Only One Lifeboat

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8 Responses

  1. Ori says:

    In a similar vein, Haaretz’s Ari Shavit attributes the failures of the Lebanon War to the country’s elites, who, in his analysis, sapped every ounce of national will in the insane believe that Tel Aviv could be another New York on the Mediterranean, a “fun” society, to quote Prime Minister Olmert’s most famous campaign promise.

    Then wouldn’t Israel be better off if those elites left instead of sticking around and influencing the rest of the society? People who don’t want to live in a fortress country in the Middle East have no business living in what can only survive as a fortress country.

    In addition, we must demonstrate to secular Israelis that the Torah is a Toras Chaim — that is not only a set of texts to be studied in the beis medrash, but that it provides guidance for every challenge confronting us as individuals and as a nation.

    This is precisely where Charedi insularity damages the Chiloni opinion of Judaism. If you close yourselves in Charedi enclaves, that implies you need enclaves to survives. When the Torah appears to needs to avoid the challenges of everyday chiloni life, then it appears irrelevant to chilonim.

  2. Derek Fields says:

    I think that the Chareidi community needs to do more than acknowledge its responsibility. It needs to acknowledge that forcing secular Israelis to believe as the Chareidi believe and do as Chareidi do will never work. The violence that the Chareidi community engages in and the aggressive imposition of Jewish observance on the non-observant community is not a path to kiruv. It will only widen the gap between observant and non-observant. If the Chareidi community were willing to live and let live, demonstrating the beauty of Jewish life through their actions and not through threats and intimidation, maybe more Israelis would be willing to take a look.

  3. Garnel Ironheart says:

    Beautiful sentiments and well written. (See, I don’t just criticize) There is indeed very little in this piece I can disagree with but I would like to note one thing.

    A few visits to Israel ago I recall spending time with both Chareidi and Chiloni friends. Each group essentially said the same thing: The OTHER was the source of all their problems. The OTHER had to change if they were to all get along. And when one listened to the complaints each side had, they were almost all legitimate.

    Perhaps it is time both sides put down their defensiveness and self-assuredness that there is nothing wrong with how they are, that they don’t have to change despite wanting rapprochement with the other side. Perhaps there has to be a sea change in the Chiloni world to return to a sense of Jewish identity and pride that will allow Israel and the Jewish people around the world to endure what our enemies have planned for us. But there must also be an acceptance on the Chareidi side that they must change as well, an acceptance that perhaps that those truths that they hold so to be self-evident just might not be.

    Perhaps if both sides approach each other and ask “What can I do to show my bond to you?” we would finally see the achdus we need.

  4. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    Additional signs of awakening in Israeli society are the increased commitment of post-Hesder yeshiva graduates to continued Torah study, the high-level RZ kollels such as Eretz Hemdah for dayanut and others, as well as the increased involvement of the RZ community in kiruv and outreach. There are garinim toraniim going out to outlying areas and communities with social problems as well as work in Tel Aviv and other major cities. We in the hesder yeshiva in Ma’ale Efraim (Jordan Valley) have some of our boys working with kids from the community during the afternoon and evening breaks helping them with homework, tutoring for bar-mitzvah, etc. From reading the accounts of activists in the cities, there is great enthusiasm and the activity is well-received. It is important that all the different groups each do what they do best. The keys to the hearts of different people are all different.

  5. HILLEL says:

    “GedoLa HaSaras HaTaBaas MiMemChes NeviIm!”–A clear and presnt threat is the best way to unify the Jewish People, so that they will return to authentic Judaism, in preparation for the Final Redemption.

  6. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    Hillel #5,
    The removal of the ring, the immediate fear of the physical threat, is a bandaid for Jewish survival throughout history. It is clear, however, that the geula, the final redemption, is only going to occur with a change in the hearts of all of us, and Hashem is dragging us through all of history to get us to finally work that out for ourselves. He doesn’t want robots, he wants real people. Until we all get it as a nation and change fundamentally for more than a short time, the struggle goes on.

  7. mb says:

    I’m not sure why you so quickly believe Tamari’s comments about his jailer.I do not. And a poll today suggests that 81% will NOT buy bread on Pesach.

  8. Ori says:

    mb, Tamari’s story is statistically likely.

    If the 81% figure represents the Jewish population of Israel, then 10% of that is Charedim. Charedim mostly do not serve in the military, and are therefore unlikely to be hired by the jail service. This means that the releveant figure is (81-10)/(100-10), or 79%.

    79% is still pretty high, but that is per individual. The guard-prisoner relationship is not one to one. It makes sense that an individual prisoner will see at least 10 guards a day. This means that the likelihood of all guards avoiding Chametz is 0.79^10, or 9.5%.

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