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Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach to Yad L'achim: Call for a national commission of inquiry... the matter touches the heart deeply… I pray for your success"

In 1957 (5717) the Torah Activists – Peylim, began to publish a pamphlet named "Echoes", which brought the stories of the anti-religious coercion of the Israeli government to public knowledge.


These activities, which were kept under wraps in the Israeli media, got wide coverage in "Echoes". Copies of the pamphlets were sent to many Israeli Rabbanim and Knesset members, and to public figures from the entire political spectrum and to the editorial boards of many newspapers.


In the Cheshvan 5718 Issue, an article appeared describing shocking stories of anti-religious coercion in the field of education, mainly regarding the pressure being placed upon religious parents to send their children to secular schools. One of the more deplorable cases was when the residents of "Sdeh-David", all of whom were religious immigrants from Morocco, were forced to send their children to learn in a secular school, and the Ministry of Education refused to establish a religious school for them. The residents joined together and signed a petition requesting a religious school for their children, and the answer they received from the Minister of Eduation, Mr. Ami Asaf, was that he rejected their petition, saying the signatures were forged!


A fitting quote from a letter that RavLifshitz, founding Chairman of Yad L'achim zt"l wrote: "The purpose of our endeavors…is to enlighten Torah-observant people of their right to a religious education… An elementary right of every citizen, is to educate his children according to his worldviews."


In the postcard before us, which was sent by Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, ZT"L, the Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Torah, and one of the great halachic authorities of last generation, to the Peylim, he writes about the content of "Echoes". His advice is to work in two directions in order to stop the coercion. 1) To publicize the scandal in a series of articles in the Charedi newspapers so that the impact should be stronger. 2) To appeal to the Israeli president and call for a national commission of inquiry.

 

His letter:

 

B"H

 

To the Activists of Peylim Yad L'Achim,


After wishing Sholom and Brocha to all of you together, and to each of you personally, I would like to tell you that I received a copy of your statement. Since the content matter touches one's heart deeply, I won't refrain from making some simple comments.

1) It would be beneficial to publicize all the stories which you wrote in "Echoes" and also this statement, in a series of articles over a period of time in the Chareidi newspapers, and this will surely have a stronger effect – and a greater "Echo".


2) Perhaps you should write an appeal to Mr. Ben Tzvi, (as a person who doesn't hate religion and perhaps even has some appreciation) and to beg him with heartfelt words to see if he could raise himself above the political parties and establish a truly apolitical commission of inquiry.


I pray for your success and sign with wishes of peace and blessings, that Hashem may be with you and crown all the activities which you strive to accomplish with much success.


S.Z. Auerbach

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