Orthodox Jews take over TEN BLOCKS of New York

Fifty thousand Orthodox Jews take over TEN BLOCKS of New York in protest over Israeli army plan to draft devoutly religious men

  • Israel wants to extend its compulsory military service to some of its most religious residents
  • Many ultra-Orthodox Israelis see this as a form of religious persecution
  • The demonstration was a show of solidarity with Israeli ultra-Orthodox who’ve been protesting the proposal for weeks
  • Last Sunday, hundreds of thousands of the devout Jews brought Jerusalem to a stand still in a massive show of force

Ten city blocks of Manhattan became a river of black Sunday as 50,000 dark-clad ultra-Orthodox Jews took to the streets to protest Israel’s proposal to force their young boys into its army.

The gathering took up a stretch of Water Street, with demonstrators standing behind police barricades amid tight security as they prayed in solidarity with their brethren in Israel.

‘These kids, a lot of them don’t know how to hold a gun. They don’t know what physical warfare is,’ said Long Island rabbinical student Shmuel Gruis.

The demonstration temporarily shut down Water and Wall Streets in Manhattan’s financial district

The throngs of demonstrators briefly shut down Water and Wall Streets in Manhattan’s financial district.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is expected to vote on the conscription bill later this month.

The bill, to go into effect in 2017, would impose criminal sanctions on ultra-Orthodox draft dodgers. However, yeshiva students would have the right to defer service until age 26.

Gruis, 18, from Phoenix clutched two tomes of Jewish prayers as he hurried to the male section of the rally.

Organizers kept to tradition, with men and women in separate groups as they are at religious events.

‘Their whole world and their whole lifestyle is peace and love and in doing mitzvahs,’ he said, using the Yiddish word for good deeds. ‘And you take a bunch of kids out of the environment where they come from – in my eyes, it’s wrong.’

Sunday’s prayer event brought together a community of New York’s most Orthodox Jews, based in Brooklyn and in the village of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, north of the city.

‘We’re all united against military service for religious men in Israel because it doesn’t allow for religious learning,’ said Peggy Blier, an interior designer from Brooklyn. ‘The Israeli government is looking to destroy religious society and make the country into a secular melting pot.’

The huge gathering was itself spillover from violent protests in Israel that broke out last month in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling ordered funding halted to ultra-Orthodox seminaries whose students dodge the draft and laid bare one of the deepest rifts in Israeli society, highlighting the fundamental disagreements between its secular majority and a devout minority over the character of the Jewish state.

And last weekend, hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews rallied Sunday in the streets of Jerusalem, blocking roads and paralyzing the city in a massive show of force against plans to require them to serve in the Israeli military.

‘The change is beginning,’ Ofer Shelah, whose Yesh Atid party stands behind the push to draft the ultra-Orthodox, told Israeli Channel 10 TV. ‘This (law) will create a deep cultural change in the ultra-Orthodox public.’

Shelah and his party believe integrating the ultra-Orthodox into the military ultimately will lead to their inclusion in the workforce and help sustain Israel’s economic growth. Israel’s central bank chief, as well as international bodies like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, warn that high unemployment in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab sectors threaten Israel’s economic prospects.

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox streamed toward the entrance of Jerusalem as a heavy haze settled on the gathering. Men clad in traditional black suits and hats bowed and swayed in prayer as others danced in circles. Spectators packed the balconies and roofs of nearby buildings as a loudspeaker blared prayers. Many held signs reading ‘the Torah shall not be forgotten.’ Police said more than 300,000 people attended.

The city began grinding to a halt hours before the rally began. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 3,500 police officers deployed for the rally. He said authorities closed the central bus station and halted nearly all public buses into the city. In addition, public transportation inside the city was being limited from afternoon until night. Some schools and government ministries also closed early.

STANDING IN SOLIDARITY: NEW YORK ULTRA-ORTHODOX JEWS DEMONSTRATE IN SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR BRETHREN IN ISRAEL

Sunday’s demonstration on the streets of New York City briefly shut down Wall Street and Water Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, but it was a shadow of the massive waves of protests that crippled the holy city of Jerusalem just last weekend.

The ultra-Orthodox in New York took to the streets in a show of solidarity for their brethren in Israel.

The Israeli government has long exempted the super devout from their near-universal conscription, but in recent weeks have proposed changing that rule for at least some of the ultra-Orthodox.

The ultra-Orthodox aim to live a life strictly dedicated to the study of the Torah and many see a government requirement that they serve in the military as a form of religious persecution.

Police in Jerusalem said a staggering 300,000 protestors attended the event last Sunday.

Organizers of the New York City sister protest put their own numbers at 50,000.

As the largest Jewish community outside Israel, the New Yorkers have tight bonds with Orthodox Israelis, some of whom emigrated from the United States.

