ASKANIM

Judaism does not promote any other people's beliefs, ideologies or religions, as it is forbidden by the Torah and we are taught by Torah to adhere only to Yiddishkeit (authentic Orthodox Judaism) and leave the other religions alone, including their "religious liberties".


If the laws of the land apply to all its citizens who are of divergent beliefs, then when we Yidden (Jewish people) apply to the rulers of the lands in which we live for favourable treatment in religious matters, we can only ask for the religious liberties of Jews to be protected and extended, this in our name only, on our own behalf only, and without even mentioning the existence of “other religions or faiths” and without using similar words and phrases.


It is time that askanim withdraw from Associations of Independent Faith Based Schools or Institutions and suchlike in any and every country on earth.


We are very fortunate that governments are so understanding of our Jewish needs and are so kind and willing to help us.They also understand that we have a special way of communicating with them how they can best do this.


It is easy to ask politely or put in print, that certain desired outcomes be conferred on authentic Orthodox Jewish Schools or authentic Orthodox Jewish Institutions (or even on Jewish people in workplaces where Jewish people are employed so that our Jewish religious requirements are met by both Jewish and non-Jewish employers) without pointing to a law “ xyz ”. Pointing to such law would appear to be asking that those same benefits we are seeking be automatically conferred on other religions which it is not our business to do. And as mentioned above they, other religions are free to do so themselves if they so wish to do.


The words “authentic Orthodox Jewish Schools” and “authentic Orthodox Judaism” could be put in place of all irrelevant and inapplicable words in a piece of legislation if it is printed out, without the surrounding sections which make reference to other ideologies, to give the Government officials dealing with askanim an idea of what askanim are humbly requesting.


When correspondence is exchanged between askanim and government officials or in talks, which must be conducted separately from other religions, it is important that our replies to officials’ questions or correspondence are not framed in such a way as to imply approval of any decision which it is not our business to approve, but instead to indicate whether an outcome for Jewish Orthodox schools, for example, would be improved if “authentic Jewish Orthodox schools were allowed to…” or that “ an outcome for authentic Jewish Orthodox schools is “satisfactory”, “not requested", “not desirable” or “harmful” as the case may be.


It is also extremely important that there is absolutely no advancement of liberal and reform types of "Jewishpseudoism", which are actually a guide to anti-Judaism and which are detrimental to Jewish people and are a disgrace which should be outlawed as they contradict the Holy Torah and mislead people. While some of their students are actually Jewish and some others are not, but do not realize the fact that they are not Jewish, they are all also completely unaware they are not learning Judaism. It is forbidden to advance words and teaching contrary to Torah, even if its adherents call it “Judaism”.


Therefore the repetition of the words “ authentic Orthodox Judaism ” by askanim is very important.


It is also important not to identify Jewish people and Judaism with the words “independent schools” and “faith based schools”, because we are more “ authentic Orthodox Jewish” than any other of these other two descriptions and also for the other reasons stated above.


It would be a K”H a real Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of G-D’s Holy name to do as stated in the above paragraphs, and then all people would realize that Judaism is indeed different and that we are not giving a hechsher, a certificate of authenticity to everyone, simply because it is against the Holy Torah and the Holy Torah does not allow it.


American politicians make many laws for the funding of public and private schooling establishments or for the direct payment for students’ schooling including vouchers. They also make laws that determine workplace conditions and numerous other laws. Many private schools are run by diverse religions other than Orthodox Judaism. Some government funding in the USA is based on attaining secular results where it is allocated, and is equally open to “faith-based” and non “faith - based” organizations. Laws specifically naming authentic Orthodox Jewish schools may not be made under the USA Constitution, however the laws politicians make have a substantial effect on Jewish schools and Jewish people in general.


In the USA there is no legislative compulsion that askanim must act, or be forced to act on behalf of any particular group of individuals or any religion other than authentic Orthodox Judaism solely. Therefore it is a matter of great distress and great concern that despite this section of the First Amendment of the United States of America Constitution, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", the custom of interfaith participation in Advisory Committees and other interfaith events has become a “compulsory” item without which one could be possibly labeled as antisocial or be defamed or worse, chas v sholom! (G-D forbid) and without participation in which, it is not entirely clear whether funding would be withheld by officials or whether difficult laws would be framed.)


