Monday, November 16, 2009

In Support of Chilul Shabbat

Again the peace of Shabbat in Jerusalem was shattered by rioting by Haredi Zealots.

It is a tragic state of affairs that in the recent unrest in Jerusalem, my sympathies and support is with those who are Michalel Shabbat.

In the recent Intel riots, according to reports (which I had independently confirmed via a Haredi Jew who works for Intel), the Haredi demonstrators were not only responsible for a massive Chilul HaShem, but there was also mass Chilul Shabbat (breaking into the building, encouraging police and journalists to come out) and on top of it all, Chilul Kodesh as they broke into the Beit Knesset in Intel and threw Siddurim and Sifrei Kodesh on the floor, as well as destroying furniture.

I have always believed that as a religious Jew I have more in common with other religious Jews, than with Jews who are removed from Jewish Tradition. It is much easier to find a place to eat or daven or learn in any Haredi neighbourhood than it is in a predominately secular area.

However in recent events it seems that a segment of the Hardei community is as far removed from the Torah and Jewish Tradition as the most extreme secular.

Forcing police to break Shabbat in order to control a riot, or violating Shabbat through breaking property or throwing stones show that these people have very little understanding of what Shabbat is.

Destroying public property like garbage cans or traffic lights show that these people have no appreciation for the laws of Nezikin.

Screaming insults and throwing objects at other Jews shows that these people are severely lacking in Ahavat Yisrael.

And finally desecrating a Beit Knesset (which was in a different Intel building, NOT the one open on Shabbat) show that these people are severely lacking in their Ahavat HaShem.

Rav Kook said that even the most secular Jew is still Holy. He may be mis-guided, but his intentions are Holy, which is why we see many worthy causes being lead be “Secular” Jews, they are looking for the Holiness in the Profane.

It seems like the leaders of these Hardedi riots are looking for the Profane in the Holiness.

It is time for the main stream Haredi community to publicly distance itself from these extremists.

Post Script: Upon re-reading my post, I guess that I should emphasize that I don't "support" Chillul Shabbat, as my first paragraph may have implied. I am 100% opposed to any form of Chilul Shabbat, and I hope that Intel are able to work with Rabbinic Authorities and maybe Machon Tzomet to find a solution to their Shabbat needs within the confines of Halacha.

What I was trying to say, that if there is anything worse than a company breaking Shabbat, it is the Haredi demonstrations which are not only a Chilul Shabbat, but also a Chilul HaShem. There are much better ways to encourage Shabbat observance in this country.

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