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IRF Expresses Its Shock and Sorrow Over Events Captured On Wedding Video in Israel

December 24, 2015

The International Rabbinic Fellowship shares in the shock and sorrow of so many other rabbis, educators, political and communal figures and parents from across the political and religious spectrum at the profoundly disturbing video of a group of kippah clad youth at a wedding singing songs of vengeance and reveling in reenactments of acts of violence against Palestinians, including infants.

Although these anarchist youths are but a small group, this and other events in the last number of years raise serious questions about the educational messages that they have imbibed in various educational and communal institutions and in their homes. That even a few Jews identified with the observant community can act in this way is frightening and an admonition to us all. Such behavior is halakhically and morally repulsive and an ethical stain on the good name of Judaism and the State of Israel.

We trust the authorities in Israel not only to condemn this behavior but diligently work to prevent the awful acts it encourages.

As a small educational step, we call on all members of the observant community both in Israel and in the Diaspora to desist from playing songs of vengeance such as the one taken from the Book of Judges, at any wedding or other celebration that is held. We call on all people invited as guests to exit the circles of dancing when such songs are playing and express their disapproval.

It is incumbent on all of us - as rabbis, educators, members of our communities, parents, siblings and friends, to educate our students, children and one another in the Torah's standards of ethics and compassion even in times of conflict, and in the respectful arguing of disagreements, for the sake of, and out of our shared responsibility for one another and our commitments to God, Torah, the Jewish People, the Land of Israel, and the State of Israel.

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