Monday, Apr 15, 2024

My take on the News

A Country at War

The State of Israel is at war, and it doesn’t seem likely to be ending anytime soon. This past Shabbos, the IDF began its ground invasion of Gaza, and that is quite frightening, since there is no doubt that Hamas prepared for their arrival. That means that the terror group is likely to have deployed land mines, prepared to fire missiles, and arranged other unpleasant surprises. The army waited three weeks before entering Gaza and cleared the area as much as possible with air strikes (not to mention attacking from the sea).

The cities in the south have been cleared of their residents, and the government did not do a very good job placing them elsewhere in the country. Tens of thousands of Israeli citizens are now stuck in many places. Even the evacuees who were placed in hotels are having a difficult experience, and the situation is even more challenging for those who are sleeping on mattresses in simcha halls in cities such as Bnei Brak. Worst of all, the defense minister told them this week to expect that that they might have to wait many months before returning to their homes. And some of those homes have already been destroyed.

In the north, as well, many residents left their homes even before the Home Front Command gave the order. A resident of Naharia told me that over one third of the city has already left. Without a doubt, this country is doing a very poor job handling the evacuations of its citizens from areas affected by this disaster.

We do not know when or how this war will end, or whether we can rely on the political and military leaders. We also do not know how the situation in Israel will impact the rest of the world. It certainly has the potential to give rise to dangerous anti-Semitism. I am sure that you have already heard about the incident this Sunday at the airport in Makhachkala. You may not be aware that on the day before, Muslims had gone hunting for Israelis in hotels in the same city. Last week, pro-Palestinian rallies were held in Europe, attended by tens of thousands of people. What is most frightening to us is that the Israeli government is continuing to boast of the might of its army—the spirit of “kochi v’otzem yodi” that I so abhor. Haven’t we seen enough to understand that we must daven to Hashem for our salvation, rather than claiming to have the ability to save ourselves?

Persecution of Netanyahu Continues

It is also saddening to see that Prime Minister Netanyahu is still being hounded by his political foes. The war hasn’t slowed them down; on the contrary, they are exploiting the situation by calling on Netanyahu to take responsibility for the massacre and to step down—as if there is anyone else right now who could take his place.

This was the impetus for a recent uproar that caught the attention of the entire country. The prime minister, the defense minister, and the chief of staff recently held a joint press conference, mainly to show the public that they are working in full collaboration, since Netanyahu’s detractors have been claiming that the three officials are not cooperating with each other. Netanyahu was asked why he wasn’t taking responsibility for the recent events, and he gave a vague answer. Then he was asked if it was true that he had been warned about a potential escalation on the Gaza border before the events of Simchas Torah, and he denied it. That night, Netanyahu released a public statement in which he claimed, “All the intelligence officials, including the heads of the Military Intelligence Directorate and the Shabak, made the assessment that Hamas had been deterred from further violence and that they were interested in a peace agreement with Israel. That was the assessment that was presented to the prime minister and the cabinet by the defense establishment and intelligence community until the moment the war broke out.”

Netanyahu apparently had no choice but to release this statement to defend himself against accusations that he had been warned of the potential for violence. But after he released the statement, he was accused of trying to lay blame on the heads of the IDF during a war.

Alarmed by the backlash against his statement, Netanyahu tried to correct himself by issuing a retraction: “I have made a mistake. The things that I said at the press conference should not have been said, and I apologize for it. I give complete backing to the leaders of all the parts of the defense service. I support the chief of staff and the officers and soldiers of the IDF who are on the front lines and fighting for our country. We will win this together.”

Netanyahu is in a genuine bind: He is bound to be denounced and pilloried for anything he says. And all this is happening while the responsibility for the hostages, the most sensitive and heartrending aspect of the situation, is weighing heavily on him. On that note, the IDF revised its numbers this week, reporting that there are 239 hostages in captivity and 40 individuals missing. We can only daven for Hashem to avenge the spilled blood of His servants and to have mercy on all of us.

The Captives Are Our Brothers

This week, I heard an interesting comment about the hostages that was attributed to Dovi Weinroth. Dovi is the son of the late famed attorney Yaakov Weinroth and the widowed husband of Chani Weinroth, who passed away six years ago following a valiant battle against a terminal illness. I later discovered that Dovi was actually quoting an insight of his brother, Yechiel.

