All has seemed quiet in our area of Bet Shemesh these past two weeks, as far as I’m aware. I am sure there are incidents that I am unaware of, but I enjoyed the peace.
This past Shabbat, a group of seminary girls were walking towards Rabbi Dov Lipman’s house for Shabbat lunch. As they passed a house on Maapiley Egoz street, which happens to be right across from my house, a large group of children (boys) started yelling “Shiksa!!!” and the like at these girls. Needless to say, the girls were very upset.
When the girls arrived at Dov Lipman’s house, they told him what had happened and Dov went out to find the parents of these children. The father of the household explained that these were not his children, rather guest’s children, and he does not approve of this kind of behavior.
While Rabbi Lipman was having a most civilized conversation with this man, Naftali Heller (one of the leading extremists) appears along with 15 other men. Heller yelled at Rabbi Lipman “tistalku mishchunatenu!” (Get out of our neighborhood). The men asked Rabbi Lipman “why does it bother anyone that little boys were screaming? Does it bother anyone when they scream at dogs?”
I know that this is not all Haredim, however, the leaders are not doing enough to stop these people from hurting others. Haredim, modern orthodox and non-religious, alike.
I watched the video below this morning, and as much as I have been impressed with Rav Chaim Amsalem in the past, I am more impressed now. Here we have an Israeli, Haredi politician saying that we must put a stop to the madness. To me, he is an example of a true mensch, a good person. Someone who is not afraid to speak out against what he believes is wrong, and is doing everything in his power to make necessary changes, because the reality we are living in right now, is unjust and harmful to many people.
Rav Chaim Amsalem came to our home during Chanuka to light candles with us and to see how Naama is doing. We lit the candles together and Rav Amsalem presented Naama with a gift- a siddur and Tehillim. It was such a nice gesture that left Naama with a positive feeling.