July 16, 2013—SnyderTalk Editorial: People of Mea Shearim, You Should be Ashamed


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2--SnyderTalk Editorial 3


People of Mea Shearim, You Should be Ashamed

Israel has a growing problem with its religious community, and the more orthodox the community, the bigger the problem.  I don’t pretend to know everything that there is to know about it, but I have spent a great deal of time in Israel over the past 15 years talking with Israeli Jews and I follow developments in Israel closely, so I know enough about it to draw some conclusions.

The religious community in Israel is eerily similar to the welfare community in the United States.  Many if not most of them don’t work.  They like to think of themselves as “students”, but they don’t study math or science or other subjects that might prepare them to function in Israeli society.  Instead, they spend their time supposedly “studying the Torah”, but that’s not true for most of them.  They actually study what ancient rabbis said about the Torah.  For those of you who are familiar with serious Bible study, that’s the equivalent of studying commentaries on the Bible and pretending that you are studying the Bible itself.

The Shas Party in Israel is the religious party, and since Israel has a parliamentary form of government, over the years Israel’s prime ministers have had to make deals with the religious community in order to form governing coalitions.  In the process, political powerbrokers in the religious community have extracted huge sums of money to subsidize the lifestyles of religious Jews in Israel at the expense of working Jews.  As a result, they have created a permanent dependent class in their society that has become an enormous drain on the system.

Like the United States and other Western democracies, Israel’s budget is bloated, and political leaders in Israel are being forced to come to terms with fiscal reality.  They realize that they can’t continue pouring scarce resources into things that produce little or no appreciable results.  Thus, they are making cuts in welfare programs for the religious community, and they are raising questions about the wisdom of allowing religious Jews in Israel to avoid the draft.  The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is doing everything it can to make room in the military for them and a growing number of religious Jews are beginning to recognize that they have an obligation to serve in the military.  At the same time, political leaders in Israel are raising concerns about the lack of traditional education that religious Jews receive, and they are beginning to demand that religious educators meet minimal requirements so that students in yeshivas (religious schools) can function in society.

The upshot of all of this is that the religious community in Israel is irate and becoming increasingly violent, and politicians in Israel have distinguished themselves by sticking to their guns and demanding more from those who have been on the dole all of their lives.  Recently, the conflict between the two groups has taken an ugly turn.  Religious Jews are becoming more brazen as they vent their frustrations.  Specifically, they are targeting members of their own community who have made the decision to go along with the much needed changes.  Those who have joined the military, in particular, have become victims of mindless physical attacks by unruly mobs that are acting more and more each day like Palestinians.

This is backdrop to the following news articles coming out of Israel right now and many others like them:

The soldier, who was wearing a knitted kippah at the time of the attack, recounted the incident in an interview with Israel Hayom:

“I was walking home when an extremist haredi started yelling my way, ‘hardak [haredi cockroach], burn in hell.’ I asked him, ‘What did you say?’ And, instead of answering me, he spit in my face and punched me in the jaw. I grabbed him and tried to hold him until the police arrived. When someone tried to break us up, the haredi ran toward Mir Yeshiva. I chased him and caught up with him at the entrance to the yeshiva and we started fighting again.”

Rabbi Haim Druckman, a venerated spiritual leader of the religious Zionist movement and Rosh Yeshiva (dean) of the ‘Or Etzion’ yeshiva (religious academy), reacted with shock to the ferocious attack by hareidi Rabbi Shalom Cohen of Shas on the religious Zionist stream.

Rabbi Cohen – dean of the ‘Porat Yoseph’ yeshiva  in Jerusalem and member of the hareidi Shas party’s Council of Torah Sages—labelled religious Zionists “Amalek” and asked rhetorically, “are these even Jews?”, in a televised sermon delivered at week’s end in the presence of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shas’s spiritual leader.

