More on Orthodox Rioting

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I’m currently translating Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz’s memoirs. He relates that in the early ’50s there was a group called Bris Kena’im, which would note the numbers of cars travelling through religious neighborhoods on Shabbos, and then set the cars on fire during the week. The Chazon Ish, zt”l, ordered Moshe Schonfeld to write a piece called “Violence is a Foreign Offshoot in Our Vineyard,” decrying all resort to violence as antithetical to Torah values.

I assume the zealots of the Chazon Ish’s day paid no more heed to his words than would their successors today. But the position of the Chazon Ish still deserves to be known.

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9 Responses

  1. Chareidi Leumi says:

    it could be that on this issue the Chazon Ish could have found common ground with Rav Kook. I have heard that he was also against hooliganism.

    There are also other things they found common ground on, “Avoda Ivrit” being just one.

  2. Jewish Observer says:

    it could be that on this issue the Chazon Ish could have found common ground with Rav Kook. I have heard that he was also against hooliganism.

  3. Michoel says:

    Look what Google produced: A direct quote from Yonason Rosenblum from Jewishmediaresources.com!

    “At the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Chafetz Chaim declared that had he been younger, he would have taken up arms against the Bolsheviks. The Chafetz Chaim apparently did not view the seeming hopelessness of a revolt by religious Jews as a bar to action. ”

    I have mamash a love-hate relationship with the internet.

  4. Erin says:

    I thought the brit kanaim was a right wing group which harassed communists, I did not know it was a religious one.
    This is what I found from google

    http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.06.13/lookingback.html

  5. Jewish Observer says:

    Are you saying that the Chazon Ish was AGAINST the torching of cars?

  6. Michoel says:

    Again… context, context, context. The Chazon Ish was not, chas v’shalom, being posel the Chashmonaim. I am trying to find a reliable source: I think I heard from Rabbi Avigdor Miller that the Chafetz Chaim once said that the Yidden in Russian should have revolted violently against the communists. There is a place for violence in our mesora. We need that its use be dictated by seichal and authentic daas Torah.

  7. Chareidi Leumi says:

    decrying all resort to violence as antithetical to Torah values

    Come now, I know that the CI did not believe this, so from where did such a gross generalization creep into the anecdote? One can oppose a particular use of violence while not opposing ALL uses of violence – after all “a time for war and a time for peace”

  8. Bob Miller says:

    Would it be out of place for the frum communities’ “anti-kenaim” to organize their own security to keep kenaim at bay?

  9. Joel Rich says:

    OK, but if the community can’t enforce this “psak” will they allow/assist govermental authorities (Israel or US) to do so?
    KT