Can We Do Anything to Lessen the Hatred?

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89 Responses

  1. dr. bill says:

    you write: “Their hatred is not primarily for Torah Jews as individuals, but for the corporate chareidi enterprise represented in the Knesset.” How about the fact that these individuals claim to represent the chareidi gedolim. the day chareidi gedolim criticize their politicians, perhaps people will take notice. addressing bennett and lapid rationally and without venom will help. acts of individual kindness are beautiful and much appreciated. unfortunately such good efforts are upended by one venomous outburst, particularly by a chareidi leader.

    you write: “Nor is it possible to justify the decision to cut off all subsidies for foreign students studying at Mir Yeshiva but not for those studying at “Zionist” Kerem B’Yavneh and Shalavim.” Given what parents pay for their children to attend these yeshivot and the return the state of Israel receives for its proportionately small subsidy, the difference is great. every one of those schools sacrifices for the state and inculcates such values in its foreign students. and btw, bennett secured funding for DL schools in Israel, long discriminated against by what you call the chareidi enterprise in the kenneset. i must have missed your complaints over that injustice.

    and mentioning lapid’s hs matriculation; comical!! i assume he took the core curriculum, which is a more critical issue than IDF service.

  2. micha says:

    You said that the benei Torah from this woman’s community were unable to stay that way because of the army, and you wonder why she got angry? Gimel’s campaign this year was an insult to the yeshivos hesder, Merkaz haRav, and every other talmid chakham who served.

    Yehudah Katz received his call up orders to Lebanon in the beis medrash. They knew in the office where to go, because everyone in KBY knew there was only one place you could find him. Yehudah left his chavruasah and went north. And there was the Battle pf Sultan Yacoub, and he’s been MIA since — 30 years, one month and 3 days.

    Zecharia Baumel was learning in Yeshivat Har Etzion 30 years, one month and three days ago.

    I see “if, CV, this latest gezeira of giyus”, and I think of the hesdernikim back in KBY when I learned there, and those whose names are on the plaque in the corner of the beis medrash. The boys who took their gemaras to the front so that their peers in Mir, Ponovezh, Chevron and Brisk could sit in safety in their batei medrash.

    So how do you expect your fellow journalist to respond? I’ll tell you what she was probably thinking, after seeing the posters around much of Yerushalayim during this election season: What exactly the worst-comes-to-worst here — is it so unthinkable that they might actually have to be shomerei Shabbos of the sort I and my friends are? Is the chareidi educational system so weak that the boys learning in those yeshivos can’t withstand the religious challenges my son faced?

    (It also is counterproductive on a tactical level to argue against a position that isn’t actually what the opposition holds.)

    Calling a halt to the invective is not enough. The Chareidi world needs to write acknowledging their understanding of the other’s point of view. That (obviously) someone could truly be angry that their kid may end up on the front lines, and yours won’t. Or that they are stupid enough to pull down two incomes while most of your men take a route based on handouts they’re paying for. Sending out the message that the other is acting on blind hatred rather than trying to understand an honest different of opinion will fan the flames, creating the situation it’s claiming to report.

    This could be the best time in Israeli history so far for religion. A third of the Keneset wears kippot, plus I don’t know how many of the rest are women whose husbands do. More than half of the Jewish MKs observe some form of Shabbos. Labor has a rabbi on their list. A self-described female MK wants her share in Chazal’s legacy. 80% of Golani’s officers wear kippot. The country’s acceptance of religion is at an all time high (halevai vaiter!).

    So why aren’t chareidim riding the wave? Because they not only have ideological barriers to participation in Israeli society, they make it clear to that society that they think it’s evil. Not the yechidei segulah, the few percent who work in tzedaqos that have reach beyond the chareidi world. But the man on the street. It has to be obvious to an outsider that there is ahavas Yisrael. Because unfortunately there will be the next fellow to spit at a little girl for going to school, and before then it would be nice if it were a given that he is the exception.

    Enough with the “they’re out to get us”. As you write, we need more chavrusah programs. More interaction. More demonstration that we’re all Jews in this together.

  3. Chaim Saiman says:

    Much to react to here but Ill start at the beginning. Why is it that during the 50+ years that the “the secular Israeli government became the prime supporter of Torah learning on a scale unprecedented in Jewish history,” did we not here more (any?) hakaras hatov for this very fact?

  4. L. Oberstein says:

    I find Jonathan Rosenblum right on the mark and wish that Israelis cared one whit what American olim think. He writes with balance on this issue but when I read what the Charedi Knesset members say and hear second hand some statements coming from the Elders of the Community, I wonder if there is a desire to compromise, to makes necessary changes to accept Nachal Chareidi as a norm,to allow boys to serve and then get a job and still find a shiduch. I do not understand a society that on the one hand doesn’t provide the ability for its youth to earn a living and on the other hand expects poor parents to purchase an apartment for their children. I know of a girl from a very frum family who chose to come to the USA and find a shiduch here because her father is too poor to secure one for her over there. Isn’t something wrong with this picture?
    Change has to come and right now all I hear is insults being hurled by the Charedi leadershp. Why don’t the charedi masses revolt and chose better spokesmen?

  5. ben dov says:

    Yasher Koach for an excellent article. As much as I am opposed to coercing yeshiva students with drafts and fines, I do think the charedi community had it coming. A Yisachar-Zevulun relationship works best when learners shows love and respect for those who support them. For decades charedi yeshiva students were generously given money and relieved of army service. Even if it came about through political bargaining, it happened, and warrants gratitude. The Israeli public, for all its flaws, has been like a father-in-law to every avrech, and is hungry for recognition. I do not blame them.

  6. YS says:

    Once again, R. Rosenblum laments the absence of Charedi soul-searching about their ineffective PR, with almost no request that the soul-searching be directed at the issues themselves.

    It didn’t quite trump these threats. Israelis knew Netanyahu would be the PM regardless of how they voted. But it sure was important to many people.

    The paroxyms of anger were probably because instead of having an open conversation with the Israeli public and the IDF about the environment in the IDF can be improved, the Charedim just use the argument (which is actually quite assailable, but let’s ignore that for now) to justify completely distancing themselves from the IDF.

    Is that Chassidish CEO friend of your even remotely representative of anything in the Charedi world?

  7. Kevin in Chicago says:

    R’ Adlerstein wrote in the last Cross Currents, “As one major Torah figure said (privately, of course), ‘After decades of treating them [secular Jews]like garbage, we should be surprised when they want to treat us the same way?’” It appears the Israeli Chareidi world has finally understood the kernel of Torah the pagan learned from Hillel while standing on one foot.

  8. Ben Waxman says:

    Sigh.

    If people want to invite the secular over for Shabbat in order to try and convince them that Chareidim aren’t so bad (and therefore the draft deferment should be continued), than chaval al hatzman. I understand that with kashrut and Shabbat restrictions there are limited forums in which meetings like this can be held. But why is the goal to convince the secular? Why not have as a goal getting to know people as people? Maybe a goal could be to erase misconceptions on our part. There is no one way street here.

    Same with the dati leumim. As was pointed out by some, the meetings held with the dati leumi rabbis and the admorim and roshei yeshivot were good, but only partially. There is no reason why meetings like those should only take place when trying to negotiate a common political front. Further, there is no reason why the meetings took place only on the home court of the admorim and roshei yeshivot. These rabbanim would do well to take a trip to Karen b’Yavneh, Har Brachot, Mercaz, Har Etzion, etc.

    Sigh

  9. Avidan Dehan says:

    “Gimel’s campaign this year was an insult to the yeshivos hesder, Merkaz haRav, and every other talmid chakham who served.”

    The campaign was also an insult to Euclid and to the Vilna Gaon 🙂

    No, these are not examples of poor PR that don’t properly reflect the populace. Rather, these are reflections of the actual values held by that populace.

    “an unassailable sociological fact in the current IDF environment” – What an incredibly spoiled outlook. Spoiled and petty! And coming from an English-speaking immigrant who should know much better!

    The fact is that it is far easier to be a Torah Jew in the IDF than to live day-to-day as a Torah Jew in almost any diaspora community outside the NY area.

    Perhaps the fault is not with the woman, or with charedi PR, but with the educational system that Rav Steinman supports, if it truly produces such spiritual weaklings.

  10. Dovid says:

    “Can We Do Anything to Lessen the Hatred?”

    Yes – you can have the charedi leadership formulate a clear, cogent, compelling explanation for why they should not have to serve in the IDF, and why the rest of the country should have to pay to allow every able-bodied charedi man who wishes to learn full-time to do so. I have seen no such explanation. Only a lot of anger and invective.

    “army service represents a spiritual threat to chareidi recruits – an unassailable sociological fact in the current IDF environment”

    This is very, very far from “an unassailable sociological fact.” Bennet, Lipman and others calling for recruiting charedim made it very clear that they intend to do so in a manner that accommodates charedi lifestyle. Blaming “the current IDF environment” for refusing to enlist is a cheap excuse. If the charedim felt it was important to enlist, and were willing to sit down with the IDF brass to work out an arrangement, it could be done.

  11. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Now that we no longer threaten them, they may be more open them to getting behind the stereotypes that fuel the animus.

    I think this is the big elephant in the room. IIRC, Charedim make up 10% of the Israeli population – but 25% of first graders. Within a generation, Charedim might be the majority.

    Would secular Israelis be able to enjoy their current lifestyle under a Charedi-majority Knesset? Or would such a Knesset pass laws forbidding the public desecration of Shabbat, selling of non-Kosher meat, etc.? Judaism is a communal religion, and enforcing Halacha is part of it.

  12. Bob Miller says:

    I’d like to hear, straight and direct (no go-betweens/interpreters/PR men), directly from the community leaders on all sides of this issue, exactly how they would solve the problem of enmity. That is, solve, not fuss about.

  13. Chasidish says:

    But Mr. Rosenblum, despite your claims of building up arguments, I don’t see anything in this article that compels me to accept your POV that this issue is not the hatred of the Am Ha’Aretz or the hatred of the New Jew for the old. You make an assertion with much confidence but not much reason. I would seriously like someone to change my mind, but I cannot find any basis to do so.

    As an aside, I find it troubling that the very same arguments that the Arabs, and the “outside world” besides Israel use vis-a-vis the conflict between Israel and the Arabs is always answered by “they hate us” and “Esav soneh L’Yaakov” and “where were they at the Holocaust” but when those very same arguments are mustered against Israel, they are dismissed as the fruit of the complacent.

    The facts are that the Chilonim do hate us, and the Am Ha’Aretz does hate Talmidai Chachamim. All our efforts will not help. As “people like you” say when defending Israel against her enemies, “they hate Jews and they always will.”

