Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, leader of the anti-Zionist Eda Haredit faction, has ordered his followers to continue wearing traditional Jewish clothing and growing side-locks despite the recent wave of terror attacks, which has frequently targeted people identified as religious Jews.
In a lesson he delivered to his students last week, the rabbi asked them to go on wearing the black suits identified with the ultra-Orthodox public and not to hide the fact that they are observant Jews as an answer to the “culture of heretics”.
“During World War II, my teacher and master, Rabbi Moshe Schneider, would walk on the streets in his rabbinical clothing and would even grow longer side-locks during that period in order to make it evident that he has side-locks,” Sternbuch explained what he defined as “sanctification of the name of God”.
“During this period of hiding one’s face, when tens of thousands of Jews are being thrown into the furnace of fire,” the rabbi continued, “there are many who ask where is our blessed God… So we should walk in public in Jewish clothing with a beard and side-locks, as a sort of public declaration that Orthodox Judaism is still alive and kicking and that the Jews are not ashamed of being Jewish. On the contrary, they are openly proud of their Judaism and still work for God.”
Sternbuch also addressed the reasons for the recent murders, accusing the Jews visiting the Temple Mount of fanning the flames. “Those few people who go up to the Temple Mount will be punished for it, because they are provoking the Ishmaelites to kill us. Moreover, they are causing the war against the Ishmaelites to turn into a religious war, because the Temple Mount is a holy site for them,” the rabbi accused.
Meanwhile, the Har Zion Yeshiva management has begun working to issue firearms licenses for two of its workers as regular studies go on. “We are always on the lookout, looking right and left, and moving on,” a yeshiva official said.