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Letter Calls on Beth Din to Keep out of Israeli Politics

With the fast approaching deadline to submit a party list for the upcoming Knesset elections, and a record high voter base needed to be elected. Pressure has been mounting on two small right wing parties to join forces.

At least two members of the official Beth Din of Chabad in Israel known as Vaad Rabonei Chabad, met with Rabbi Meir Mazuz and former interior minister Eli Yishei, the spiritual and political leaders of the ‘Yachad’ party respectively, to convince them to work together with the Utzma L’Yisrael party.

However a letter has been circulating among Chabad of Israel, calling on the Beth Din to mix out of politics. The unsigned letter attacks the Beth Din without mentioning it by name explicitly. “We beg and plead to all involved not to mix into the upcoming elections in any way shape or form” reads the letter.

Chabad has always been a non political organization. The Rebbe as a rule, never allowed anyone to represent Chabad in politics, however he did encourage people to exercise their right to vote.

This incident is reminiscent of Benjamin Netanyahu’s first run for office in 1996. Some Chabad organization including the Beth Din openly endorsed Netanyahu for prime minister. Netanyahu eventually beat Shimon Peres by less than one percentage point. Netanyahu who ran on a right wing platform later betrayed Chabad and surrendered the holy city of Chevron to Yasir Arafat.

This hard learnt lesson is still felt within Chabad and any official political involvement is deeply rejected.

In response to media questions Rabbi Moshe Havlin confirmed the meeting but added “The Beth Din was not identifying with any political party [The meeting was] from a genuine concern of losing right wing votes”.

Beth Din supporters point out that the Rebbe held meetings with many political figures yet still remained above politics. Furthermore they mention that Rabbi Eliezer Mizrachi who is a Chabad Chasid was elected to the Knesset in 1989 with no objection from the Rebbe. “He just wasn’t officially representing Chabad per se.”

The ‘Yachad’ party and ‘Utzma L’Yisrael’ ultimately reached an agreement. They gave the right wing activist Baruch Marzel the fourth seat in the party roster.

The now merged party, receives four to five seats in recent polls.

letter-politics

10 Comments

  • 2. leftists wrote:

    the writer of this letter works for the so called religious parties who back the left.
    So they can’t stand that the right wing is uniting.

  • 3. You're out of touch wrote:

    Baruch Marzel was disqualified to run in the elections (although that will probably be reversed on appeal.)

    As for the Beit Din interfering – I would hope people would make up their own minds after looking at where the parties stand on the issues, & not just blindly follow whatever “leaders” say – after all, it didn’t work too well for you in Crown Heights, did it? Not in community elections or government.

    Personally, I was torn between Bayit Yehudi & Yachad, but I am going with Eli Yishai. Yachad is closest to my philosophies & how I want to see Israel go in the future.

  • 4. Rabbi Glukowsky publicly endorses wrote:

    Why have we heard that ploni ben almoni will be farbrenging Shabbos in Rechovos with Rabbi G? Why don’t we hear about this wonderful achdus during the year, and not only weeks before elections? Shame! And then if you have issues and want to go through a different Beis Din, you better change your mind..

    • 5. Rabbi G has more Torah in his toenail wrote:

      Do not lightly mention Rabbi G. He has more Torah in his toenail than you will ever have, even if you start learning day and night.

    • 6. YMSP wrote:

      I wouldn’t quickly defend Rabbi Gluckowsky either. He’s mixed in Crown Heights matters shelo kdin (and am not referring to any Bais Din matters).

      And yes, “Rabbonei Chabad” supporting certain parties, as opposed to advocating for policies, is a risk to outreach as those who are scorned seek to hamper or at least cut funding to Chabad efforts.

      Chabad would have been in serious trouble had Peres received just a few more votes in ’96 and the Rebbe only endorsed a party during Mihu Yehudi, even though there were reasons to before.

    • 7. Rebbe's Hand Picked Shaliach: Rabbi G wrote:

      Rabbi G is one of the few HAND PICKED shluchim that the Rebbe PERSONALLY chose to represent him in Eretz Yisroel. He has been a shaliach and a Rov of a kehilah for over 30 years. He is on the Vaad Rabonim of Chabad of EY. And besides eating cholent, what have YOU done to have a right to open your mouith???? Rabbi G’s opinion matters, yours don’t!

  • 8. Pinchos Woolstone wrote:

    it is near impossible for Chabad not to engage in the politics of Israel.
    We are supporters of those parties which are committed to never withdrawing from any part of the Land of Israel etc.
    We support those parties which uphold Jewish Tradition according to Halacha,
    We do not make encourage alliances with others to gain their financial support.
    Unfortunately, we do befriend many who betray our principles because need government money.
    Sad but true.

  • 9. NoYechi770InJerusalem wrote:

    No signature it is a pashkvil.
    Nobody should bother paying attention to pashkvilin!!!!!!

  • 10. it's a pashkvill! wrote:

    your not meant to read pashkvillin but i have to agree with waht he writes

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