Friday, June 7, 2013

No Other Possible Reason?

There is much to criticize with the charedi editorials and op-eds about the desire of the majority of Israel for the charedim to share the military and economic burden. But one of the most astounding aspects is the constant claim about how this is motivated by some deep-rooted hatred of charedim, which is ultimately hatred of Torah. To give but one of countless examples, here is Rabbi Moshe Grylak in Mishpacha magazine:
Those who plot against the Torah world today are motivated by the same animosity that has long stirred in the hearts of the nations. They can’t enjoy their Western liberalism and self-centered individualism in peace, because the presence of Torah gets in the way of a new permissive society unfettered by Judaism. So, sensing where their values have led them, they can only justify themselves by striking out at those who won’t let them sleep in peace.

Really? Is there no other possible reason why people would want charedim to serve in the army and to enter the workforce? You can't conceive of anything else?

The really incredible thing is that charedim use extremely hateful words against Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennet, and especially R. Dov Lipman, whom Rav Aharon Feldman called a rasha (before sort-of apologizing) but then, in an op-ed at Matzav.com, they insist that they don't actually hate him at all. If they claim that charedim don’t hate R. Dov Lipman, despite the hateful words used about him, then why are they so sure that he hates charedim, even though he has not used hateful words about them? (I tried posting this in a comment at Matzav, but it was not accepted for publication.)

Why can't it be that the rest of Israel is worried about the economic future of a country in which there is massive under-employment? Why can't it be that people justifiably resent the fact that they send their sons to the army for three years, while charedim sit in yeshivos and don't show the slightest hakaras hatov for the sacrifices made on their behalf? Why can't it be that people think it's a disaster for the country when a rapidly-growing sector of the population demands to bring up their children with zero secular education and zero desire to enter the workforce? Why can't it be that people resent having to give money to a large segment of the population that claims a right to be vastly underemployed, to have 90% discounts on taxes, and to be subsidized by everyone else? (These astonishing demands were made explicitly and shamelessly by popular chareidi writer Chaim Walder and UTJ Knesset Member Rabbi Meir Porush.)

And if "sharing the burden" is all about hatred of Torah, then why do many Torah scholars, and even people in the charedi world, feel the same way?

Perhaps it is precisely because the "share the burden" demand is so obvious, so reasonable, and so consistent with classical Judaism, that the charedim have to come up with absurd charges of "hatred of Torah" in response.

52 comments:

  1. Like most things, its a mixture. Yes, the economical issue is real. Yes, there is quiet a bit of prejudice. And thirdly, there does seem to a bit of interest in changing haredim. It does not seem that they'd be perfectly happy with a large amount of haredim, who keep all their world views, who also serve in the military and have a job.

    As for Dov Lipman. I actually agree with R Feldman's original statement. I just wish he knew what he was talking about. Lipman has said a few things which strike me as outside of Orthodox Judaism. 1. He thinks that a statement that a secular judge is passul le'edut is extremism. I disagree. If one who brings a civil suite before a secular court is "raising his hand against the Torah of Moshe Rabenu," then one who judges it is no different. 2. He has stated that there is no Biblical requirement of tzniut, only that men shouldn't look. He reexplained himself on facebook, but in that radio interview, it didn't sound that way. (some halachot are Deoraita)
    I am disagree with a few other statements that he has made, but those are more political (I don't like his Jewish-Democracy hybrid).
    At the end of the day. Without being full of hatred, I believe that he has removed himself from the Law.

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  2. Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz shares with his students a strategy for successfully defending cases. If the facts are on your side, Dershowitz says, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

    Kol Tuv
    Joel Rich

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  3. Chareidi PR folks demonstrate a complete lack of insight. Since they have no interests other than than their own they assume that outsiders also have no other interests than Chareidi ones. The idea that life is going on without them somewhere is simply not considered.
    Conversations on this subject usually go like this:
    Secular: We want you guys drafted to help with the burden of defending the country.
    Chareidi PR: You are like Hitler, Haman and Hadrian all rolled into one! You sit around and think of nothing else but how to destroy us and the Torah all day long! Your plans won't succeed! We will fight you and God Himself will assist us! Wait... why do you hate us so much? Why are you so mad at us?