This comment relates to the posuk in Parshas Lech Lecha where the Torah relates, “Avrohom heard that his brother had been captured.” We know that Lot, the captive mentioned in this posuk, wasn’t actually Avrohom’s brother; he was the son of Avrohom’s brother Haran. Why does the Torah refer to him as Avrohom’s brother? Moreover, the previous posuk refers to Avrohom as the “ivri,” the term that evokes his willingness to take a position against the rest of the world. Why is this term relevant to Avrohom’s efforts to save Lot? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Avrohom, as an “ivri,” to abandon Lot, who had chosen to settle in a city full of sinners?

The answer is that the opposite is true. Avrohom was the very first person whom the palit (refugee) in the posuk approached to rescue Lot; he knew that Avrohom would rush to Lot’s aid. Sure enough, despite Avrohom’s personal elevation and the spiritual greatness that set him apart from the rest of the world, and despite all his ideological differences with Lot, he was willing to risk his own life to save Lot from danger. This was part and parcel of Avrohom’s greatness: his ability to set aside his differences with others, to feel their pain and to come to their aid. This is actually the reason that the Torah stresses Avrohom’s status as an “ivri,” since he was the first to come to the aid of a person in distress. And that is why the Torah refers to Lot as Avrohom’s brother rather than his nephew: When Avrohom was told that Lot was in danger, all the barriers between them fell away and he raced to his aid in the full spirit of brotherhood. (The Weinroths have discovered that the Abarbanel makes a similar comment: Although Lot wasn’t Avrohom’s actual brother, when Avrohom learned that he was in distress, it created a closer bond between them that was tantamount to brotherhood.) This also explains the wording of the posuk that states that Avrohom heard that his brother had been captured. The posuk does not state that this is what the refugee told Avrohom, but rather that it was what he heard. The exact message of the refugee isn’t important; what matters is that Avrohom heard that his brother was in distress. Today, too, we must remember that all the hostages in Gaza are our brethren.

All of us in Israel today know that we have 240 brothers and sisters who are being held prisoner in the cellars of Gaza, and that the terrorist murderers are trying to exploit them to undermine the citizens of Israel. There will be plenty of manipulation, videos, and disinformation emanating from Gaza, with the goal of disrupting our psychological equilibrium. As the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu faces an unenviable challenge.

The Hardship Belongs to All of Us

Every individual has a responsibility at this time to make an honest reckoning and try to understand what Hashem is demanding of us. On the other hand, the real answers will come from the gedolim of our generation. During one of the previous periods of tension along the Gaza border, Rav Gershon Edelstein noted that calamities befall the entire world only for the sake of the Jewish people, and sometimes—if the people do not take heed, chas v’shalom, and do not mend their ways—those calamities reach the Jews themselves. He went on to quote the Chazon Ish, who wrote that bnei Torah who learn Torah are aware of their obligation in this world, and they face higher expectations.

In a shmuess to bochurim from overseas at the conclusion of Yom Tov Sheini this year, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, rosh yeshivas Mir, spoke from the depths of his heart: “We are at a time of great distress, when Hashem is shaking the entire country, and we must strengthen our emunah. When we see that no one has the ability to save us other than Hashem, that alone should boost our emunah. In truth, the bnei Torah are the true defenders of Klal Yisroel.” He called on his listeners to increase their commitment to kavod Shabbos and announced that a special learning seder had been established to add to the kedusha of Shabbos. He also recommended learning the halachos of Shabbos and Rav Shimshon Pincus’s sefer, Nefesh Shimshon on Shabbos. Finally, he urged all the talmidim in the yeshiva to stay off the streets.

I believe that it is also fitting to quote the current rosh yeshiva’s father, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, who made the following comments during a war with Lebanon: “We, who live in Yerushalayim, must feel the pain of those who live in the north. We must feel as if the war is in all of Eretz Yisroel, and their distress is our own as well. The people there are sitting in bomb shelters in terror, and some of them have been harmed physically or financially. How can we be silent at a time like this?” Rav Nosson Tzvi spoke about the importance of Torah learning and davening, and then he cried out, “Any bochur who neglects his Torah learning even for a moment is showing cruelty and demonstrating that he does not have feelings for others and he is not part of Klal Yisroel!”