  14. Eli in USA says:

    Rabbi Rosenblum:

    In all fairness, the Karlin-Stolin Rebbe (from Givat Zev?) is an American, and is not as “extreme” as the “real” Israeli Charaidim. He is more (politically) like yourself.

    As far as reducing the hatred, it is very possible that the secular would have left the Charaidim alone if not for all of the clashes and coercion CAUSED by the charaidim. Bais Shemesh as a battleground, not allowing (TZNIUS!) pictures of women on busses in Yerushalaim and the consistant takeover of neighborhoods and communities (I know, Charaidim need “Lebensraum”) that were formerly tolerent has gotten the rest of the country to say “enough”. Between that and the money is more than sufficent.

    How to stop the hatred? Bezras Hashem, it will diminish together with funding, as the non-charaidim will feel more “left alone”. In addition, an outright rejection by ALL gedolim of fanatical non-Torah ideas (as was done to Sabbtzai Tzvi), as well as shunning/reporting of those who are fanatical, will convince the rest of Israel that the Charaidim are willing to be part of society, instead of dictating what society will be.

    “Is the chareidi educational system so weak that the boys learning in those yeshivos can’t withstand the religious challenges my son faced?”

    Unfortunately, the answer to this is “Yes”.

  15. Dr. E says:

    Jonathan seems to be deflecting the core issue(s) on two counts. First, that it is largely a Chareidi PR problem requiring tikkun (and that Kesher Yehudi and Ayelet HaShachar are the antedote). Second, that this is merely the result of political missteps by the Chareidi community that resulted in this perfect storm. While that might play well in Mishpacha, I presume that in this more connected-to-facts-on-the-ground CC forum, those theses will not resonate. Many of us are keenly aware of the seemingly entitled Chareidi community in Israel, that despite its contributions to Torah, have been taklers for too long

    Aside from the Chareidi community in Israel having burned many bridges (some literally, unfortunately) vis a vis the secular and Dati Leumi communities, in the spirit of Pesach, there are “feehr kashehs” as why his point of view has fallen on deaf ears:

    (1) Nachal Chareidi, which is an obvious accommodation, never received a formal haskama initially and certainly not now. Its ranks to date are barely mainstream Chareidi, catering more to DL types who want a more separate environment and Chareidi youth who by mainstream Chareidi standards are OTD.
    (2) Hesder. Anyone especially in the DL community, who knows about the serious Torah learning which goes on in Hesder Yeshivos will know that the monopoly and ownership of Torah cannot be honestly claimed by Chareidim. So, to dictate national policy related to our Torah, is no longer seen as authoritative.
    (3) National Service. Chareidim and its leadership have failed to endorse Sherut L’eumi for young men or young women as full or even par-time “out” for the IDF. Basically, they are saying “we believe in Chessed, but we won’t agree to play ball with the Zionists”. What a wonderful paradoxical statement.
    (4) The implication that all Chareidim, by definition, are Torahso Umnaso, each deserving indefinite exemptions. This ignores the possibility of below-average intellect, motivation, acumen, or desire to learn but just not Gemara 12 hours a day. Or that there might be a DL bochur for whom that label might also be deserving. Or that an above-average Chareidi Talmid Chacham might be better served being an Engineer for the natural gas pipeline by day and a Shel U’meishiv by night. Can anyone in the Chareidi community with intellectual honesty, in good conscience perpetuate the all-of-nothing tafkid in life?

    A prominent Hesder Rosh Yeshiva whom I deeply respect, commented recently that it is improper to frame the issue as one of “sharing the burden”. The word “burden” should really be replaced with the word “responsibility”. Using that as the basis, much of this conversation would be fundamentally different.

    I presume that the current Ami interview with the Rosh Yeshiva of Brisk in Israel is a foreshadowing of an unprecedented PR and fundraising onslaught in America over the coming months, in places like Lakewood, Brooklyn, and Monsey where the money is. They will send all of the big guns here (it would not surprise me if some of those who will come have never been outside of EY or been in America before) for massive Asifos at which the sky is falling will be yelled into the loudspeakers. They will encourage using whatever leverage that American Yeshivish might have with politicians in Israel to be leveraged. The rhetoric will be turned up a notch or two (or three) about how this will mean the destruction or Torah in Israel and how the government, Bennett/Lapid/Lipman, etc. are evil. (This is despite the obvious “cognitive dissonance” for American Yeshivish’s relatively more “balanced” chinuch curriculum and goals in America with that of the Chareidi community in Israel.) So, to imply that ”THE CHAREIDI PUBLIC” in both Israel and America is a single ideological bloc might not be all that accurate when it comes to cutting the checks.

    What Jonathan is seeing and hearing is that the DL community no longer want to be seen as “Shabbos goyim”, even if on some level they are appreciated by some in the Chareidi community. Isolated stories from today or having to draw stories of Roshei Yeshiva 40 years ago is surely not going to blunt the sharpness of the anti-everything-but-us rhetoric that is very much the mainstream. As such, “mir kennet tahncin by tzvei chassenehs….”

  16. SA says:

    I think we could start lessening the tension by demonstrating that we mean what we say. For example, if Torah learning is so important, then all yeshivos — including the DL ones! — should start doing away with that extra week of “bein hazmanim” after Pesach and Sukkos. That would be a statement that would be noticed and would resonate.

    I’m surprised that, given today’s political atmosphere, no Torah leader I know of thought to do that this year.

  17. Harry Maryles says:

    If you look at what R’ Dovid Soloveitchik said in last week’s Ami interview… you will understand why Jonathan’s lament won’t ‘play in Peoria (Read: Bnei Brak)’. And R’ Dovid is not alone in that kind of rhetoric.

    I agree with Jonathan’s ‘Pogo’ analysis. But unless you get people like R’ Dovid to stop the ‘Shas HaShamd’ rhetoric this entire article is a waste of breath. My gut feeling is that Jonathan is ‘preaching to the choir’. Most Charedim probably agree with him, privately. But he is not one of their rabbinic leaders. Thus not anyone whose advice they should follow. (Sorry for the use of all those old cliches. But they fit.)

  18. DF says:

    In any post on this (or related subjects) on this website, the majority of responders are against the charedi position. Now this website is read and commented upon predominantly by products of the black-hat yeshivah world. In more modern parts of the orthdoox world, the oposition would be even higher. If even (at least!) half of religious Jews dont approve of the charedi lifestyle, can you even imagine what other Jews – the majority of our brothers, in other words – think??

    Why does it always have to be about “invective”, or how the charedim “present” themselves? At one point does one finally admit that it has nothing to do with PR, but that the system itself is wrong? Cherry-picking antecodes like the one about R. Chaim Shmuelvitz doesnt fool anyone.

  19. Charlie Hall says:

    “traditional alliance between Likud and the chareidi parties”

    I don’t get this. Chareidi parties have traditionally been willing to ally with anyone who offers them money and power. They supported governments of Ben-Gurion, Rabin, Barak, and Olmert that excluded Likud.

  20. shmuel says:

    “Have we sufficiently shown the secular public that even if few chareidi parents are spending sleepless nights worried about their own children on the front lines that we are deeply concerned with the fate of every Jewish soldier?” A thought experiment might be helpful here.

    Imagine you had given up several years to the army, years during which you would much rather have been doing something else had defending the country and its population not been necessary. Imagine further that you had given up a month or more each year to reserve duty away from your family and whatever other things you would rather have been doing. Imagine that during these periods you endured significant physical, mental and emotional hardships. Imagine your sons were doing the same. Imagine that friends and/or relatives of yours had lost their lives (or an eye or a leg or a face) doing the same.

    Now imagine how a community of thousands of people who refuse to serve in the army, while gladly accepting the protection of that army, might convince you of their deep concern for each and every soldier. What would they have to do to convince you?

  21. lacosta says:

    with respect to ben dov , yissachar did not put a gun to zevulun’s head, threaten to collapse zevulun’s government, threaten to give back territory to zevulun’s enemies [ not yissachar’s–they have divine protection ] if zevulun doesnt send a check; yissachar didnt laugh at zevulun for being a Frier/fool for working and not taking a dole from zevulun’s brother, yissachar didnt try to convert zevulun and disparage his lifestyle ,his tora leaders , his institutions , holidays etc …i could go on and on ….

    and secular Israel doesnt care about all the chessed orgs haredim do…if hilonim got checks in the mail , they too would have time for proselytizing and hessed activities—except that secular Israel ALSO has huge hours of volunteerism….

  22. lacosta says:

    one more point . the last time in jewish history so many learned tora on another’s expense was in the midbar. the bill was covered by the Rosh Yeshiva —who provided Manna, clothes, housing ,security— no questions asked. now imagine if instead , the leader of that community rabbi m amranson sent out letters to the other regional neighbors , let’s say estranged off-the-derech cousins , Moav , Ammon , and Eisav , and sent a list of demands: provide for our food, housing, child support, provide military protection for us . in return , we will deride you and your lifestyles, try to eliminate your way of life.
    what’s in it for you? our G-d will protect you from the Assyrians and other enemies; and we after all , will visit your sick and bury your dead…

    needless to say, the idea would have been ludicrous…. but modern Israel is fantasy made reality , warped as it is….

  23. lacosta says:

    final point. for too long the DL Mizrachi million has had the worst of both worlds. hilonim can disparage them as religious. but more importantly , haredim have vilified and denigrated them as worse than hilonim- in the way that originally the aguda’s Jewish Observer used to go after non-O as the threat to Judaism , but later concentrated on the Falsehood that is modern O. like this week’s parsha’s where 4 species are singled out by name for the disgusting trait of having a single kosher sign, the pseudo-kosher status must be magnified and disparaged, as it remains a truly greater danger — that its values of to protect and to serve and to be actual full citizens in the civic sense of the world , is much more dangerous….

    ….and yet he has no clue why a DL columnist feels as she does , after 100 yr of calumny….

  24. Dr. E says:

    Also, it would seem that in previous generations in s Europe, if it were not for issues of Kashrus or Shabbos, there would be no such fundamental objections to service in the Czar’s army.

  25. Moishe Potemkin says:

    I think the assumption that non-Chareidim *hate* Chareidim (rather than understandably resenting the propensity to take without sincere appreciation) is itself inflammatory.

  26. Menachem Lipkin says:

    I’m surprised that Jonathan has fallen into the false “hatred” trap. While it’s true, I’m sure, that some minority non-Chareidim do actually hate Chareidim (just as the converse, as evidenced by the vile statements regularly tossed out by the media and leadership, is likely true) much of the Chareidi media and leadership have speciously turned legitimate criticism into “hatred”. The advantages of doing so are clear. It helps rally the flocks, it maintains the lines of distinction that the leadership work so tirelessly to enforce, and it shuts down constructive discussion which might threaten the coveted “status quo”. One need look no further than the likes of Al Sharpton to see how similar tactics are utilized in other “oppressed” communities. By framing his article on the banner of this canard, Jonathan essentially undermines the small amount of self-reflection he tries eek out toward the end.

