Haredi man near a bus 311.
(photo credit: (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))
The ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit (Badatz) organization published a harsh letter
this week condemning the government and police for waging a war against “those
who fear God,” and against “modesty and holiness.”
The letter, which
appeared on posters in haredi (ultra- Orthodox) Jerusalem neighborhoods on
Monday night, was written in the name of Rabbi Tuviah Weiss, the head of the Eda
Haredit rabbinical court, and his deputy Rabbi Moshe Shternboch.
Ultra-Orthodox protest ‘incitement' and 'hatred’
“God, Your People Are Being Oppressed,” the letter stated that anyone who opened
his mouth to protest was dragged off to prison and subjected to “lies by
ignorant lawyers” who aimed to extend their incarceration and bring them to
The letter also strongly defended Shmuel Weisfish,
an activist in the extremist ultra-Orthodox Sikrikim group, who began a two-year
prison sentence at the beginning of January for rioting, extortion, assault and
causing grievous bodily harm.
“They have thrown an important yeshiva
student into prison for two years in order to silence the voice of protest and
the voice of Israel. This is the dream, to God forbid uproot and destroy
the boundaries of modesty and holiness, which are the foundations of Judaism,”
the letter continued.
It described recent religious tensions as “another
chapter in the worst of all the exiles, the one imposed by the evil people of
Israel, who, having taken authority and government for themselves, now harbor a
deep jealousy for those who fear God, who are increasing greatly and who serve
God in truth and purity.”
Rabbi Uri Regev, director of the Hiddush
organization for religious freedom, said in response that the Eda Haredit had
revealed its true face as an organization that “supports thuggery of the worst
The Eda Haredit members who publicized the notice supporting the
Sikrikim and calling the Jewish state the worst exile were shaming Judaism and
desecrating God’s name, Regev continued, calling on other haredi leaders to
denounce the organization’s stance.
Speaking on Tuesday, Deputy Health
Minister Ya’acov Litzman said in an interview with Radio Kol Hai that there was
a limit to the “humiliations” that the ultra- Orthodox community could
“No one should dare to tell me or my friends that I should
transgress Jewish law,” he declared, stating that “tomorrow they will tell me to
shake hands [with women] which I strictly don’t do, and after that they’ll say,
‘It’s not nice, a deputy minister should trim his beard.’”