Sunday, May 12, 2013

On Avoiding a Schism In Religious Zionist Community

Harav Elyakim Levanon, one of the better known Hardalnick rabbis sent a letter last night to the members of the Jewish Home, urging them to support Harav Ariel's candidacy to the position of Chief Rabbi in order to prevent a schism in the Religious Zionist community. As most people know, Religious Zionism is going through a phase where there are two prominent camps - the more open liberal camp, and the more closed Hardalnick camp - Hardal being a slightly derogatory term meaning חרדי דתי לאומי.

There are two points that should be clarified:

1. The Hardal camp needs to stop threatening with a schism whenever they loose a fight. If they are the minority in RZ (which I think, but can't prove that they are) they need to accept it and stop being so threatening.

2. It takes quite a bit of twisted logic to understand how Harav Ariel will prevent a schism. Harav Ariel is not really a compromise between the two camps. Admittedly, Harav Ariel was probably not the first choice of the Hardalnick side of the RZ map. They probably would have preferred Harav Igra, or Harav Shapira.  However Harav Ariel was not a compromise between the two camps. Harav Druckman decided (for everyone) unilaterally to push Harav Ariel's candidacy and make a political deal with Shas. While Harav Ariel is a better, more moderate candidate than other Hardalnick approved alternatives a compromise is not done unilaterally. From the Liberal RZ side, the election of Harav Ariel will be seen as a failure.

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