Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Rabbinically sanctioned violence
(the late Klausenborger Rov, zt"l)
When it comes to Jewish sectarian violence Satmar takes the cake, hands down. Yes, some of will find random instances of violence by other groups, and much of it would be of the "intra-sect" variety, but in recent memory they are the standard bearers of that category. Yet for some reason, I guess since the Satmar Rov was so revered, the blame never reached the top, for the most part, unless you speak to your local Klausenberger, he'll tell you otherwise. Even the secular Israeli papers eulogized him as a "lover of Israel and a hater of Medinat Israel," realizing that HIS was a distinctive love/hate relationship. So, the SR was able - by virtue of his total image - to escape the tab of sanctioning violence, even if all that violence was done to either protect him or to further his standing in a respective community.
Which leads to me to this:
Do all Rebbes and Rabbonim get that kind of VIP treatment? definitely not. Why I remember a supposed "bombshell picture" of an old woman beaten and bruised, a daughter of a Chassidishe Rebbe, that was actually a fake, that was supposed to incriminate a Rebbe of condoning violence even though there never was that history amongst him or his Chassidim. Not only that, but even when his Chassidim were on the receiving end of violence not see since 1945 there too they were to blame, because they should've known. Why? just because the Rebbe wasn't liked by his (jealous) peers. To be fair: the late great Belzer Rov, who's Chassidim (and his father's) were know to be big Shleggers and who's tales of violent tirades often made it to the Yiddish press, also managed to escape the title of "condoning violence" by virtue of the fact that nobody could imagine him ever agreeing to such methods. The fact that Rebbes supposedly had Ruach HaKodesh, and definitely who was doing what at all times, notwithstanding.
So, the lesson to be learned is this: if you're a Charedi Jewish group who has issues with a rival group you need to set yourself up as follows: You need to either terrorize the press into giving you good PR, so that all others will see you as a bunch of do-gooders, or build your reputation with good deeds to start. Then later on , when things get really hot and heavy, and you feel like you're losing control, use that large dose of good PR to beat the living daylights out of your rivals, thereby consolidating your power, all the while never having to answer for any of your violent actions. For those of you who've already been blacklisted, realize this: this line of reasoning may have a reverse affect. You may be accused - by the violent ones - of doing anything and everything - I mean the good deeds - solely for the PR and the money, while the violent ones will have thousands of good excused why they "NEEDED" to beat the daylights out of a father of 12.