Avoiding Chillul Hashem

Congratulations to Rabbi Yehiel Kalish on his appointment to the Illinois legislature! I, together with the rest of Klal Yisrael, wish him much success in his shtadlonus on our behalf.

Hamodia quoted an Agudah representative who said: “It’s challenging … in the political realm, to be effective while maintaining an unwavering commitment to your values.” I wish to point out that not only is it challenging for the person involved, it raises the stakes for the entire community. Any action taken by a frum person in a public position — never mind a rabbi — that does not conform to the Torah to the fullest extent, has the danger of causing a chillul Hashem. For example, an assemblyman who represents a large Jewish community in state government voted recently to force schools to teach “tolerance.” Imagine the chillul Hashem if that representative would be frum (even if he were “forced into it”)?!

Thank you,

S. Y.