection.

Yes his opinion not the 'opinion' of toras emes S'U,
his opinion not the 'opinion' of reb akivah eiger, kehilos yackov, bais haleivy, chasam soifer. And thats what happens when u mix torah with endarkenment (enlightenment in your language)

52

 Jul 05, 2013 at 10:27 AM Ari N. Says:

I agree with a lot of the sentiment above that there exists some kind of mis-interpretation of Rabbi Sacks comments - although Agudah's statement cannot be taken lightly.

VIN news should offer a panel for Rabbi Sacks to respond and clarify...!

53

 Jul 05, 2013 at 10:37 AM The_Truth Says:

I think most people have missed the boat on this one - including Aguda of America. He is the Chief Rabbi of England, UK & Britain. The Aguda there is small and possibly more right than in the Aguda of America who put out the statement, and I think little to do with the Aguda of the UK. Unfortunately, however big Aguda are, or think they are, most Jews have little to do with them, do not follow what they say or do, and are not represented by them, even in the chareidi community. Yes they put on a nice show for the Siyum Hashas, but how many people of the 100,000 that were there really follow of the Aguda? Of the 14,000,000 Jews in the world, it is less than 1%, probably only a handful. Rabbi Sacks also has nothing to do with America and I do not believe was referring to America, as the UK has more of an alignment with Israel. The chareidi world IS becoming more polarized, especially in Israel and the Aguda could do more to combat that in the diaspora if it tried. Unfortunately, this is only going to make that worse.

54

 Jul 05, 2013 at 10:38 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
rebbe123 Says:

did you go to school together with chacham ovadye? Are you his age YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING! And after seeing how you mention him not even with a title I understand how silly you are to compare this rabbi/Lord to rabbi ovadya

this fella (#20)will have his just desserts comming. see brochos 19a top

55

 Jul 05, 2013 at 11:13 AM HP-Edison Says:

Agudah accuses Rabbi Sacks of beliefs that are "un-Jewish" and "uncouth." That is rich. In my painful experience, any views that are not 100 per cent in line with their version of Agudist dogma is treif. Listened to son of Moshe Sherer and his ugly rant against anyone who isn't an Agudist at Agudah convention in East Brunswick a couple of years back. His hatred, not rebuffed by any of the great men on the dais, for "centrist Otrthodox" (which I guess would be appropriate label for me) and other miscreants was disappointing. The Sherer screed, delivered at the Motzei Shabbos plenum, was recorded and posted to YouTube. How about an apology from the Agudah for their uncouth and non-Jewish bile?

56

 Jul 05, 2013 at 11:31 AM moshe Says:

aguda is becoming just as dumb as the ami magazine..the ami magazine is actually a good magazine save the publishers articles and agenda of radical charadi arrogance, which adds trash to the magazine.

57

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:15 PM lpn Says:

This is all about politics, who makes more noise.

58

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:10 PM BenTorah Says:

It is unbelievable to read comments criticizing a distorted reporting of Rabbi Sacks comments. Go to his web-site and read or hear what he ACTUALLY said.

Here is a quote
"But today, by a miracle of
rebirth, the Haredi community is stronger than it was before
the start of the second World War. it has won the battle. We
are in its debt. By sheer commitment and dedication it has
brought the worlds of Jewish learning and practice back to
life. Now is the time to turn outward and share its energies
with the rest of the Jewish world"
Does this sound anti-chareidy? In context, the comment about daf-Yomi siyum was to show the strength and growth of the Chareidy world. Here it is.
"meanwhile the world of inward-turning, segregationist
Orthodoxy is growing at speed. in the summer of 2012, 70,000
crowded into a baseball stadium to celebrate the completion
of daf Yomi, the seven-year cycle of daily Talmud study.
Never before in all of history have so many Jews studied at
yeshivot – not in the great days of mir and Volozhyn, not
even in the academies of sura and Pumbeditha where the
Babylonian Talmud was born"

59

 Jul 05, 2013 at 12:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #26  
ShimieG Says:

Nobody can ever replace the legendary R' Moshe Sherer, the last of Agudath Israel's lay giants. He is sorely missed.

26. Nobody can ever replace the legendary Lord Jakobovits! Of the greatest of chief rabbis of the British common wealth!

60

 Jul 05, 2013 at 01:13 PM PLONY Says:

Reply to #23  
rebbe123 Says:

did you go to school together with chacham ovadye? Are you his age YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING! And after seeing how you mention him not even with a title I understand how silly you are to compare this rabbi/Lord to rabbi ovadya

Based on the commonality of the themes and tenor of your comments, I think that you, CrazyKanoi and AlterG are the same person. You have been so totally propagandized that your mind is incapable of critical thought and can only operate in playback mode, spewing all the nonsense you were raised on. Pity.

