An Open Letter to the Bet Shemesh Spitter


rav-nosson-tzvi-finkelHow dare you?

How dare you spit on an 8-year-old schoolgirl and terrorize her as she walks to school? I don’t care what she’s wearing; spitting, verbal abuse, and threats of violence cannot be tolerated.

How dare you call yourself a Hareidi, God-fearing Jew? Your despicable actions are diametrically opposed to Judaism. You are a thug and a hooligan whose conduct, in the words of the statement from Agudath Israel of America “is beyond the bounds of decent, moral – Jewish! – behavior.”

How dare you put us in a position where we need to state loud and clear that we condemn your loathsome actions. We do not share the same theology; we resent having any association with you that necessitates our stark denunciation.

How dare you wear the garb of a religious Jew and create a massive Chillul Hashem, a desecration of God’s name, where uninformed Jews and non-Jews around the world mistakenly believe media distortions that you somehow represent religious Jews in Israel. You are like the kippah-clad thief who dines on pork; he cannot call himself a ‘religious’ Jew. You refuse to listen to rabbinic leadership and your actions are causing irreparable harm to the Jewish people.

How dare you reject the Torah’s way of “love your fellow man” and instead erect barriers of hate and intolerance.

How dare you – through your reprehensible actions – turn off Jews who are curious to learn about their Jewish heritage.

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How dare you reject the Torah’s way of “love your fellow man” and instead erect barriers of hate and intolerance.

Perhaps you should try following the example of a real Torah Jew, the great Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, of blessed memory.

A non-religious Israeli couple was married for 12 years and could not have children. They were distraught and decided to seek counsel from the renowned Rosh Yeshiva. It was a hot summer day and the couple knocked on the door. The woman was wearing her typical summer attire and was not modestly dressed.

Rebbetzin Finkel opened the door and greeted the couple. “How wonderful that you came to meet my husband!” Then she turned to the wife and warmly said, “You know, my husband is a great scholar – he learns all day. When I go in to speak with him, I wear a shawl out of respect. Why don’t you come with me and see if I have one for you, too. I think I even have a perfect piece of jewelry to match. And we’ll go in together to speak to him.”

They entered his study and told the rabbi why they had come. Rabbi Finkel had great difficulty talking due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s. He mustered his strength and said to the woman, “You and I have a lot in common. We both know what suffering is.” He began to sob, along with Rebbetzin Finkel. Then the couple started crying.

Rabbi Finkel spoke with the couple for a while, offering words of comfort. He then took their names, and vowed to pray for them.

No yelling, no threats, no spitting. Just love, respect and compassion of one Jew for another.

Maimonides writes (Laws of Character Development, 6:7) that the only way to draw people close is through love. That is how the Almighty relates to us, and that is how He wants us to relate to others.

Abandon your hate and choose the Torah’s path of warmth and understanding. I dare you.

{Aish Hatorah/ Newscenter}


  1. “When I go in to speak with him, I wear a shawl out of respect. Why don’t you come with me and see if I have one for you, too. I think I even have a perfect piece of jewelry to match.”

    That’s very well & good when your in a private setting, in the comfort of ones home. But in the public arena like on a public bus, you don’t have that luxury. There is already tension, created & perpetrated by the wicked media that doesn’t allow such conversation in public!
    Also, in the story quoted, the couple was in pain & needed a favor from the Rabbi so of course they would be willing to adhere to the correct protocol. Yes, the Rebbitzen was very sensitive & understanding in the way she broached the subject. We have to learn from her ways.

  2. This letter should also go to a yevomo when she gets a chalitzh. Since this practice is going on for hundreds of years and considered to be a mitzve please explain why it doesn’t apply there.

  3. See Shimusha Shel Torah from Maran ZT”L pg 190 & the reaction of the Alter of Slabodka at someone who spat at another Yid. VeDay Lamayvin

  4. #10, have you ever even opened a set of Mishnayos in your life? The Yevamah does the spitting, not her Yavam. And she’s spitting on a shoe, not on him.

    This is what happens when one doesn’t learn.

  5. great article its so sad whats going on and #2 the point of that story is not to make others be tznius. publicly or privately the lesson of that story is to treat anyone and everyone with basic respect. these animals in israel are just that missing the aleph of being a person let alone a jew. no wonder the non-frum are turned off by them. maybe a “mehadrin” bus should be the one where we excel or actually basic skills aboiut being corteous to ppl. when our religion does what it does like there in bait shemesh they are just as evil as muslim tyrants in saudi arabia who treat ppl women and children like that!! the spitter is a disgrace to hashem most of all, all under the banner of lsheim shamayim so good luck stopping them!1 anyways matzav great article!!!

  6. The microscopic lenses that the anti-religious press use to blow any type of violence coming from “chareidi” circles (without the need to explain that this is certainly NOT genuine chareidi character)well out of proportion – is well echoed in your words.

    I’m sure that they will pride themselves for their success at getting people like you to join their anti-chareidi fray…

  7. I dont get the purpose of this letter. the spitter claims to be chareidi. whether true or not, he most probably doesnt speak or read english.

    PS. the story of Rabbi and Rebitzen Finkel is truly amazing.

  8. to mayer (#10)- there is a big difference bet this and a yevama. how u can even equate the two is mind blowing. one is in the same direction as the person and one is at the person. additionally its done in an orderly fashion, not like a group of rowdy animals. thirdly, its not done to a child . fourthly and lastly, even by a yevama it is actually done to show distaste for the the guy that doesnt help build his brothers’ name. so u see its inappropriate.

    We must have Ahavas Yisroel at all times. We must learn how to do that, but we must. Only that.
    What fools and misguided people those are that spit. How foolish. They really think that this will make everyone holy? This is what will bring Moshiach and the Geula? Really?? They are such fools. I wonder what their lives are like. they must have some dysfunction in some area of their lives to be such a person who would spit on a little (Jewish, shomer shabbos) CHILD. have they no respect for themselves?
    A person who treats others regally, were themselves raised by regality. What were these people raised by?

  10. The actions of a lone lunatic do not justify the provocations against the Haredi community that followed. I you are against what happened to this girl, you should also be against a nation-wide call to provoke Haredim on mehadrin busses.

    If you have lumped all the Haredim together with this lone lunatic, and thus deserving of provocation, then you are just as bigoted as he is.