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July 24, 2009

Rabbi Lopatin Accepts Invitation to Visit Me’ah She’arim

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/rabbi_lopatin_accepts_invitation_to_visit_meah_shearim_20090724/

Rabbi Pinchas Lipschutz, editor and publisher of the US Yated Ne’eman has invited me to see first hand the Chareidi community in Me’ah She’arim, and I have accepted that invitation, hopefully in the form of a mission to Israel of unity, achdut, within the Orthodox community.  I am first quoting the invitation, given on his blog, Matzav and in the Yated, and then my response, posted on his blog as well.  Check out Vos Iz Neiss blog as well, which uploaded my piece on Chilul Hashem and Kiddush Hashem and then 200 responses - some deliciously vicious against me, but others paving a new approach, I believe, in the Chareidi community.

I invite Lopatin and the rabbi who wrote in The Jerusalem Post to join me for a visit to Meah Shearim. Let’s go visit the stores and places of business of the Reb Aralach - yes they do work - and see how they conduct themselves. Let’s visit their homes and see how they live. Let’s follow them to the Beis Medrash and observe them davening and learning. We’ll go to the rebbe and you can ask him all your questions. We’ll visit Ben Zion Oiring and watch a one-man chesed operation in action. We’ll talk to Uri Zohar and hear what he has to say. We will pay a visit to Rav Dovid Soloveitchik and you can ask him why he publicly referred to the sorry story as a blood libel. We can just stand at Kikar Shabbos and watch how these loving lovely people go about their daily affairs. If, G-d forbid there should be a need for another hafganah we can attend and watch how Yerushalmi yidden peacefully express their pain and how they are treated by the police. And we can stay till the bitter end and watch how the rif-raf comes and destroys the place. And then we can review together what we have seen and determine whether a re-evaluation is in order.

Dear Rav Lipschutz,

With a spirit of achdus and cheshbon hanefesh,I would like to take you up on your invitation to join you for a visit to Meah She’arim.  I have been there many times, as I’m sure most of us reading this blog have, and have been there for a tisch at Toldos Ahron - I believe - but it would be different going with you in a spirit of love and appreciation for acheinu beis Yisrael, who are so committed to Torah and Yiddishkeit - as all of us recognize.  I would like to organize an Achdus trip to Israel with Modern Orthodox rabbis, Centrist Orthodox rabbis and Yeshiveshe velt rabbonim all going together for the outstanding itinerary you propose for Meah She’arim, and then to continue into the Old City to visit Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim, then to walk on to Yeshivat Hakotel, Eish Hatorha, Yeshivat Porat Yosef,  and to end up in Talpiot Mizrach to visit Beit Morasha and in Bakkah to visit the Pardes Institute, led by Rav Daniel Landes, the great grandson of Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, zt"l.  I would like to invite also Rabbanei Tzohar - perhaps Rav Cherlow and Rav Yehoshua Shapira, as well as leading rabbanim in the Chareidi world in Eretz Yisrael.  Together we will show how the greatest Kiddush HaShem is the Achdus of Klal Yisrael and its Torah leadership.

Kol tuv and a gut Shabbos,

Asher Lopatin

Shabbat shalom to everyone!

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