Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Year in Defending the Honor of the Torah: Checking in on UTJ

It's been a year since Yahadut Hatorah (UTJ) joined the government, thus accepting upon themselves the yolk of defending the honor of the Torah.
Have they been doing their job? Let’s check out 5 legislative issues and see how they have been doing:
Issue #1: Supreme Court rules that Rabbanute Mikvaot have to open for Reform converts.
Response: R. Gafni announced that he will advance a bill designed to overturn the ruling, calling it a “serious breach” and saying “the High Court of Justice has declared war on the Torah of Israel.”
Analysis: The reason for opposing the ruling is self-evident: If a reformer dips into a mikvah, it probably makes the whole mikvah passul somehow. But R. Gafni did not go nearly far enough. Because while he may stop the reformers from frequenting official rabbaute mikvaot, what about all the other places they can go? Every ma’yan in the country has to be guarded to prevent such desecration. Not only that, but since according to Igros Moshe  bathing in the sea or the large swimming pool that are built in hotels and resorts, since the majority of them are not posul doreissa therefore the tevila is kosher min HaTorah,” R. Gafni should be passing a law that all swimming pools, as well as all the beaches from Rosh Hanikra to Ashdod must be shut down (of course, this only applies to the mixed gender beaches- there is no concern that a reformer would ever go to the separate beaches). R. Gafni, propose this ban immediately, the waters of Eretz Yisroel depend on you!
Is the Torah’s Honor Defended? No.
Issue #2: Bill put forward by that provides for at least one female representative among the kadis (judges) serving on the courts that rule according to Islamic law
Response: R. Litzman threatened that the UTJ use theright of veto, due to concern that the bill would create a precedent that could be applied to rabbinical courts.
Analysis: Clearly this law is dangerous. If we allow to serve on their courts, than Jewish women may serve on ours, which would mean that UTJ ministers would have twice as many relatives asking them for positions. But once again, they stopped short of what needed to be done. What about other Islamic practices that could creep into Judaism? The Shahida (“La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”), which is all that is needed to convert to Islam, requires no lengthy classes, tests of arcane knowledge, or full kabbalas ol mitzvos. If we allow this continue, the next thing you know the Tzohar rabbis will be allowing Jews to convert with a simple statement in recited in Arabic as well. We need a kollel dedicated full time to studying sha’ariah law, to see which other rules may pose a threat to the Torah.
Is the Torah’s Honor Defended? No.
Issue #3: Bill put forward that declares “the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish People, in which it realizes its aspirations for self-determination according to its cultural and historic traditions.”
Response: UTJ stated they will oppose the bill
Analysis: Obvious. No mention of Lakewood, Borough Park, or Monsey anywhere in the bill.
Is the Torah’s Honor Defended? Yes!
Issue #4: The High Court of Justice ruled that there cannot be any “deputy ministers with the status of a minister,”  (UTJ traditionally has not allowed any of its MKs to go by the title “Minister”, in order that it not be seen as party to  government decisions the party believes run counter to Jewish law, rather have called themselves “Deputy Ministers” when they run ministries, which obviously solves that problem.)
Response: The Council of Torah Sages decided to permit  R. Litzman to join the cabinet and accept the title of “minister”.
Analysis: The seculars thought they could stop R. Litzman from running the ministry by making him take this title, which for the past 60 years has been considered assur.  But that was before it would cost UTJ a ministry. But now it is mutar! Why? Because the moetzes says it is! That is keen analytical skills that we spend years in yeshiva honing.
 Is the Torah’s Honor Defended? Yes!

Issue #5:  The bill passed by the previous government limiting hareidi army exemptions.
Response: Put forth a bill delaying any measures that would increase chareidi army service.
Analysis: What? Why didn’t they call me about my great reality tv show idea?
Is the Torah’s Honor Defended? No.

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