Extremists force Rabbi Shteinman memorial to change location

Memorial event for Rabbi Shteinman in England forced to move location after haredi extremists protest.

Tzvi Lev ,

Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman
Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman
Flash 90

A scheduled memorial for Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman was forced to change its scheduled location in London following pressure from the radical anti-Zionist Neturei Karta faction, the haredi Kikar Hashabbat website reported.

According to the report, members of London's haredi community had scheduled a memorial for Rabbi Shteinman, a leading haredi authority who passed away earlier this month. However, the event was moved to a smaller location after haredi extremists protested the event.

The disagreement caused a storm in London between the mainstream haredi community, which reveres the rabbi, and the fringe anti-Zionist Neturei Karta movement. "We won't surrender to these extremists and deny the rabbi the honor that he deserves," a senior London rabbi told Kikar Hashabbat.

Both the Satmar community and the Yerushalmi Faction have been at loggerheads with Rabbi Shteinman due to his alleged role in founding the Netzah Yehuda-Nahal Haredi Battalion, which enables haredim to enlist in the IDF. Brigadier General (res.) Yehuda Duvdevani, who founded the battalion, recently said that Rabbi Shteinman was responsible for 15,000 more haredi soldiers drafting into the IDF due to the quiet behind-the-scenes support he gave Netzach Yehuda-Nahal Haredi when it was founded in 1999.

As a result, while hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Bnei Brak to mourn the passing of Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman after his passing, some radical haredi anti-draft activists celebrated his death, with posters hailing the death of one of the most widely respected authorities of Jewish law in the haredi world as a "great event".

Followers of the radical Yerushalmi Faction hung posters celebrating Rabbi Shteinman's passing, which they called "a great event for the Jewish people".

"We announce with a joyful voice that the rumor is indeed true," read the poster, which went on to list his alleged 'sins', such as "founding the Nahal Haredi and sending thousands to the army of destruction".

In addition, some followers of the radical anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect in Meah Shearim broke out dancing upon hearing the news of his passing.