Rabbi Lipman: I Won’t Stand Idly By As Extremists Make Up Halacha


rabbi-dov-lipmanTensions in Beit Shemesh, which has become the flashpoint for the battle of ideology between secular and some religious Jews, particularly on the issue of female segregation, reached a boiling point this week when it was revealed that a group of so-called chareidi men attacked a community rov attempting to escort girls to school.

Rabbi Dov Lipman is a resident of Beit Shemesh and a community activist. Even before media reports surfaced of an 8-year-old girl in Beit Shemesh being spat on for wearing clothing that was not deemed modest enough, however, he had spoken out.

The girl, Naama Margolese, said she was being regularly assaulted as she attempted to enter a religious-Zionist elementary school, Orot, located on the border of the city’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. Other female students also reported harassment and assault and Rabbi Lipman, who immigrated to Israel from the U.S. seven years ago and who teaches at religious schools, had gone to the school to assist the students. On Dec. 12, he found himself the target of vicious physical assault.

“One morning I saw that they [fanatics] were not allowing schoolgirls to make their way to the school grounds,” Lipman said. “The gang recognized me and began yelling my name in the most threatening way. I was terrified. They yelled, ‘Don’t defile our neighborhood!’ at the top of their lungs. Once I ran to help one of the schoolgirls who was crying, and they spat in my face, surrounding me and calling me ‘Satan’ and ‘Amalek.'”

In another incident, the rabbi recalled how a group of fanatics shouted, “Lipman must be cut up into pieces.”

“The police asked me to bring a camera to record the attackers. I did so, and filmed a fanatic man picking up a stone while threatening a woman,” Lipman said. “After I filmed it, with a friend, the fanatics jumped me and began pulling at me. I was dragged along on the floor, while the gang kicked my friend in the stomach. Never in my life have I seen such a thing.”

Despite the violence, Lipman remains determined to work toward eradicating fanaticism. “We must take a stand against these thugs, despite our fear. …I am against anyone who would dictate the lives of others.”

Lipman wants to tear down the city signs that call for women to segregate themselves in public, and also hopes to be available to help women who find themselves under attack.

“We have a shopping mall here, and when it was being built the fanatics smashed in all its windows, saying the complex went against Jewish law just because it would be open for both men and women. Now the place stands empty and neglected. They thought it would be easy to take over the city, but I intend to fight them until the very end. They are breaking all the rules of the Torah, and I won’t stand idly by while this extremism runs rampant.”

{Israel Hayom/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I’m going to come to the defense of the charedi elements of beit shemesh and posit that these particular men are obviously not representative of the community and are most likely emotionally unstable and more likely then not mentally unstable as well.

    Perhaps what needs to be done is not demonstrations against these simpleton misguided young adults, (who act like two year olds) but rather the state, in all seriousness, needs some people in white coats to come in and institutionalize them.

    I’ve tried hard to be dan le’kaf zechus, but I can’t as a rational human being conceive of a reason for these inhuman actions – the conclusion must be that these young men are not rational.

  2. why have none of the leaders of the yiddishe velt come out against such extremism? why have they remained silent while the torah is being dragged through the mud by these disgusting acts

  3. Lipman is the no.2 in R. Amsalem’s party (,who was kicked out of Shas). They stand against every Gadol B’Torah.

    Being an american, Lipman ought to be excused as being a bit clueless of the bigger picture.

  4. The fact that the “responsible” elements within the chareidi world allow people like this to behave in this way, without taking any action against them, is an unfortunate indictment on the community as a whole.

    At the very least the senior members in Beit Shemesh and Yerushalayim should issue a very serious statement condemning this in unambigusous terms.

    Thereafter, they should conduct an investigation into who is inciting these fools and take whatever steps are required to ostracize these elements.

    Another appropriate step would be to issue a statement along the lines that these people are rodfim against the torah world in that they make it very difficult for decent people to peacefully go about their business. As such the community’s responsibility of pidyon shevuyim is mitigated. Consequently should the authorities see fit to throw these idiots into jail, they will be left to rot.

    That might make the point.

  5. The gedolim understand that these batlanim have the mental capacity of a toddler. And everyone knows that toddlers crave attention — you acknowledge these guys they will just up the ante and act out more. The only way the gedolim should deal with this is ignore them till they are carted off to a safe place with soft walls.

  6. Jews fighting others about such pettiness of Jewish custom while millions of Jews assimilate away ,that’s what needs to be fought for

  7. What he is not saying is that he did exactly what they did. Yelled at them, ‘You don’t defile my neighborhood!’ at the top of his lungs. Then spat in their faces, and calling them ‘Satan’ and ‘Amalek.’”

