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The tear in Orthodoxy

Michael Freund devotes his column in Tuesday’s Jerusalem Post to the increasingly acrimonious battle between differing Orthodox camps in the battle over conversions in Israel. Less than three weeks before Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple as a result of “sin’at chinam,” – infighting among the Jewish people – we’re at it again, Freund writes.

one of the consequences of the ruling by the haredi-dominated Rabbinical High Court retroactively annulling conversions performed by religious Zionist Rabbi Haim Druckman was to swing open the floodgates of hateful intra-Orthodox rhetoric…

While the dispute between the two camps pre-dates the establishment of the state, driven by ideological differences over Zionism, events in recent years have further heightened the discord.

Disagreements over how to oppose the 2005 Gaza withdrawal, and controversy surrounding the observance of shmita, brought to the fore a sense of loathing and even hate that simply has no place in a spiritually-oriented community.

Frankly speaking, this is not the Torah way.

And if cooler heads don’t prevail, and soon, it could cause lasting damage to the inner fabric of Orthodox Jewry, potentially tearing the community apart.

Freund also makes several suggestions for healing the rift.

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