The Matzav Rant: Those Who Think They Know Better Than the Gedolim


protest-yerushalayim-ashkelonBy Shmuel Miskin,

Violence has never been approved in our communities. But you don’t need me to say that. People greater than I have made that clear. Last year, in a report on this site, Rav Moshe Shternbuch, Rosh Av Bais Din of the Eidah Hachareidis of Yerushalayim, stated that We condemn any types of violence. I have stressed this many times before. Anyone who commits acts of violence declares that he doesn’t belong to our community.”

Violent hafganos are wrong. Burning garbage bins is wrong.

What disturbs me, however, is the portrayal of the recent hafganos in some of the chareidi online media. Now, I am not going to state that it is only a handful of people engaging in these activities. But they are still a drop in the bucket compared to the vast majority of ehrliche Yidden across Eretz Yisroel who did not involve themselves in activities of violence or destruction in any way.

Of course, the secular media will portray it otherwise. They’ll paint all of chareidi Yerushalayim as looking like Kikar Shabbos in midst of a hafganah. I have yet to see a report about the tranquil streets of Har Nof.

What bothers me as much was a quote sent in by a reader of this site. The quote, from a frum online media outlet, stated, “What used to be an oxymoron, ‘chareidi hooligans,’ is now a reality.”

I take umbrage with that. Those who engage in such behavior may be hooligans, but not chareidi hooligans. They don’t represent us or our views. They don’t represent us any more than those people dressed like Jews who meet regularly with our generation’s Hitler from Iran.

Chareidim, by definition, are not hooligans. The writer of the aforementioned quote may have been trying to be dramatic, but he or she is badly mistaken.

Now my second point:

I’ve read numerous comments made by people online publically questioning why “gedolim haven’t condemned the violence.”

Firstly, the statement is not true. As mentioned, Rav Shternbuch has repeatedly condemned violence. Secondly, as I saw reported here on, the Mirrer rosh yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, clearly told his talmidim to stay far away from the hafganos.

But putting that aside, who are we to publically call out gedolei Torah? Who are we to tell the gedolim what they should or shouldn’t publically protest? Such statements are a bizayon haTorah. Our gedolim, our einei ha’eidah, have special yiras Shomayim and special siyata diShmaya. They know when and how to protest or condemn something when the time is right. It takes outright chutzpah for online chareidi writers to question our gedolim and rabbonim, criticizing them, as if the writers are even in the same spiritual stratosphere as these leaders. What a bizayon.

{Shmuel Newscenter}


  1. The writer for one of the other “frum” sites is frum but non-charedi, mizrachi type. There is an obvious and constant cynical hatred for charedim throughout his “news” articles.

  2. An example should be made of those participating in and planning these violent protests. They should not be allowed into shul and their kids should be kicked out of the Yeshivos. It’s time to take a strong stand against those who desocrate Hashem’s name and give all Frum Jews a bad name.

  3. We must know that each godol has siyata dishmaya how to pasken for his kehilla( not yours — his kehilla). And just as in halacha there is room for different psakim, so too in hashkafa there is room for different psokim. Everyone should follow his Rov. Even if the case was that your Rov condemns hafganos, and another Rov doesn’t , you have no right to write negative articles about those kehillos.

  4. R’ Moshe Feinstein wrote the following in the Igros Moshe (OC 109, Page 173, bottom of the right hand column):
    ?? ????? ???? ???”? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ?? ??? ????? ????.

    In modern times (he wrote it over 50 years ago – how much more so today!), there is nobody on the level of a gadol that it is forbidden to argue with.

  5. Many have time and time again asked Miskin/ Matzav the following obvious question: Since Matzav cares SOOOO much about what DAAS TORAH says, how about actualy practicing what you preach to everyone else and closing your website!

    So please Miskin if you really cared about Daas torah stop blogging in your basemant so no one will see you, and open a gemarah for the 1st time since 10th grade.

    And PLEEEASE stop being like the 800 pound guy yelling at everyone how overweight they are.

  6. Simple explanation for lack of condemnation:

    It doesn’t accomplish anything since the participants in these riots don’t listen to any authority and those that do heed the mainstream gedolim don’t go near these things in the first place.

  7. #5 anti-orthowatch: You are expert at misquoting. You do so repeatedly to lie and misrepresent against Torah observant Jews.

    Rav Moshe wrote one posek may argue against another posek. Not than a bum posting on a Jewish website can argue against a godol!

  8. #7 kishak — you would love nothing better than that so that the anti-Torah crowd like yourself could have unchallanged say on the internet to influence the tinokos shinshba.

