Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

My Take on the News

Another Blow to Shabbos

I have to admit that we expected this to happen. But even though it was expected, that does not diminish the hurt or anger we feel.

The Supreme Court of Israel does not consider Shabbos to have any special value, and that is a shame. Nevertheless, we anticipated this ruling. The previous chief justice, Dorit Beinisch, used her final ruling to give us a slap in the face by disqualifying the Tal Law that allowed bnei yeshivos to be exempt from the draft. We presumed that Miriam Naor, the current retiring chief justice, would also use her last day in court to leave some sort of liberal imprint that would cause her to go down in history. She did the same thing with one of her most recent rulings, when she overturned the draft law that was passed two years ago. As we waited for her ruling on the case of the grocery stores in Tel Aviv, we davened and we hoped for the best. Deep down, though, we knew that the chances of a favorable ruling were practically nil.

Just to remind you, this began when the Tel Aviv municipality passed a bylaw permitting businesses to operate on Shabbos (as if they have the power to “permit” desecration of the Shabbos). The owners of the city’s smaller grocery stores and minimarkets felt that this threatened their livelihoods and their weekly day of rest, and they petitioned the Supreme Court to disqualify the bylaw. In the interim, the Minister of the Interior announced that he would not approve the bylaw, which would render it legally invalid.

In its initial ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the municipal bylaw in the absence of a response from the Minister of the Interior. At the time, Aryeh Deri had not yet taken the position. When Deri was appointed to head the Interior Ministry, though, the circumstances changed and he requested that the court review the case again. Judge Elyakim Rubinstein approved the request before his own retirement and assigned the case to a panel of seven judges. This past Thursday, the judges ruled that the court would not reverse its decision, despite the stance of the Interior Minister. The new Tel Aviv bylaw – which permits stores to operate in certain areas, and gas stations and coffee houses to be open on Shabbos anywhere in the city – remains in force, to our great dismay.

Naor, the retiring chief justice, explained her position as follows: “The Interior Minister’s approval is meant to ensure the legality of a decision of the municipality, not to override its judgment. It is unreasonable to adopt a blanket stance that does not take into account the character of the city, the unique nature of its various areas, and the distances between them.” In other words, she felt that Deri’s rejection of the bylaw had been a case of poor judgment.

“The Law of Hours of Work and Rest,” she added, “does not imply a blanket prohibition for businesses to operate on Shabbos. The balance that the law requires every local authority to enforce does not favor one worldview over another. This does not detract even a minuscule fraction of the standing and importance of Shabbos as the national property of the Jewish people and as one of the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The meaning of the law is that along with protecting the unique character of Shabbos, we must allow every individual to design his Shabbos in his own way, and based on his own faith, and to infuse it with meaning as he sees fit… A life alongside others cannot be ‘all or nothing.’ It must be based on tolerance for dissenting views, mutual respect, and mutual accommodation. There can be no attitude that ‘I will not sign on chillul Shabbos.’ Rather, there must be recognition of the crucial importance of the attitude of ‘live and let live.’ …My ruling is not meant to express a secular outlook. It is meant to reflect the true meaning of the law.”

Let us make one thing clear: Neither Miriam Naor nor a thousand others like her will ever succeed in destroying Shabbos. They may be able to damage the Jewish character of the State of Israel, but they will never pose a threat to Shabbos itself.


Fierce Responses

The reactions to the court’s ruling were equally predictable. Some people, such as Yair Lapid, openly rejoiced, while the public officials from our own sector of society were outraged. Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, was pleased. “The balanced decision of the Supreme Court, on the one hand, preserves the social value of Shabbos as a day of rest, while it also provides services and responds to the needs of the city’s residents in the context of a day of rest and recreation,” he said. “The most important thing is that the Supreme Court determined that the authority to apply the values derived from a law that was passed by the Knesset, in the context of municipal bylaws, belongs to the municipal government and not to the Minister of the Interior.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who represents one million non-Jewish immigrants, also hailed the court’s decision. “This is a very appropriate decision,” he announced. “There is no reason for the government to damage the municipal makeup of Tel Aviv and to compel the residents of the city, and the majority of the citizens of Israel, to adopt a lifestyle that is not of their choosing.”

