Sunday, August 09, 2009

Another Kind of Public Demonstration

Imagine the following tragic incident. Two young Yeshiva students from Meah Shearim were sitting in their favorite fast food restaurant in Jerusalem discussing the content of the Gemarah they had been learning that morning. A masked gunman wearing some old IDF fatigues rushes into the scene shoots them dead and flees.

Shouts of anti Charedi hatred being responsible for this are heard all over Jerusalem in the religious neighborhoods. The parents of the slain are devastated - their cries of sudden grief are heard around the world. A rally is planned for Motzoei Shabbos at 'Shabbat Square' in Jerusalem and leaders from the Torah world are invited to address the crowd.

They speak about the anti Charedi bias in the world which festers in the secular world and most certainly contributed to these tragic and outrageous murders. After about 2 hours of emotional, gut wrenching speeches the rally is over the crowd disperses and everyone goes home.

Does anyone buy this scenario? Of course not. We know how this community reacts to even a suspected false accusation of one of their own, let alone a blatant murder where Charedi hate is strongly suspected as a motive. They burn down the town!

Contrast that with what happened last night Motzoei Shabbos. Substitute the word ‘gay’ for the word ‘yeshiva’ and the word ‘poetry’ for the word ‘Gemarah’ and you pretty much have the scenario that happened last week in Tel Aviv.

The above description above is a close representation of the way 15-20 thousand mostly secular Jews who showed up at a Tel Aviv rally last night responded to the murder of two homosexuals last week.

If recent events are prologue the Meah Shearim response would have been to tear the town apart - damaging everything in sight.

This is the difference between a civilized people and a savage one. Those who promote rallies or protests for the causes of Meah Shearim are not moved in the slightest by the almost certain violence that results. They may disapprove of it – but their bottom line is getting the desired result. So violence or not - they will continue to protest Chilul Shabbos until they get their way, devil be damned!

I have no problem with public protests and rallies for causes that are important to large groups of people. Certainly the desire to keep Jerusalem holy by minimizing Chilul Shabbos is a worthy cause. But not at the price of the almost certain collateral damage of Chilul HaShem it causes – not to mention the reckless disregard for the safety of their own Charedi neighbors.

It is ironic that we have to be shown how to protest by Jews who for the most part are not observant of Torah. To the casual observer viewing the two events - both of which were reported around the world - it is those showing solidarity with the homosexual community that are the role models for civilized behavior. Those who claim to represent the will of God act like primitive savages who care little about human dignity.

There ought to be a lesson learned here. But there won't be.