And some of it was just plain insulting. Not insulting to the intelligence but insults not worthy of a man of his stature. Let's look at the opening statement, for starters:
Concerning the terrible decree to conscript yeshiva students [bnai hayeshivos], it calls for Da’as Torah about the severity of the matter.Now, whenever someone says "Daas Torah" these days it's a code for "My arguments wouldn't hold up in an open discussion on the subject so I'll prevent that by declaring 'Daas Torah" which means 'How dare you disagree with me?'" On the Chareidi side it's impressive. Outside that community it just contributes to rolling of the eyes.
But then he went a step further and if Koheles is correct that the words of the wise are heard when said gently then Rav Sternbuch either disagrees with Koheles or...
The Ra'avad [Rosh Av Beis Din] of the Eidah HaChareidis, the Gaon Rav Moshe Shternbuch, chose to speak out against the entire Religious Zionist [Mizrachi] sector: "The Mizrachnikim are haters of Judaism [sonei das]. Today they revealed their true faces." By way of distancing from the [Religious Zionist] entity he did not [even] agree to mention the name of [Naftali] Bennett [head of the HaBayit HaYehudi party]: "In holy places one does not mention such names."The Ra'avad did not leave it at that, but he [Rav Moshe Shternbuch] also chose to attack the entire Religious Zionist community: "For years we knew that the Mizrachnikim were haters of [our] faith [sonei das], but they were always careful to display themselves as "lovers" of [our Jewish] faith and that they themselves are "religious" [dati'im] and they came to preach [lidrosh] in synagogues, today they revealed their true [hypocritical double] faces because they have joined with the haters of the [Jewish] religion [sonei hadas].Whenever there is an incident in Israel involving Chareidim attacking people who are mechalel Shabbos the usual apologists explain that the reason for the violence is because the passionate love these particular Chareidim have for Torah and Shabbos drives them crazy when they see a sinner desecrating the holy day.
Goose and gander, Rav Sternbuch. You are wrong, sir. We do not hate our religion. We are not sonei das. It is because we love our religion, because we love the Torah that we are so passionately angry at those who have twisted it almost beyond recognition into a fossilized remnant of itself and then announced that this remnant is the only true Torah Judaism there is. We are angry at people like you.
I've seen it written that the Torah acts like a mirror, that what a person is like inside is what he thinks he sees in the Torah. What kind of Torah does the Eidah Chareidit see? An uncompromising one full of anger and punishment, written by a deity who has nothing better to do all day than try to trip us up and then chuckle gleefully as our sins get written up in the Heavenly register? That's not our Torah. That's not our Ribono shel Olam.
Once upon a time the task of a religious Jew was to make the name of Heaven beloved by all. Tell me, sir, how many non-Eidah Chareidit types have you accomplished that with? And how many have you turned off from any interest in Torah observance through your strident declarations that your way, the way of the xenophobic shtetl where every outsider was an evil demon waiting to rape and murder, is the only true way of Torah?
Once upon a time a religious Jew was a functioning member of society. He stood up to the temptations of the outside world and insisted on bringing holiness into it. His faith cowered before no outside philosophy. He could learn math, science and history and bring it into the service of Torah to accomplish a more complete worship of the Ribono shel Olam. Tell me, sir, when did the Torah become such a flimsy vessel that it has to be hidden behind ghetto walls for fear that its adherents will defect from it en masse? When did even speaking a language with proper grammar become goyish?
We are angry because every time we try to make a suggestion to your community to improve relations between us we are insulted, belittled and patronized. We are told that only your "gedolim" are real Torah scholars and only your way of practice is real Torah observance. You insult us and then tell us we should be privileged that we have a chance to support your community. Should we not be angry about that?
We are angry because everywhere we look we see the hand of God working to move history forward towards the final redemption and you disagree, refusing to give the Ribono shel Olam any credit for the miracles and kindness He has performed for us. The Satmar once said that any time something bad happens to the Jews it's God punishing us but when some thing good happens it's just the Satan trying to trick us. You've turned God into a dysfunction, abusive parent. Should we not be angry about that?
We want to bring forward history to its Divine conclusion. We want to increase the presence of God in the world. We want to worship Him by living complete lives in his service, harnessing all we can of the world to bring us closer to Him. You want to hide behind closed doors and high walls and pretend the Cossacks are at the gate while you debate who's ox is liable for that pit in the public domain. Who really loves God and Torah? Who really doesn't?
We are angry but we do not hate. Unlike you we know we are all one big family. We know that God's plan for history includes all of us. We want to embrace you but when we try you shove us away and call us dirty and inferior. We are angry like a brother is angry at a brother. The language of hatred comes from your side, not ours. Do you not understand that or has your self-righteousness completed clouded your faculties?
We want one nation, prospering and sanctified, engaging the real world and showing God's plans for it. We want you to join us. But if you don't, if you want to wallow in your hatred while calling it "Torah true" we can't stop that.
You are wrong but we don't hate you. Pity? Maybe, but hatred is not acceptable.