  8. Make no mistake about it-if this behavior is not eradicated then we can expect more of the same IN EVERY neighborhood where they settle throuoght Eretz Yisroel-and maybe beyond.It will only be a matter of time.

  9. Dov Lipman is NOT kneged Torah or Gedolim.
    Dov Lipman is kneged violence against other Jews.
    Dov Lipman is kneged intimidation and harrasment of girls aged 6-10.
    Doc Lipman is shomrei Torah mitzvos.

    He simply wants yidden in Bet Shemesh to leave with respect for each other.

  10. ????? ???? ???
    On any given day thousands of good Yid’n in Eretz Yisroel are doing wonderful things; Limud HaTorah, Chesed and Yishuv Eretz Yisroel. Let not the bad blur the big picture. Great things are happening in our days!
    ????? ?? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ????????

  11. To call out R Lipman like that shows you agree with extremists views. I agree with ABS, and yes, it is representative of the community at large for not making a bigger stand

  12. Lipman is a left-winger who writes on the self-declared “centrist” (actually left-of-center) blog cross-currents, as evidenced by the many leftist comments he constantly leaves there attacking Chareidim at every opportunity

  13. The questions are:
    1) What is the Halacha
    2) If it is tznius, why aren’t Rav Eliashuv, Rav Chaim, Rav Wosner informed and asked what to do? They are the gedolei poskim whose decision would be recognized by all. The longer we wait, the worse this will get.
    3) Violence has no place here. If there are violent acts, those who perpertrate should be arrested.

  14. Lipman said:”I am against anyone who would dictate the lives of others.”
    Dangerous statement and maybe part of the problem!
    Judaism dictates lives of others even what to wear how to wear when to wear. What to eat when to eat how to eat. what to pray when to pray how to pray. what to think when to think how to think…..
    Judaism is a strict religion that regulates Everything in our lives. It took thousands of years to get all that wisdom and truth and still here we are debating it…Trust Jewish tradition and it all will be fine.

  15. This is a failure of the mayor of Beit Shemesh first and foremost. He had an opportunity to prevent this from happening by posting a few police officers near the school back in Elul and always made excuses. Now it’s blowing up in his face and making him look bad. Should a psak have been made towards these “charedim”? Perhaps. But maybe a few nights in jail would have stopped them from harnessing these young girls.

  16. SHAME ON US that is has come to this situation & have not woken up earlier to stop this from happening.
    lets start to open up our eyes-face reality-& see what Hashem is telling us, when tragic things happen, so it never needs to happen again.
    whenever something strange or tragic happens the seforim say a person should stop & make a cheshbon hanefesh (account of himself) why something like this would happen to

  17. Regarding Comment 25 from Rabbi Avraham Goldstein December 28, 2011 at 3:24 PM:

    Yes, the Torah has a comprehensive set of mitzvos. However, when there is an ongoing machlokes among great rabbis about the parameters of a mitzvah, one side does not violently enforce its dictates on the other.

    In this specific case, only an radical fringe represents one side, a fringe that acts on its own against the dictates of Torah.

  18. #19 I agree with you, but it’s “neged” not “kneged”. Kneged means referring or alluding to: kneged arbaa banim dibra Torah.

  19. Dear Ram,
    No one complains when a Jewish Girl wants to be traditional and wear stockings and maintain the yiddishe chein, the Jewish gracefulness so special in am Yisroel. the problems begin when they want to wear border line clothing questionable to all that has no connection with Real Jewish tradition.
    Sadly too, there are those who think they are smart just by diminishing the standards to what they think Halachah is willing to go. Some think that this haterim do well to people. Its about time to keep Torah the was that was given to us and nothing more. All this modern adaptations are not helpful bring division and its the cause of this problems. We need to understand who we are ,what we represent and what we have received. Encourage people to a genuine and historical connection of Judaism.
    all those haterim are doing harm because something that was bidieved is treated as lehatchilah.

  20. Rabbi Lipman

    You are living in the past and probably learn the old Shulchan Aruch. Have you not heard that there is soon to be published a new Shulchan Aruch that categorically states that such acts practiced by these women is an Issur D’oraisah. You need to keep up with the times.

  21. where in the torah or mishnah brurah is stoning and spitting at children alowed. Where in history or where anywhere else in the world are there seperate sidewalks for men and and woman what do people say about inventing chumras and then using them to act violently and create a massive chilul Hashem. And who says he and the fanactics dont have their own aveirahs to fix. As a chozer bteshuvah I am sick of it. The only one way to make others more religious is to work on ourselves and makarev others with love.

  22. To Reb # 23:
    It is said in the name of Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky z”l that before WW1 in Kelm men & women would not walk on the same sidr of street.