|We NEED You To Vote
As you probably know by now, HRH”G Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a has said “כדאי מאוד להצביע,” it is very worthwhile to vote, in the elections for the World Zionist Congress (WZC). This is in response to a letter from HRH”G Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky shlit”a, which asked in detail about the vote and its implications.
Please see the website of Eretz HaKodesh, a slate comprised of B’nei Torah, for more information and videos for your family, friends and fellow congregants, along with instructions on how to vote.
But to understand just how important this is, it is perhaps most worthwhile to consider what the Union for Reform Judaism has to say, in a letter their leaders sent out to their members: “The results of the election are nothing short of essential for the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), whose funding streams are determined by the results of the election.” [Emphasis added.]
What do they mean? Initially, the World Zionist Organization was controlled by secular Zionists who focused upon building the state. They built roads and universities, they planted trees, and observed an uneasy status quo with the religious. We did not desire to participate.
But then the Reform and Conservative movements waged a campaign to take over a significant share of the American seats at the WZC, and to partner with Israel’s left-wing parties. Again in their own words: “So much of the dramatic growth of our Movement in Israel throughout the past five years can be traced directly to our success in the 2015 WZC election.”
What do they mean? Think about how close they came to permanent changes at the Kotel HaMa’aravi, and the deference now given to the activities of the Women of the Wall (WOW) when they disturb traditional men and women simply trying to pray at the Kotel. Look at the efforts of the Israel Religious Action Center, headed by the same woman who also leads WOW, to oppose everything from mehadrin bus lines to traditional Jewish standards for marriage, divorce, burial, and conversion.
We must respectfully disagree. And the way to express our respectful disagreement is to vote for a slate of B’nei Torah that represent us and our views.
Think, as well, about the Reform curriculum introduced in Israel’s secular schools for the minimal time those children spend learning about “Judaism.” And consider the children who learned in Torah schools in France, unwittingly signed up to go to secular schools when their families make Aliyah to escape Anti-Semitism — from hatzolas nefashos to hatzolas neshamos, lo aleynu.
“V’Nahapoch Hu” — we can change all of this for the better. Whether or not you vote will determine, simply b’derech hateva, whether the Torah community has the resources, influence, and personnel to repair these breeches, or whether those who oppose us have the resources, influence and personnel to do further damage to our interests.
And they are scared that you will actually vote. “This year, our Reform partners in Israel have asked over and over again, with deep concern, about our campaign work here in the United States – and they cannot stress enough the importance of a strong showing by our Movement…”
Every frum person that does not vote thereby adds to their strong showing. Every frum person that does vote adds to ours. And this is why R’ Chaim said כדאי מאוד להצביע.
Please vote, and please encourage your family and neighbors to vote. The vote ends on Shushan Purim, March 11, so time is of the essence!
With Much Thanks,
Rabbi Mordechai Becher
Rabbi Aryeh Zev Ginsberg
Rabbi Zvi Gluck
Rabbi Martin Katz
Rabbi Pesach Lerner
Rabbi Yaniv Meirav
Rabbi Yaakov Menken
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik
Rabbi Moshe Boruch Parnes
Rabbi Eliyahu Prero
representing the DELEGATES TO THE ERETZ HAKODESH slate