Agudas Yisroel Weighs in On Misplaced Kannaus


bet-shemeshThe following statement was released by Agudas Yisroel of America:

Reports of recent events in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh are deeply disturbing.

Violence of any sort, whether physical or verbal, by self-appointed “guardians” of modesty is reprehensible. Such conduct is beyond the bounds of decent, moral – Jewish! – behavior. We condemn these acts unconditionally.

Those who have taken pains to note that the small group of misguided individuals who have engaged in this conduct are not representative of the larger charedi community are to be commended. It is disturbing, though, that some Israeli politicians and secularists have been less responsible, portraying the actions of a very few as indicative of the feelings of the many. Quite the contrary, the extremist element is odious to, and rejected by, the vast majority of charedi Jews.

Lost in all the animus and ill will, unfortunately, is the concept ostensibly at the core of the controversy: the exalted nature of tzenius, or Jewish modesty.

Judaism considers human desires to constitute a sublime and important force, but one whose potential for harm is commensurate with its potential for holiness.

In a society like our own, where the mantra of many is, in effect, “anything goes,” many charedi Jews, men and women alike, see a need to take special steps – in their own lives and without seeking to coerce others – to counterbalance the pervasive atmosphere of licentiousness, so as to avoid the degradation of humanity to which it leads.

It would be tragic were the acts of violence to lead Jews to, G-d forbid, reject the culture of tzenius that has always been the hallmark of the Jewish nation, to regard Jewish modesty as something connected to violence and anger, rather than to refinement and holiness.

{ Newscenter}


  1. Please do not blame the media. They are reporting what is going ona nd are not the ones harming little girls who are simply trying to get to school. The responsiblility lies on the shoulders of those who have, for the most part, been silent about this for months and did not choose to say anything until it was exposed by the media even though they knew very well what was going on, shame on them.

  2. Perhaps the fact that no one has spoken up all these years when other “smaller” incidents of violence occured regarding tznius and other incidents of kanaus, gave these people the idea that it wasn’t considered to be such a bad thing. Now it’s spiralling out of control. The chillul Hashem that this is causing negates almost all that kiruv organizations try to do.

  3. To “confused”…
    If you look carefully on top of the page you will find the following sentence…
    “The following statement was released by Agudas Yisroel of America”
    So that should answer your question.

  4. Note to the editor, the headline “misplaced kannaus” is completely wrong. SPITTING ON A 7 YEAR OLD BAS YISROEL AND HARRASSING BNOS YISROEL (burka or no burka) IS “RESHA’US”, PURE AND SIMPLE.

  5. Thank you for posting this. I am aware of a general situation, don’t know what the catalyst for the recent attention is and frankly don’t want to know. I don’t know how to get the information I need, if I do indeed need to know

  6. #1 it says on top of the article “The following statement was released by Agudas Yisroel of America:” Please read next time and you wont be confused.

  7. The question is did the Americans overstep their boundaries & try to treat a Yerushalmi type neighborhood like Queens NY. The Perushim need a place to call their own (they were here first). If the Americans are trying to encroach then they should be met with force. Who can let me know the facts on the ground

  8. Everyone knows that every move agudas yisroel makes is with the guidance of the gedolim. It is self-explanatory that the moetzes approved of this message before it went out. Please cut out those cynical comments: a.l.


  9. I don’t understand how you can tznius is at the core. Little Na’ama dresses in as tznius a way as I can think of. She looks exactly as a proper bat Yisroel is meant to look. The issue here is an extremist, dangerous attitude about power and control.

  10. the core issue is media incitement against charedi jews. the media is happy that this happened as it gave them a platform to attack all frum jews. they hate naama as much as they hate sikrikim but they are happy to use her to sow hatred.

  11. Sushi (comment 24), what would you have Jews inside and outside Eretz Yisrael, do about sikrikim, something or nothing? The plan so far, namely nothing, has emboldened the sikrikim.