On a similar note, Rav Moshe Shteinman delivered a shmuess this week in Kollel Ateres Shlomo in Neve Yaakov, where he told a story about his illustrious father, Rav Aharon Leib. “My father used to be very fearful of any laxity in Torah learning,” he related. “That is why he was always afraid during bein hazemanim. He often spoke about the fact that the war that led to Operation Protective Edge began on the day that Lapid and his cronies cancelled the Tal Law in an effort to reduce Torah learning. When the Chazon Ish said that there would be no missiles in Bnei Brak, it was because it was a place of Torah learning. During one of the wars in the south, a marbitz Torah from that area came to my father and told him that the Home Front Command had identified it as a danger zone and that he was afraid to deliver his shiur there. My father replied, ‘Hashem wants you to deliver your shiur there. The places of Torah learning have always been protected during wartime, because the Torah is what keeps us safe.’”

The Response to the Calls for a Draft

There is much to quote on these subjects from gedolei Yisroel both past and present, but I will settle for a mere sampling of recent statements. First, there are some things that are absolutely obvious but still must be said. Rav Dov Landau was asked this week if yeshiva bochurim should volunteer to assist soldiers or the wounded, and he replied, “Chas v’shalom. Who will protect us if they do that? The bnei yeshivos who sit and learn Torah are protecting all of us.” When he was asked if yeshiva bochurim from abroad should return to their yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel, he replied, “If the bochurim are not afraid and their parents are not afraid, let them come back here, and the Torah will protect them.”

There have been some calls for the draft to be expanded in light of the emergency situation. In response, let me quote Rav Meir Chodosh. During the first days of the Six Day War, Rav Meir heard that some of the talmidim in the yeshiva had begun speculating that there might be a moral obligation for them to join the army or otherwise contribute to the war effort. In response, he quoted the Gemara’s statement (Erchin 11b) that a levi assigned to sing in the Bais Hamikdosh who chooses to become a gatekeeper instead is liable to the death penalty. “If a levi’s job is to sing, then he forfeits his life by becoming a guard at the gate, even if that is a more difficult task. A yeshiva bochur who leaves his post is creating mortal danger!”

Rav Berel Povarsky, the rosh yeshiva of Ponovezh, was recently consulted by Agudas Yisroel of America regarding whether yeshiva bochurim from abroad should return to Eretz Yisroel at this time. “Anyone who wants to come back to Eretz Yisroel may certainly do so,” he replied. “But if a bochur or his parents are very fearful, he may remain overseas.”

Rav Berel was also consulted by a woman from Yerushalayim who found herself unable to function due to her fear, and who asked if she and her husband, a kollel yungerman, should return to America and live in her parents’ home temporarily until quiet is restored. He replied, “Even though there is a general ruling for everyone to remain here, on an individual basis I can tell you that a husband commits at the time of his marriage to taking care of his wife. If remaining in Eretz Yisroel is causing her to experience fear that may be damaging for her, the husband is required to be considerate of that fact and to return to chutz laaretz with her.”

Rabbi Elchadad Comforts Bereaved Parents

Many incredible initiatives have been launched by concerned individuals in an effort to alleviate the suffering of others. I have been moved by the efforts undertaken around the world to call attention to the hostages’ plight, such as the display of empty chairs in Times Square. I was also told about two chareidi businessmen in England, Yisrael Feiga and Jakey Weiss, who paid out of their own pockets to post signs on the streets of London bearing pictures of the hostages in Gaza. Any such actions are worthy of praise.

Do you remember Rabbi Nachman Elchadad? He is a father who lost two children in the Meron tragedy; I interviewed him for this newspaper a few months ago. Rabbi Elchadad travels every day to the Shura camp, where Zaka volunteers and police officers are working hard to identify hundreds of bodies. At the camp, he encounters the shattered families waiting to hear whether their loved ones have been identified, and tries to offer them companionship and chizuk. Rabbi Elchadad has also visited many shiva homes. Rabbi Elchadad is no stranger to the families’ suffering. He personally experienced an agonizing wait outside the Abu Kabir forensic institute until his sons’ bodies were identified. The bereaved parents seem to derive some comfort from his presence, as he tells his story and describes how he used the tragedy as a catalyst for personal growth and spiritual endeavors. In recent days, Rabbi Elchadad has been advocating for an increase in the study of Torah Shebiksav and has been urging people to bolster their observance of the mitzvah of shnayim mikra v’echad targum. He advises many people to make use of the Mah Ahavti hotline, which offers content that encourages the observance of this important mitzvah. In the context of an initiative known as B’Nachas, he has also been calling on others to work to enhance their middos and observance of bein adam lachaveiro.

