Beit Shemesh And Torah Sages


The recent incident in Beit Shemesh has made waves in the media and elsewhere, starting from the yeshiva world down to the most secular. They all appropriately condemn reprehensible acts of this fanatic mob.

This whole incident has been discussed in your editorial of Jan. 6, “Beyond Beit Shemesh.” What is most disturbing in that editorial is the advice of Rabbi Shaul Robinson of Lincoln Square Synagogue who is annoyed by the fact that the Agudath Israel organization and especially its “revered Torah scholars” have not sufficiently condemned the shameful incident.

Rabbi Robinson should realize that the Agudah learned the hard way from past experiences to refrain from mixing into matters that are outside its limits. We are complimenting today’s “sages.” At least they are aware of their limitations.

We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Agudath Israel. At the time when it was founded, the pride and glory of this group was that one of its sponsors was the giant of his time, the world famous Rabbi Chaim Brisker (Soloveitchik). Without his participation and consent the Agudah would never have come into life. However after the opening conference in Katowitz of 300 delegates from all over the globe, the rabbi realized there were elements who would later use the organization for self-serving purposes. He made numerous conditions, which many could not fulfill, and he would not have an active part anymore. He was very outspoken and said that in our generation we are not the guardians of Torah to tell others. Our task is to make sure that our kehillos [communities] are not influenced by the winds that are swept against the total purity of Jewishness. That in itself is a tremendous work. Let us concentrate on that.

If we follow that road, we will have consequentially influenced others. In our orphaned generation, all we can do is to build yeshivot and Torah centers so that King Moshiach will have residences at his hopefully speedy arrival, Amen.