Fake news from the charedim

Donald Trump and his acolyte Kellyanne Conway didn’t invent “fake news.” Charedi rabbis got there before him. In “Charedi rabbi explains why he opposes the Western Wall deal” (July7), the writer, Andrew Tobin, quotes Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein’s claims that Conservative and Reform Jews threaten the survival of the Jewish people.

These are the “fake news “ claims he makes:

“Judaism is the … only religion that has always been the same, the way it was given to us on Mount Sinai.” Fact: Since its inception there have always been more ways to be Jewish — the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Karaites, Samaritans are only a few of the many groups of Jews who, over the ages, chose different interpretations of the laws given on Mount Sinai, and the many embellishments of the laws.

“Reform and Conservative Jews generally don’t pray.” Fact: Like many others, I attend services in my Reform temple every single week; many Conservative synagogues in New York City are full of dedicated worshipers every week.

“They go to a night club to mix (genders) and find women who dress inappropriately.” Fact: Zipporah Deborah, Esther, and Ruth, among others mentioned in the Bible, certainly mixed with the opposite sex, and in several cases dressed (inappropriately) seductively to achieve their purpose.

“Marrying a non-Jew is prohibited by Jewish law.” Fact: Moses himself married a non-Jewess.

“Jews living in Israel don’t want intermarriage.” Fact: The island of Cyprus has special programs for the many intermarried Jews and their offspring, who are forced out of Israel for their weddings.

But perhaps the most egregious comment in the article is the “fake news” comment from Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who criticized non-Orthodox Jews by saying that they are “trying to destroy everything that we have built here over the years.” Fact: Israel as a modern nation was built by secular Jews, and it is sustained to this day by the very Jews so denigrated by the ultra-Orthodox.

Sophie Heymann, Closter
(Ms. Heymann is a former mayor of Closter.)

Charedim abuse power

The charedim did not exist until the Baal Shem Tov reached his maturity in the last quarter of the 18th century. They are newcomers to the world of Jewry. How they arose to power is a study in itself, but they have hindered the obligation of the state of Israel’s construction of a constitution as dictated by the rules of the state’s establishment.

Why isn’t there a constitution? The charedim do not recognize the rights of others, only their own. Jews, according to charedim, are not really Jews! In some cases, we are not to be tolerated.

The charedim’s power presently exists because of Israel’s coalition government. Their votes are needed and therefore they have power.

At present, Israel is not true a democratic state. It never be if the charedim are allowed their place in the affairs of state.

Shel Haas, Fort Lee

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