61

 Jul 05, 2013 at 01:23 PM posaikacharon Says:

thank you rabbi sacks for exposing the true face of MO. thanx for clarifying to the world at large what they stand for. if the ex rabbi thinks for even one moment that MO is the flag bearer of the tzaddik r' hirsch zt"l and his shita, then there are quite a few bridges to be gotten for a sixpence. the moment is not too far off when clarity will reign, umoloh haaretz deah es hashem. speedily in our days, amen!

62

 Jul 05, 2013 at 01:33 PM Anonymous Says:

This press release by Rabbi Zweibel sounds a bit uncouth itself. It will do nothing to foster unity among Yidden. Rabbi Sacks made some excellent points, but as always when you touch a nerve, it hurts. Yes, Rabbi Zwiebel, the truth hurts. The Chareidim are far from perfect and it's about time that the Agudah stop trying to convince that rest of Yidden that they are.

63

 Jul 05, 2013 at 01:45 PM ProminantLawyer Says:

Its not merely politics; its money honey!!!

64

 Jul 05, 2013 at 02:16 PM Realistic Says:

Reply to #58  
BenTorah Says:

It is unbelievable to read comments criticizing a distorted reporting of Rabbi Sacks comments. Go to his web-site and read or hear what he ACTUALLY said.

Here is a quote
"But today, by a miracle of
rebirth, the Haredi community is stronger than it was before
the start of the second World War. it has won the battle. We
are in its debt. By sheer commitment and dedication it has
brought the worlds of Jewish learning and practice back to
life. Now is the time to turn outward and share its energies
with the rest of the Jewish world"
Does this sound anti-chareidy? In context, the comment about daf-Yomi siyum was to show the strength and growth of the Chareidy world. Here it is.
"meanwhile the world of inward-turning, segregationist
Orthodoxy is growing at speed. in the summer of 2012, 70,000
crowded into a baseball stadium to celebrate the completion
of daf Yomi, the seven-year cycle of daily Talmud study.
Never before in all of history have so many Jews studied at
yeshivot – not in the great days of mir and Volozhyn, not
even in the academies of sura and Pumbeditha where the
Babylonian Talmud was born"

So blame VIN news for not reporting correctly.

I took my original information from VIN news.

65

 Jul 05, 2013 at 02:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #53  
The_Truth Says:

I think most people have missed the boat on this one - including Aguda of America. He is the Chief Rabbi of England, UK & Britain. The Aguda there is small and possibly more right than in the Aguda of America who put out the statement, and I think little to do with the Aguda of the UK. Unfortunately, however big Aguda are, or think they are, most Jews have little to do with them, do not follow what they say or do, and are not represented by them, even in the chareidi community. Yes they put on a nice show for the Siyum Hashas, but how many people of the 100,000 that were there really follow of the Aguda? Of the 14,000,000 Jews in the world, it is less than 1%, probably only a handful. Rabbi Sacks also has nothing to do with America and I do not believe was referring to America, as the UK has more of an alignment with Israel. The chareidi world IS becoming more polarized, especially in Israel and the Aguda could do more to combat that in the diaspora if it tried. Unfortunately, this is only going to make that worse.

And who follows the chief rabbi of the UK.

You make him sound like a real powerful organization. I live here in the US and now is the first time I hear about him.

66

 Jul 05, 2013 at 04:12 PM DrUriBakay Says:

When the Rosh Hayeshiva of YU is allowed to give the major address at the Agudah Convention, you know that Moshiach is here. When a Lubavitch Rosh Yeshiva can speak at the Siyum Hashas, you know Moshiach is here. Until then we wait........

67

 Jul 05, 2013 at 03:50 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #60  
PLONY Says:

Based on the commonality of the themes and tenor of your comments, I think that you, CrazyKanoi and AlterG are the same person. You have been so totally propagandized that your mind is incapable of critical thought and can only operate in playback mode, spewing all the nonsense you were raised on. Pity.

Well I have only one name and I'm fully proud of my upbringing! that's the way I educated my children, and now my grandchildren! WE have a future YOU don't!
btw i think you should call yourself belony!

68

 Jul 05, 2013 at 04:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
PLONY Says:

Based on the commonality of the themes and tenor of your comments, I think that you, CrazyKanoi and AlterG are the same person. You have been so totally propagandized that your mind is incapable of critical thought and can only operate in playback mode, spewing all the nonsense you were raised on. Pity.

He also writes as Rebbe123 - or they are all just equally indoctrinated with the same nonsense and can't maintain an independent thought.