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  4. The logic is simple:

    1. Judaism is obviously correct – after all, Avraham Avinu at three years old alone in a cave figured out that Hashem runs the universe.
    2. Chareidim practice Judaism exactly as it was handed to Moshe on Har Sinia.
    3. Therefore, the Chareidi version of Orthodoxy is obviously correct.
    C. Therefore challenges to Chareidi Judaism can’t be motivated by a real disagreement with it, but must instead be for other motives.

    The rest is the same rhetoric used against anyone who questions the party line: You just want to be free to follow your taivos, there are no questions, only answers, everone is jealous of frum peple/feelsguilty because they know they really should be frum, etc.

    It’s interesting to see the OTD tropes applied to something else.

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  5. The chutzpah is really breathtaking. btw, dows anyone know whatever happened to MK Amsalem?

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  6. One time, I was trying to learn late at night, and my roommate asked a few times if I could turn off the light, so he could go to sleep. Finally, he just got up and turned it off himself. I shouted, "you just don't want me to learn Torah!"

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  7. Do they not realize how absurd their postion looks to the rest of the world?

    The problem is even deeper. They have so corrupted Yiddishkeit that they have an attitude of "who cares what anyone else thinks". They think that the almost 7 billion people outside their machene have no value and only they are doing the will of the creator.

    When you have that philosophy, you lose all objectivivty and can hold reprehensible positions like they do here. They are selfish beyond belief.

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  8. Pessahim 49B
    The hatred which ignoramuses have for a Torah
    scholar is greater than the hatred that the nations of the world have
    for the Jewish people. And the wives of the ignoramuses hate Torah
    scholars more than the ignoramuses themselves. It was taught in the
    Tosefta that one who studied Torah and left his studies hates Torah
    scholars more than all of them.

    גְּדוֹלָה שִׂנְאָה שֶׁשּׂוֹנְאִין עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ
    לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם, יוֹתֵר מִשִּׂנְאָה שֶׁשּׂוֹנְאִין
    אוּמוֹת הָעוֹלָם אֶת יִשְָׂראֵל, וּנְשׁוֹתֵיהֶן יוֹתֵר
    מֵהֶן. תָּנָא: שָׁנָה וּפֵיֵרשׁ – יוֹתֵר מִכּוּלָּן

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  9. You seem to not realize how invested the Jews as a whole, and I mean ALL Rabbis, are invested in the 'because they hate Torah' mantra.
    Every single enemy against the Jews was because 'they hate the Jews learning Torah'. Channuka, Purim, Lavan, Soviet Russia...how can this generation possibly be different?

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  10. NO ONE HATES THE AMISH

    Those Charedim who really want to live completely removed from society; let them. If they really do not take a single shekel of government money, if they really just sit and learn Torah, and live their lifestyle, and never bother anyone else; let them.

    No one hates the Amish. They do their thing, keep to themselves, and they don't bother anyone else.

    Let that segment of Charedi society who truly want to be separate, Amishize.


    However, other segments of Charedim who want to run businesses in Israel, and use public resources in Israel (like roads, electric lines, police, etc.), - they must be treated like every other Israeli citizen.

    Either yer in, or yer out, of Israeli society; but you can't tantz at two chasunos.

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  11. They're fighting the battles of 200 years ago.

    The battle over secular subjects at Volozhin, and the battle of the Czar's army drafting boys who will never be seen again.

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  12. It runs both ways. The Chareidi need to contribute to society, and I don't care if it's army or national service, but the taxpayer-funded free ride from private school systems through life-long earning has to end because we simply can't afford it. OTOH, there is a tremendous amount of vilification coming from the non-chareidi society that is totally unjustified. The narrow view of chareidi society has to change, and the vilification by non-chareidim needs to stop as well.

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  13. Oz, the Tosefta is, not to put too fine a point on it, dead wrong. You just aren't that important. The world does not revolve around you. Even people who hate Jews don't hate us for reading old books in Hebrew and Aramaic. Other than people who spend their lives immersed in it and those who have quit and are still reacting to that choice nobody cares about "learning Torah" except where it has an effect on their lives.

    How does it impact them? In Israel and a few other places large numbers of Jews refuse to take up the burdens of citizenship, work and educating their children. They let others defend their lives and feed their (huge) families. Their children grow up with no education, no skills and no ability to cope with the world, deepening the cycle. They spit on the country they live in - often literally - and try to enforce their customs on people who don't share their beliefs.