    The true good that could come of this is if, as Jonathan says, Chareidim are afforded “new opportunities to meet our fellow Jews on the individual level” and learn that people don’t “hate” them but have legitimate issues with how their so-called “Torah” life-style might be affecting the broader society. And once they realize they’ve been mislead about the “hatred” “everyone” feels for them they’ll start to see that the “emperor” might not be as fully clothed as they thought.

  27. ChanaRachel says:

    It’s not hatred- more a frustration that an important relationship (between chareidim and the rest of Israeli society) is becoming more and more skewed, and any attempt to restore a little normalcy is met with “you hate us”. If every proposed change is called a gezerat shmad, this leads non-chareidim to assume that any sort of negotiated, gradual, win/win plan is impossible, and to therefore seek maximalist, imposed approaches.
    I also think that the issue of chareidi army service is an expecially sensitive one for those in the Dati-leumi community. Several examples:
    1-The preferred chareidi division of labor seems to be “we’ll learn for you and you fight for us”. To the non-observant, who nevertheless have some appreciation of the importance of tora learning, this division of labor may seem reasonable. Many would probably much rather spend their time in the army than in a beit midrash, though they may recognize the importance of someone sitting and learning. However, for the DL, this doesn’t sit well. We don’t want to do all the fighting while you do all the learning — we want to learn with you and to fight alongside you..
    2- I think statements such as “army service represents a spiritual threat to chareidi recruits – an unassailable sociological fact in the current IDF environment” are most offensive to the DL community, who somehow manage to serve without compromising their orthodoxy or emuna. (I don’t have statistics, or even know if such statistics exist, but from my sons and son-in-law tell me, the incidence of DL kids leaving orthodoxy during or as a result of army service is very, very low).
    3- R’ Rosenblum touches on the fact that most chareidi shuls don’t say the mi sheberach for chayalei tzahal (I’ve never heard a cogent explanation of why not) and this increases resentment- here too- especially among DL who notice and care about such things. It’s a little strange- all along the chareidim say that they learn to protect all of klal Yisrael. We appreciate that and say “yekum purkan…” every shabbat..why are they unwilling to reciprocate with a mi sheberach for chayalim?

  28. Yehuda says:

    Historically speaking, the hatred started in the non-religious camp. They were the ones who showed up in Eretz Yisrael and tried to wipe out the Old Yishuv (and they haven’t given up trying).
    It would be very nice to get an apology for the terrible way the irreligious zionists treated the haredim when they turned up here. Remember De Haan, anyone?
    And speaking of De Haan, haredim were managing okay coexisting with the Arabs till the Zionists messed it all up with their demand for a state. The security situation before all that was much better than that of today, despite (?) the IDF.

    But I don’t believe haredim hate the hilonim, though they may look down on them, and pity them for being cut off from their roots, partially or totally.
    Nonetheless, i wonder if even that is so overwhelmingly true. I think DL must be quite miffed that the vast majority of baalei teshuvah enter the haredi, not the DL world. Why would they do so, if the haredim are really so hating/condescending?
    The Karliner Rebbe may be american but the vast majority of his chassidim are not.

    I wonder what the DL position is on shemiras einayim? Is there one? Anyone who spends any amount of time in the haredi world will know that there is a huge emphasis placed on personal kedushah and shemiras einayim. It’s not a question of “the bachurim are so weak that they can’t enter the IDF.” Rather it’s “there is a yetzer hara, and he thrives in places lacking in kedushah,” and a person is not supposed to put himself to test. This is one of the main differences between the haredi and the DL world. Of course there is a huge difference between poskim dealing with aveiros and actually condoning them. A person won’t do teshuvah unless he knows he’s doing something wrong!

    So far, the army hasn’t been so successful starting up programs that put any concerns in this area to rest. One frogman program that was started for haredim very quickly folded because of this.
    Interesting that nachal haredi attracts DL who want a more separated environment…

    One suggestion (almost a proof) that the govt’s plans are motivated by sinah rather than justice/pragmatism is that they are taking a very inefficient route. If they really want the haredim to contribute, they should design a non-socialist way of doing things. National service is widely acknowledged as a huge waste of funds and manpower, and the IDF has been protesting for years that it neither needs nor wants haredim.

    Nonetheless, the problem is deep-rooted, because fundamentally, many haredim do not want to support the state in any way (although they are forced to do so when paying VAT and other taxes etc.). The state is seen as the evil govt that the Gemara talks about when it describes the situation before Moshiach, so why help it out? As a matter of hashkafah, there is nothing wrong with helping to protect fellow Jews, but doing it as part of a state apparatus is no good. So why not find a way to solve this problem?
    Historically speaking, of course, the haredi way of protecting the community from the Arabs was to deal directly with the Arabs, and this ensured the survival of the Jewish communities in Yerushalayim and around the country for centuries. So though various commentators here have scoffed at “Divine protection” i wonder how they explain the miracle of Jewish survival without it?

    Readers might be interested to reference Rav Melamed’s recent article (A7 oped) which notes that the level of learning in the US yeshivos is below that of those here. Perhaps because of the “much vaunted” secular education that those in the US are forced to waste their time on?
    Personally, as a graduate of Cambridge U in England, i can assure you that the vast majority of my many years of secular education were a total timewaster. The main ingredient in a successful chinuch system in my humble opinion is a critical mind, which is totally discouraged in almost all circles of academia. Of course Gemara learning is based precisely on criticism and understanding, not rote learning of useless facts.
    A recent sharpshooting contest in the IDF was won by nachal haredi, whose members, despite not having been on the core curriculum, easily mastered all the equations etc. needed for the calculations. Similarly, those haredim who take academic exams later in life score very highly. Maybe it’s the terrible secular education system in this country that has something to learn from the haredim?

  29. yeshaya says:

    Lifelong kollel for the masses was a radical historical innovation that was meant to last just a generation, not for all time. But people get used to the status go. So if the gedolim won’t move people back toward Chazal’s preferred Avos 2:2 lifestyle of Torah combined with work, then maybe Hashem has sent a secular/dati-leumi government to do it for them. Privately, I understand that many charedim are saying that the changes will be hard but in the end they will benefit everyone. After all, Chazal said that one who is good in the eyes of his fellows is good in the eyes of G-d. If “sharing the national burden” by increasing charedi army and workforce participation will improve the image of Torah and bnei Torah among the non-observant, then that will be a wonderful kiddush Hashem.

  30. lacosta says:

    – an unassailable sociological fact in the current IDF environment” are most offensive to the DL community, who somehow manage to serve without compromising their orthodoxy or emuna. (I don’t have statistics, or even know if such statistics exist, but from my sons and son-in-law tell me, the incidence of DL kids leaving orthodoxy during or as a result of army service is very, very low).

    —— in fairness to the haredi community, this is one claim they make that is most likely true —the DL dropout rate is hi enough that pre-army mechinot were tried to prevent wastage…. the question is who would be more prone to dropping out of O–
    those who already lived in a relatively open-door environment, or those from closed communities. while they may be ostensibly frummer, it could be that the closed society nature of their lives is like an immune deficiency , that leaves the unvaccinated even MORE vulnerable….. and besides the argument could be made that it is better to have no army at all than to lose even one neshama….

  31. JJ says:

    As an FFB working guy here in Israel (an Oleh 13 years ago), I (& almost all my friends) have zero hatred for Chilonim. Whenever we have a chance we do our best to connect with them, in fact we actually feel some love & connection towards them.
    I work with many secular men & women mainly by phone and email however we do meet from time to time and Iv’e realized that in almost all cases they are so shocked when they meet me, they say “what?? you are charedi?? but you are normal!!!”. (I am sometimes shocked at what they think of the Charedim, they too are shocked to hear it’s all lies)
    The anti charedi press (mainly TV) do a fantastic job with their agenda, e.g. showing a 1 minute TV clip of something wrong / negative (which unfortunately happens) in the charedi community can kill 1000 hours of love and kiruv thousands of charedim are doing.
    If for three months up to the elections the Channel 2 young and energetic reporters repeat (/ host guests that repeat) 30 times a day with full emotion “isn’t it unfair that we have to serve and charedim don’t do anything they just take all our money etc.” and I was a chiloni I would also totally buy it.
    Almost all responses – and the chiloni public’s general message – is all coming from emotion and not thinking based (being that this is the case I strongly believe that we will never manage to convince an emotion based cry against us with anything we do)
    It amazes me that for 60 years no one has managed to get the charedim in the army but Lapid and Bennett think they will succeed :), it’s definitely a gezeirah and we must try and understand what Hashem wants from us (probably strengthening and increasing our learning)
    The money cry is also absurd, if we comprise such a small part of Israeli society and proportionately we ARE in the work force and paying taxes (in my case approx NIS 3500 a month) then the meager grants the Avreichim get are totally justified (versus the help university students get) especially when you take a look at the wacky funky stuff the state sponsors (millions on art, sport, tourism etc.), the fact that 70% of our shul members are working (charedim) paying full taxes you never hear us complaining that it’s unfair my kids are learning in caravans for the past 7 years when there are empty school buildings sitting idle for the chiloni public.
    My point is if you look at what the charedim get for their programs / agenda’s versus the secular Israeli public spending you will see that the charedim are proportionally getting nothing, its just the general cry that heats it all up emotionally and it sounds good so everybody cries along “they are taking all our money” (to the level where a nurse has the chutzpah to tell a patient you are constantly taking)

  32. dina says:

    “I think DL must be quite miffed that the vast majority of baalei teshuvah enter the haredi, not the DL world. Why would they do so, if the haredim are really so hating/condescending?”

    They would be more miffed if this were true. But it isn’t.

  33. dina says:

    you know that “miraculous period in which the secular Israeli government became the prime supporter of Torah learning on a scale unprecedented in Jewish history”?

    Well, there’s a special day coming up in which it might be possible for you to express some hakaras hatov for that, for once.

    Let the charedi world celebrate yom ha’atzmaut or, heck, even acknowledge yom hazikaron.

  34. Eli says:

    Yehuda, as has been stated before by many, Nachal charedi members are not really charedi (they are mostly people from the DL world who want a completely separate environment). Most of them have studied the core curriculum. I know of at least 2 people that went into NC- neither voted for either UTJ or Shas – both voted Bayit Yehudi.