At one point, he specifically mentioned Rabbi Druckman by name, as he spoke disparagingly of the possibility that Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, a religious Zionist, would be appointed chief rabbi.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday morning railed against what he called “incitement” by one of the most senior religious figures of Shas. In a video posted Sunday morning (Hebrew) on the Haredi website Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Shalom Cohen, a member of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and the head of the influential Porat Yosef Yeshiva, is seen calling national religious Israelis “Amalek” and suggesting that they aren’t Jews.

Amalek was a Biblical tribe that attacked the Israelites from behind while they wandered in the desert. In the Biblical narrative, its members were designated a special evil deserving of extermination.

Referring to the national religious Israelis by the colloquial Hebrew term for “knit kipa” — the preferred headgear for such Jews — Cohen declared in a sermon delivered Saturday night that “as long as there are knit kippot, the [divine] throne is not whole. That’s Amalek. When will the throne be whole? When there is no knit kipa.”

President Shimon Peres called on the haredi community to support ultra-Orthodox soldiers during a meeting with haredi troops on Sunday.

“I call on the heads of the haredi camp to be proud of the haredi soldiers, just as we are proud of you,” Peres told the soldiers.

There has been a string of recent attacks perpetrated by haredi men that have targeted haredi soldiers. Many haredim oppose the idea of fellow haredi men drafting into the army.

Peres grounded his speech in the teachings of the Bible, saying, “we must protect against all acts of violence – these acts are against the concept of the ten commandments.”

Peres’ call for haredi support of haredi soldiers, corresponded with another attack which took place in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim. Police reported that two haredi men attack a uniformed soldier. Mea Shearim was the scene of a similar attack against a haredi soldier several days ago.

The Mea Shearim community has become ground zero for the raging battle.  It’s an ultraorthodox community that’s located a few blocks away from the Old City of Jerusalem.  The following YouTube videos will give you a good idea what the violence in Mea Shearim looks like:

On our recent trip to Israel, my wife and I decided to take a walk through Mea Shearim on Shabbat.  We chose that day because we thought that we would be less likely to encounter violence on Shabbat than on any other day.  Thankfully, we were right.  Below are a couple of pictures that I took while we walked through the community.  For your information, I took very few pictures to reduce the likelihood of an incident; I carefully avoided taking pictures of people who were moving about; my wife wore very conservative clothing, again to reduce the likelihood of an incident; and we didn’t linger in any one place for very long.

0 ST Editorial Picture 1

Mea Shearim on Shabbat

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Mea Shearim on Shabbat

Several days later, I was talking with a group of Israeli Jews in Tel Aviv about our time in Mea Shearim, and one young woman told me that we were fortunate to have avoided violence.  She said that she wouldn’t go into that neighborhood for any reason.  It’s easy to understand why.

As an ardent supporter of Israel and as a lover of Yahweh, I can tell you without any hesitation that I am ashamed of what the ultraorthodox community in Israel and the people in Mea Shearim, in particular, are doing.  From my perspective, they have become parasites on the State of Israel, and they need to be held to a higher standard even if they won’t live by the standards that they are supposed to be studying—the ones set by Yahweh.

Incidentally, if I had said “Yahweh” while we were walking through Mea Shearim and someone had overheard me, there is a distinct possibility that my wife and I would have been stoned, and I mean that literally.  It’s disgraceful that Yahweh’s people are forbidden from even speaking His Name among the people in Israel who profess to love Him best.  I think that they should spend more time studying the Torah and less time studying the Talmud.  This should be obvious, but obviously it isn’t: the Torah is Yahweh’s word and the Talmud isn’t.



