Amongst all the condolence messages posted today on Israeli blogs and newspapers, in wake of the funerals of the victims from Mumbai, the following caught my eye. It was posted by someone from England:
“Tragic as the murder of Mr Teitlebaum is , it beggers belief the hypocrisy of himself and other followers of his anti zionist sect…. they just happen to choose to live in the Jewish State of Israel along with all it's benefits and yet refuse to be a part of Israeli society. Perhaps they should bury him somewhere in Eastern Europe.”
I was not surprised that the insistence of Mr. Teitlebaum’s mourning family that his casket not be draped with the Israeli flag, in quiet accordance with his beliefs, would be noted and reported by the press. (For what purpose, may I ask, did the press hasten to mention this rather unimportant item?). This invariably led to some negative comments. (Some people manage to be deridingly divided, even in times of sorrow.)
I would like to make a few clarifying comments to start. First, I would point out that Mr. Teitlebaum was a Satmer chassid. Satmer Chassidim do not “hold” by the secular government (feeling that G-d should have been the gatherer-in of the exiles, not a secular government), they do not vote in national elections, and in most cases they do not accept money from the government (for example, for their school system). Despite this, Satmer Chassidim are not against the Israeli people, and are not promoters of the more extreme “Neturi Karta” type of philosophy.
Now I come to my main point.
Excuse me, but why did Mr. Teitlebaum not have a right to live in Aretz HaKodesh (the holy land)? Since when do modern pro-secular government supporters have sole claim to the ground of Israel? Were the secular Zionists the first to return to Zion, or the religious founders of Petach Tikva? Who ever considered solving the Jewish question in Europe by migrating to Ethiopia?( Not the religious.) Who exorcised all mention of Zion from the prayerbook? (The reform, not the religious.)
Mr. Teitlebaum was working to produce kosher food for all Jews who cared for it. He was killed because he was a Jew located in a building that aids Jews and Israelis. Now if anything beggers belief, it is why someone in ENGLAND thinks that Mr. Teitlebaum does not deserve to be buried in the land of the Jews. And the hatred behind that is beyond my comprehension.