Last week, a preparatory gathering was held in New York ahead of the Satmar-arranged Taharas Hakodesh asifa that will take place at the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, NY, coming Thursday. The aim of the event is to raise $12 million for Torah institutions in Israel that do not take funds from the Israeli government.
On Thursday, a gathering was held for members of Rav Zalman Leib of Satmar’s kehillah over age 60 who recall the battles waged by the Satmar Rov, Rav Yoel zt”l, against the state of Israel and Israeli elections.
At the event, Rav Zalman Leib attacked the Yahadut Hatorah party and called its members “murderers of souls.”
The Yahadut Hatorah party is comprised of the Degel Hatorah and Agudas Yisroel factions. Degel Hatorah is led by a Litvishe Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah. Agudas Yisroel is led by Chassidishe admorim. Degel is guided by Rav Chaim Kanievsky and others, who have stressed the importance of voting in the upcoming Israeli elections, as the gedolim, such as Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt“l and Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach zt“l before him, have urged over the years.
Rav Zalman Leib expressed his opinion that the MKs guided by Rav Chaim, Rav Gershon Eldestein and other rabbonim are “rotzchei nefashos.”
“During the establishment of the state, when it came to the decree of enlisting girls in the army, there was a campaign against it,” said Rav Zalman Leib. “Today, however, there is silence.
“Just a few years ago (in Lapid’s government), they (Agudas Yisroel) organized a ‘million man rally’ against the army draft decree and declared that if there was a decree, not one yeshiva student would join in the army. It was not long before the government changed and they became full partners in the government of destruction. Not only are they not protesting against the gezeiros, but they are abandoning thousands of lomdei Torah to enlist in the army, and even silencing any possible protest against it.”
Rav Zalman Leib also said, “Now, at the time of the elections, they suddenly remembered that there is a decree of enlistment, and they cry bitterly that only by increasing the representatives [in the Knesset] can they cancel the draft decree of boys and girls. This is like the novi said to Achav, “Hirtzachta vegam yorashta – You murdered and you also want to inherit?” They were partners in the murders of the souls of Yisroel…”
Signs have gone up around various American communities stating that this event to raise $12 million will be attended by Litvishe rabbonim including Rav Yisroel Kalmanowitz, Rav Shmuel Deutsch, Rav Asher Deutsch, Rzv Tzvi Friedman, Rav Ezriel Auerbach and Rav Avrohom Dov Auerbach, all of Eretz Yisroel. The signs do not state that the event is being arranged by Satmar.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky has stressed the importance of voting in the upcoming Israeli elections in several instances recently, such as when asked about a child whose father instructs him not to vote. Rav Chaim, as seen here, responded that the child need not listen to his father.