  35. L. Oberstein says:

    I think that change is coming. Before the election, Mishpacha editorials criticized the charedi politicians and Jonathan has done so numerous times in the past. Now, the election is over. Is there any movement at all to replace the failed askanim with new ones? Is it heresy to ask if the Venerable Eldes of the community are getting the whole story and if they chose their spokesmen or the other way around. A lot depends on changes on the ground. If indeed Rav Stav is elected Chief Rabbi and cleans up the Rabbanut, makes it user friendly and establishes decent Kashrut supervision , that will be a sign that something has changed. The cynical takeover of the Chief Rabbinate ten years ago was a low point and if it is not corrected, it will show that the rhetoric doesn’t match reality. I think that many Israelis are ready for more Judaism in their lives and that the old anti-religion Socialists are passe,at least when we are better at explaaining. Ruth DFalderon and Dov Lipman and Shai Piron and Naftali Bennett can save Judaism in Israel by taking it out of the hands of those who make it look petty, backward and exclusianary. If their coalition can hold, there is hope for the future. I hope my children can still marry Jews after saying what I think is the obvious truth. Charedi society is based on social isolation and banishment of anyone who deviates. We have to break that lock on society and have the courage to stand up to those who have put their fingers in the dike. We could be on the cusp of a religious revival thanks to Yair Lapid, and I hope he succeeds.

  36. mb says:

    “Personally, as a graduate of Cambridge U in England, i can assure you that the vast majority of my many years of secular education were a total timewaster. The main ingredient in a successful chinuch system in my humble opinion is a critical mind, which is totally discouraged in almost all circles of academia. Of course Gemara learning is based precisely on criticism and understanding, not rote learning of useless facts.
    Yehuda”

    Well, Cantab at least taught you how to write angrily!
    Some of the greatest thinkers in the Orthodox world, both male and female are Cambridge graduates who fully embraced and integrated the curricula offered there, which after all, is God’s wisdom.

  37. Sarah says:

    “….refused to let Mirrer bochurim spend more than the briefest time outside of the beis medrash during the Yom Kippur War”

    If we have to go that far back, before most of our current avreichim were even born, no – we haven’t internalized it.

    Also Netanyahu made a 3rd mistake in his elections – the ad campaigns spewed hatred for the religious. He primed his own constituency to be ready to let go of a coalition with the charedi parties. And oddly Shas and Gimmel turned their strong election language not back at Likud, but against Bennett (while Bennett had none to dish even in response).

    Yes, if the “corporate charedi enterprise represented in the knesset” could be weakened just a bit – maybe the rest of us could get along quite well.

  38. Miriam says:

    Yehuda you write a very thorough and debatable support of the charedi position. Two notes –

    “Nonetheless, the problem is deep-rooted, because fundamentally, many haredim do not want to support the state in any way (although they are forced to do so when paying VAT and other taxes etc)”

    Then why take all the tax benefits etc. and not go the way of Satmar?

    “the level of learning in the US yeshivos is below that of those here. Perhaps because of the “much vaunted” secular education that those in the US are forced to waste their time on?”

    More likely because of the (a) several-years’ gap of Hebrew language (and less affinity with its cousin Aramaic) and (b) the “island” nature of chutz la’aretz versus the immersion of Torah lifestyle in Israel.

  39. Simcha Younger says:

    I agree with the other commentors here who said that generally hatred is the wrong word. Resentment or distrust work better, Regardless, since the Chareidim are a clearly distinct community, acting as a closed group, the sociological default is distrust. The Chareidi community (as any similar community, and as the Jewish community in America) must actively work on building trust. The Chareidi education should have taught how to relate to the DL and non-religious communities in a respectful manner, and how to understand how they look at the Charedi community. This did not happen, and too many people in the chareidi community find it impossible to give any respect to anyone outside their community, even just to acknowledge that how chareidim act influences how others look at them. So the question should not be so much how to lessen hatred, but how to build trust.

    Building trust will require first taking stock of how the public actions of the chareidi community are affecting how others look at them. This means that instead of promoting what the chareidim want other to look at (i.e. their chessed operations) they need to start paying attention to what other people actually are looking at (relying on government transfers while serving in the army.) Regardless of how the charedid community wants to deal with this, at the very least it has to be the basis of the discussion of how to build trust. The second step should be changing how the chareidi community relates to others, with a focus on the personal (and educational) level. After that it will be possible to work on fixing public and social policies.

  40. Simcha Younger says:

    How to lessen hatred in three easy steps:

    1. Stop promoting or accepting any victim mentality.
    2. Stop taking money from the government.
    3. Dismantle the State Rabbinate.

    As an added bonus, this will greatly improve the general health and vitality of the orthodox community, and will vastly improve the status of religion and religious integrity in the country.

  41. Ellen says:

    Lots of strawmen here – one can only hope that charedi readers who still do say it’s all the fault of the chilonim might be woken up to the weakness of many of these arguments. But if they can’t see it themselves, they certainly won’t listen to anyone – inside or outside the charedi circles – who will actually say it.

    The irony of calling a government “the prime supporter of Torah learning on a scale unprecedented in Jewish history” is that it lacks the acknowledgement of where this benevolent government gets “its” unending supply of money – by forcibly taxing its citizens! So of course the charedi avreichim have no one to actually thank, it’s a conglomeration of political deals that decides how citizens’ money is redistributed, not the citizens’ will themselves.

  42. Charlie Hall says:

    “the haredi way of protecting the community from the Arabs was to deal directly with the Arabs”

    Ashkenazi Charedim didn’t deal with “the Arabs” — they were still in Europe until the early 19th century. And when Ashkenazim finally began to make aliyah then, the Arabs weren’t in charge — the Ottoman Turks were. In fact, Arabs had not ruled Eretz Yisrael since the tenth century CE.

  43. Sholom says:

    In response to Yehuda:

    “Historically speaking, the hatred started in the non-religious camp.”

    So what? Where does it say that if your brother hates you, you should hate him back? Please review the halochos of tochacha. Nice begets nice. Remember – reflected waters …?

    “The security situation before all that was much better than that of today”.

    Oh, so that was a party that took place in Chevron in 1929! Sorry. My mistake.

    “But I don’t believe haredim hate the hilonim”.

    Then take off your blinders and take out your ear plugs. You’re just an apologist.

    “The vast majority of baalei teshuvah enter the haredi, not the DL world. Why would they do so, if the haredim are really so hating/condescending?”

    Because, baalei teshuva tend to extremes. It’s the exception that takes up the middle path of Yiddishket.

    “I wonder what the DL position is on shemiras einayim?”

    Good point. So shall we now go and enumerate the good points of the DL community that are sorely lacking in the charedi community?

    “Interesting that nachal haredi attracts DL who want a more separated environment…”

    Because anyone from the charedei community who wants to join is immediately ostracized, even by their own families. It takes great courage for a charedei to join nachal charedei. That’s why their numbers are so low.

    “National service is widely acknowledged as a huge waste of funds and manpower, and the IDF has been protesting for years that it neither needs nor wants haredim.”

    So therefore, let me sit here and contribute nothing while you (chilonim) send your kids to be killed r’l. Nice. Oh, and don’t even say a tefila for their sons or show them gratitude.

    “The state is seen as the evil govt … so why help it out?”

    Aaaah! Dorten iz der hunt bagroben (That’s where the dog is buried!)

    So it’s not ok to help the evil govt, but it sure is ok to take their money. And if they decide to stop the flow, it’s ok to call them haters.

    “So why not find a way to solve this problem?”

    You missive must have been cut off, because I missed your solution.

    “Historically speaking, of course, the haredi way of protecting the community from the Arabs was to deal directly with the Arabs”

    OK. There are a lot of secular Israelis that hold the same way. So the chareidim and Shalom Achshav should get together.

    “The level of learning in the US yeshivos is below that of those here. Perhaps because of the “much vaunted” secular education that those in the US are forced to waste their time on?”

    Your first statement is true, your second statement is false. The lower level of learning is far more a result of the gashmius level in the US than it is because of the few hours spent learning core subjects.

    “The main ingredient in a successful chinuch system in my humble opinion is a critical mind … Of course Gemara learning is based precisely on criticism and understanding.”

    Only if you are critical within the system. Criticize outside the box, and you will be summarily expelled. Nice open-mindedness (not like in academia, of course).

    “A recent sharpshooting contest in the IDF was won by nachal haredi, whose members, despite not having been on the core curriculum”

    That’s more a physical skill than an intellectual skill. No proof. Also, you just said most of Nachal Charedi are from the DL camp, where they do learn core subjects. Was the winner a charedi or a DL?

    “Similarly, those haredim who take academic exams later in life score very highly.”

    That’s not what I’ve heard. Maybe we need hard numbers on this.

  44. Bob Miller says:

    Yehuda wrote above that “The main ingredient in a successful chinuch system in my humble opinion is a critical mind, which is totally discouraged in almost all circles of academia.”

    I see that many public declarations aimed at the frum world by leaders, spokesmen, and media in that world are intensely emotional and largely devoid of reasoned argumentation, as if the audience were children. How does this fit?

  45. Zach Leiner says:

    Dina,

    I heard this first person from Rav Dov Begun, the Rosh Yeshiva of Machon Meir a trailblazing DL yeshiva for Ba’alei T’shuva, at a parlor meeting in the U.S. in 1996

    “Machon Meir is one of the few Zionist yeshivas for Ba’alei T’shuva. Among the Charedim there are many yeshivas for Ba’alei T’shuva”.

    Unless things have changed dramatically since ’96, an assessment from Dov Begun’s position carries a lot of weight.

  46. cvmay says:

    we might be approaching the end of a miraculous period in which the secular Israeli government became the prime supporter of Torah learning on a scale unprecedented in Jewish history.

    “Miraculous….the Rosh Yeshiva said”…. This could only have been said by an American R.Y. BTW.
    Has this MIRACLE ever been acknowledged or given a blessing for? Besides Rav N.T. Finkel who used to call the Government of Israel his largest DONOR, has this accurate fact been given respect, honor or gratitude to by anyone? Shouldn’t the largest DONOR in the history of a Yeshiva’s existence be recognized and honored at a Yearly Banquet?

  47. Ben Waxman says:

    2. Stop taking money from the government.

    why? universities, kibbutzim, research institutions, private industries, cultural groups, hesder yeshivot and ein sof other groups have government support. if you want to say “acceptance of any government support will be dependent on meeting universal agreed-upon criteria, just like the above groups and no longer will you receive funding without government oversight”, that is something else.

  48. DF says:

    “The level of learning in the US yeshivos is below that of those here. Perhaps because of the “much vaunted” secular education that those in the US are forced to waste their time on?”

