Thursday, March 11, 2010
Shimon Peres - Nesi Medinat Yisrael - visited Bnei Beraq yesterday and saw the sights. Some zealots weren't happy and poured oil on some roads to deter the cars of his motorcade, but that did a lot of good... not. He was shown the Ponovizher Yeshivah and spoke to the Roshei Yeshivah as well as to some bachurim there, visited a software company ( I guess to disprove the myth that Charedim don't work ) and then participated in a big reception in his honor hosted by the Mayor of Bnei Beraq, Yaakov Asher. You may or may not know that Mr. Peres/Perski is a close relative to Reb Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt"l, by way of his zeide Reb Zvi Meltzer. He's also an eynikel of Der Heiliker Reb Chaim Valozhiner, zt"l. IIRC Reb Zvi was the shver of Maran, no? (No. Maran was an eydem by RIZM's sister, not brother - HT) There are several to the story here, not that this is the first time that a President of the State of Israel visited a Yeshivah. There's - of course - the Lubavitch angle, where Lubavitch gets bashed for hosting Zalmen Shazar and here besides for a few zealots we see and hear no outcry, other than from the usual zealots in Willy and Me'shorim.
We know that the Chazon Ish zt"l met with DBG, but that was to stop a gezeiroh of giyus banos. Here there is no major issue hovering over the heads of the frum populace in Israel. At least not that I know of. We also see that Peres met Reb Aron Leib (Steinman) but not, say, Reb Chaim Kanievski or Reb Michel Yuda Lefkowitz. I figure there's a cheshbon to that too. Maybe they figured he's an easy going guy, and he would make the best impression on Peres. Maybe the other wouldn't hear of meeting with him, especially since it was basically a photo-op for SP, or maybe he needed to get out of the house as per the doctor's orders. He's no spring chicken anymore. I'm not Reb Aron Leib's lawyer, nor does he need a lawyer for his deeds, he fends for himself very well, b"h, even without the (Israeli) Yated vouching for him. So what was he thinking when he agreed to see him? I do not know. But we now can agree that some of the big taynes against Lubavitch are falling apart at the non-existent seams. They were nothing more than hot air. Despite the fact that maybe they're taking advantage of him in his old age.
My only question is: Will the excuses be made like they were when Reb Yoel Kahan visited him? is it better or worse than the Reb Yoel visit was, since people will now think that Chabad is OK, whereas they'll never think that being a Porek Ol is acceptable? Is Reb Yoel Kahan really worse than Shimon Peres, a man who never put on Rabbeinu Tam's tefillin in his life? But come to think of it, we never actually see Reb Aron Leib and the President making eye contact, so maybe there really was no visit after all... I think we can all agree that we need to make compromises sometimes when the situation calls for it, even if the zealots - who very often either have no needs or need no money, like Satmar, which is totally self-sufficient - would like it otherwise. Actually, if the zealots had nothing to condemn would they still be "zealots?" don't they thrive and survive on the acts of others that they so despise? Is it not crucial to their very existence? Living in a medinah that supports Torah institutions and allows for those that learn to go about life without worries does call for a grain of Hakoras haTov every once in a while, even if doing that is a tad uncomfortable, and even if they may have all the wrong reasons in mind when they do hand out the cash.