Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

13 Teves 5763 - December 18, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Gedolei Yisroel Meet To Confirm And To Brief Degel Hatorah's Candidates In Upcoming Elections
By Betzalel Kahn and Eliezer Rauchberger

Gedolei Yisroel met last week in Yerushalayim to discuss strategies and to set guidelines for their representatives in the current period. With spiritual darkness prevailing, the chareidi community currently faces one of its greatest challenges. Understandings with previous irreligious governments are newly being called into question, unbridled incitement continues and further encroachments are being made on our nation's spiritual treasures.

Participating in the meeting, which was led by HaRav Y. S. Eliashiv and held in the home of his son-in-law HaRav Ezriel Auerbach, were HaRav A. Y. L. Shteinman, HaRav M. Y. Lefkovitz, HaRav C. P. Scheinberg, HaRav N. Karelitz, HaRav Z. Markowitz and HaRav S. Auerbach.

The gathering of the Torah world's leaders and guides was itself a noteworthy occasion. The mutual love and reverence among these living links in the golden chain of Torah transmission was palpable in the atmosphere. It was evident that they shared a common purpose in banding together as a buttress against the storms that currently rage and a support for the broad ranks of Torah Jewry, who seek their guidance in these troubled times.

In the course of the meeting it was decided that Degel Hatorah's first three representatives on the United Torah Judaism party's list for the impending Knesset elections will be: Rabbi A. Ravitz, Rabbi M. Gafni and Rabbi U. Maklev.

The candidates were directed to maintain ongoing contact with the members of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah and their representatives. The fact that current issues are even weightier and more fateful than those that were aired in the past, makes it vital that the contact with the community's Torah leaders be smoother and closer knit than hitherto.

The candidates were called into the meeting and handed letters of appointment by the participants. They expressed their thanks for the trust that was being placed in them and undertook to act in accordance with the guidelines and decisions of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah.

At the end of the meeting, the gedolei Yisroel expressed their hopes and prayers for the success of the forthcoming difficult campaigns that chareidi Jewry must wage.

News of the meeting was greeted with excitement and reverence by the broad community of bnei Torah, in the hope that it will rally the entire Torah community and the masses of Torah faithful Jewry, in adherence to the directives of the gedolim and in sanctification of Heaven's Name.

Two days later, last Thursday, the United Torah Judaism party comprising Agudas Yisroel and Degel Hatorah, presented its list of candidates to the Central Elections Committee and once again, requested the letter "gimmel" as the symbol on its voting slips.

This step officially opens UTJ's election campaign, which it is hoped will unite all segments of the chareidi community and lead to the party increasing its representation in the new Knesset.

Among the first ten names on the party's list, five are representatives of Degel Hatorah and five of Agudas Yisroel. Heading the UTJ list is the chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, Rabbi Y. Litzman, of Agudas Yisroel. Second is Rabbi A. Ravitz, Deputy Minister of Education, of Degel Hatorah. Third place is occupied by Deputy Housing Minister Rabbi M. Porush, of Agudas Yisroel. In fourth place is the chairman of the Knesset's Interior Committee, Rabbi M. Gafni, of Degel Hatorah. In fifth place is Rabbi Y. Eichler, representative of Belz chassidus. The sixth place is occupied by Deputy Chairman of the Knesset, Rabbi S. Halpert, of Agudas Yisroel. In seventh place is Deputy Mayor of Yerushalayim, Rabbi U. Maklev, of Degel Hatorah. Occupying the eighth place is Rabbi Y. Cohen, the Director of Yeshivas Ger in Bnei Brak, an Agudas Yisroel representative. In the ninth place is Rabbi Z. Baumel, Director of the Toda'a organization, a Degel Hatorah representative. The tenth man is Rabbi Yosef Abu, Deputy Head of the Beit Shean Municipality, of Degel Hatorah.

At a joint meeting of all the representatives, it was resolved that in the event of UTJ's receiving five Knesset seats, a rotation arrangement would be implemented whereby Rabbi Eichler would step down after two years, giving his place to someone else.

The list's leaders stressed that the group, which has received the blessings of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, is an excellent one, combining older hands, with younger and new faces. Each candidate is a genuinely devoted representative of the community, who has the blessings of the gedolim and the broad support of the community. It is thus hoped that the list will rally the entire chareidi community and result in sanctification of Heaven's Name.


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