    Absolutely false. It is higher for those in elementary school and below, for the obvious reason that in Israel they speak Hebrew. By the time guys are in upper high school or for sure by “beis medresh” level, the chutzniks have caught up. Indeed, very often the chutznikim go on to surpass their brothers, particularly their Charedi brothers, because the latter at that point, having done nothing else at all besides limudei kodesh in one languge only, are already sick of it. Also the fact that the chutzniks have to work harder when younger to attain their level instills in them a sense of dilligence that is frequently absent among hebrew-speakers, to whom learning was as simple as reading a book.

  49. Michael says:

    I hope someone who is “DL” can explain why so many of the comments seem to talk about learning as if it was simply “those chareidim” doing what they want, rather than “serving” by being in the army.

    Chilonim talk that way. But if you are “DL” then you understand what Torah means, and that ultimately it’s not about military power but Divine protection.

    Do you agree that a person sincerely learning Torah is doing more for even those in Israel, much less all of us, than someone standing out at a guard post holding a gun?

  50. Chardal says:

    >I heard this first person from Rav Dov Begun, the Rosh Yeshiva of Machon Meir a trailblazing DL yeshiva for Ba’alei T’shuva, at a parlor meeting in the U.S. in 1996

    That is yeshivas, most RZ Baalei teshuva either don’t go through the yeshiva track but are either:

    Masorti Jews who move towards stricter observance
    Bnei Akiva graduates who don’t come from frum homes
    Malachti Dati school graduates (one local school has a majority of families who are no shimmer shabbos, a good percentage of the students end up as observant.

  51. L. Oberstein says:

    I don’t want to be ‘ad homkinem” but it really hurts me as a father whose son volunteered to stand guard on the Seder Night even though he had already arranged to be elsewhere so that an Israeli boy could be with his family. For Michael or anyone else who sits in comfort and safety to say that “a person sincerely learning Torah is doing more for even those in Israel, much less all of us, than someone standing out at a guard post holding a gun?” is nothing but a cop out and dismissive of the mesiras nefesh of my son and his colleagues in Tzahal.
    Here is the Email he sent about his seder

    Hope your having a nice חג. I had someone switch me at ten for about 45 min I read the Haggadah quick up to the food ate in like five min and went back to the tower were I did the afikowmin a friend came by and we went through the Haggadah till 0130 we opened the door to the tower for Eliyahoo and sang all the songs and talked about going out of מצרים and the זכות we have to be guarding ארץ ישראל ליל פסח so our people could be free to celebrate in their homes and hotels all over the country it was not glamorous the food was not gourmet but it was the most unique סדר
    Love yoni

  52. dina says:

    zach,
    baal teshuva yeshivas are not the only way to do kiruv

  53. dina says:

    “I hope someone who is “DL” can explain why so many of the comments seem to talk about learning as if it was simply “those chareidim” doing what they want, rather than “serving” by being in the army.

    Chilonim talk that way. But if you are “DL” then you understand what Torah means, and that ultimately it’s not about military power but Divine protection.

    Do you agree that a person sincerely learning Torah is doing more for even those in Israel, much less all of us, than someone standing out at a guard post holding a gun?”

    But he’s sacrificing much less.
    And I would nonetheless be willing to accept that–
    If he was willing to even ACKNOWLEDGE that he is sacrificing much less.

    Yom Hazikaron is coming.
    Why will the charedi community not be acknowledging the sacrifice of DL soldiers?

  54. dina says:

    2. Stop taking money from the government.

    why? universities, kibbutzim, research institutions, private industries, cultural groups, hesder yeshivot and ein sof other groups have government support. if you want to say “acceptance of any government support will be dependent on meeting universal agreed-upon criteria, just like the above groups and no longer will you receive funding without government oversight”, that is something else.

    someone of integrity who believes the government is evil should not be benefiting from it. All the groups you quoted don’t believe the government is evil, and the arab groups that benefit aren’t role models of integrity.

    you really don’t see the hypocrisy in “You are EEEEVIL now give me my money!!!”

  55. Michael says:

    “L.”, that’s not an honest answer. I asked you about Talmud Torah vs. holding a gun, and you act as if I were downplaying your son’s personal act of chessed. Chessed is one of the Amudei HaOlam. But as for the rest of what you’ve said, I see you have the “Leumi” part ok, but how can a “Dati” person call “Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam” a “cop out”?

    Dina, you just fell right into the same trap. “He’s sacrificing much less”? Really? How is learning Torah helping his job prospects? This is exactly what I said before, you’re acting like someone sincerely studying Torah is just doing what he wants, rather than protecting all of us.

    I hate to let you in on the secret, but the yeshivos don’t stop learning when the siren sounds on Yom HaShoah either, even though the chareidim were devastated more than anyone — no one today matches the level of European yeshivos, and entire communities of chassidim were wiped off the map. (I read that more than half the Kedoshim of the Holocaust were chareidim.) That’s because there is nothing in Torah that says standing like a Golem is a Jewish way to memorialize the dead. Do you know how many chareidi children learn mishnayos in their memory? Do you think they only memorialize the frum Jews who died?

    They aren’t standing around like the goyim would do, and therefore you say they don’t “acknowledge their sacrifice”? Shame on you.

  56. lacosta says:

    >>>>>It amazes me that for 60 years no one has managed to get the charedim in the army but Lapid and Bennett think they will succeed :), it’s definitely a gezeirah and we must try and understand what Hashem wants from us (probably strengthening and increasing our learning)

    —– could the gezeira also be those whose talent is not learning , should stop learning primarily, [not to say that their tora should be ‘taffel’], but see to find a way to support their family?

    also , i am not convinced that the haredi community has made the case why they should have a lifetime exemption from military service. if they could convince the country that they deserve special exemption , the learning would not be an issue….

  57. Pinny says:

    >> you really don’t see the hypocrisy in “You are EEEEVIL now give me my money!!!” <<

    Of course not. That is exactly what you would say to someone evil who took your money. Since the Israeli government does take money from the Charedim, I see no issue.

    By the way, for how long would you like this non-halachic government to continue, if you had your druthers?

  58. cvmay says:

    Do you know how many chareidi children learn mishnayos in their memory?
    Do you think they only memorialize the frum Jews who died?

    Since I don’t know the answer to either of the above question….perhaps it is a zechus to begin a program of learning Mishnayos in the memory of Fallen IDF soldiers, terror victims or other who have ALSO died al ‘kiddush hashem’.

  59. dovid landesman says:

    Michael:
    You write “Do you know how many chareidi children learn mishnayos in their memory?” Truthfully, I don’t know and would very much appreciate your filling me in – but with real data. I have 20+ grandchildren [kein yirbu] in the chareidi schools in EY and not one of them learned mishnayot, said tehillim or had a teacher, mechanechet, rebbi or menahel/et make any reference to Yom ha-Shoah or Yom ha-Zikaron. The tired lines about “standing like a golem” or that the siren is “chukat ha-goyim” are not the real reason why our [I consider myself a chareidi] community does not mark Yom ha-Shoah or Yom ha-Zikaron. In my humble opinion, we have not yet come to terms with how we should react to the facts on the ground and we are afraid to raise the questions for public discussion because the answer may not be to our liking. Rav Dov Schwartzman zt”l once said that our problem with the medinah stems from the fact that we disapprove of the means through which the Ribbono shel Olam brought it into being. Sixty-five years after the State became a fact, we are hung up on issues that are irrelevant.

  60. Dr. E says:

    Michael

    Of course we believe in “Talmud Torah k’neged kulam”. We just don’t believe that Torah is exclusively Chareidi, that all Chareidim are actually in Yeshivos, and that all Chareidim sitting in Yeshivos (whether objectively capable or not) are actually learning seriously for 16 hours a day. This was never the case in Jewish History (even in Europe) and is certainly not the case today.

  61. Pinny says:

    To all those who decry the lack of participation of Charedim in Yom HaShoah – what did you do on January 27th of this year? Don’t know what I’m talking about? For shame! It is the International Holocaust Memorial Day! Are you not a citizen of the world?

  62. Yehuda says:

    Why we don’t mark Yom HaShoah… How about 9 Av? A day when many chareidim read Holocaust literature, a day on which all Jewish tragedy throughout the ages, most definitely including the Holocaust, is recalled.
    There is also 20 Sivan (Tach v’Tat) if you are looking for commemoration of past massacres.
    And as for Yom Hazikaron: unlike the zionists, we don’t see Jewish fallen soldiers as an anomaly in Jewish history, but rather as one piece of a Galus tragedy. Therefore there is no reason to set aside a day specifically to mark their petiros among all the other millions of korbanos.
    Of course many outside the chareidi world don’t like all of this, and then, there’s a lot more that they don’t like, too. But should pleasing “them” really be the deciding factor? By now it should be obvious that it’s basically impossible to make chareidim look good to outside eyes. They are simply not interested.

    It worries me that there are so many parallels between how the anti-chareidim (note: NOT the secular) view the chareidim, and how the outside world views the Jews. This website could do with a lot more ayin tovah, which would not necessitate eliminating critical thought, contrary to what many people seem to think.

    With regard to the “you’re evil, now give me money” comment: Although there are certainly sectors who do not believe in taking from the medinah, there is no logical reason why believing that the medinah is evil means that you can’t take money from them. Why not bankrupt them? (This is tongue in cheek, I hasten to add, though the point is still valid.)
    Furthermore, perhaps it is partially in the merit of its support of Torah learning that the medinah still exists today? Dare I make this suggestion, or do readers prefer to assert that the IDF is the sole protector of the state?

    When it comes down to it, IDF service as it stands is essentially slavery. Readers may be interested to know that Rav Aviner (a prominent DL rosh yeshivah – though I could be confusing him with Rav Melamed, apologies) has publicly stated that it’s not so terrible for religious soldiers to go to military jail if necessary, if the issue is one of following either army or Torah orders. Is the IDF really ready to accommodate chareidi views on what constitutes chillul Shabbos etc.?

    And, will the state now come down hard on secular draft-dodgers? For instance, something like 40% of Israeli women claim to be religious in order to get an exemption. Where’s the hue and cry? So it really doesn’t seem so unreasonable, in light of this, for the chareidim to be crying “discrimination” with regard to how we are being treated.

  63. Zach Leiner says:

    Dr. E wrote “in places like Lakewood, Brooklyn, and Monsey where the money is.”

    Replace those 3 geographical entities with, let’s say, “Scarsdale” , “Miami” and “Beverly Hills” and repeat that line. What kind of persona comes to mind that would state such a phrase?

    Point is that there might be room for constructive criticism in this exchange on condition of avoiding the other types which, unfortunately, permeate the blogosphre.