The chareidi community’s representatives did not hide their anguish over the court’s decision. In fact, they spoke bitterly against it. Yaakov Litzman declared, “In keeping with Supreme Court tradition, the outgoing chief justice has issued an anti-religious decision as a predictable parting shot. This is a flagrant attempt by the justices of the Supreme Court to destroy the Jewish character of the state, while committing a breach of ethics and trampling on the rights of thousands of working-class citizens. All of the chareidi and religious representatives are in agreement that the deluge of anti-religious decisions from the Supreme Court must be stopped, and we will work to rectify this injustice through legislation.”

MK Yisroel Eichler’s reaction was the fiercest of all: “We must tell the truth directly to the judges’ faces: You are not gaining any respect with the desperate way that you are clinging, with the last of your strength, to any remaining accolades that the media gives you. The citizens see your actions and understand their significance for your image. This does not gain any respect for the Supreme Court, whose standing has already been significantly lowered. The rulings that are meant for show always involve religious matters and erode the Jewish character of the state, and that simply proves that desperation plays a major role in this process. These are not serious judicial rulings. It is nothing but playacting. Honored judges, know this: The only memory with which you are leaving us is one of derision and humiliation. You will bear responsibility for the blood that you are spilling for the sake of a cultural war, which will burn all the bonds that connect the parts of Israeli society. You will forever be remembered in disgrace as tyrants who sought to destroy the Torah of the Jewish people. You will disappear into the abyss of obscurity that has consumed all the enemies of the Jewish people throughout the generations, and Torah-true Judaism will survive for all eternity.”


The Minority View: Shabbos is an Icon

There was also a minority opinion among the seven judges who sat on the panel, some of whom disagreed completely with Naor and felt that the petition against the opening of stores on Shabbos should be accepted. Judge Neal Hendel wrote, “It would be a sad irony if it was specifically in the State of Israel that harm should be done to the sociological and spiritual component of society that is the Shabbos day, which is anchored in the Law of Hours of Work and Rest. It is the Jewish religion that brought into the world the social revolution, perhaps the first of its kind, that is embodied in Shabbos, and the idea that is the basis of the weekly day of rest was accepted and implemented by all of humanity.”

Hendel went on to write, “In light of the impact of the municipality’s decisions on the ability of workers, employers and businesses to rest on Shabbos – not to mention the significance of Shabbos as a national and cultural icon – it should not be placed at the exclusive discretion of the local authorities. The ball may be in their court at the beginning, but when the relevant bylaws are submitted to the Minister of the Interior for approval, the ball is placed in his court, as a member of the government who represents the will of the Israeli public. He has the right to approve or disqualify those laws at his discretion.”

Justice Noam Sohlberg likewise felt that the appeal from the small business owners of Tel Aviv should be accepted. “Under the current laws,” he wrote, “a local government does not have the authority to allow businesses to operate on Shabbos… The intent of the law, as is abundantly clear from legislative history and from an unbiased reading of the Law of Hours of Work and Rest, indicates that the prohibition relates to places of commerce but not to recreational establishments, and that the ban is not merely personal but relates to the conducting of any commerce in a business establishment on the day of rest.”

What will happen now? Aryeh Deri revealed that he has already made a pact with the prime minister to bring new laws before the Knesset that will override the court’s decision. “This week, I made an agreement with Netanyahu to accelerate the implementation of two government laws that would give the Minister of the Interior the authority he needs to preserve the observance of Shabbos in the public sector, in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the Israeli public.”

The Ministry of the Interior has already distributed a rough draft of the proposed law to the members of the cabinet. The memorandum accompanying the bill notes that “in accordance with paragraph 258 of the Municipal Corporations Ordinance and paragraph 22 of the Local Councils Ordinance, no bylaw may be published until six days have passed from the time that the head of the municipality brings the bylaw to the attention of the Minister of the Interior, who possesses the authority to veto it.” In addition, the proposed law would specify that “any bylaw concerning the opening or closing of stores on the weekly day of rest, considering the significance and importance of this matter to the public, will require the approval of the Minister of the Interior in order to be established on record.”


