December 29th 2011
RCA and OU Join in Condemning Extremist Violence in Beit Shemesh, Israel - and Call for Care to Not Assign Guilt to Entire Communities for the Actions of the Few
The Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union join together to strongly and unambiguously condemn the recent violence and intimidation committed by segments of the Jewish community in Beit Shemesh, Israel. As the largest body of Orthodox Rabbis, and the largest organization of Orthodox Synagogues, respectively, we call upon all involved to return to the peaceful ways of our sacred Torah and to respect the dignity of all human beings. It should be clear to all that this hateful activity does not represent Judaism.
We also urge all observers to recognize that the behavior of these hooligans does not in any way represent the attitude or demeanor of the Charedi community at large. The vast majority of Charedi Jews find these actions abhorrent, and the community should not be judged by the inexcusable conduct of a few.
Finally, as Rabbis and national congregational leaders we support the right and the duty of Israel's police to act with the full force of the law in putting an end to these illegal, and dangerous, activities.
The "downward spiral" of zealotry must be reversed.