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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Pashkevil To End All Pashkevil

Pashkevil are protest posters that are plastered on walls. They are particularly common in Jerusalem as a means of conveying directives to the public.
When I lived in Jerusalem, everyday there were posters about how, in the opinion of the poster maker, various rabbis, organizations or publications, created existential threats to the Jewish community.

There are also pashkevil about the dangers of attending public concerts. (Jewish music performed by Orthodox men and children with separate seating); the dangers of cell phones that have Internet access; and the dangers of certain books that expose the community to foreign concepts.
Now, I live in Ramat Beit Shemesh where new pashkevil were just plastered around the city regarding a new Yeshivah for boys, that in the opinion of the plasterer, does not conform to the ‘long standing’ traditions of Ramat Beit Shemesh. (Ramat Beit Shemesh was founded in 1998).
Pashkevil’s are anonymous. Although they carry the signatures of great Rabbis, these signatures are dubious at best and have seldom been proven to be authentic. To my observation, they seldom accomplish anything positive, while they serve the purpose of promoting division and hate amongst Jews.

This is what the Chofetz Chaim said about Pashkevil’s:

“I must speak out my heart about the manner of conflict taking place among the Jewish people. One camp publicizes its view with the signatures of all of its backers. The other side does the same. One of them wrote ‘the one with the most signatures wins’, and I say the one with the most signatures is creating unnecessary conflict in Israel. All of Israel is burning like a fire as each side places more and more ads condemning their opposition. Even the holy land of Israel is becoming a subject of controversy. I don’t know who permitted all of these terrible sins. Everyone is sure that he is saying the truth and it is the other opinion that is creating the argument. This is a grave error, because even if both are right, they have no right to violate the Torah. So many mitzvos are being violated. No good can possibly come out of this. Right or wrong, they are creating a chilul Hashem (desecration of G-d’s Name). Twenty-four thousand students of Rabbi Akiva died in one month, not because they argued, but because they argued improperly and caused a chilul Hashem. Certainly each one of these giants felt that he was right.”

So, with the help of my esteemed congregation, Kehilas Shivtei Yeshurun in Ramat Beit Shemesh, I designed a pashkevil of my own. The pashkevil is a verbatim letter of the Chofetz Chaim, signed by the Chofetz Chaim. We will cover every Pashkevil we can find with our pashkevil.

This is the pashkevil to end all pashkevil!

If you’d like to participate in our campaign or for your own copy of the “Chofetz Chaim Pashkevil” – please contact me.

Click here to download a PDF of the Pashkevil in Hebrew

Click here to download a PDF of the Pashkevil in English


Posted on 06/02 at 09:56 AM • Permalink
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Meet Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbi Yaacov HaberRabbi Haber has been a leading force in Jewish Outreach for the past 25 years. A founding trustee of AJOP, the Association of Jewish Outreach Professionals, he was the founder and director of the Torah Center of Buffalo from 1980-1990 while serving as a community rabbi in Buffalo. From Buffalo he and his family traveled to Melbourne, Australia where as a project of Kollel Bais HaTalmud he founded the Australian Institute of Torah, a national outreach and adult education program. He directed that program from 1990-1995, at which time he was sought out as National Director of Jewish Education for the Orthodox Union in the United States where he created the Internationally acclaimed and highly successful "Pardes Project."

In addition to his duties at the OU, in 1996 he replaced Rabbi Berel Wein as the spiritual leader of Congregation Bais Torah in Monsey, NY. In keeping with the position of Congregation Bais Torah in the Monsey community, Rabbi Haber was involved in issues involving the greater Monsey community, and counseled hundreds of individuals in the surrounding area.

Rabbi Yaacov Haber is the founder and driving force behind TorahLab. Through TorahLab, Rabbi Haber is bringing together educational and media specialists to create dynamic learning experiences which will be accessible to adults of all backgrounds and levels. Rabbi Haber has published numerous articles and books and is a sought after international lecturer.

Rabbi Haber and his family are presently living in Ramat Beit Shemesh where he is the Rabbi of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun.

Rabbi Haber can be contacted at yhaber@torahlab.org