I could write about many more practitioners of chessed as well, such as Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Bernstein of Sabeinu. All year long, at his own personal expense and with the help of his family members, Rabbi Bernstein provides hundreds of meals for the families of hospital patients and for others in need. Since Simchas Torah, he has distributed thousands of portions of food to the families of evacuees and to IDF soldiers on army bases. He certainly deserves our praise, as do the many others involved in similar efforts.

A High Price for a Good Word

Chazal tell us that a sichah naah—a good word—is always rewarded. Israel is beginning to realize that the price that must be paid for President Biden’s good words will be beyond the country’s ability to pay.

Biden delivered two speeches to the nation and spoke with Netanyahu on the telephone many times. Soon enough, he will certainly send the country a “bill” for every one of those speeches or interactions, and there will be no compassion or consideration shown to the “customer.” It is possible that he may even restrict Israel’s military actions. On the other hand, it does not seem possible in any event for Israel to refuse a directive from America, from both a practical and an ethical standpoint.

In any event, it is clear that Biden’s primary concern is himself rather than Israel. On a personal level, he is vying for a second term in office and will do everything possible to boost his chances of reelection. On a national level, the rule is that America works to advance only its own interests. In this case, those interests are America’s national and international standing, the release of the American hostages in Gaza, and its dominance in the Middle East. That is what matters to America. The Israelis, as far as America is concerned, are mere pawns on a gigantic playing board.

I recently received a copy of a Hebrew translation of Master of the Game, Martin Indyk’s book on Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic efforts during the period of “October 1973,” as the book synopsis puts it. It is not easy to find the time to read a 600-page tome in its entirety, as fascinating as it may be, but even a brief perusal of its contents was enough to show me that Kissinger and Nixon exploited the deaths of Israeli soldiers to achieve their own ends. The Jewish secretary of state of the United States felt that it was important for more Israeli soldiers to be killed so that Golda Meir and her cabinet would enter into a ceasefire from a position of weakness (and Sadat would do so with satisfaction), thereby increasing the likelihood of a peace agreement. This is both saddening and infuriating.

Incidentally, according to Indyk and Kissinger, the great failure of the Yom Kippur War wasn’t merely that the Israelis failed to anticipate the attack. Rather, it was the misconception (in their view) that Sadat wasn’t really interested in peace. Kissinger insisted that the Egyptian president preferred to arrive at a peace agreement without war, and it was Golda Meir’s folly that led him to choose war as a means of achieving peace. This is an absurd claim.

There is one paragraph in the book that is also shocking: “The third day of the war was Monday, October 8, 1973. [Golda] Meir sent a request to Kissinger on that day for 40 Phantom jets and 300 M60 Patton tanks, which were the most advanced in the American arsenal. This was a clear sign that Israel was suffering heavy losses. But when Dinitz [the ambassador to Washington at the time] told him that the situation looked ‘much better’ because the Israeli forces were on the offensive on two fronts, Kissinger did not sense any urgency in fulfilling the requests. He felt that it was reasonable to assume that there would be no need for these armaments until after the end of the battles.” Who could imagine such a decision?

Ministers and Generals Are Not Immune to Error

The 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War has been the impetus for numerous historical articles and a few newly published books. One of those was Martin Indyk’s book on the war from the perspective of Henry Kissinger, published in Israel by Yediot Books. It is appalling to discover that American aid to Israel was delayed so that the Israelis would suffer losses and Sadat would regain some of his honor, in the hope that this would lead to peace negotiations. Another new release is a book titled From Directive 41 to Acapulco. Directive 41 was the Egyptian military exercise that was actually meant to deceive Israel and prepare for the war. The Israeli government blindly insisted that the Egyptians were merely engaging in training exercises. The mindset that war with Egypt was unlikely proved to be wrong, and this misperception ultimately cost the country the lives of 2673 soldiers and officers. “Acapulco” was the code word transmitted by the first Egyptian soldiers to cross the Suez Canal.

