Jun 16, 2014

Are they "Our Boys" or "Their Boys"?

Jews all over the world care about the three kidnapped boys.  I am sure of that.

That being said, I wonder how many people saw the headlines on Friday about "yeshiva boys kidnapped," and had a certain image in their minds which was dispelled when they saw what the boys look like. 

Oh.  Yeshiva boys don't necessarily wear black hats. 

I wondered: what if the boys' pictures showed them wearing black hats and white shirts? You know, "our kind" of yeshiva boys ... whether "yeshivish" or "chassidish." Would our personal reaction be any different? Would our community's reaction be any different?

I saw the photos of the mass tefilla at the Kosel.  I saw lots and lots of hatless people.  Knitted kippa wearing people.  Almost no black hats.  Where were the all "black hats" when this asifa took place? Why weren't they at the Kosel too? Because "their" black-hatted leaders did not tell them to go? Why not?

Even as we unite in praying for the safe return of the boys, I see disunity amongst us.  Unity and disunity.


  1. I think that you are correct. I did get lots of emails urging my prayers for the return of our boys and even a song has just been written called "bring back our boys". These emails, however, are from people who are frum but not black hat. Hamodia newspaper, however, had the urgent request for tefilla's as their front page news. When the Chassidishe boys were stuck in Japan, did the MO contingent daven as much as the Chassidim? I did not see much support from that legion. Instead, I saw derision because they did not believe that the boys had totally pure motives and they were ashamed of the fact that frum Jews have involved themselves in fraudulent activity. Most MO feel that the fact that we don't encourage frum men to make a living, we set them up for lives of crime so they were equally apathetic to the three Chassidic boys in Japan.

  2. There was a news item yesterday showing a Belzer beis medrash somewhere (location undisclosed) full of Chassidim davening for the boys.

    And there was a Kol Koreh from the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel of America calling upon men to gather in shuls and battei medrash between mincha and maariv yesterday to daven for the boys. It was the Kosel scene though, which perturbed me. If they were three black-hatted bachurim, would the scene at the Kosel look different? I assume so. Different crowd.

    Though, again, people of all backgrounds and head coverings are definitely davening for these boys!