It would be easy for governments to establish separate Advisory Committees for authentic Orthodox Jewish participation only, and they should be encouraged to do this as a respectful gesture to us. To this day askanim make statements that mention everybody else’s religious rights that are already protected under the first amendment clause of the American constitution. Askanim have mentioned specific religions by name, finding it impossible to articulate ONLY the words “authentic Orthodox Jewish”, which would render their statements kosher.


The guiding principle is to ask oneself whether our own Moshe Rabbenu would have engaged in the way of interfaith under which heading all their behavior is listed. No, he would not have.


It also helps very much to remember Who is listening, it is G-D. Further, the repetitions of askanim in this fashion affects a whole community including impressionable children, in a line of thinking not in keeping with authentic Orthodox Judaism. Promoting the idea of freedom of religion for anyone is superfluous because there is such a freedom in the USA already and because according to our own beautiful and correct authentic Orthodox Judaism we can only ask for our the freedom of own religious rights, solely on our behalf, and again, not on anyone else's behalf, in separate forums, at different times, under our own banner. To argue the opposite shows to what extent interfaith has entered the minds of otherwise sensible Jewish people. We cannot say that askanim's actions in interfaith have nothing to do with this. The only way "history" matters is to remember our own history and the consequences of not remembering what it teaches us, and what it is we have been promised by Hashem in the Holy Torah that will be apportioned according to our own behavior for good or otherwise.


The fact that governments see interfaith as a way to stop inter-religious hatred should not deter them from releasing Jewish people from any obligation to participate in interfaith since it is against our authentic Orthodox Jewish religion to participate in interfaith, and no one should feel offended by it. Jewish people hold all humanity in great esteem, and we don’t need to inquire, in the normal course of events or otherwise about another person’s religion as we have many courteous day-to-day business interactions with people not of our religion and have done so throughout our history till this day and will continue to do so b’ezrat Hashem, with Hashem’s help


It is very important that askanim express to the government what it is that they feel is the best for Jewish people - from our own unique perspective, in forums separate from other religions, and without any other interfaith, and for that they would be commended.


The principle that askanim not be seen, heard or known to be acting on behalf of other religions or philosophical groups including liberal and reform types of Jewishpseudoism, and not participating in any other interfaith or in any combined Advisory Committees, always holds. Whatever the outcomes for Orthodox Jewish schools, or for the religious rights of Jewish people in the workplace, the argument of "the power of group bargaining” in conjunction with other religions and groups doesn’t hold, because our obligation is to Hashem, Ha Kaddosh Baruch Hu Who does not allow us to engage in interfaith.


Yes, “We are very fortunate that governments are understanding of our needs and are so kind and willing to help us. They also understand that we have a special way of communicating with them how they can best do this.”, but to what extent?

Would they release us from interfaith, matters outlined above, willingly, with accord, even without being formally asked, and with real understanding, the understanding that we cannot and may not do that which is disallowed to us?


Rav Moshe Feinstein Z”L specifically did not allow interfaith between other religions and Jewish people neither on a religious level nor on social nor on political levels, ever.


Is there a general principle of “All or none” under the USA Constitution for lobbing the government with other religions? No, not at all. It is a mistake to believe that the government does not have more than one set of ears, that would be an over-simplification. There is the freedom of association derived from the first amendment of the USA Constitution. No one is required or compelled to associate with any group, union, religion, club, school, individual, etc for any reason or purpose, or for no reason or purpose, in particular. This is beneficial to Jewish people who keep to authentic Orthodox Judaism, but not so good for anyone who don’t know.


