Send a Note of Support to Beit Shemesh 8-Year-Old, Naama Margolese

Send a Note of Support to Beit Shemesh 8-Year-Old, Naama Margolese

Oh my Gosh, does this footage make me cry…gentle 8-year-old Naama Margolese crying in fear as she walks the 300 meters from her home to school that is surrounded morning after morning by fanatical, violent Charedi demonstrators. (translation below)

 

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“Many times they frighten me, that I will be hurt, or something like that. They want me to dress like I’m Charedi, and that we will give them the school…It’s frightening to live here.” Naama told the Channel 2 reporter.

Powerhouse JewishMOM Hadassah Margolese, Naama’s mother, told the reporter, “It’s unpleasant. It’s unpleasant that they call us names. It’s unpleasant when I am walking on the sidewalk, and I am afraid when I see one of them walking towards me, and I don’t know whether he will spit at me or curse at me: “Whore, prostitute, shiksa, get out of here!” With those exact words. In their book, I’m not even religious. ”

“It’s frightening to live in Beit Shemesh and to walk to school,” Naama told the reporter, “I told my eema that I want to move and to live in another place because these fanatics spit on me and cursed at me, but we cannot move and I am afraid to go near my school.”

I would, though, like to make one thing very, very clear about this very awful and very highly-publicized story. Despite the spooky music and inaccurate stereotypes that fill this phenomenally anti-Charedi news report, these violent fanatics are in NO WAY representative of the Charedi community as a whole. In fact, 99.99% of the Charedi community considers the behavior of these people to be disgusting and absolutely reprehensible.

And I should know. I have 4 daughters who, like little Naama, attend a Mamad Torani—a State Religious School, located in an overwhelmingly Charedi neighborhood.

I’m not going to tell you that this awkward arrangement is all a bed of roses. In general, my impression is that the local Charedim look down on the students at my daughters’ school and their families for “not being religious enough,” and wish that the school was a Bait Yaakov instead. And the school’s students and the members of the neighborhood’s dying National Religious community look down on the Charedim for being “old-fashioned” and not Zionist enough.

But, despite all this mutual disdain (which I personally find deeply upsetting and wrong, and which, B”H, my daughters do not take part in) over the past 30 plus years since the school was founded there has never once been an incident of Charedi violence, either physical or verbal, aimed at the students of the school.

What I am trying to say is that contrary to what is being reported widely in the Israeli and international press, what’s going on in Beit Shemesh is not a Charedi vs. Modern Orthodox conflict. What’s going on in Beit Shemesh is a Nutso-Weirdo-Fanatic vs. Normal Orthodox/Charedi conflict.

I have been somewhat obsessed with this story and deeply upset over it since I saw this news report. And I was trying to think of what we JewishMOMs could possibly do to help little Naama and her family, and to give them some chizuk. So I had the idea to ask you JewishMOMs to write up notes of support to Naama and her family in the comments below. IY”H, I will send your notes to the Margolis family next week to brighten up their stressful and scary reality. Don’t forget to write where you are from!
Some more footage of the Margolis family lighting Chanukah candles…what a beautiful family.
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17 comments

  1. Dear Hadassah,
    From one Jewish mother to another. I am heartbroken at what your daughter has gone through. I have a little girl of my own and would have been horrified to have had that happen to her.

    This whole story has shaken me up to the core. Tossing and trying to figure out if there is anything I can do.

    Well there is something we can all do. We can take this and try to find what unites us and not focus on what we disagree with about the other. We should be united in that we are all part of Am Yisrael , We all love Hash-m and His Torah.. Everybody is on their own journey and it’s not for anybody to judge anybody.

    I hope this passes quickly!!