9--Jerusalem Post


Hamas shaken, cautious after Egyptian upheaval

Israeli officials skeptical of Hamas claims of EU back-channels

Report: Hamas has recovered since Pillar of Defense, can produce rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv

Israel calls Polish ban on ritual slaughter ‘totally unacceptable’

Report: Israel launched air strike on Syrian arms depot from Turkish military base

Assad’s forces advance into rebel-held district of Damascus

MKs concerned biometric database will be abused, bring ‘Big Brother’

Lapid decries threats as Histadrut declares port labor dispute

After Ahmadinejad feuded with Iranian parliament, Rouhani tries to mend fences

Israeli Arabs strike, hundreds march in protest of Prawer-Begin plan



10--Arutz Sheva


Muslim Extremists Force Jews From Temple Mount

Israel Summons Polish Ambassador Over Shechitah Ban

Gantz: Army will have to Shrink

Likely Soon: U.S. Visa Requirement to be Waived for Israelis

Hamas Testing Missiles That Can Reach Jerusalem

Culprit in Hevron Massacre to Manage Holy Site

Iran Attack “Not on the Table”

Israeli UAV Crashes Near Border with Egypt

Syrian Preacher: It’s All the Jews’ Fault 

Egypt Freezes Assets of 14 Top Islamists





The last of the Aramaic speakers

Italian Jewry backs black politician targeted by racism

Seven routes to the Maccabiah

Netanyahu calls for stronger Iran sanctions, ‘credible’ military option

In Barcelona, echoes of long-lost Jews

Major electoral reform bill delayed by Hatnua concerns

While their eyes were on Egypt

Anti-Semite spurs rehab of Shoah boat

Travel website ranks Yad Vashem among top museums

Dutch patience with Netanyahu is running out



12--Other News


Israel increasingly concerned as tensions flare in Sinai

Report: Turkey helped Israel target weapons in Syria

Syria Denies Latakia Strike Occurred; Israeli TV Releases Satellite Footage of Site (VIDEO)

Report: Hamas making rockets capable of striking Tel Aviv

Netanyahu: Israel Insists That Iran Closes Illegal Nuclear Facility in Qom, Halts Enrichment

US fears Iran will develop a nuclear bomb ‘under the radar’

Another soldier attacked: ‘They called me a stinking hardak’

Fort Hood Massacre Survivor Blasts Atty General Holder for Terrorism Denial

Egyptian military demolishes Gaza tunnels

Congress, Obama administration argue over Israeli visas





Nadav Shragai: The Temple Mount was not destroyed— Some 1,954 years after the destruction of the Second Temple and 46 years after Jerusalem’s liberation, mourning for our lost Temple has become the exclusive preserve of religious and haredi Jews. Even among religious Jews there is scant genuine grief. A recent public opinion poll solicited by Temple Mount groups showed, not surprisingly, that 62 percent of Israeli Jews oppose rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount.

Gary Gambill: Iran Makes an Epic Blunder in Syria—The growing infusion of Iranian-backed Lebanese and Iraqi Shiite fighters into the Syrian civil war is causing some veteran pundits to panic. Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, warns that “Iran is beating the U.S. in Syria.” Former Bush administration deputy national security adviser Elliot Abrams sees “a humiliating defeat of the United States at the hands of Iran.”

Jay Adler: ‘Blowback’ and the Rhetoric of Revenge—Terror apologia begins by denying the very meaning of the word terrorism, but slyly redirects the charge at the Western nations that use the word. Anticipating the counter charge of apologia itself, apologists attempt to preempt the charge by proclaiming the obvious moral wrong of terrorist acts and then focusing their attention on a purported intent not to excuse, but to explain them.

Yehezkel Dror: Where does the future of the Jewish people lie?— Among the many challenges we face as a people, becoming irrelevant in a new age for humanity is top of the list.

Jeremy Rosen: No Savior Will Save the Ultra-Orthodox From Subsidy Cuts—On my first visit to Prague some fifteen years ago, I was stunned to see a statue of the great sixteenth century Rabbi Loew, by the twentieth century Czech sculptor Ladislav Jan Šaloun. It stands at the side of the New Town Hall. He is depicted as an evil, looming, glowering wizard, like the evil Queen in “Snow White”, with “the hounds of hell” glaring from behind his cloak and the supine naked body of the church at his feet. There have been attempts to explain away the obvious, but it won’t wash.