The author, Ilan Kfir, is a prominent Israeli journalist and onetime soldier on the southern front, who laments the deaths of his friends and writes enthusiastically about their heroism. In the first part of his book, he reveals how the military brass and political leaders failed to recognize the impending war. Ashraf Marwan, the Egyptian spy, had warned that a war would break out on Yom Kippur (although he said that it would be at 6:00 p.m., while Sadat decided at the last moment to move it up to 2:00 in the afternoon). Large numbers of Egyptian troops were sent to the Suez Canal in advance, which did not escape the attention of Israeli intelligence, although their warnings fell on deaf ears.

But that wasn’t all. Captain Pesach Malovany of Unit 848 translated a coded telegram that had been intercepted. The telegram, which was sent from the Iraqi ambassador in Moscow to the leadership in Baghdad, stated, “We have learned from Soviet forces that the Soviet Union has decided to remove its advisors from Syria and Egypt. These two countries have decided to begin a war against Israel on October 6.” Captain Malovany relayed this urgent and frightening information to Lieutenant Colonel Reuven Yardor, who hurried to inform the unit commander, Yoel Ben-Porat. The latter quickly called Major General Eli Zeira, the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, on his secure phone line to notify him of the development. However, Zeira refused to take action. Major Ilan Tehillah insisted that the chief of staff should be notified, but Zeira did not allow it. The upper echelons of the IDF leadership had given in to complacency, an attitude that had infected the government as well. It was an unrealistic perspective on the Suez Canal at the time, just as it was unrealistic to assume that all would be quiet on the Gaza border today, but Hashem had clearly decided that Israel should face hostility from its neighbors.

The mistakes of 1973 were repeated in 2023, as the army and the government were lulled into complacency by the misconception that the enemy was not prepared for war. The current chief of staff and head of the Military Intelligence Directorate recently reassured the public that everything was under control, that the situation in Gaza was at equilibrium, and that Hamas was not ready for battle yet; they declared confidently that there would be years of quiet before we could expect hostilities again. This Simchas Torah showed us that they made grievous errors in reading the situation, in a repeat of the events of 1973. Fifty years ago, the country suffered a traumatic blow from which it never recovered, and the same thing has happened again. I cannot help but repeat a statement that I have made many times: As the posuk tells us, if Hashem does not protect a city, the watchman stands guard in vain.

The Chareidi Ministers Were the First to Take Action

Hashgocha Protis has placed the chareidi political leaders in important positions at this juncture. Boruch Hashem, they have proven their abilities and have created a tremendous kiddush Hashem. While much criticism has been leveled against the government for mishandling the situation, the members of Shas and UTJ have received high praise. As soon as Simchas Torah ended and the dreadful news broke, the chareidi politicians quickly recovered their wits and hurried to take action. Welfare Minister Yaakov Margi leapt into action, as did Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur, who quickly arranged for the National Insurance Institute to take a leading role in furnishing aid for evacuees, wounded victims, and families of hostages. Ben-Tzur has been working around the clock to provide public aid, showing up at the scene of one disaster after another. Housing Minister Yitzchok Goldknopf has also become highly active, traveling from city to city to provide assistance. Uri Maklev, in his capacity as the government official responsible for Holocaust survivors, has met with the survivors who were displaced from the south, as well as visiting all the hotels where evacuees have been placed. Of course, the former health minister, Moshe Arbel, and the current minister, Uriel Bussu, have likewise been working tirelessly for the public’s benefit.

Perhaps the most impressive of all, though, is the involvement of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. This ministry has never been involved in security situations in the past, but the great tragedy of Simchas Torah is an exception. This time, the ministry is taking its place in the center of the efforts to assist the public. Michoel Malchieli, the religious affairs minister, and his director-general, Yehuda Avidan, have demonstrated outstanding abilities to address the issues. This week, everyone was awed by the praise heaped on Malchieli by Gadi Yarkoni, the head of the Eshkol Regional Council: “There is one ministry in the government, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, that has been supporting us since the very beginning, from the moment that the scope of this tragedy was revealed. They have been working constantly to assist us and have been doing everything possible to aid the families of the murdered victims.”