Ongoing Neglect at Kever Rochel

Last week, I commented that the collapsed bridge on the Geha road, half of which has remained standing since the disaster, is an apt illustration of the way things work in our country. Half of the bridge has been destroyed, while the other half leads nowhere, but no one seemed to be in a rush to fix it. This week, I read that work is now beginning on the reconstruction of the bridge. That is interesting. However, I could write a similar comment about the road leading to Kever Rochel. This week, I was one of the tens of thousands of visitors who flocked to the site on Monday and Tuesday, and even on Sunday night.

Years ago, the Arab rabble who occupy the alleyways near Kever Rochel began throwing stones at the cars approaching the site. And what did our state do in response? They built a wall. The Arab youths then began hurling their stones over the wall, and what did our government do? They made the wall higher. Eventually, the Arab hooligans found a way to propel stones and Molotov cocktails over the higher wall as well, and the government responded by … making the wall even higher.

This isn’t to say that the soldiers and police don’t pursue the Arab rock throwers. It is simply that they manage to escape. The army has surveillance towers near Kever Rochel, and the soldiers on guard sound the alarm when they spot Arab rioters heading toward the site, but the Arab youths are faster than Israel’s soldiers. They always manage to escape and hide in the Arab ghetto. If a few stone throwers are captured, the Israeli judges show mercy to them, while other Arabs begin throwing stones in their absence anyway. They are like the frog in Mitzrayim that produced streams of smaller frogs whenever it was struck.

What is the solution? It is quite simple: to create a sterile area around the kever, where all entry is prohibited. Alternatively, soldiers can be stationed at all times outside the walls of the compound. There are certainly solutions. The problem is that no one is bothering to look for them. As far as the government is concerned, they can simply repeat the old refrain of “yihiyeh b’seder” regarding Kever Rochel, just as they did with regard to the Geha bridge.

Kever Rochel itself is deserving of extensive coverage; in fact, I wrote about it in these pages several years ago. Anyone who visits the site is bound to be dazzled by its transformation. If you remember how the compound appeared four or five years ago, you will see that there is a dramatic difference in its appearance today. There is one private individual who has invested a fortune in the site; it is not the work of the Israeli government or of any particular foundation. That, too, is a sad commentary on our government: There is always money for festivals and cultural events, but there are never funds available for spiritual purposes.


A Rash of Resignations from the Knesset

Last Monday, at the festive opening of the Knesset’s winter session, four new MKs were sworn in to their positions: Saeed Alkharumi, Salah Saad, Leah Fadida, and Mossi Raz. Before Sukkos, the Knesset issued three different announcements about the resignations of some of its members. The last one came on the day after Yom Kippur, when the public was informed, “MK Manuel Trachtenberg (Zionist Camp) submitted his resignation from the Knesset this morning to Knesset speaker Yuli (Yoel) Edelstein. The resignation will go into effect on Tuesday morning, 48 hours after its submission, as is required by law. MK Trachtenberg will be replaced in the Knesset by Saleh Saad. Saad was born in the Druse village of Beit Je’an and served for about 12 years as a combat officer in the security forces. He was placed on the Zionist Camp list as a representative of the Druse community in the Knesset.” Since that time, Zehava Galon of the Meretz party resigned from the Knesset as well.

On the day that announcement was made, I met Yuli Edelstein on his way to Mincha in the Knesset shul and I quipped, “I see that you never have a chance to leave the building.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because there are Knesset members coming to you all the time to resign!” I replied.

In all honesty, though, it is not a laughing matter. There is something about the Knesset that is causing its members to leave it.

During the summer recess, the Knesset held a special sitting to discuss the disability stipend and the crisis at Hadassah Hospital. Osama Saadi, another departing MK, gave his last speech at the sitting. “I hope that the coming year will not be viewed as one of the worst years for the Knesset,” he remarked, “but that will be the case if it passes two extremely racist, anti-democratic, and unconstitutional laws. I am referring to the Nationality Law and to the Basic Law: Legislation, as well as to the Muezzin Law, which I hope will not come before this Knesset.” Then he began bidding farewell to his colleagues. “I will take this opportunity to wish all of you a good year, and I would like to express my thanks to the entire Knesset staff. I have asked the Knesset speaker to relay my appreciation and admiration to all the employees of the Knesset, the Knesset clerks, and the various Knesset committees.”

As he was speaking, Oren Hazan entered the plenum and was surprised to hear his concluding words. “Are you giving a farewell address, Osama?” he asked. He had simply been unaware that Saadi was leaving.