  9. Im surprised they let your comment through but I certainly agree that this website is a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black.

  10. #10:
    The one with the biggest audacity over here is you. Why are you making up a story about what Reb Moshe ZT”L said? Nowhere in the teshuvah does it say that you have to be a posek in order to argue on him.
    ?? ?? ??? ????? ?????
    ???? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ??
    ??? ????? ??? ??????
    Stop making up stories. The biggest chutzpah imaginable is to take words of Reb Moshe ZT”L and modify them to fit with your agenda!!!

  11. While I agree with those defending the kavod HaTorah of our Rabbonim, to a degree, it doesnt take away the fact that the whole charedi world is being labeled crazy due to the actions of a few fringe lunatics. I do not believe that vast majority of Rabbonim condone any of chilul HaShem that is taking place daily. We need to disassociate from the fringe lunatics and unless we do it’s completely understandable when the world perceives that ALL religious Jews have no morals. Lastly, one must wonder whether most of anything controversial going on in EY has more to do with political jockeying than it does with what is really ratzon haboreh.

  12. Your defense is non-sensible.You assume no blame for chareidi hooligans because to you they are false chareidim but true hooligans.They are not frei chilonim dressed up as chereidim, they are people who live in that neighborhood, daven in those shuls and attend those yeshivos. You can’t disown them unless they are indeed sent away.You are just copping out.

    As far as blaming gedolilm, you also aren’t emesdik.

  13. Thank you R’ Diskin for your well presented and reasoned points. What you say is true and well taken.

    These malcontents are small in numbers and have no leadership who could stop them. They represent no one but themselves. Aside from being only a small insignificant handful, all they accomplish is give the anti-Torah media a false face to focus on and claim a peaceful protest is a “riot.” What a joke.

  14. I take issue with Rabbi Miskins opinion. Why is it fair to label islamic terrorists, with the religion of Islam yet Chareidi hooligans does not qualify for a label of religion attached to it. They are doing it in the name of Judasim, the same way the Muslims are killing in the name of Islam. Lets not play a double standard here.

  15. # 16 L. Oberstein.”You can’t disown them unless they are indeed sent away.”
    We are not disowning anybody, we are defrentiating us from them, and sending them away is last thing we should do! If anything we should bring them closer to us, after all all all Jews ar responsable for each other.ARAIVIM ZEH LZEH

  16. “Violence has never been approved in our communities. But you don’t need me to say that. People greater than I have made that clear.”

    Unfortunately,that message is not being heard.

  17. Whatever these people do or don’t do, I don’t know if most of us are really better. No one is perfect. That doesn’t mean that children should be “thrown out” of mosdos.

    Greetings to “katzeleh”, if he is the famous personality behind Arutz Sheva.

  18. It is now a priority that those who bring the Torah into disrepute and cause Chilul HaShem be clearly name and be placed in Cherem i.e. Neturei Karta and the individuals who went to Iran and their leaders who sanctioned the visit.
    This is equally pertinent with regards to the hooligans

    It is no longer good enough to infer who one is talking about

    This problem will not go away without decisive action.

    Many in the Orthodox Communities both in Eretz Yisroel and in the rest of the world are disguested about what is happening in the name of Yiddishkeit.

  19. I hate to admit it, but ofttimes soon after I hit the “submit” button on a website, I realize I fell into the very serious mistake this article correctly identifies.


    Which is exactly why those comments don’t get approved!

  20. #1/katzeleh is 100% correct! There are those who parade under frum names and are serious and serial offenders in this regard. They constantly falsely accuse Chareidim, including Rabbonim and Gedolim shlita, under the s

  21. Hey,”Matzav responder”,

    That’s a cute line you had for 27.

    Now, how about providing a serious answer.

    Do you have rabbinic backing/approval/guidance?
    Do you not and just not care?

    How about coming out of your shell and providing a direct,serious response to a very fair point?

  22. You have to understand, Matzav is controled by [deleted by moderator] of [deleted by moderator]. These imature kids take their marching orders from [deleted by moderator].

  23. “Chareidim, by definition, are not hooligans”

    The problem, Mr. Miskin, with your ‘No true Scotsman’ statement is that it is a logical fallacy. One cannot define out the flaws of one’s group.

    It’s like saying Ashkenazi Jews by definition like Gefilte fish. The implication is that if he doesn’t like Gefilte fish – he can’t be an Ashkenazi Jew.

    Guess what? An Ashkenazi Jew remains an Ashkenazi Jew even if he doesn’t like Gefilte fish.