Usually only men attend such public demonstrations, but ultra-Orthodox community leaders encouraged women and young children to take part. A major thoroughfare in Jerusalem was closed for traffic and reserved for ultra-Orthodox women in accordance with the community’s strict separation of the sexes. Many women, wearing long skirts and head coverings, held prayer books close to their faces as they prayed, while young children ran between them.

‘They came out of fear of one thing: that they are going to be changed, that they will be put in a melting pot and changed,’ ultra-Orthodox lawmaker Israel Eichler told Israeli Channel 2 TV.

According to the draft bill up for a vote in Israel’s parliament, only a fraction of eligible ultra-Orthodox Jews would be expected to serve, said Inna Dolzhansky, spokeswoman for lawmaker Shelah, who is also a member of the committee drafting the bill.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have for years been exempt from military service, which is compulsory for other Jewish Israelis. The arrangement has caused widespread resentment and featured prominently in last year’s election, after which the ultra-Orthodox parties lost ground and found themselves outside the governing coalition.

The issue of army service is at the core of a cultural war over the place of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israeli society. The ultra-Orthodox, who make up about 8 percent of Israel’s 8 million citizens, largely have been allowed to skip compulsory military service to pursue their religious studies. Older men often avoid the workforce and collect welfare stipends while continuing to study full time.

The ultra-Orthodox insist their young men serve the nation through prayer and study, thus preserving Jewish learning and heritage, and maintaining a pious way of life that has kept the Jewish people alive through centuries of persecution.

Leaders of the community, which in Hebrew is known as ‘Haredim,’ or those who fear God, say their followers would rather sit in jail than join the military. They charge their ancient brand of Judaism is under siege and warn of an uprising if parliament approves the draft plan.

Yair Sheleg, an expert on the Israeli religious sector at the nonpartisan Israel Democracy Institute, said the outbursts reflect a genuine rage over the proposed plan but also a show of strength to try to limit its impact.

WHY ORTHODOX JEWS ARE OPPOSED TO A ZIONIST STATE

First some introductions:

1) What is “The People of Israel” ?

  • The People of Israel have existed for thousands of years.
  • They have their own particular, essential nature.
  • The Torah is the source of their essential nature.
  • Without Torah and Faith there is no People of Israel.
  • Whoever denies the Torah and the Faith is no longer part of the People of Israel.
  • The purpose of the People of Israel in this world is Divine Service.
  • Their salvation is occupation in Divine Service.

2) What is Zionism?

  • Zionism is a relatively new thing.
  • It has only existed for a century.
  • Zionism redefines the true essential nature of the People of Israel, and substitutes for it a completely contradictory and opposite character – a materialistic worldly nation.
  • Their misfortune is lack of what other nations possess, i.e. a state and army.
  • Their salvation is possession of a state and army etc.
  • This is clearly spelled out in the circles of Zionist thought, and among the leaders of the Zionist State, that through changing the nature and character of the People of Israel and by changing their way of thinking they can set before the People of Israel “their salvation” — a state and an army.

The People of Israel oppose the so-called “State of Israel” for four reasons:

FIRST — The so-called “State of Israel” is diametrically opposed and completely contradictory to the true essence and foundation of the People of Israel, as is explained above. The only time that the People of Israel were permitted to have a state was two thousand years ago when the glory of the creator was upon us, and likewise in the future when the glory of the creator will once more be revealed, and the whole world will serve Him, then He Himself (without any human effort or force of arms) will grant us a kingdom founded on Divine Service. However, a worldly state, like those possessed by other peoples, is contradictory to the true essence of the People of Israel. Whoever calls this the salvation of Israel shows that he denies the essence of the People of Israel, and substitutes another nature, a worldly materialistic nature, and therefore sets before them, a worldly materialistic “salvation,” and the means of achieving this “salvation” is also worldly and materialistic i.e. to organize a land and army. However, the true salvation of the People of Israel is to draw close to the Creator. This is not done by organization and force of arms. Rather it is done by occupation to Torah and good deeds.

SECOND — Because of all of this and other reasons the Torah forbids us to end the exile and establish a state and army until the Holy One, blessed He, in His Glory and Essence will redeem us. This is forbidden even if the state is conducted according to the law of the Torah because arising from the exile itself is forbidden, and we are required to remain under the rule of the nations of the world, as is explained in the book VAYOEL MOSHE. If we transgress this injunction, He will bring upon us (may we be spared) terrible punishment.

THIRD — Aside from arising from exile, all the deeds of the Zionists are diametrically opposed to the Faith and the Torah. Because the foundation of the Faith and Torah of Israel is that the Torah was revealed from heaven, and there is reward for those who obey it and punishment for those who transgress it. The entire People of Israel is required to obey the Torah, and whoever doesn’t want to, ceases to be part of the congregation of Israel.

FOURTH — Aside from the fact that they themselves do not obey the Torah they do everything they can to prevent anyone they get under their power from fulfilling the commands of the Torah, the claims to freedom of religion are lies. They fight with all of their strength to destroy the Faith of Israel.