  64. Allan Katz says:

    Yehuda,
    I don’t know where you live , but I suggest that we put aside ‘hashkafah’ and start focusing on midos, sensitivity and feeling for other Jews and feeling part of Klal Yisroel. The problem for many is that ‘haskafah’ gets in the way. The lack of sensitivity and identification shows itself in having a barberque picnic on Yom Hasho’ah , ignoring the mourning sirens etc. We don’t have to make special religious takana’as but for eg Yom ha’shoah does not pass without the media, especially the radio – including frum stations don’t share the stories and tears and we can listen and feel part of this national remembering and reflection. Yom Ha’ zikaron is much stronger – you just have to see the the lines of cars parked around the cementaries and hear the parents and siblings talk about their and our fallen sons and daughters. The marking of first Yom Ha’sho’ah, then Yom Ha’zicaron for fallen soldiers and then Yom Ha’atzma’ut is very powerful and emotional. The kiddush hashem of those who went to the slaughter with ani ma’amin’ on their lips and hearts , the sacrifice of the fallen soldiers may have a lot to do with the resurgence of Israel in their homeland and the growth of Torah.
    Your remarks about the IDF are way off the mark. My son has just finished his army service and so often he remarked how surprised frum soldiers were to find commander and officer courses dominated by frum soldiers.

    if we want to make Israel a better place , we have to participate and become a kidush Hashem. Unfortunately when Hareidim blame the press or the chilonim it comes at the expense of concepts of kidush or hilul Hashem. If we think -we , the charadeinm are the good guys and the others are the bad guys we will not see the hand of Hashem.

    Yehudah – try to move beyond haskafah to feelings of community, gratitude and love.

  65. Bob Miller says:

    What kind of modern high-tech army would want to bring in soldiers who are less motivated or less technically qualified than necessary?

    It seems to me that this controversy is not about military efficiency but about sociological aims that include:
    1. Assigning to all sectors of the population an equal role in defense
    2. Assimilating all sectors of the population into the currently dominant culture

    I think that, based on its history, the Chareidi sector is most fearful of Item 2.

  66. shmuel says:

    Michael wrote:

    “…if you are “DL” then you understand what Torah means, and that ultimately it’s not about military power but Divine protection. Do you agree that a person sincerely learning Torah is doing more for even those in Israel, much less all of us, than someone standing out at a guard post holding a gun?”

    If you’re right that it’s that simple, it would seem you’ve solved the problem –send thousands of kollel students to learn in areas where terrorists might infiltrate the border or on the front lines in case of a conflict. According to your approach, it would be the best of both worlds –the kollel students can learn full time and at the same time provide protection better than the soldiers. I wonder how many kollel students would sign up?

    I put it this way not to make fun of you, but to point out that your statement is grossly oversimplified. The relevant statements in chazal need to be understood, and they need to be applied on both a communal and an individual level –and there is more than one way both to understand these statements in the abstranct and to apply them. If you want to point out that there are sources in chazal that indicate that Torah study is an important ingredient in physical protection in certain circumstances, fine. And if you want to explain why you think that applies in a given circumstances, also fine. But don’t assume that a simplistic understanding of either the sources or their application should be self-understood by everyone else.

  67. Michael says:

    Dovid Landesman: I said that chareidi children learn in memory of the victims of the churban. All of your 20 grandchildren (amen, keyn yirbu!) do that. But you implied that there is something wrong with the schools for not using the “holidays” manufactured by the modern state for Zionistic reasons.

    Just read Allen Katz’s comment and you’ll understand why they never will. No matter that the chareidi community was more affected by the churban than any other, if we don’t commemorate their manufactured holiday, it’s “insensitive.” To whom, ourselves? Because we want to think about the memory of our own relatives in a Jewish way?

    The holiday sequence, as Allen wrote, is no coincidence. “The marking of first Yom Ha’sho’ah, then Yom Ha’zicaron for fallen soldiers and then Yom Ha’atzma’ut is very powerful and emotional.” It was designed this way, it’s no coincidence that they chose the Warsaw Ghetto uprising — both because of the message that the true heroes of the Holocaust are those who fought with guns, and because of its timing.

    B’kochi u’v’otzem yadi, with our own hands we, like those heroes of the uprising, will be sure it never happens again by using weapons. It is very powerful and emotional — and wrong. “We’re going to have an army now and protect ourselves, and that’s why we won’t need G-d’s protection anymore.”

    That attitude has failed. Jews are safer in New York than Tel Aviv. The peace treaty with Egypt is as peaceful as the Cold War was, Syria is in turmoil, and Gaza is now a large training ground for young terrorists. Remove the protection of the yeshivos, and you think “b’kochi u’v’otzem yadi” will keep them away?

    Shmuel, you’ve built a strawman argument in order to completely evade the question. The truth is that what you describe actually happened, more or less. During the Batei Mikdash everyone abandoned the borders three times a year, and although this was no secret, there were no “Yom Tov invasions.”

    But under the present circumstances, no one is claiming that both are not needed. Now that we agree both are important, which is greater? Why aren’t you suggesting that more soldiers take time away from holding a gun to go learn?

  68. Simcha Younger says:

    Ben Waxman
    April 10, 2013 at 1:12 am

    2. Stop taking money from the government.

    why? universities, kibbutzim, research institutions, private industries, cultural groups, hesder yeshivot and ein sof other groups have government support. if you want to say “acceptance of any government support will be dependent on meeting universal agreed-upon criteria, just like the above groups and no longer will you receive funding without government oversight”, that is something else.
    ————————-
    Pinny
    April 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    >> you really don’t see the hypocrisy in “You are EEEEVIL now give me my money!!!” <<

    Of course not. That is exactly what you would say to someone evil who took your money. Since the Israeli government does take money from the Charedim, I see no issue.
    =============================

    This is the biggest problem with government generosity. Everyone justifies taking all they can get because everyone else is also taking.

    The chareidi community is taking more than they are giving, otherwise they would be fighting for lower taxes and less transfers. Also, even though the government is evil and non-halachic and illegitimate, if what I am giving is reasonable to cover public spending (i.e. defense, infrastructure, etc.) then it does not justify taking government transfers.

    Our job is too make sure that people do not see us negatively, and not to keep reminding ourselves why they are wrong. Even if everyone else is on the dole, if they are looking down on the religious community for relying on the government, then we should make it a priority not to take the money.

    I also think that a lot of the other government transfers should be stopped, but the fact that others are taking does not justify maximizing what we get. The chareidi community would be in a much better position today, and much more respected, if they would have fought for low taxes and minimal government transfers instead of trying to get as much as they could.

    The chareidi community is the only clearly identifiable group which made a public decision to rely on government transfers so that they are free to pursue their own interests. None of the other groups you mentioned explicitly take government money so that they do not have to work. (Obviously many individuals do, and I regardless am really not trying to justify those other transfers either.) Additionally, the chareidi representatives have created an impression of being a one-issue party which is only concerned about getting more money for their community. (Ok, they care about public shabbos observance also.) This may or may not be a fair impression, but it is the impression they created, and it will obviously cause a lot of resentment.

    Again, it is not really important if people are correct and fair in their assessments of the religious community. We need to make sure the impression is positive, and there is little value in constantly reminding ourselves why we are really right in everything we do.

    These are really secondary reasons not to take money from the government for learning. The primary reason is because learning is a holy calling and the primary expression of social religious dedication, and it must be kept clean and holy. If the money which pays for learning was given unwillingly, then the learning can no longer represent a higher calling, and becomes just an excuse to extract money from others. As long as the religious community is not imposing on others, but sacrifices itself to support the learning, then the learning is rightly seen as a higher cause, and as a Source which can teach people to rise above the secular life and to live by a higher standard. When the religious community insists that other people sponsor their dedication, then their dedication does not mean much, and the object of their dedication is degraded to a meaningless work which cannot teach anything about a better way to live. We cannot expect secular people to respect the value of our learning if we are demanding that they work to pay for it. The transfer does not just cause resentment, but takes away the value of the learning which the wider Jewish community was meant to respect, defeating its own purpose.

  69. Ben Waxman says:

    That attitude has failed. Jews are safer in New York than Tel Aviv. The peace treaty with Egypt is as peaceful as the Cold War was, Syria is in turmoil, and Gaza is now a large training ground for young terrorists. Remove the protection of the yeshivos, and you think “b’kochi u’v’otzem yadi” will keep them away?

    In some ways Jews are more secure in New York than Tel Aviv, that is true. I don’t know if it is true about Jews living in London, Paris, Stockholm and other places in Europe.

    Regarding your second sentence: That is exactly the heart of the matter (or one of the hearts): No one really knows what is God’s heshbon despite all claims of yes knowing. All of this chest thumping that I’ve been hearing from the yeshiva world is just that, chest thumping. Rav Brody claimed that it was the learning in yeshivot (including the Grondo yeshiva even though they ran away to Beit Shemesh) that provided protection in the last war, not kipat barzel. However I have no doubt that if the people who made those statements had to chose between living in a town (under fire) without a yeshiva or living in a town without a of kipat barzel battery, they would chose the former.

  70. Ben Waxman says:

    But under the present circumstances, no one is claiming that both are not needed. Now that we agree both are important, which is greater?

    If you agree that having an army is important, than why do you oppose learning mishnayot to the memory of those who died in the army? Even if the secular Zionists are hell bent on eradicating Chareidi Judaism (which I don’t believe but I am not arguing that point) why does that free you of any hakarat hatov?

  71. Allan Katz says:

    Michael,
    You are missing the point I am making. Forget the haskafa, don’t rely on the classical outdated approahes to Yom Ha’atzma;ut , ha’sho’ah and yom hazicaron to the fallen soldiers and victims of terror even in present day Israeli context to guide your frum response or what Hashem wants from you especially if you live in Israel. I am not talking about officially commemorating but being in touch with the mood of the klal on these days and identifying with positive feelings , being grateful to hashem and doing heshbon ha’nefesh. This is what my role models in the Chareidi community do

  72. Allan Katz says:

    I want to share – I daven mincha in a Chareidi Kollel – Ben Yehuda street , Tel Aviv. I approached a great grandson of reb Aryeh Levin , who is also a yiddish speaking Rov of a shul nearby with lots of new french olim. I asked him if he was going to have a busy week ahead. He asked why? I said , being a Rav of lots of new olim from France , yom ha’zicaron and Yom ha’atzmaut is important to them.He asked – is yom Hazicaron and yom ha’atzmuaut not important to you , are we not all Israelis ? !!!

  73. Ben Waxman says:

    you really don’t see the hypocrisy in “You are EEEEVIL now give me my money!!!

    the groups that truly believe that the GOI is evil (by definition), meaning the eda chareidit, don’t take money, AFAIK. the other groups have a far more complex ideology.

