|Satmar's 'fun' camp activity on Tisha B'Av (YWN)|
No - the title of this post was not uttered by Islamic fundamentalists. Nor was it uttered by a Palestinian. Or an Arab or Muslim. It was not uttered by a neo Nazi, or skinhead, white supremacist or any other antisemite. No, my friends, This sentiment is from our own people. And by ‘our own’ I mean fellow observant Jews. Jews that are considered by many to be the ‘Frummest’ among us. Role models whose example of Frumkeit should at be admired and even emulated. And in fact have been emulated in some ways.
For those who haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about Satmar. Those that think only the extremists among them, or Netrue Karta have such a vile attitude about Israel are badly mistaken. This sentiment was expressed at a Satmar summer camp on – wait for it – Tisha B’Av! From YWN:
Thousands of boys from the Satmar camps in the Catskills gathered at the main campus in Napanoch NY, with smiling youngsters carrying homemade signs bearing messages such as “Israeli army is not for Jews.” Rows upon rows of chairs were set up on the camp grounds, where a large stage was adorned with banners in English and Hebrew bashing the Israeli government including “Zionism = Brutality” and “Forced draft into the immoral Israel Army is nothing but an attempt to uproot our Judaism.”
Yes friends, if you want your children to have fun activities on Tisha B’Av, send them to a Satmar Camp. Because a ‘demonstration’ like this can be ‘lots of fun’. What better way to spend the day mourning for the loss of the Beis Hamikdash than this? Isn’t that what Tisha B’Av is all about? Having fun? And what better fun could there be than bashing fellow Jews?! Even religious ones if they in any way support the state or worse - join the army ‘God forbid’.
The State of Israel is after all Amalek. So said their veteran camp director, Rabbi David Rosenberg. He quoted the original Satmar Rebbe saying that every generation is obligated to fight Amalek. (Someone should tell that to those ‘traitor’ Charedim that are not only members of the Israeli Keneset, but have even joined the coalition government of Amalek (Israel). And someone should tell that to the Israeli rabbinic leaders that have endorsed them doing that.
Why? Here’s why:
Several campers addressed the crowd, explaining why the draft was destructive to yeshiva students. 12 year old Moshe Glantz, a grandson of the Satmar Rebbe of WIlliamsburg, had harsh words for the Israeli government and its Charedi supporters while Moshe Lefkowitz, son of respected Satmar askan Beri Lefkowitz, spoke passionately in English for the benefit of the members of the media who attended the protest. Lefkowitz explained how the State of Israel was created for the sole purpose of transforming Charedim into “simple heretics”.
If there is any doubt about Satmar’s pure unadulterated hatred of fellow Jews - this should end it. They consider Israel’s founders and current leaders to be Amalek. They consider Charedi rabbinic leaders in Israel supporters of Amalek. And they are directly responsible for motivating all of the animosity against Charedi soldiers that has resulted in harm to them.
They have a right to believe that the State of Israel is illegitimate; that it is a violation of the ‘3 oaths’ mentioned in the Gemarah (forbidding a Jewish state to be established in the holy land). But they do not have a right to foment hatred that so often results in violent protests of even fellow religious Jews. Which they do in spades in the name of their founder.
I would love to see the following next year. I’m sure there will be a sequel to this. There ought to an a organized counter protest right in front of them – at the site where this ‘fun day’ took place. It ought to be attended by as many Orthodox Jews as possible. Jews of all stripes. Charedim, Centrists, and even the left wing.
Thousands of people ought to show up there next Tisha B’Av at this camp ‘demonstration’. The media should be informed. They should say, ‘Stop!’ ‘You are wrong!’ ‘You are causing a massive Chilul HaShem.’ ‘It endangers the Jewish people.’ ‘This kind of baseless hatred caused our exile and will only prolong it!’ ‘Palestinians –Especially Islamic fundamentalists will be only too happy to use this as propaganda aimed at the destruction of the Jewish State.’ ‘That may be your end game, but should it ever come to pass (God forbid) there would in all probability be a bloodbath!’
Satmar has to be shown that their views are rejected by the rest of the Torah world. And the world needs to be informed of that. Their constant claim that their view about Israel is the only authentic Jewish view is a lie! (Albeit one they actually believe).
Agudah’s rabbinic leadership should be in the forefront of such a protest. They should actually be the ones calling for it. Unfortunately this will never happen. Agudah leaders will never protest Satmar to this extent. That’s because they in fact do see them in a generally favorable light. Exemplars even - of Jewish behavior. That they disagree with their extreme views about Israel is just a Machlokes L’Shem Shomayim. I would agree if it just about a philosophic disagreement. But events like this go so far beyond disagreement that they must be stopped! I don’t understand why they don’t see that.
Hat tip: Levi Bergovoy