69

 Jul 05, 2013 at 05:34 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #68  
Anonymous Says:

He also writes as Rebbe123 - or they are all just equally indoctrinated with the same nonsense and can't maintain an independent thought.

we have NO interest to have our own independent thought other that we are being told in the Torah and unfortunately you guys make NO sense! you're all full of hate

70

 Jul 05, 2013 at 06:07 PM Anonymous Says:

If you want to know the EMES of the situation, you should realize that there may be issues in the communities which lead this rabbi to make these types of remarks. Rather than running helter skelter everytime someone judges the ultraorthodox community in a way you are not feeling is totally fair, look at yourselves for your community is more religious and thus should be held to a higher standard.

71

 Jul 05, 2013 at 06:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #67  
rebbe123 Says:

Well I have only one name and I'm fully proud of my upbringing! that's the way I educated my children, and now my grandchildren! WE have a future YOU don't!
btw i think you should call yourself belony!

Your great grand children will be schnorring off of ours.

72

 Jul 05, 2013 at 07:42 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #71  
Anonymous Says:

Your great grand children will be schnorring off of ours.

Your nebech a rachmones because if you're gonna continue that twisted path of yours, your great grandchildren might end up at the same place where the 3rd and 4th generation of the reform movements children ended! who unfortunately are not jews altogether!
bh never had to schnor from nobody, neither my children Are schnorring! but do you know who does schnorr the Israeli government from the USA and without American support they won't exist

73

 Jul 05, 2013 at 08:10 PM bewhiskered Says:

"Rabbi Sacks sees Jews who choose to 'embrace Judaism and reject the world' as parts of a phenomenon he calls worse than dangerous and an abdication of the role of Jews and Judaism in the world.”

While a certain statement may have an upsetting quality to it, that does not necessitate that it isn't true. Any rational thinking person who is willing to accept fact, cannot help but notice a certain segment of the Jewish Community which בשיטה rejects anything of a non-תורה nature, unless of course, there is a buck to be made by boot-licking government officials, or, including but not limited to the חילול שם שמים of financial and support assistance for convicted Jewish murderers on death row around the country. When depicting this scenario, Rabbi Sacks does not offer theories or opinions, but rather cold hard fact- the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, and then some! It is the truth which upsets אגודת ישראל, and they're having a very hard time swallowing this down their collective gullets.

74

 Jul 07, 2013 at 12:14 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #72  
rebbe123 Says:

Your nebech a rachmones because if you're gonna continue that twisted path of yours, your great grandchildren might end up at the same place where the 3rd and 4th generation of the reform movements children ended! who unfortunately are not jews altogether!
bh never had to schnor from nobody, neither my children Are schnorring! but do you know who does schnorr the Israeli government from the USA and without American support they won't exist

What do your children do for a living? Are you saying that non of your children receive any kind of govt benefits? I highly doubt that.

75

 Jul 07, 2013 at 02:04 PM favish Says:

Reply to #71  
Anonymous Says:

Your great grand children will be schnorring off of ours.

Like you say we will still have garndchildren...but as fact has shown, your abandonment of the S'U ends with no Jewish)grand children

76

 Jul 07, 2013 at 02:25 PM dov Says:

Reply to #72  
rebbe123 Says:

Your nebech a rachmones because if you're gonna continue that twisted path of yours, your great grandchildren might end up at the same place where the 3rd and 4th generation of the reform movements children ended! who unfortunately are not jews altogether!
bh never had to schnor from nobody, neither my children Are schnorring! but do you know who does schnorr the Israeli government from the USA and without American support they won't exist

Sefasayim Yishak..but why bother, all these posters dont believe in torah min hashomaim. Once a person fills his head with sifrei minus, novels etc etc he has sfeikes in emunah at the least.'Kol booayhu lo yeshivin' Will you answer a christian who comes mocking on this site? no, so why the other heretics. This the poal yotzei of mixing 'yeshivah with university' 'kedushah and tame'. Results is you get an RCA, a Linzer a Avi Weiss. Imagine the holy Chasam
Soifer. Igros Moshe, Steipler etc etc all the kedishei elyonim giving a shiur to men and ladies. Whats with histaclus, al tarbe, shmiras hueineim, etc etc? the list is never ending.Their torah has the support of the sitra achra. Can be geon oilom but its ziltch...so dont bother 'al tane kesul keuvalto' Hagam the gemmoreh says brdivrei torah yes, but not on this forum. So this Centrist" guy shitta is totally irrevelent. these RCA , centrist etc etc movements are all products of mixing tumeh and taharah etc etc. They cant refute al pi torah so so all they are left with name calling. Molestors, connivers, goverment hand outs ...thats as far as thier intelligence goes

77

 Jul 07, 2013 at 04:09 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #76  
dov Says:

