So They Don’t Really Want To Stamp Out Torah, After All
You are going to have to read this excerpt from an article by Dov Lipman, even if he is unpopular with much of our readership, especially since he is only quoting Mishpacha. It appears in today’s Times of Israel. Don’t hug the messenger if you don’t want, but don’t shoot him either.
The Haredi newspaper, Mishpacha, sponsored a poll to determine the attitudes of secular Israelis towards Haredim. They hired one of Israel’s top pollsters, Mina Tzemach, to do the research.
Here are some of the results:
1) 72% of secular Israelis believe that the Haredim do not contribute to the Jewish nature of Israel.
2) 67% believe that the IDF is obligated to provide Haredim who serve with all of their religious
needs to make sure that their lifestyle is not impacted negatively by their army service.
3) 82% are willing to hire Haredim to work in their companies.
4) 93% believe that there must be dialogue between the secular and Haredim to preserve unity in Israeli society.
5) 52% feel that Haredim and secular living side by side in the same areas will lead to better
relationships between these populations.
6) 77% know Haredim personally and 83% have a favorable outlook towards the Haredim who
they do know.
7) Among those who live in neighborhoods with Haredim, 77% say that the Haredim do not disturb
their lives in any way.
8) 91% want to make sure that Israel preserves its Jewish identity, 89% believe that Israeli
children must be familiar with Jewish tradition, and 50% feel that the education system is not doing enough to preserve these beliefs.
9) 92% have a mezuzah on their front doors.
Hatred towards Haredim? Want Haredim to be less religious? Despise Torah and mitzvot? One
professional poll has dispelled all these myths about secular Israel and should be a wake-up call to the entire Haredi establishment.
Lest anyone think that this is my assessment as member of Knesset in the Yesh Atid party, I will quote from Rabbi Moshe Grylak, editor of Mishpacha…”
Rabbi Grylak writes: “To admit the truth, we were stunned. If this poll is correct, we have been living all the time with a mistake. We were sure that the average secular Israeli despised us. Not only that, but we in the Haredi media in partnership with the Haredi politicians, spread this feeling and spoke about it over and over, all the time. And behold, this beautiful structure falls apart
Behold, it has become clear, that the truth is different: Most and close to all don’t hate. An elite minority, perhaps, hates, but this is not the lot of the majority. The majority has no interest in us at all. They don’t have hatred, they don’t have love, they are simply indifferent. We are a black hole. They pass Bnei Brak and have zero curiosity to enter its streets, our kitchens, our living rooms, or our Torah institutions What does this say to us and about us? Why are we not a source of inspiration? What is flawed about us in that which we are not succeeding to spread to the greater society? We must change approaches and the way we look at one another. We must stop fortifying ourselves behind mistaken walls and change paths. We must feel a sense of ‘shlichut, messengers to Israeli society….simply because this is the Jewish way: To be a model and example.”
I could say, “I hate to say ‘I told you so,'” but it wouldn’t be true. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful Pesach bonus if a few people correctly understood the implications of this poll, as Rabbi Grylak clearly does?