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Monday, May 05, 2014 

Leading Haredi paper made smart request

Memorial Day has come and gone, but before that, one of the major Haredi papers, Hamodia, advised its readers to stand still for the special memorial siren:
The largest selling haredi newspaper in the hassidic sector, Hamodia, wrote in its editorial on Sunday that members of the haredi community should stand silently when the Remembrance Day siren sounds on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Attention has been drawn in recent years to some members of the haredi community who continue with their activities during the traditional one and two minutes’ silence for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, which is sounded in the evening and morning of Remembrance Day.

One explanation offered as to why haredim do not observe the moment of silence is that the community believes such a practice is not part of Jewish tradition and imitates non-Jewish customs, something prohibited by Jewish law.

The newspaper said that the focus of the secular media on haredi neighborhoods during the sounding of the siren was a form of deliberate incitement against the community.

Despite this, Hamodia’s editorial continued, the pictures and videos of haredim not standing still during the sounding of the siren deeply offends bereaved families and makes them believe that the ultra-Orthodox community is deliberately trying to hurt them.

“We must honor and perpetuate the memory of those who have fallen and encourage and raise up those whose worlds were destroyed,” read the editorial. “Therefore, anyone who wants to be stringent on the prohibition of imitating non-Jewish practice should be respectful and stay at home at the time of the siren, and those who are outside of their homes during the siren and in the streets should not continue to walk.”

Hamodia said that people who do not observe the moment of silence were a very small minority, and criticized their actions saying, “Even if their claims about non-Jewish practices are correct, it is not logical [not to stand still]. There is no reason at all, and it is in fact forbidden, to arouse the anger of the wider public against haredi Judaism when they are not familiar with our specific practices.”
I'm glad they've called for some sanity and respect. Because indeed, there are leftist sources out there determined to get the dirt on the Haredis, but not because they feel they're doing wrong. Rather, it's because they want to stick it to the right wing, even though some of the Haredis are leaning more left than before, and possibly supporting the Labor party more than they had in the past. There's no need to give anyone ammunition to use against them, and besides, it's not against Judaism to respect the memories of fallen innocents.

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