“Yes,” Saadi replied. “I gave my farewell address. You missed it.”

“Unfortunately, you weren’t here at the beginning,” the Knesset speaker added.


Legal Acrobatics and Women’s Rights

These days, it is often impossible to tell who has taken which side of a conflict. Haaretz recently reported – with a negative slant, of course – that the leaders of the chareidi parties met with Justice Minister Shaked and Attorney General Mandelblit, and the group agreed to soften the enforcement of the regulations against the “exclusion of women.” The irrational outcry against “exclusion” began when Tzipi Livni was serving as the Minister of Justice. At the time, a team of legal experts came up with a series of utterly absurd suggestions to limit the “exclusion” of women in the public sphere. According to their suggestions, a mechitzah would be permitted only in a shul – and even there, it would barely be acceptable.

Dina Zilber, the deputy attorney general, was appointed to carry out the committee’s recommendations, which were approved by the government at the time. She did her job in the harshest and most rigid way possible. She fought gender segregation at religious events, even when it was based on religious desire, and even when the women themselves asked for it. She worked obsessively to force the genders to mix; her determination was almost impossible to believe. For instance, she ordered the city of Yerushalayim to remove signs that were placed on the streets on Sukkos last year asking men to use one side of the road and women to use the other. For some reason, she felt entitled to force us to accept the mixing of the genders.

According to Haaretz, the government has now decided to temper its efforts to reduce gender segregation. In other words, the government will be intelligent about the matter, at least a little bit. The news was spread on the same day through one of the chareidi media outlets, where it was billed as a chareidi achievement. This type of pronouncement, though, cannot be very helpful. On the day both of these reports were released, Gil Lemon, an aide to the attorney general, wrote to MK Nahamias: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the information presented in the media was not correct.” He went on, “At the same time, I would like to emphasize that there has been no change in the attorney general’s essential stance, which is that the exclusion of women in the public sector is a form of illegal discrimination.” He pointed out that it was Zilber’s job to enforce the law, and he concluded, “The efforts to prevent the exclusion of women in the public sector will continue to be proportionate and cautious, preserving the essential legal criteria by which the claims of concrete cases of exclusion are measured, and while maintaining the delicate balances that are necessary in every case.”

All of this doesn’t add up. If the government is “softening” its stance, then how can it be that there has been no change? And what does he mean when he says that it will “continue to be proportionate and cautious”? On the contrary, Zilber’s campaign against “exclusion” was draconian and unrestrained. This country’s jurists seem to have a fascinating ability to engage in doubletalk.


Hundreds of Jewish Gentiles in Sweden

Recently, we have been hearing about the “lost children of Agadir.” Sixty years ago, an earthquake in the city of Agadir, Morocco, killed 15,000 people, including dozens of children in the Chabad yeshiva of the city, along with their rabbeim, Rav Chaim Elbaz and Rav Masoud Kakon. Some of the survivors were adopted by Christian families. Today, those children have grown into adults and are living as non-Jews, primarily in Belgium.

When I heard about this, I was reminded of an encounter that I had two months ago. At a Shabbos organized by the Hidabroot organization, I met a rebbetzin by the name of Sarah Klein (née Beinhorn), who was born in Munkatch and was a survivor of the Nazi death camps, who has authored a book to record her life story for posterity. After her release from the death camps, she traveled to Sweden, along with many other survivors.

Many Jewish survivors of the war were wandering through Sweden at the time, most of them adrift and alone in the world. The Swedes took pity on them and allowed many orphaned Jewish girls to settle in their country, while many Zionist and Reform organizations set up institutions to take in these survivors and ship them off to Eretz Yisroel. In Israel, unfortunately, they became kibbutzniks and other such elements of Israeli society. These were girls from frum families, many of them chassidish, who unfortunately were torn away from their religion. Other girls were taken in by Christian families in Sweden who volunteered, as a humanitarian act, to raise these young girls who had no one else in the world. None of them could turn down the act of “chesed” that effectively turned them into gentiles. The only people who fought for the souls of those girls were my grandfather and Rav Shlomo Wolbe, who founded the Lidingo school together. The Swedish government limited the enrollment in the school to 84 girls and threatened to close it down if they accepted more than that number. A few extra girls were nonetheless taken in and registered as counselors. All of them were brought to Eretz Yisroel, where my grandfather saw to it that all of them were married off. But that is not the subject of our discussion.

