Difficult days are upon the Torah-and mitzvah-observant community in Eretz Yisrael. Difficult in two ways: The first is the actual decree that is being drafted to try to uproot from the batei medrash those who want to sit and learn. The second is that Torah-observant Jews who identify with the National Religious sector want to boycott chareidi Jews. They wish to coerce the secular politician who is forming the government to keep chareidim out of the coalition because they, the National Religious sector, will not sit with the chareidim, as per the orders of Yair Lapid.
This reality is a very harsh one whichever way you look at it. As for the first difficulty, we believe that “kol kli yotzer alayich lo yitzlach.” Regarding the second difficulty, we are searching for a ray of light to illuminate the darkness that has taken over.
And that rays of light will only become visible when it becomes clear to all that the leader of the National Religious sector, Naftali Bennett, is not speaking in the name of everyone. Not all those who have joined his Jewish Home party think, as he does, that one can boycott Torah-observant Jews because they do not share an identical worldview regarding the way the country is run. There will be rays of light when more and more Jews from the National Religious sector declare that with all due respect to the political field, Yair Lapid is not their leader, and his worldview is not their own.
The rays of light will be found as soon as it becomes clear to the whole world that the Rabbanim of the National Religious sector and those who are responsible for its Torah world express indignation at this misguided and delusional process.
But the question that is asked with great pain is whether it will be possible for us to see those rays of light — or perhaps the letter written by the Rabbanim of Tekumah seals the fate on that as well? Are all the Rabbanim who signed that letter supporting Bennett’s pact with Lapid, or are there some who oppose it? Are all the Jewish Home activists who worked for the elections (even in chareidi areas where they asked for votes) supportive of the head of their party, without exception, or are there those who object and whose voices for some reason are not yet being heard?
Are there Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshivah of the National Religious sector who spoke out against this process and the intended harm to the Torah world? Will their voices be heard, so that we will be able to ultimately separate between Bennett the politician and his supporters, and the general National Religious sector? Or perhaps it will become clear that the rift is one that has unanimous support.
Throughout the entire process, since the elections and their results, Torah-true Judaism has invested effort to prevent this boycott and the cooperation of the National Religious stream with those who are anti-religious and hate the Torah world. There were those who perhaps understood the appeal to the leaders of the National Religious sector as ingratiation, or as a plea, so that we would be able to reap the perks of sitting in the government. Anyone who thought that is mistaken.
Torah-true Judaism, which had the merit to establish and preserve the Torah world, does not exist in the merit of one political inspiration or another. We believe with rock-solid emunah that Hashem treats those who fear Him with chessed, and He is the Founder, the Supporter and the One Who will prevent the Torah world from collapsing. The appeals and request came from one place and had one objective. Come and let us prevent the tremendous chillul Hashem that can emerge when “one man’s sword turns against his friend.”
As mentioned, there are voices in the National Religious sector that oppose the process spearheaded by Bennett and his friends, who, for some reason, grew extremely arrogant after the elections and who have given themselves over entirely into the hands of Yair Lapid, who is plucking their strings as one plucks a guitar.
There are voices among their Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshivah who spoke out against it, who expressed pain in light of the needless — and growing — rift. They are pained at the needless damage to what is supposed to be dear and holy to us all. As far as we are concerned, these voices must be amplified. We must appreciate and value these voices, with the hope that they will influence the man who has gone so far to come come back. Let us hope he will come to the realization that the process he has begun is likely to cause damage that will reverberate for years to come.
The differences of opinion and hashkafos between chareidi Judaism and the National Religious sector will not be erased or eliminated in the event Jewish Home retreats from the boycott it has imposed on chareidi Jews. The 100-year-old argument is deep and sharp.
But beyond those differences, beyond the very significant discrepancies, it is impossible to ignore what can and must be common ground — which is still ten times stronger than any possible common denominator between the hostile Lapid and the National Religious sector.
If, chalilah, that does not happen, and the National Religious sector leads us to a deep rift with long-lasting damage, we will all be distraught. The ramifications are likely to be painful. And who knows when it will be possible to rectify that damage? Now is the time, now is the obligation and the expectation for those worthy, rational voices to be heard.