  74. L. Oberstein says:

    “What kind of modern high-tech army would want to bring in soldiers who are less motivated or less technically qualified than necessary?”
    Bob Miller is correct up to a point. However, why should bnai torah be unmotivated and unqualified? Who made them into “miskeinim” ,nebach cases as you correctly describe them?
    Dov Lipman is being tarred and feathered by people who deep down share his values . Normal citizens of a country want to be part of their country. The real reason is that the ultra orthodox world is still unable to deal with the Holocaust and unable to acknowledge the miracle of Israel. They exhibit insecurity and fear that their children will go off the derech if they participate in the army or in the work force and that is simply not necessarily true. The State of Israel faces an existential crisis in that a large and growing percentage of its young men are not contributing and are not sharing in the responsibilities of the State. The people you describe are “Kofuei tova” ingrates. Why do they deserve the title “chareidim”, is their behavior really a sign of deep piety? I don’t think so.

  75. Ori Pomerantz says:

    IIRC, 1949-1977 there were only about 800 exempt Yeshiva students.

    1. How did young Charedim handle it? Was the IDF any less secular then than it is now, considering that Dati Leumi were a smaller percent of officers?
    2. Was divine protection lacking? Israel won the wars in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973.

    I am not saying the Israeli model is good, I consider it extremely wasteful and a form of slavery (in the Tanakhic sense of a limited time slavery). But I haven’t seen Charedi leaders suggest a change to a volunteer, paid military.

  76. Simcha Younger says:

    Ori,

    As I understand, there was an extremely high attrition rate from the chareidi community in the early years of the state. Many young (ex-)chareidim were in the army, and not particularly religious. (R’ Shmuel Auerbach has said that from his school class in Eitz Chaim, only one other student remained in the fold.)

    This initial failure contributed a great deal to the isolationist attitudes of the chareidi community. They saw that just about everyone who had anything to do with the state establishment became irreligious, or radically reduced their religious commitment. The only way they could see to protect the religious lifestyle of their families was by minimizing contact with the secular society.

  77. yankel says:

    The Torah-Jews, based on the Pesak of the vast majority of great Talmidei Chachomim, rejected political Zionism. The majority rejected any Zionis, but there were enough supporters for Chovevei Zion to minimize the numbers. SOme characters threw off thier backs the yoke of Torah and decided to shlep everyone with them. They went to Israel around 1917 and started making trouble for the original Jews there. They fanned the flames of nationalism and created an Arab nationalism that was displayed in the pogroms of 1929. Before 1917 the institutionalized anti-semitism was pretty low and they only suffered from the regular problems of a backward society. Absolving Zionism for the pogroms of 1929 is revisionist history.
    This Arab nationalism, created and fanned by the Zionists, prevented the British mandate from allowing Jews into Palestine. After WWII the jews in DP camps were stuck with nowhere to go, thanks to the British limits on immigration to Palestine caused by the surge in Arab nationalism, started by the new kind of jewish nationalism called Zionism. When the State of Israel was declared, those Jews from the DP camps could finally go to Israel. But they had a new problem. Zionism had awakened an Arab nationalism that caused a tremendous hatred to Jews all over. This require an answer from the Jews for their own self-defense. However, the IDF had another, nefarious, purpose. The immigration of many different cultures and backgrounds of Jews to Israel created a sociological nightmare. How would they coalesce into one (hopefully secular) society. The army was a melting pot, and most religious Jews who joined the army became irreligious.
    The religious separated themselves from the Zionists, realizing the danger Zionism is to Judaism. Before the Zionists came in 1917, if someone wanted to work or open a business, he was only hampered by the backward society around him. Now the State created a war and announced that anyone who does not partake of the war is forbidden to work. This served to keep the religious in poverty, while assisting the growth of the Yeshivos. If not for the Zionists, the charedim would not have to live on hand-outs. They removed the opportunity to be self-sufficient and now they want a yasher-koach for the peanuts they returned.
    We cannot go to the army because it is a spritual danger for us. We cannot go to the army because we refuse to see ourselves as part of the Goyishe world or as part of the Zionist world. The kernel of Judaism is in the Beis HaMedrash and anyone is welcome to partake. When the secular refuse to be a part of the wider (Torah) world, they have cut themselves off from society and should not blame others for their wrongs.

  78. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Simcha, did the high attrition rate continue all the way through the 1970s?

  79. Ben Waxman says:

    As I understand, there was an extremely high attrition rate from the chareidi community in the early years of the state.

    As there was throughout the modern period when Orthodoxy met open Western societies, new ideas, new worlds. We didn’t handle modernism well, don’t blame it on the Zionists.

  80. chardal says:

    yankel,

    It is sad that you have bought into the chareidi revisionism of Jewish history. The truth is that many of the Arab clans of Palestine and the surrounding areas were horrible to the Jewish populations well before Zionism became an organized movement. There were pogroms against Jews in Tzfat and Hevron in 1834. Just a bit north, in Damascus, the Jewish community incured the infamous Damascus blood libel of 1840.

    The old yeshuv of Yerushalim had to create its own militia to defend against constant Arab attacks in the 19th century. The common name of the organization was הגוורדיה but its original name, give by its founder R’ Hillel Rivlin, was שערי צדק which was used as an acronym for שמירה, עבודה, רפואה, ישועה, צורכי ציבור, דברי קודש.

    A book was published by the Jews of Jerusalem in 1934 called תקנות מאה שערים and in it the author writes regarding the period when this pre-Zionist self-defense organization was created:

    עד העת ההיא לא הרהיב איש יהודי את נפשו לצאת את החומה ולחוץ, כי אך עשרה צעדים אשר הלך האיש משערי העיר וחוצה הייתה סכנה איומה מרחפת על ראשו, וסביב ירושלים על כל מגרשיה הייתה תוהו ובוהו ונשקף על פני הישימון, ואך שודדי יום כמלאכי משחית נראו לפעמים על פני הכפים והצורים הנוראים אשר שממת עולם עליהם

    Until that time [when the militia was founded], A Jewish person would not dare risk his life to go beyond the wall [of the city]. Only 10 footsteps beyond the city gave, grave danger would be hanging over his head. And around Jerusalem and all its fields, there was terrible desolation and highway robbers would often be found like angles of destruction around that eternal wasteland.

    You can read much more about this in מוסד היסוד by אלעזר הורוביץ and in תולדות שכונת מאה שערים by יוסף יואל ריבלין. The old yeshuv had to engage in self-defense long before the Zionists came along.

    Your hatred of Zionism and the state is blinding you from seeing the historical record properly. The fact is, that the chareidi world dropped the ball as soon as Zionism came onto the scene, in true reactionary fashion, it started defining itself as simply the opposite of whatever forces were challenging it. Which is how we arrive at the present situation where the behavior of those brave chareidim of the old yeshuv would be extremely foreign to the modern chareidi mindset (and be considered worthy of great respect by religious and secular Zionists alike). The tikkun to your community will only come when they stop being reactionary and begin adopting a mindset of civic and national responsibility.

  81. Simcha Younger says:

    Ori & Ben,

    I was not justifying the chareidi approach, or blaming the zionists. I was simply observing the sociological roots of the chareidi approach, in response to Ori’s question about the early years of the state.

    Ideologies have a very strong inertia, and a life of their own, independent of the circumstances under which they were born. The initial isolationism may have already been irrelevant by the 1970’s, but it made no difference anymore. It was already a dominant approach, and would run its course, irrespective of its continued relevance.

    I do not think that isolationism was the proper approach at any point, but for those who do support it, I would say it probably maintained its justifications beyond the 1970’s, but by the 1990’s the chareidi community was definitely large and stable enough that their isolationism could not be justified anymore on its own merits. But again, that is irrelevant, because once established it was no longer dependent on stimulus.

    While I have no credentials in history, I see the following sequence:
    It seems that the real crisis for the chareidi community, when they were having a really hard time keeping the next generation religious, was in the period between 1935-1955 (pre- and early- state). The next generation (coming of age 1960-1980) would have been raised by those who held strong in the first period. Their world view would be very heavily influenced by the experience and conclusions of their fathers. Isolationism takes hold in this period, 1960-1980, not in the earlier period.

    The next generation, coming of age 1980-2000, is dealing with setting where the strict isolationism is not compelling on its own anymore, but now is when it becomes an ingrained, long-standing tradition. Their parents are not teaching them their own life’s conclusions, they are passing on the teachings of the previous generation, and presenting their own generation as proof of the value of this approach. This period seems to have been the high point of the chareidi community. They are holding their own, not only stemming the tide, but also enjoying a large influx of baalei teshuva. Religiously, in practice and in Torah scholarship, they are far ahead of the national-religious community. Their approach has clearly succeeded.

    The next generation, maturing now, is taught the same message, but it is has lost a lot of its power. The focus on isolationism has also not served the community well at all in the recent period. Intellectually it has stunted the community and led to the ossification of the leadership, politically it has led to dishonorable representation, and economically it has brought widespread poverty. The religious state of the community is also not as compelling as it was previously, both because of internal stagnation (obsession with mehadrin and chumras, vaad harabanim, daas torah misused) and external developments, ( the growth of the Torani Dati-leumi community). While the isolationist narrative is still maintained quite strongly, it is hard to see it continuing for much longer. The current political changes might be the crises the community needs to re-evaluate its approach to the modern world.

  82. shloi says:

    R.Oberstein wrote
    “They exhibit insecurity and fear that their children will go off the derech if they participate in the army or in the work force and that is simply not necessarily true.”

    Not exactly. They want every child to attain the highest possible level of ruchnius and see the Torah as the only true value. In this generation,the only way to do it is to keep the boys in Yeshiva and not be involved in non Torah occupations. Sending kids to work will not make them go off the derech, but they will be able to reach only a lower level of ruchnius. If you would scale the level of ruchnius from 1 to 10, in Yeshiva you could reach 10, if you work or go to the army, you will be able to reach only say 8. This is unacceptable for them.

  83. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Simcha, thank you. It sounds like the pre-1977 Charedim looked for other ways to avoid military service, so as to maintain their isolation. This might explain why Begin didn’t mind granting more of them exemptions.

  84. Ben Waxman says:

    If you would scale the level of ruchnius from 1 to 10, in Yeshiva you could reach 10, if you work or go to the army, you will be able to reach only say 8. This is unacceptable for them.

    This is interesting. For years, I have been living in Israel and heard multiple justifications for the army deferral. At first, the claim was “Talmud Torah, Shevet Levi”, claims of that nature. Then when significant numbers of guys who weren’t capable of staying in yeshiva all day started appearing, the additional claim that the IDF turns good frum guys into secular types and they (these non-learners) also need to stay out.

    Now there is a totally different claim. A guy can go to the army (or work) and remain dati, or even remain chareidi. But his level of spirituality will drop. Not that he will actually commit aveirot, but that he won’t be in top form. And the conclusion of this claim is that the rest of the world has to serve in the IDF, work, pay taxes, so that Yankel can maintain his high level of spirituality.

