How Do The Haredim Feel About The Non-Haredim?

Historian Marc B. Shapiro blogs:

One of the leaders of the extremist haredim is R. Moshe Sternbuch. Here is the first page of a responsum he wrote (Teshuvot ve-Hanhagot, vol. 1, no. 816) in which he states that if a non-religious store owner makes a monetary mistake (e.g., gives you too much money) there is no obligation to point out the error.

He even quotes a 19th-20th century authority (and one who has a fairly moderate reputation) that there is no obligation to save his life! If this is what a well known haredi posek is teaching his followers, by what right can one criticize the non-religious for what they think of the extremist haredim? Let me pose this question to Avi Shafran and the rest of the apologists: How exactly should the non-religious feel about the extremist haredim when the latter are being taught that they don’t have to deal with the non-religious in an honest fashion, and that their lives are not important?

(Quite apart from his religious views, Sternbuch’s political views are perhaps even more distasteful. At the recent protest against haredim serving in the army, he said that “the Zionists expelled the Arabs from the Land of Israel.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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