Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oh please

Not another "The Sabbath saves the Jews" story. Really?

Oh yes.

Yeshiva World News wants you to know, yes, you, that observing Shabbos saves Jewish lives.

Shabbos Observance Saved Yidden from Ill-Fated Polish Flight

According to Chabad shaliach in Warsaw, Rabbi Shalom Ber Stambler, a number of leaders of the local Jewish community are alive because they canceled their participation in the official state delegation, realizing the flight was on shabbos.

Rabbi Stambler stated the Polish president who was among the many government officials that perished in the crash was a true friend of the Jewish People and Israel. He stressed that President Lech Kaczynski showed his solidarity with the Jews by his actions, not just with words.

He pointed out that when the late president served as mayor of Warsaw, he played a major role assisting in the construction of the Jewish Museum, which is soon to open in the location of the Jewish ghetto area.

Rabbi Mordechai Shudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, was among those invited to accompany the president on the ill-fated flight. The rav explained he told the president that he cannot fly on shabbos, and his explanation was received and understood.

Ok, first of all, I've only ever heard the rabbi referred to as "Michael." A comparitive Google search backed me up. Only 1 result for "Mordechai Schudrich," and 4 for "Mordechai Shudrich." "Michael Shudrich" got 1,200 hits and "Michael Schudrich", his actual name, resulted in over 6,900 hits. Given that you are ostensibly a "news" site, I'm not sure why you can't be bothered to research and use his actual name, unless of course Michael seems too goyish for a rabbi.

But not only is this piece sloppy and in terrible taste (Group hi-five, guys! Yes, the top echelon of Polish politics was wiped out, but go us for keeping Shabbos!), the unspoken premise being advanced-- God saves Jews who keep mitzvot-- is ridiculously untenable. Ordinarily I wouldn't even bother to point this out because there are so many counter-examples. But in this case, it's contradicted by another YWN article posted the SAME MORNING.

Avreich Stabbed in his Jerusalem Home on Shabbos

Rav Nachman Yonah Leib [ben Raizel Shoshana) was seated at the shabbos table with his family on Friday night in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood when he noticed a significant amount of water on the balcony. He assumed a pipe had burst, perhaps in his neighbor’s home upstairs, prompting him to go upstairs to inform his neighbor of the situation. When the door opened upstairs, R’ Nachman was greeted with a punch to his face, knocking him down, followed by an attack with a knife. He was stabbed three times in his abdominal area.

The family heard screams and ran upstairs, horrified to find R’ Nachman on the ground, bleeding from his wounds. Emergency officials were summoned and Ichud Hatzalah was first on the scene, with first-responders working to stabilize his condition. He was transported to the trauma unit of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and following a number of surgical procedures, he is listed in moderate-to-serious condition.

Version 2: The neighbor and assailant, described as a “baal tshuva”, came downstairs requesting that the family sing zmiros in a lower tone, explaining they were disturbing him. An argument resulted and the neighbor stabbed R’ Nachman.

The attacker was lightly injured and he was transported in custody to Shaare Zedek Medical Center. He explained to police that his downstairs neighbor was disturbing his shabbos and that prompted him to direct a water hose onto his balcony.

Let me try to synthesize these two articles...

"God saves those who observes Shabbos! Except when you sing too loud!"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of stories that I've heard about ultra-orthodox riots on Shabbos. I recall a story of rioting at a parking lot that was open on Shabbos, resulting in vandalism and the attacking of police. I also recall the story of a protest at a factory that was open on Shabbos, with a similar outcome. And stories of people who drove their cars into ultra-orthodox neighborhoods on Shabbos and were dragged from those cars and beaten. So it seems that, in some minds, Shabbos observance warrants violence.