    And chareidim wonder why the secular and dati-leumim reject their demands.

  85. yankel says:

    chardal – a civic security force is not a political establishment. Yes, there were dangerous times in the old Yishuv. A mostly lawless society is always dangerous. However, there was not the organized anti-semitism that started after 1917. Two cases in 70 years in a large swath of land from Tzfas to Damascus do not compare to the effects of Zionisim on Jew-Arab relationships. A person could create a belief system that says that the PLO would have bombed Jews without Zionism and presumably, the casualties of the Yom Kippur war would have happened anyway. But that would be a fantasy world and the real world of cause and effect and simple rationalistic thought would not accept it.
    My point is that the Yeshiva world does not owe a thanks for the money they get from the government. The government stopped them working and they owe it to them to help them survive. If they want to endanger the yishuv and risk their lives, let those who wanted the state pay for it, not those who never wanted it.
    Additionally, Ben Gurion needed a guarantee that the Torah-Jews would not block the state. That was done through a deal with the Torah-Jews that Beney Yeshiva would not go the army and they would not hinder the State from being established (through international lobbying etc). For the state to renege on its agreement now is dishonest. Our non-acceptance of the State should absolve us from the army because that was the original deal.

  86. L. Oberstein says:

    “shloi”- why should the taxpayers of the State of Israel support a life of Torah learning for all children in a charedi family, including many who do not aspire to a life of Torah learning but are trapped. You write as if it had nothing to do with the rest of the country. If you are financially able to spend your life learning and never get a job, pay all your tuition bills, and be a giver,not just a taker, that is your situation.But, for you to tell me that you want to retire before you start and that I owe you a livlihood so you can sit and learn,whether you have any ability of not, is not just. The chareidi lifestyle is an aberation and the situation you describe is not what is really true on the ground. It is so morally reprehensible to spit into the well you drink from , to refuse to say a prayer for the soldiers who risk their lives so you can have your life of learning without working.
    The last time the lifestyle you advocate was normative was when we ate manna in the dessert for 40 years, and,even then, they had wars and soldiers were needed. Did they draft only the erev rav or were Jws also in Moshe’s army? Please let me know because my Chumash doesn’t say “kol yotzei tzavah applied only to gentiles or people like the mekallel and the mekoshesh eitzim.

  87. Chardal says:

    >chardal – a civic security force is not a political establishment. Yes, there were dangerous times in the old Yishuv. A mostly lawless society is always dangerous. However, there was not the organized anti-semitism that started after 1917.

    Not true. There was always implicit antisemitism in any Muslim society. Sharia itself is discriminatory against Jews. Organized Arab secular/nationalistic antisemitism was developed at the same time that its European counterpart, in the 19th century. Yossef Bodansky, in his book “Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument” lists the following organized political pre-zionism pogroms in the Arab world:

    Aleppo (1850, 1875), Damascus (1840, 1848, 1890), Beirut (1862, 1874), Dayr al-Qamar (1847), Jaffa (1876), Jerusalem (1847, 1870 and 1895), Cairo (1844, 1890, 1901–02), Mansura (1877), Alexandria (1870, 1882, 1901–07), Port Said (1903, 1908), and Damanhur (1871, 1873, 1877, 1891)

    Of course, smaller “lawless” individual antisemitic acts were common fair. To blame Jews for organizing politically and militarily in order to defend themselves is just blaming the victim and is not a worthy argument for a Jew to make. It is like blaming the black civil rights movement for the existence of the KKK.

    >Two cases in 70 years in a large swath of land from Tzfas to Damascus do not compare to the effects of Zionisim on Jew-Arab relationships.

    See above, I was just listing two examples and you took them as the whole story. Zionism is a just movement on its own right. The fact that antisemites get angry when Jews demand to be treated fairly does not mean we should stop demanding that Jews be treated fairly. You are accepting the antisemitic narrative by doing this.

    >A person could create a belief system that says that the PLO would have bombed Jews without Zionism and presumably, the casualties of the Yom Kippur war would have happened anyway. But that would be a fantasy world and the real world of cause and effect and simple rationalistic thought would not accept it.

    Of course you can not have a state in an area where people hate you without having wars. And of course those wars are tragic, but the blame is with the hateful enemy, not with the people trying to claim the same rights as any other nation has in the world. And the argument is fallacious in many other ways as well. Tragic as these wars have been and as much as we mourn the fallen, they simply do not compare to the state of Jews in most of our exiles. Need I remind you about the history of Jews in exile being led like sheep to the slaughter? It is true spiritual and national weakness that could lead a Jew to prefer exile over sovereignty.

    >My point is that the Yeshiva world does not owe a thanks for the money they get from the government. The government stopped them working and they owe it to them to help them survive.

    No one is stopping them from working. They are welcome to participate in the state and they are welcome to leave if the state is so evil in their eyes.

    >If they want to endanger the yishuv and risk their lives, let those who wanted the state pay for it, not those who never wanted it.

    Pretty much every chareidi participated in one form or another in the war of independence. Even the head of the Edah Chareidis at the time, R’ Dushinsky, called for the participation of all Jews in the war effort as one of the residents of the old city, Yaakov Gellis wrote in his journal:

    לנוכח המצב החמור שבו שרויה ירושלים, אשר היא פרוצה מכל צד, ועתה בעיקר עם נפילת עטרות ונווה יעקב, גויסו הרבה מבני ירושלים לעבודות ביצורים… גם מרן מהרי״ץ דושינסקי שליט״א פרסם צו קריאה להשתתף בעבודות הביצורים בשעת חירום זו. הקריאה הזאת עשתה רושם רב והראתה על חומר ורצינות המצב, והרבה יהודים, ואף זקנים התנדבו לעבודות אלו״.

    The attitude you have was not the mainstream attitude of the chareidi street even in the pre-state days. R’ Avraham Ravitz z”l described once what motivated him to join Lehi:

    “נער הייתי וגם למדתי בתלמוד תורה ׳סיני׳, שהיה סמוך לרחוב מזרחי ב׳, אשר בתל אביב הקטנה. כן, ילד תל אביבי קטן רגיל. באחד הבקרים בחודש שבט תש״ב, ביום לימודים רגיל, שמעתי בכיתה עם חבריי הנערים כמה יריות. זה היה בעיצומה של מלחמת העולם.
    הנועזים שבינינו עזבו את הכיתה, רצנו לרחוב דרך המדרגות ומצאנו שם מהומה גדולה. שאלתי אנשים מה קרה, וכולם ענו: המשטרה הבריטית הרגה שודד ורוצח יהודי. חזרתי לכיתה ושם שאלוני חבריי מה קרה, ומלמלתי להם את אשר שמעתי ברחוב.
    הרבי, שהיה המורה שלנו, פרץ ואמר – ואני זוכר את זה עד היום – ‘אבריימ׳ל, לא רוצח ולא שודד. יהודי הם הרגו. הם רצחו גיבור יהודי בעל מסירות נפש’. הרבי הזה היה הרב יצחק ידידיה פרנקל, שלימים היה רבה הראשי של תל אביב”.
    “החרדים האמינו גם הם ברעיון גירוש השלטון הזר, וזו הסיבה שהם לחמו בלח”י. מתוך עיקרון אידיאולוגי נטו״, פוסק יאיר שטרן, בנו של מפקד הלח״י.״היו בלח״י חרדים עם פאות, כובעים שחורים וזקנים שהשתמשו במראה החיצוני ובדימוי שיצרה התלבושת החרדית ככלי עזר, ובזכותה לא חשדו בכך שהם לוחמי מחתרת.
    מתחת למעילים השחורים הם החביאו רימונים, העבירו חומרי חבלה, כרוזים, כלי נשק ודברי מהפכה, ואף אחד לא עצר אותם כי בחור חרדי בדרך לבית־הכנסת היה הדבר הכי רחוק שאפשר לחשוד בו”.

    “When I was a child, I learned in Talmud Torah Sinai, which was next to Mizrahi St. in small Tel Aviv. In one of the mornings in Shvat, 1942, during a normal school day, my friends and I heard gun shots. This was during the second world war. The brave among us left the class and ran to the street through the stairs and found a great commotion there. I asked people what had happened and everyone answered: “The British police killed a Jewish robber and murderer. I returned to the class and my friends asked me what had happened and I repeated what I had heard on the street. The Rav, who was our teacher, interrupted me and said (and I remember this to this day) – ‘Avraimelle, he was not a robber and murderer. They killed a Jew. They killed a Jewish hero who had great messirus nefesh.’ This Rav was R’ Yitzchak Yedidya Frankel, who would later become the chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. The chareidi of that time also believed in the idea of expelling the colonial power, and that is why [many] fought in Lehi. Simply from ideological reasons. The Lehi had chareidim with Peot, black hats and beards that used their external appearance and the impression that the chareidi dress evoked as subterfuge, and because of that no one suspected them as being fighters in the underground. Under the black dress they hid grenades, explosives, propaganda, and other weaponry and no one would stop them because a chareidi on their way to shul was the least suspicious thing you could imagine.”

    This was a very mainstream attitude in the chareidi world, and yet you condemn the Zionists for the very same attitudes.

    >Additionally, Ben Gurion needed a guarantee that the Torah-Jews would not block the state.

    I have no idea where you get this. evidence? The chareidim at that time had no ability to block anything, why would ben gurion be concerned about them?

    >That was done through a deal with the Torah-Jews that Beney Yeshiva would not go the army and they would not hinder the State from being established (through international lobbying etc).

    evidence? Ben Gurion’s negotiations with the chareidi establishment about army service was done after the state was already established.

    >For the state to renege on its agreement now is dishonest. Our non-acceptance of the State should absolve us from the army because that was the original deal.

    There was no such deal. Ben Gurion, AFTER the state, made a deal to excempt 400 yeshiva students. That was it. I have in my possession part of a correspondence between Ben Gurion and R’ Herzog about this issue that shows that Ben Gurion wanted everyone in the army. I don’t know where you get your history but you can not just make claims without backing them up with some historical sources.

    The most frightening thing, however, is not the lack of historical method you are presenting but rather the fact that you accept the antisemitic narrative that Jews have no right to organize and protect themselves. And that if they do, they are to blame for their enemies’ hatred (as if id did not exist before). Truly, a slave mentality not worthy of a Jew in our era.

  88. shloi says:

    R.Oberstein

    I was not expressing my personal opinion for or against. I just wanted to explain what is my understanding of the situation. According to my understanding, the rabbis will not compromise to anything less than the maximum, even if in practice the actual number of people who will reach the maximum is very small.

  89. Ben Waxman says:

    the rabbis will not compromise

    there has been a truism in the last 100 years in the middle east: those who demand everything end up with nothing.

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