  2. I read this wonderful idea last night and since than Im trying to put to words what I feel. My husband had shown me the video days ago and since than we talked a lot bout the situation. And the only way I can sum up the whole converstion is that this is hillul Hashem. Hillul Hashem to humiliate someone. Hillul Hashem to terrorize a child. Hillul Hashem tht everywhere they are trying to force people to live according to there chauvinistic standards. What I would ask from such a personŰ: is he an animal or what that he can’t hold himself back seeing a childs naked forearm??? This upsetting situation is where the hypertzniut movement leads!

    I think that the jewish women should stand up for themselves: we were not created to be hidden and shut up. We are the ones created according to Hashems own willing. We are the ones who stood strong even when men lost their trust in Hashem. We are the ones giving the judaism as a harritage to our children. Are we the ones who should cover our faces? No, we are the ones who should scream for our sisters in these extremist communities who are tortured, who are humiliated who are treated as animals.

    Earlier I read in a comment somewhere and its so true: frumkeit without menschlichkeit is not yiddeishkeit.

    yours truly, from Budapest, Hungary

  3. Tamar Miller

    To the holy Margolis Family,
    I am a resident in RBSA and I affiliate myself as a Charedi woman. I’d like you to know that I am appalled with what has happened. I am so saddened that these so-called “charedim” are making such a chilul Hashem. It hurts to see Jews doing this to other Jews. we’re in such a dark Galus. Your family should be blessed to fight this darkness with lots of emunah and bitachon. Hashem should bless you to battle this nisayon (test) with ahavat chinam rather than with sinat chinam which is what has engulfed these fanatic men. Unfortunately, their tactic will not bring the rebuilding of our holy Beis Hamikdash.

    Sending lots of support and healing for your family from many others like me in RBSA,
    Tamar Miller

  4. Hey, I don’t even know what to say. There are always the extremists that that make the whole group look bad. Sometimes I wonder if they are really part of the group they represent.

    I have always thought that we all want the same things– a place to build homes, clean water and food, a safe place to send the kids for school (and make those schools good schools with teachers who love the students and parents!) I’m that that Tamar has posted– it is good to see one of the 99% of the group letting us know how they feel! We do want all the same things.

    May you be blessed in your journey and in what you chose to do next!

  5. Tamar Miller

    and to Naama especially. we are with you when you walk to school and when you return. remember Hashem is always protecting you and watching over you. I pray that you will very soon again feel safe in your neighborhood.
    -from a resident in RBSA, Tamar Miller

  6. B”H

    Dear Hadassah,

    In this difficult time, please remember that the majority of this country is 500% behind you! I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to feel so unsafe and uncomfortable in your own community. I pray that the Beit Shemesh community will stand up to the extremists and will commit to protecting all of its residents.

    You are not alone.

    Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek–literally.

    Best,
    Sarah, from the Binyamin Region

  7. Bracha Goetz

    Dear wonderful Margolis Family,

    Through your courage, B’H, you have helped unite so many Jewish people around the world into one supportive family. May you always continue to nobly enlighten us about the way we need to go.

    Love,
    Bracha Goetz
    Baltimore, Maryland

  8. Iam upset by the violence coming out of this tv report, and its scary to see that Beit hamikdach was destroyed because of sinat hinam…they understand nothing….
    but YOU, Naama and family are an example of Kidduch Hachem, making alya, standing against those wild people, being religious and close to The One That Knows where the truth lies!We should focus on people like you that embody AM Israel Hai
    Hazak Veametz!
    Ann from France

  9. Yael Maizels

    Dear Naama, Hadassa and Benjy,
    I have three daughters and I bless them with the same hopes that I bless you. That you grow to Torah, Chuppa and Maasim Tovim. That you remind these fanatics in whichever way you choose that Jewish women are an integral and important part of Judaism and that Modern Orthodoxy is a genuine building force for the Jewish people. Your family has made aliya and is building Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. You have much to be proud of.
    Ki Nafalti Kamti, Ki Eshev Ba’choshech Hashem Ohr Li!
    Chazak V’Amatz,
    Yael Maizels
    Ariel

