A Chillul Hashem and Contribution To Incitement

Even if we rely on the assumption that not all the details reported in the media are accurate, and even if we assume that the descriptions of the officer in uniform who came to visit two soldiers who live in the Meah Shearim neighborhood of Yerushalayim — and was assaulted by a group of chareidim who shouted “chardak” at him — are exaggerated, the incident, in whatever proportion it actually happened, is shameless, halachically prohibited and has no place or backing from any Torah authority, and those who took part in it deserve every form of condemnation.

The battle of the chareidi public against the forced draft of lomdei Torah and resulting criminal sanctions has no connection whatsoever to behavior of this kind. No one has the right to assault soldiers for being soldiers; no one has the right to publicly humiliate them. Anyone who does so is not speaking in the name of the chareidi community, does not serve its interests, and does not represent its values or way of life. Our dispute with secularity as a worldview is not meant to be aided by personal attacks against soldiers in uniform, no matter who or where they are.

The worldview of the chareidi public, as well as its opinions and positions on public issues and its battles for the soul of the nation and its hopes for future generations, are expressed, led and represented by our Rabbanim, the Gedolei Hador, shlita, in whose path we follow — and no one else’s. Not reckless people of any kind, and not those who adopt violent methods in order to fight against those reckless people. Our determination and adherence to the instructions of our Rabbanim do not need “reinforcement” from these kinds of people.

This has to be clear, first to the general public that is exposed to incitement against the chareidi public caused by those irresponsible elements, and who mistakenly believe — with the encouragement of the media — that these people represent the chareidi public and its ways. It must also be clear to our community: we have no part in such behavior and these actions are judged by their outcomes: they cause a terrible chillul Hashem; they cause humiliation and tremendous damage, as well as unrestrained incitement.