If anyone would claim that other religions are even a close approximation of the Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach, the Seven Noachide Laws, they would be still way off the mark. The nations have had a lot of time to attain the wisdom of the Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach. The committees that lobby for funding for example, in the USA, already pour praise on the religions. As can be seen the committees have nothing to do with the Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach. The Sheva Mitzvos b’nei are quite specific. No one has heard lately of the leader of any religion suddenly going for the Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach. The Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach are already a long time all over the internet, very often in corrupted form and it is not recommended to check this, as it is not good to see or read, including navigating to some of the sites.

Interfaith in its other versions also manifests itself by religions “sharing” their religions with each other, and again it is something not in the teaching of our authentic Orthodox Judaism, but against it.


In March of the secular year ’67, Rav Moshe Feinstein wrote a letter to a certain rabbi urging him not to go to an interfaith meeting which was to include many rabbis. The arguments Rav Feinstein used were very compelling and the essence of wisdom.

Too long we are not using our sechel (wisdom). How does it look to children to see this or any other type of interfaith? Very confusing to put it mildly, as well as to adults, and not good in the least for those who participate. We don’t have two masters.


Jewish People are not bound by secular law to lobby on behalf of other religions for anything, irrespective of how any law is phrased. If and when the government gives to other religions, then it is not our business, fundamentally because authentic Orthodox Judaism, our foundation does not allow it and because of the freedom of association derived from the first amendment of the USA Constitution where no one is required or compelled to associate with any group, union, religion, club, school, individual, etc.


“Participating in advisory committees” has resulted in no teaching of Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach,The Seven Noahide Laws, but only in praise and reinforcement of what is there already, so to say or suggest that this is the way of fulfilling a requirement to teach Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach,The Seven Noahide Laws is at the very least really not fully comprehending the problem. The result of the “advisory committees” is that our zchus (merit) is diminished has v shalom and that the other religions are misled. Also misled are Jewish people. Further, it is not a constant requirement to actively teach Sheva Mitzvos b’nei Noach, The Seven Noahide Laws, as it can be done by example, by living like a Jew, and it is also secondary to teaching “lost” or uneducated Jews.

The question of when is a combined religious committee or lobby group not interfaith is answered with “never”. By participating in interfaith one would be going against the foundation of authentic Orthodox Judaism, has v sholom, a very big mistake. We have to remember we are Jewish.


In March of the secular year ’67, Rav Moshe Feinstein Z"L wrote a letter to a certain rabbi urging him not to go to an interfaith meeting which was to include many rabbis. The arguments Rav Feinstein used were very compelling and the essence of wisdom.


(see page 10 from"Two Responsa of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein" at americanjewisharchives.org)

Rav Moshe Feinstein did not allow the Aguda to lobby with any other religion on any level, religious, social nor political, this can be checked.


It is "al pi Halacha", according to Jewish Law, to refrain from asking for funding for what we must not promote, so we should be consistent, not point to any law “xyz” for example that mentions other schools of any type, because doing so would violate our teaching: to be civil but to refrain from advancing any other philosophy or any other religion.


All “relevant” words in a piece of legislation can easily be replaced with the words “authentic Orthodox Jewish Schools”, and outcomes could be said by askanim to be “adequate for authentic Orthodox Jewish schools ” or “could be improved for authentic Orthodox Jewish schools by allowing authentic Orthodox Jewish schools to do, or to have, or to receive etc…” , according to what the circumstances. That government officials could possibly later delete those words may not be avoided, but our requests would still have been transferred in a permissible way to the authorities. For authentic Orthodox Jewish schools, there must be assurances that any funding received is not dependent on varying the nature, duration or frequency of their education schedule which would in any way conflict or interfere with the study of authentic Orthodox Judaism or that are inconsistent with the teaching of authentic Orthodox Judaism.


There is no problem or “issue” with Jewish institutions receiving financial support regardless of whoever else happens to receive funding at the same time, the point being that when askanim make a request for funding it should be for authentic Jewish Orthodox schools that they ask, and not ask for funding for anyone else, as it is not their job and it is a mistake and against the Holy Torah. It is not the receiving that is the problem it is the method of asking that is the problem, and it is a certainty that it has worried many people.


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