Sefasayim Yishak..but why bother, all these posters dont believe in torah min hashomaim. Once a person fills his head with sifrei minus, novels etc etc he has sfeikes in emunah at the least.'Kol booayhu lo yeshivin' Will you answer a christian who comes mocking on this site? no, so why the other heretics. This the poal yotzei of mixing 'yeshivah with university' 'kedushah and tame'. Results is you get an RCA, a Linzer a Avi Weiss. Imagine the holy Chasam
Soifer. Igros Moshe, Steipler etc etc all the kedishei elyonim giving a shiur to men and ladies. Whats with histaclus, al tarbe, shmiras hueineim, etc etc? the list is never ending.Their torah has the support of the sitra achra. Can be geon oilom but its ziltch...so dont bother 'al tane kesul keuvalto' Hagam the gemmoreh says brdivrei torah yes, but not on this forum. So this Centrist" guy shitta is totally irrevelent. these RCA , centrist etc etc movements are all products of mixing tumeh and taharah etc etc. They cant refute al pi torah so so all they are left with name calling. Molestors, connivers, goverment hand outs ...thats as far as thier intelligence goes

You're 100% right I didn't want to waste time to go so deep, I doubt if they believe at all! nebech! but it's amazing how deep it goes their hate! with no limits

78

 Jul 08, 2013 at 01:17 PM yoheved Says:

such a flagrant show of sinat chinam .... the public humiliation of Rabbi Saks by Agudath Israel is right on track .....perfect timing within the three weeks ..... sounds like the same old same old ..... the ultra-'frum' thugs (who would have us protect pedaphiles against the 'horrors' of the American and Israeli prision systems) .... against the clarity of a lone voice in the wilderness ..... Agudath Israel is not capable of admitting their own distortions, so they target anyone who reveals them ...... it is not loshon hora when you reveal a threat or danger to society, as Agudath Israel has become with their cover ups and bloated self importance ..... their rabbis are even orchestrating violence and humiliation towards hariedi who have joined the IDF (http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/137165/haredi-idf-soldiers-ostracized-by-community ). we might clearly feel the tears of Moshiach from this one ....

79

 Jul 08, 2013 at 05:46 PM favish Says:

Reply to #78  
yoheved Says:

such a flagrant show of sinat chinam .... the public humiliation of Rabbi Saks by Agudath Israel is right on track .....perfect timing within the three weeks ..... sounds like the same old same old ..... the ultra-'frum' thugs (who would have us protect pedaphiles against the 'horrors' of the American and Israeli prision systems) .... against the clarity of a lone voice in the wilderness ..... Agudath Israel is not capable of admitting their own distortions, so they target anyone who reveals them ...... it is not loshon hora when you reveal a threat or danger to society, as Agudath Israel has become with their cover ups and bloated self importance ..... their rabbis are even orchestrating violence and humiliation towards hariedi who have joined the IDF (http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/137165/haredi-idf-soldiers-ostracized-by-community ). we might clearly feel the tears of Moshiach from this one ....

i like the way every tom dock ot harry is an expert on moshiach. the whys and because

80

 Jul 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #78  
yoheved Says:

such a flagrant show of sinat chinam .... the public humiliation of Rabbi Saks by Agudath Israel is right on track .....perfect timing within the three weeks ..... sounds like the same old same old ..... the ultra-'frum' thugs (who would have us protect pedaphiles against the 'horrors' of the American and Israeli prision systems) .... against the clarity of a lone voice in the wilderness ..... Agudath Israel is not capable of admitting their own distortions, so they target anyone who reveals them ...... it is not loshon hora when you reveal a threat or danger to society, as Agudath Israel has become with their cover ups and bloated self importance ..... their rabbis are even orchestrating violence and humiliation towards hariedi who have joined the IDF (http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/137165/haredi-idf-soldiers-ostracized-by-community ). we might clearly feel the tears of Moshiach from this one ....

can u explain de differ. bet frum thugs and ultra frum thugs. only de shulen urech i will accept as measuring stick. no dr rabbiner, dr professor etc. cite a few laws in S'U that ultra frum observe and plain frum dont so i will from now on know which group is ultra and which not

81

 Aug 07, 2013 at 07:44 PM Benav Says:

Reply to #3  
Can't we all just get along? Says:

What does he mean when he calls the siyum hashas extreme?
So if I go to a giants game and scream till I'm hoarse that's ok and I'm adapting to my society. Yet if a go to celebrate Torah its extreme??
Also the siyum hashas was a milestone for all Jews not just charadim as anyone who was there would have seen.

Rabbis Sacks did not criticize the siyum hashas. He has written praising it. This statement on behalf of the Agudah is unfortunately a grave distortion of what Rabbi Sacks wrote pretty much from beginning to end. The Agudah loses respect by taking this kind of approach that misrepresents the position being criticized.

82

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