Uproar after Eretz Nehederet mocks Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky

MK Moshe Gafni says showrunners can 'burn in hell' for imitating leader of Lithuanian haredi community.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
Shuki Lerrer

Eretz Nehederet, Israel's biggest satire program, which some define as the Israeli Saturday Night Live, intends to present satifical imitations of Lithuanian haredi leader Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky and his grandson Yanki Kanievsky Wednesday.

The skits drew condemnation from both haredi and national religious circles, which were shocked to see the beloved spiritual leader depicted by the satirical program.

"There are no limits in this country," wrote haredi journalist Ariel El-Harrar.

"I protest the violation of the dignity of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky," wrote MK Bezalel Smotrich. "The satirists insult not only the rabbi but the mighty traditional, religious and haredi public who admire the great sages of Israel."

He added: "Your contempt teaches mainly about you and your world of values. During your silly sketch, R. Chaim will teach a few more pages of Gemara, everything else is much less important."

The director general of the Religious Zionist party, Yehuda Wald, quoted Maimonides: "It is a great sin to despise the sages or to hate them. Jerusalem was not destroyed until they despised the sages, as it is said: 'But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words and scoffed His prophets,"

MK Ayoub Kara (Likud) said: "I also join the haredi protest against the imitation of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in the Eretz Nehederet program. There is a limit to any joke. I am in favor of satire, but even in satire, red lines must not be crossed. I call on them to maintain their dignity and not to plan satires on rabbis and clergy from all denominations."

Yitzhak Weserloff, CEO of "Otzma Yehudit", wrote: "I strongly protest the contempt for the leader of the generation."

MKs from the Degel Hatorah party received a message Wednesday afternoon from the party chairman, MK Moshe Gafni, in which he asked them not to comment and not to respond at all to the imitation of Rabbi Kanievsky in the Eretz Nehederet program. "Not the MKs and not their assistants. Let them burn in hell," the statement said.

The producer of the program said: "Eretz Nehederet is a satire program that deals with phenomena and leaders, from all sectors, whose actions have an impact on the fate of the country's citizens. Everyone is invited to watch tonight and form an opinion for themselves."