Yarkoni’s comments reflect the reality that everyone has observed. Anyone who has watched the sacred work of Zaka and the chevra kadisha was able to see everything that Malchieli and Avidan achieved. There are many stories that will undoubtedly be told in the future. Last Wednesday, I saw Malchieli’s name illuminated on the Knesset attendance board at a very late hour, indicating that he was still in the building. That came as a surprise to me, and I went to his office, where I found him sitting with his staff and telephoning the directors of religious councils and chevra kadisha societies throughout the country, one after another, to receive updates on their work.

The day will come when the events of October 2023 will be thoroughly investigated. Many people in the government will be held accountable for their oversights or negligence, but there are also some who will surely be extolled for their dedication and achievements, and the chareidi politicians will be chief among them.

Incitement Rages Despite the Tragedies

Anti-chareidi incitement is continuing at full pace despite the war. The country is on the defensive, everyone is in shock, and pain has enveloped the entire populace, but those who turn their pens into weapons against the religious community are continuing to foment hatred and division. I mentioned this last week, but it is still going on.

Last Tuesday, there were still groups of terrorists in the country, and there were mounting concerns over what was likely to happen in the north. Missiles were being fired into Israel, and funerals were taking place all over the country, but The Marker chose to dedicate its front-page story to the subject of government funding for chareidim. “Business as Usual: Coalition Funds Continue Flowing During Wartime,” the provocative headline proclaimed. The subheading added, “Despite the hopes that the government would stop advancing the additions of hundreds of millions of shekels to the budget for chareidi institutions, to free up resources to deal with the emergency situation, the ministries are busy implementing the allocations now.” The lengthy article, which occupies the entirety of the newspaper’s fourth page, begins, “The national emergency, the crippling blow to the south, the serious failure of the defense establishment, and the preparations for a prolonged war are the issues that should be dictating a new public agenda in Israel.” The writer thus levels criticism at the government for dealing with funding for chareidim at this time. But my answer to them would be that this is sheer hypocrisy. The national emergency should also dictate the agenda of The Marker and the other purveyors of incitement, inducing them to turn their attention to more pressing matters rather than continuing to seek excuses to vilify the chareidi community.

“Many expected the government to focus on the urgent needs of the defense establishment and the home front since the beginning of the war,” the article continues. “They expected it to issue a sweeping order for an immediate halt to all the previous coalition agreements and plans.” This is very interesting. How do they know that this was a widespread expectation? On the contrary, I believe that the government should not be expected to enter standby mode at a time like this. Rather, it should be addressing the critical issues along with its ordinary responsibilities. And it seems to me that the ministers are doing their tasks fairly well. I have seen the ministers of the Shas party demonstrating resourcefulness and intelligence. The Minister of Religious Affairs has been dealing with the identification of bodies and the burial needs of the victims, the welfare minister established command centers staffed with social workers in the south, the labor minister has forced the National Insurance Institute to ramp up its public assistance to a level never seen before, and the health minister has begun coordinating efforts with local authorities (in his capacity as interior minister) and hospitals. Does that mean that they should shut down all the usual functions of their ministries and focus solely on the emergency? That is not the way to run a government effectively, even during a crisis.

The writer of this article does not hesitate to press every possible button to elicit animosity. “In recent days, among other things, the government ministries have continued to make transfers of hundreds of millions of shekels to Torah institutions,” he writes, a text dripping with venom. “The budget for yeshivos and kollelim, after the increase, has now reached a total of 1.7 billion shekels for 2023 and is slated to rise to 2 billion shekels in 2024.” One must certainly wonder what he means by “in recent days.” When were these transfers made? On Simchas Torah? On the two days after Yom Tov? And, of course, the article makes a point of mentioning the school networks of UTJ and the Shas party.

Betzalel Smotrich’s response to the newspaper was absolutely on target. After stressing that he has been fully involved in the security issues, Smotrich continued, “Even though we lost our confidence long ago in your ability to keep up even a minimal journalistic standard, we expect even you to take a break from your incitement and hatemongering, and not to ignite the destructive fire of discord with lies and manipulation. This is a time for us to unite and come together for victory.”

In a sense, he echoes my own sentiment: Just as the newspaper called on the government to stop the transfer of funds during this emergency, the newspaper itself should be expected to put the brakes on its incitement in light of the situation.

And on another note, if The Marker is correct about these transfers of funds being made, then we must applaud the chareidi politicians for serving as conduits for vital aid to reach the Torah world.

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