“Tell me,” Rebbetzin Klein said to me on that Shabbos, “have you ever thought about all the girls who were less fortunate?”

I sank into a long, tearful silence. Finally, I said, “I remember that when my father served as a rov in Copenhagen, he would be called to Sweden to bury women who were discovered only after their deaths to have been Jewish.” That meant that in Sweden, after the war, dozens or even hundreds of Jewish girls, most of them from frum families, grew up without remembering that they were Jewish, and went on to marry non-Jews and raise families of their own. Most of those women have probably passed away by now, but a few of them are undoubtedly still alive and over 90 years old. In Scandinavia, longevity is very common, and it is therefore quite likely that some of those women are still alive.

Not only that, but the children of those women are halachically Jewish. That means that there are hundreds of Jews in Sweden today who are not even aware that they are Jewish, and who lead their lives as if they are full-fledged gentiles. That is a truly frightening reality. If the fate of a handful of children from Agadir has led to a major uproar right now, what about all the elderly Swedish women who are actually Jewish, along with their children and grandchildren?


Rav Meir Shapiro’s Take on History

Last Friday marked the 84th yahrtzeit of Rav Meir Shapiro zt”l, who passed away at the age of 56. Rav Meir did not have any children to survive him, but he left a formidable imprint on the world as a whole. The things that he accomplished in his years on earth simply defy understanding. He was a rov in Galina, then in Sanok, and then in Petrakov. He also founded Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, served a member of the Polish Sejm, and held the position of president of Agudas Yisroel in Poland. Then, of course, there was his most well-known legacy, the founding of Daf Yomi. In a way, it can be said that Rav Meir was survived by countless progeny. Everyone who learns Daf Yomi, and all the dapim of Gemara that are studied throughout the world as part of Daf Yomi, are his spiritual offspring.

In addition to all that, it seems that Rav Meir was even a journalist of sorts. During his tenure as the rov of Lublin, Rav Meir published an article in the French Jewish newspaper La Tribune Juive. The sensation evoked by his writing, along with the message of his article, led it to be published in other venues as well. The article dealt with the Chasam Sofer’s battle against the Reform movement. Here is an excerpt:

“About 100 years ago, there was a battle between two different streams of Judaism. One was moderate and compromising, while the other firmly resisted compromise. Both emphasized that they were interested only in doing what was best for the Jewish people and religion. To an observer watching the battle from the sidelines, it was difficult to understand and to define the two sides. Such a person would have lacked the simple clarity he needed to recognize which side he should join. But today, so many years later, it is easy for us to make that determination. The history of each side’s development is now clear to us, and the fruits of their actions make it possible for us to understand the broader picture.

“Pressburg and Prague are two cities that have become well known in the Jewish world. They were renowned for their rabbonim, their great scholars, and their thriving Jewish communities. When the period of the Haskalah began, though, many Jewish leaders considered it appropriate and even a ‘sacred’ obligation to change the nature of Jewish life, to ‘improve’ it, and to alter it to fit in with their non-Jewish surroundings. Many of those ‘improvers’ erroneously believed that being flexible and making concessions would enable them to capture the hearts of the most people and to save them from assimilation, Rachmana litzlan. But that was not the view of the Jewish leaders who were solidly rooted in emunah. They did not allow themselves to be corrupted by the spirit of the day. Instead, they called out courageously and proudly, ‘No! It is forbidden to permit the erosion of Judaism, to compromise or to make concessions. We will keep it complete and whole, and to that end we will fight with self-sacrifice and with all our might.’ Pressburg and Prague became the centers of the conflict between these two sides, where each fought with various means to improve the situation of the Jews as it saw fit.

“In Pressburg, the momentum of the Haskalah came to a halt when it encountered a formidable barrier, strong as iron, in the form of the Chasam Sofer zt”l. With his slogan of ‘chodosh assur min haTorah,’ he completely repelled every effort to ‘improve’ Jewish culture. His son and successor, the Ksav Sofer, also did not change even one iota of his father’s holy teachings.”

