Kiryas Joel Committee of Peace & Harmony ad in the Times Herald Record Sunday June 28, 2015.
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
We the undersigned are living in Kiryas Joel and are members of the newly formed Kiryas Joel Committee for Peace and Harmony. According to the Torah by which we abide we must live peacefully and humbly with our neighbors. This is the way of the Jewish people and the beliefs which our blessed founder Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum dedicated his life to spreading with his known war against Zionism and the state of Israel which have broken the laws of exile.
Since the destruction of the holy temple we were sent in exile by God and we are forbidden to create our own state and to antagonize other nations. We are obligated to respect our government where we reside. An example of Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum’s work can be explained by a story that happened when he was walking down the street with an escort of his followers. A non-Jewish boy ran into the Rabbi and one of the Rabbi’s assistants placed the boy to the side. Rabbi Teitelbaum screamed at his assistant asking him why he would request the boy to move from his own street.
Our Holy Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum taught us only to beg, not demand the government for our needs. It is clear that he would never agree to use the kindness of our great government which allows us to vote, to use it as a tool to over-power our neighbors with a block vote as it seems has happened here and in East Ramapo. Furthermore one of the a biggest Torah sages before the Second World War Rabbi Shaul Brach of blessed memory of Kashao Hungary, author of a book called Chailek L’Olam Habbo (pg. 87) clearly states that it would be beneficial if the Jewish community did not participate in voting in government elections and this honor should be left to our neighbors. He further explains it could cause problems with our gentile neighbors as they would feel we are the decision makers of the outcome of the votes. His words speak the Torah view on the block vote.
Many people of Kiryas Joel strongly oppose how the village leaders have been behaving and how they have antagonized our good neighbors. To ignore the highest ranking officials of Orange County is in our opinion unacceptable to this committee and the righteous people of Kiryas Joel. The session that was scheduled during inclement weather that was not postponed so all interested parties could attend was unacceptable.
Due to our limited access to television and news, censored reports came back to us from village sources therefore most of the population of Kiryas Joel did not hear the concerns of our neighbors or how the village behaved. When the facts were revealed, they were shocked and felt misrepresented.
It is tragic that the opponents to the proposed annexation were called anti-Semitic when they have legitimate concerns and valid points. The residents that know that facts, have a difficult time communicating these concerns, or speaking out against the unholy behavior of their village. We were especially shocked by the last hearing on June 10 when some residents accused our neighbors of anti-Semitism and drew a parallel to the Holocaust and Hitler which we Torah true Jews see as terrible and dirty and false. To make a comparison of this nature to our neighbors and their concerns is unacceptable. A special pain for us was when an unfavorable assemblyman from Borough Park was invited to speak on behalf of the village leadership who has been known to antagonize the leader of our great nation because of his sharp Zionist views. We condemn his words and all similar attacks on our neighbors with the strongest terms possible. We must also condemn the appreciation letter which village leadership released to this assemblyman in the name of the entire community. THAT’S CHUTZPAH! Everyone knows that a huge part of the community was very angry at his presence and his speech.
Any annexation that antagonizes our neighbors of Orange County should not occur.
Furthermore, the existence of the K.J. School District and its willingness to operate as non-religious school is a blatant violation of the beliefs of the Torah and evidence of just how far the Village of Kiryas Joel has strayed from the teachers of our faith.
We pray daily for the terrible behavior of this leadership to end so we can live in harmony amongst our neighbors as Grand Rabbi Teitelbaum taught us and the Torah commands.
Rabbi Alter Moshe Goldberger, Rabbi Mordechi Teitelbaum,
Rabbi Moshe Hirsch, Rabbi Yoel Loeb, & Rabbi Yakov Mermlstein
Feel free to contact the Kiryas Joel Committee of Peace & Harmony
or write us at P.O. Box 1216 Monroe NY 10949