  10. To the dear Margolis family and Na’ama,

    Where there is darkness, there is light. YOU are that light. Where there has been Chillul Hashem, there is also Kiddush Hashem: You. In everything I have seen you say, never once did you insult another Jew, you only spoke of your own fears and pain. How incredible, I am sure I would not have had the same ability to withstand the temptation to hurl my own epithets.
    It has been wonderful seeing a modestly dressed Jewish woman also being so beautiful and proud, dignified and serene and brave. And your precious Na’ama, so sweet and innocent. Add to that the fact of your aliyah and continued commitment to Israel and Torah is a tremendous example to Am Yisrael.
    I dearly hope that you will soon find peace in your lives, and that you will gain strength from Hashem during these difficult times.
    Yehudit Levy,
    Jerusalem

  11. Dear Hadassah and Naama,

    My heart goes out to both of you in shock and horror, and sadness that in Eretz Yisroel in 2011 that a Jewish mother and daughter are accosted in the streets of Beit Shemesh. Surely Hashem is crying in Shemayim that Yidden are treating other Yidden in such a horrific way. At this time when the world needs to see Jews unified, this act of division is a Hilul Hashem.

    May Hashem give you both strength to overcome this difficult test and Yasher Koach to you both for being a beautiful example of strong, determined, proud Jewish women!

    Karen
    Los Angeles

  12. I dont have words to say how much it saddens me to see the state of the Am HaYhudi today. I have six children three girls and three boys. I love that I chose to raise them here in Eretz Yisrael just like you have chosen, but I am broken by the story of hardship you are suffering. We are NOT supposed to treat eachother in such a way and we are definitely not allowed to frighten children in such a terrible way. I want to give you a bracha that Hashem should always strengthen you and light your derech, that your days be filled with simcha the simcha of knowing that you chose to come home to Eretz Yisrael and serve Hashem here. Be strong! And most of all remember that Hashem and all of Am Yisrael love you and are behind you giving you support.
    B’Ahavat Yisrael,
    Shaina Simon
    Kfar Tapuach

  13. as I heard Rabbi Lazer Brody say this morning:

    “they (these crazy zealots) are working for the yester hara!”

    and you are working for kidduch Hachem of course!!:)

  14. I think it’s important for me to say, as a woman who identifies with the values of those…let’s call them extremists…that the important point here is that you don’t force anyone. I can live my life by my religious standards, as extreme in either direction as they may be, but I don’t have the right to force them on someone else. If these men who waste their time hanging out in the street truly had ahavas Yisroel and felt that they were on the right path, they would be out there trying to *CONVINCE* people rather than *ATTACKING* them.

    I couldn’t stop crying when Naama didn’t want to cross the street. I can’t even imagine being in that position with one of my daughters, especially on a daily basis!

  15. I wish there was a way to send a note to the other children who have been kicked and cursed at because of this situation.

  16. Chasidish woman

    To the Margolese family and all of Klal Yisroel:
    As a Chasidish woman, I wish I had the power to speak on behalf of the Chasidishe world (excepting these bizarre Kanai fringe “people”). I wish I could stand before a worldwide camera as a very Chasidish-looking woman and denounce those who would claim themselves to be “Chasidim”. Chasid/Chesed are at the core of Chasidus and apparently there are those who have lost all sense of it, lost all SENSE. Period. We, as a kehilla, are horrified and disgusted by those who would terrorize a child, who would *spit* at a child or ANYONE — We look to shamayim with our eyebrows raised, our hands opened palms up — Ribono shel Olam! Have rachmanus on us that we’ve allowed such confused people to crop up in our midst. Kol Yisroel areivim zeh l’zeh. We are responsible for this!…help us to eradicate this and forgive this monstrous sinas chinam!
    I hope the day will come soon when all of Yiddishkeit will sit together and celebrate together and eat together under the ONE hashgocha of the Aybishter!

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