Rav Meir goes on to describe the Reform movement’s oppositional stance and concludes, “Thus, a war raged between the proponents of ‘chodosh assur min haTorah’ and those who claimed that ‘horaas shaah’ justified their position, and each side had its own supporters and opponents. The Jews of Poland, who were far from the center of the battle, watched the ongoing struggles in eastern Europe and waited to see who would win and who would lose.

“Today, the results speak for themselves. When I was traveling from Poland to London on behalf of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, I had the opportunity to visit Pressburg and Prague and to examine how the Jews were living there.”

Rav Meir goes on to describe his visit to Pressburg, where the legacy of the Chasam Sofer was very much alive, where hundreds of bochurim toiled over their learning in the Chasam Sofer’s shiur room and there were numerous minyanim for every tefillah. The legacy of the Chasam Sofer had remained a very important driving force behind Jewish life in Pressburg. As for Prague, though, he relates that on the train to Prague, he mentioned that he wanted to see “Jewish Prague.” Another passenger on the train offered to accompany him, and took him directly to the cemetery.

“He showed me the tombstones of the Maharal of Prague, the Kli Yokor, and Rav Dovid Ganz zt”l. In another cemetery, he showed me the gravestone of the Noda B’Yehuda, and he pointed to the ruins of the old shul. And when I asked, ‘But where is the living Jewish Prague?’ the answer was that there were only 160 religious Jews in the city. When I showed my surprise and asked for the total number of Jews there, I was told that there were 35,000. Of course, my companion showed me right away that he wasn’t pleased with the situation, and he hurried to tell me that he had forgotten to show me something of importance. In his haste to erase my bad impression, he showed me what he considered a historic wonder: the Jewish communal building, which was decorated with a clock bearing Hebrew letters.”

With his inimitable sharp wit, Rav Meir concluded, “Yes, that is precisely the problem in Jewish Prague. The clock is moving forward, showing off its Hebrew, but life here has an entirely different face. The Chasam Sofer has been defeated.”


What Needs to Change

A talmid of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman from many years ago recently visited his illustrious rebbi’s home. Upon entering the apartment, he said in amazement, “I haven’t been here for fifty years, but nothing has changed. The walls, the furniture – everything is exactly as it was.”

Rav Shteinman looked at his talmid in surprise. “Why do you find that so incredible?” he asked. “Do you really think the walls of a house need to change? It is the person who lives in the house who should change!”


A Cross in a Jewish Classroom

There is always an outcry against any form of “religious coercion” of secular students in Israel’s public schools. At the same time, people seem to forget that the opposite problem also exists: There is a steady inculcation of pluralism in Israel’s public schools that borders on contempt for Judaism.

Here is one case in point: A certain family from a wealthy community recently enrolled their younger daughter in a religious school run by Lev L’Achim. They are happy for the girl to learn a little about Yiddishkeit, and Lev L’Achim is pleased as well, for their experience has shown that these families gradually grow more and more enthusiastic about Yiddishkeit as their children are exposed to it. Eventually, many of them seek to learn more about the religion themselves. The schools do not force Yiddishkeit on the children or their families; they are simply given the opportunity to experience it and discover that it has meaning to them.

This week, Rabbi Avrohom Zaibald, the director of Lev L’Achim, received a letter from the mother of that young girl. The distraught woman related that she was concerned about the future of her older daughter, a pupil in one of Israel’s public schools. The mother explained that she had visited her daughter’s classroom and found a number of “educational” messages decorating the walls. The statements emphasized that the State of Israel will guarantee its citizens freedom of religion, equality, and all sorts of other values. The classroom posters also proclaimed that the state will preserve the sites that are sacred to all religions. Somehow, none of this disturbed her; it even seemed to fit well with her own values. There was something else, though, that disturbed the woman immensely: Next to these proclamations appeared the symbols of the three major religions. There was an image that appeared to be a Magein Dovid to represent Judaism, a crescent to represent Islam, and…a cross, the symbol of Christianity. “My daughter is learning in a classroom next to a cross!” the woman wrote in anguish to Rabbi Zaibald. Her letter was accompanied by a photograph of the offending symbol, and it was a truly saddening sight. For some reason, the academic “elites” of our country are horrified by the thought of anything that smacks of Jewish influence, but the presence of a cross in a classroom does not disturb them at all.




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