Sunday, June 07, 2020

Rischa Daraiisa-22-Reprimanding and upbraiding a Racist Rabbi

Rischa Daraiisa-22-Reprimanding and upbraiding a Racist Rabbi

Season 1Ep. 22

Rabbis Kivelevitz and Bechhofer stridently condemn the opinion piece published by Rabbi Moshe Ben Chaim

in his on line magazine.

Ben Chaim's essay,which Kivelevitz deems a screed,displays great insensitivity and recycles standard condescending racist attitudes. Ideas,both Rabbis insist,that need to be stamped out and denied a public forum.

Rabbi Bechhofer describes the racist attitudes that still prevail in his home town of Monsey in the populace and in the police as part of the larger ugly prejudice in our country.

Kivelevitz believes Bechhofer hasn't gone far enough,and while condemning the violence protesters have unleashed against police and private property,cites the instructive opinion essay penned by David Remnick and the approach offered by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. when he addressed the American Psychological association In September, 1967 in understanding social unrest and vandalism.

"Urban riots", King said, “may be deplored, but . . . they are not insurrections. The rioters are not seeking to seize territory or to attain control of institutions. They are mainly intended to shock the white community. They are a distorted form of social protest.” Even looting, he insisted, is an act of catharsis, a form of “shocking” the white community “by abusing property rights.”

King quoted Victor Hugo to deepen his point: “If a soul is left in the darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”

Kivelevitz goes further in calling for education beginning at the youngest age in Yeshivos to breed tolerance acceptance and love for all mankind,including teaching the role slavery played in entrenching the odious attitudes that still filter in to our interactions today with persons of color.The Charedi schools remain neglectful in planting positive attitudes towards the African American wider community in their students.

Bechhofer attempts to see the fault lines for this development in the change of emphasis Rav Yitzchack Hutner

began in the 1950's when he rejected Rav Kook's inclusive agenda in favor of the Torah-only position of the Chazon Ish.

Hutner's Chaim Berlin produced many of the most important Jewish educators of the second half of the 20th century.

These administrators worked with blinders on,Bechhofer implies,and ignored the human compassion for others the Torah emphasizes.

Kivelevitz is quite skeptical in assuming that the roots for such endemic distrust and enmity lie in such a subtle source.

He does however describe how his Yeshiva high school education was laced with vile anti African American attitudes,and he often heard degrading racial epithets in Ner Israel bandied about by the Rabbeim.

He describes his childhood in Memphis,living in a neighborhood that due to white flight had become predominantly African American.The lessons of friendship and commonality he gained from his pleasurable innocent interactions with neighbors was cemented and enhanced by his Eastern European refugee father's displays of benevolence towards the Kivelevitz's African American tenants.

The elder Kivelevitz instructed his son that they were victims who were caught in a grip of poverty and frustration.

Sadly,that harmonious attitude was drummed out of him by his immersion in the Baltimore Yeshiva.

The school's zeitgeist was rife with the residue of anger lingering from the mid 1960's when ruthless attacks were perpetrated on Yeshiva students on the Garrison Boulevard campus.

The Rabbis make a pitch to share the ideals espoused in the Facebook group Bechhofer formed

Orthodox Jews against Discrimination and Racism.


  1. If several words were replaced with essentially equivalent substitutes, and the article were laced with righteous obscenity, and the byline named Minister Farrakahn, everyone would applaud it. But ein hachi nami, as it is, it reeks of triumphalism and denigration.

  2. how can u identify with mob that protests the tragedy of floyd ,who was a known criminal, black lives matter! & ignore the lives of hard working ,decent black security guards killed in cold blood protecting lives & property during these riot?why do black lives murdered by these thugs which outnumber blacks killed by cops 1000 to 1 not matter! this is leftist hipoctracy utilizing a tragedy for political agendas listen to the to the voices of afro americans as candice owens ,dr ben carson ,etc the reach a proper prospective

    1. See

    2. i was told by talmidim of rav hutner the reason the picture of rav kook was removed from his suka because at that time mizraci circles were using rabbi kook as a poster child where identifying with the rav equaled mizraci so he removed the picture from the public arena-suka in his home rav kooks picture remained intact

  3. Sorry for my English. I am following Mesora and specially Rav Moshe Ben Haim more than 10 years. I transmit his teaching to more than 100 peoples. Non of us, Jews from Europe and Israel see a racist comment in Rav Moshe Ben Haim opinion piece.
    We are very worry to see and realizing the enormous gap between Jews in the USA and Jews in Israel and Europe.
    Scarry and h'aval.
    With respects.

    Patrick Davidovici