AFP-Al Arabiya: Muslim Arab Bedouins Serve as Jewish State’s Gatekeepers—Lt.-Col. Magdi Mazarib, a Bedouin Muslim Arab who grew up in northern Israel, is the Israeli army’s highest-ranking tracker. He commands a small unit of Bedouin soldiers who use their field craft skills to serve as the Jewish state’s gatekeepers. “This is our country,” he states in perfect Hebrew with a light Arabic accent.

Adam Levick: No Reports of Jewish Riots After Grossly Antisemitic Show Begins Airing on Arab TV— The streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and every other city throughout Israel – and in communities outside of Israel with large Jewish communities – were calm over Shabbat despite the decision by several Arab TV satellite channels to begin airing an antisemitic mini-series during Ramadan called “Khaybar.”  The program reportedly demonizes Jews, who are depicted as immutably “treacherous” and the “enemies of Islam” who “can’t be trusted”.

Faith J. H. McDonnell: Hoping Against Hope for Equality in Egypt—Christians help win the battle of the People’s Revolution — but the struggle is far from over.

Raymond Ibrahim: The Supremacist Nature of Muslim ‘Grievances’— In 2012 in Pakistan, as Christian children were singing carols inside their church, Muslim men from a nearby mosque barged in with an axe, destroyed the furniture, desecrated the altar, and beat the children.  Their justification for such violence?  “You are disturbing our prayers…. How dare you use the mike and speakers?”

Larry Domnitch: Tisha B’Av and the First World War—According to tradition, the messiah is born on Tisha B’Av. It also stands to reason that the redemption of the Jews can only follow their exile.



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4--Scripture of the Day

Hosea 7: 13-14

Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me. And they do not cry to Me from their heart when they wail on their beds; for the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves, they turn away from Me.


5--HNIY Print form

His Name is Yahweh explains why the Name of God, Yahweh, is so important.  It’s available in eBook format and in paperback.  It’s also available for free in PDF format.

  • God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This [Yahweh] is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3: 15)
  • “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)
  • “Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.  In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
  • Yeshua said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8: 58)


6--His Name is Yahweh Audio Presentation


Peter said Jesus is Yahweh

Click here to download the entire audio presentation for free and with no strings attached.  Share it as often as you want.

6--Freely You Received Freely Give



14--Blessings from Revelation

Blessings in the Book of Revelation is a book that you need to read, especially now.  There are blessings throughout the Scriptures but Revelation is the only book in the Bible actually containing a specific blessing for reading it. It’s repeated twice, once at the beginning and again at the end. This is the reason that I believe Revelation should be the first step toward studying biblical prophecy. Though not easy to do, Revelation can be broken down and understood by anyone, not just the academic elite. So, Revelation’s blessings are for everyone.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.


Other Books by Neil Snyder

  • Stand! is a suspense novel that exposes the lies, corruption, and greed underlying the theory that man-made CO2 emissions are responsible for global warming.  Professor Wes Carlyle and Karen Sterling, his research collaborator, carefully scan the audience for their would-be attacker—a member of the enviro-gestapo who has been following them for days.  Wes spots his man in the back of the room leaning against the wall.  Suddenly, another man in the audience steps forward and moves toward Karen at a menacing pace.  With a vicious stroke, he swings a billy club at her head.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life? deals with a question that every Christian has to consider: what should I do with my life?  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • Falsely Accused is a true story about a young woman who was accused of committing a double homicide.  It’s about a travesty of justice, and it reveals Yahweh intervening in the life of a believer to rescue her from danger in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  Everyone will enjoy the book, but young people in particular need to read it because the mistakes made that led to the problem could have been avoided.  They were the kinds of mistakes that young people are prone to make.  As they say, forewarned is forearmed.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.

15--Concentric Circles

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