Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Silence is Interpreted as Acquiescence

Rabbi Eli Teitlebaum writes to the Jewish Press:

I would like to add my name to those who approve of Rabbi Yakov Horowitz’s Nov. 9 op-ed article “You Might End Up Dead.” While these crazies are fortunately few in number, they make a massive chillul Hashem, since the media do not differentiate between wild extremists and most other Orthodox Jews.

If we remain silent when women are attacked by misguided individuals, we are all guilty – as we learn from what happened when the holy shevet of Binyamin refused to take action when a woman was violated by a wild gang of youths in their midst. A tremendous number of Jews died in vain and the shevet of Binyamin was nearly wiped out.

One can resort to civil disobedience but never to violence. Often our Torah leaders are afraid to call mass protests against public Torah desecrations only because of the fear that some individuals will get out of hand and receive all the media attention, thereby causing a chillul Hashem instead of a kiddush shem shomayim.

All of us must protest such behavior lest our silence be interpreted as acquiescence. Unless we all clearly distance ourselves from such behavior we, too, are guilty.

Let us hope for the day when letters such as this one will no longer be necessary !

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