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Time for Soul Searching

On the evening of Monday April 2nd the Beis Yehudi synagogue, which serves as the informal headquarters for Neturei Karta in America, was completely destroyed by fire. The premises also served as the home of Rabbi Moshe Dov Beck and his family. Fortunately they were away at the time, but all their belongings were also lost in the blaze. The flames destroyed thousands of religious books, archives and many of Rabbi Beck's as yet unpublished writings, ranging from Talmudic insights to theological treatises.

The police and fire departments originally suspected arson given the many threats which Neturei Karta and many of its leaders and members are subjected. Eventually they concluded, as reported in the media, that the fire was accidental.

Unfortunately, there is no doubt that Neturei Karta's vigorous rejection of Zionism has earned them the blind hate of some misguided Jews. During and after the blaze there were those who drove by the synagogue hurling insults and shouting joyfully. Their hate seemed almost homicidal. It had no bounds.

Of all the tragedies that Zionism has brought upon our people, surely this is one of the worst. It has made Jews, since the inception of this idealogy, capable of rejoicing in the suffering of other Jews and seeking their destruction. All, for no other reason than that the latter reject Zionism and seek positive relations with the Islamic world.

Has the track record of Zionism and its protection of Jewry proved so impressive over the past century that we must utterly demonize those who suggest another approach? Are we so confident that the endless series of wars begun in 1948 are the ideal state for the Jewish people? Are we so sure of Zionism's teachings that some of us now rejoice in the stifling of other opinions (opinions, of course, once universal amongst Jewry) and welcome violence against those who maintain them?

The ideals and activities of Neturei Karta will, of course, with the help of the Almighty go on. They are not limited to one building, but are the eternal heritage of all our people.

In the face of the current tragedy, perhaps, the best course for those whose irresponsible rhetoric has created the current climate of hate against NK would be to take a long look at their own hearts and the Zionist movement, in whose name they hate so much, so long and so hard.

Perhaps, in that soul searching they will find that true care for the Jewish people and all mankind may be found outside the box of the Terror to which they have assented. Perhaps, there they will finally find the true faith and compassion of traditional Torah beliefs.


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