An Open Letter to the Beit Shemesh Spitter!

A repost of the Aish HaTorah article, An Open Letter to the Beit Shemesh Spitter.

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An Open Letter to the Beit Shemesh Spitter

How dare you?

How dare you spit on an 8-year-old schoolgirl and terrorize her as she walks to school? I don’t care what she’s wearing; spitting, verbal abuse, and threats of violence cannot be tolerated.

How dare you call yourself a Hareidi, God-fearing Jew? Your despicable actions are diametrically opposed to Judaism. You are a thug and a hooligan whose conduct, in the words of the statement from Agudath Israel of America “is beyond the bounds of decent, moral – Jewish! – behavior.”

How dare you put us in a position where we need to state loud and clear that we condemn your loathsome actions. We do not share the same theology; we resent having any association with you that necessitates our stark denunciation.

How dare you wear the garb of a religious Jew and create a massive Chillul Hashem, a desecration of God’s name, where uninformed Jews and non-Jews around the world mistakenly believe media distortions that you somehow represent religious Jews in Israel. You are like the kippah-clad thief who dines on pork; he cannot call himself a ‘religious’ Jew. You refuse to listen to rabbinic leadership and your actions are causing irreparable harm to the Jewish people.

How dare you reject the Torah’s way of “love your fellow man” and instead erect barriers of hate and intolerance.

How dare you – through your reprehensible actions – turn off Jews who are curious to learn about their Jewish heritage.

How dare you reject the Torah’s way of “love your fellow man” and instead erect barriers of hate and intolerance.

Perhaps you should try following the example of a real Torah Jew, the great Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, of blessed memory.

A non-religious Israeli couple was married for 12 years and could not have children. They were distraught and decided to seek counsel from the renowned Rosh Yeshiva. It was a hot summer day and the couple knocked on the door. The woman was wearing her typical summer attire and was not modestly dressed.

Rebbetzin Finkel opened the door and greeted the couple. “How wonderful that you came to meet my husband!” Then she turned to the wife and warmly said, “You know, my husband is a great scholar – he learns all day. When I go in to speak with him, I wear a shawl out of respect. Why don’t you come with me and see if I have one for you, too. I think I even have a perfect piece of jewelry to match. And we’ll go in together to speak to him.”

They entered his study and told the rabbi why they had come. Rabbi Finkel had great difficulty talking due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s. He mustered his strength and said to the woman, “You and I have a lot in common. We both know what suffering is.” He began to sob, along with Rebbetzin Finkel. Then the couple started crying.

Rabbi Finkel spoke with the couple for a while, offering words of comfort. He then took their names, and vowed to pray for them.

No yelling, no threats, no spitting. Just love, respect and compassion of one Jew for another.

Maimonides writes (Laws of Character Development, 6:7) that the only way to draw people close is through love. That is how the Almighty relates to us, and that is how He wants us to relate to others.

Abandon your hate and choose the Torah’s path of warmth and understanding. I dare you.

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When I heard about this story, it made my blood boil! Luckily, Aish.com posted this article before I was able to put down my two cents.

I hate ending the year on a sour note… but hopefully, some good will come out of this sad affair.

Happy New Year… and may the coming year be filled with good things for all!

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