The Zionists claim that they are the saviors of Israel, but this is refuted by twelve things:

FIRST — If one contemplates the two thousand years of our exile, take any hundred years even the hardest, one will not find as much suffering, bloodshed, and catastrophes for the People of Israel in the period of the Zionists, and it is known that most of the suffering of this century was caused by the Zionists, as our Rabbis warned us would be the case.

SECOND — It is openly stated in books written by the founders of Zionism that the means by which they planned to establish a state was by instigating anti-Semitism, and undermining the security of the Jews in all the lands of the world, until they would be forced to flee to their state. And thus they did – They intentionally infuriated the German people and fanned the flames of Nazi hatred, and they helped the Nazis, with trickery and deceit, to take whole Jewish communities off to the concentration camps, and the Zionists themselves admit this. (See the books Perfidy, Min Hameitzor, etc.). The Zionists continue to practice this strategy today. They incite anti-Semitism and then they present themselves as the “saviors”. Here are two replies given by Leaders of the Zionists during World War II, when they were asked for money to help ransom Jews from the Nazis. Greenbaum said “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Poland.” (G-d forbid).
Weitzman said, “The most important part of the Jewish people is already in the land (of Israel) and those who are left, are unimportant” (May we be spared).

THIRD — We see that most of world Jewry lives in security and under good physical conditions, and have no desire to go live in the Zionist State. Whereas many people have left the Zionist State to live under better conditions in other lands.

FOURTH — The Zionists make a great deal of propaganda to induce people to immigrate to their state. If their state is so beneficial why do they have to make so much propaganda.

FIFTH — Because nobody wants the Zionists to “save” them. The only way they can get immigrants is by promising poor people material benefits, and even then very few people respond.

SIXTH — The Zionist State is always threatened by the dangers of war. Whereas the rest of world Jewry live in peace and security, (Except in a few places where the Zionists have undermined their security and fanned the flames of hatred)

SEVENTH — The Zionist State could not continue to exist without economic support from Jews living outside of the Zionist State.

EIGHTH — The Zionist State is on the verge of economic collapse, and their money is nearly worthless.

NINTH — The Zionist State persecute all Jews who are loyal to their Faith.

TENTH — They start wars that endanger the Jewish People, for the sake of their own political interests.

ELEVENTH – According to the Torah the path of safety is following ways of peace not starting fights with other nations, as the Zionists do.

TWELFTH — Even if the Zionists could and would provide physical security it would be at the expense of our Faith and Our Torah the true People of Israel prefer death rather than life at such a cost.

It is therefore clear that Zionism is not the savior of the people of Israel. Rather it is their greatest misfortune.

Even though there are some observant Jews and rabbis, who approve of the Zionists, this is not the opinion of the Torah.

The Zionists have enough control over the American news media to make sure that only their side of the story is heard.

They make it look like all Jewry and their rabbis are Zionists, but this is false propaganda.

The most important Rabbis and the majority of religious Jewry are opposed to Zionism, but their voice is not heard because of Zionist control of American news media.

The Zionists terrorize everyone who speaks out against them.

That part of the Jewish masses which is fooled by Zionist propaganda puts pressure on their Rabbis not to speak out.

Between the terror and the pressure of the masses most of the Rabbis are prevented from speaking out.

We bring three testimonies of the true opinion of the Torah.

1) In the past two thousand years of the dangers and sufferings of exile not once did any of the Sages of Israel suggest that we make a state to protect ourselves. In every generation we had thousands of Sages well versed in the Torah.

2) We have thousands of legal work of Torah law that have been handed down to us by the Sages of all generations. Not once do we see a word suggesting the establishment of a state. What we do find is warnings against it.

3) The founders of Zionism were all atheists who denied the Torah. All the Torah Sages of that time opposed them and opposed Zionism, saying that Zionism would lead only to destruction.

However the true People of Israel will never change their nature or give up their Faith because of the strength the Creator gives them.

Zionism is a foreign growth in the body of the Jewish People. The end will be that it will rid itself of this foreign growth and remain pure.

Zionism has overcome the Jewish people by force, fraud and terror, but none of this will help them because the truth will always remain with the help of the Creator.

Zionism will not replace the Jewish People. The Jewish People will remain strong in their faith and the Zionist State will cease to exist.

It is therefore, our demand that the State that calls itself ISRAEL, should cease to exist. Since this won’t be done, we demand that they cease to call themselves “Israel”, because their entire being is in complete opposition to the true People of Israel. The true People of Israel deny them permission to call themselves by that name. The Zionist leaders have no right to set themselves up as the representatives and spokesmen of the true People of ISRAEL.

Since we know they will not fulfill this demand either we feel that at least we cry out the truth. The truth will always remain the truth. By no means or force can the truth be changed. Even if all the world would say that one and one is three, the truth will remain that one and one is two.

Let the truth be declared. The use of the Name “ISRAEL” by that State is a complete falsification. The People of Israel have nothing to do with that State. Zionism and its State have no share and no part in the true ISRAEL.