    Meanwhile other Orthodox Jews serve their hitch in the Army, learn trades, raise only the children they can afford and yes, manage to observe mitzvot and study Torah. Somehow they don't inspire the same sort of bad feelings. It can't be "Torah learning". It must be those other differences.

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  14. Obviously a lot of the reaction and abuse is over the top and a lot of .

    However

    a) If dislike of the Torah world is the motivation why so much less fuss about the exemption for Israeli Arabs. Indeed Laipd etc have pushed aside Liberman when he did suggest a broad 'sharing of the burden' rather than tar getting the Haredim.

    b) Why the enthusiasm for disciplining soliders for being 'excessively Frum' in areas which are no problem strategically -for example the punishment of soliders for refusing to hear women's singing with great support in Hallakah and strongly upheld by the Chareridm ? http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-soldiers-cannot-skip-ceremonies-with-women-singing-1.384288If you combine how most of the people who want 'sharing of the burden' want the army to run the attack on the Torah world is much harder to deny.

    c)on the Amish approach is that not exactly the approach of the Eda Haredit indeed they refuse to accept benefits from the secular state altogther (like the Amish). and yet the hatred for them is probably much greater than for Agudah Israel or Degal Hartorah yet alone Shas (which gets a good deal of votes from non Haredim). THat suggests that receiving welfare benefits is not a big cause of the hostility.

    d) a) the 905 discounts on Council Tax you mention go to people below a certain income regardless of religious status - one can object to discounts for the poor (particularly at council level) but one should be honest about that being the principle not some special privilege for the Haredim- Meir Porush will not get that discount while seculars can qualify.

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  15. Tomush, reasonable questions, simple answers:

    a) Because they're fellow Jews, our brothers, and it hurts to think that my son is out there patrolling, while my neighbor's son is happily sitting in yeshiva and learning.

    b) pointing to one isolated incident that happened several years ago, while ignoring the day-to-day respect shown "Beinishim" (= "Bnei Yeshiva" = Hesder yeshiva boys), as well as the resources poured into Netzach Yehuda (the Charedi fighting unit) - portraying the IDF as being disrespectful of Torah is unjust.

    c) The Satmar as well are consistent in not accepting any benefits from the gov't. However a) most Israelis see Shas and UTJ who take money and a lot of it, and cannot distinguish between the different groups, and more importantly b) no, we don't actually want our brothers to be like the Amish and separate from the building and protection of Eretz Yisrael. As Moshe said, and Dov Lipman quotes often, "Your brothers will go out to war, and you will sit comfortably at home?!" No, the Amish is not a good analogy, not for Jews who are a single entity, not for Jews in Israel, who feel it with every fibre of their body.

    d) Not sure what you mean about Council and poverty lines, but this is part of the essence of these reforms. Why should Jews willfully and consciously set up a society where their children are below that poverty line? Is that a decision that is consistent with Torah values, with explicit Halacha, with Chazal and Rishonim? Or is it a recent phenomenon, a "reform", that has no basis in Torah?

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  16. BTW, about hating Torah: yes, there are people like that. But that is not the mainstream discourse.

    The other day, I overheard someone try to explain this issue to a group of elderly people in a nursing home. She described herself as "my grandfather was a rabbi", which puts her squarely as Middle Israel Ashkenazi secular. She described the situation with a huge bias against Chareidi society and no great awareness of the subtleties. However, even she took the time to say, "Learning Torah is great, I have nothing against learning Torah." (... but they should go work, what kind of person doesn't work??? Serving in the IDF is a privilege, but it is also a "netel", a burden, and how can they expect our boys to go out at 18 while theirs sit and learn?)

    Similarly, it is very important to note that the current proposal includes a provision for 1800 (!!!) boys EVERY YEAR to be considered such great learners that they receive a permanent exemption so they can contribute to Am Yisrael through their learning.

    Is that not more than the entire population of all the yeshivas in all of Eastern Europe before the Holocaust? Yes it is.

    So the argument that this reform is motivated by a hatred of Torah is inaccurate, and more importantly: dated.

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  17. Frankly, I cannot believe that members of the Eidah Haredis do not take any money from the state. As an example, everyone in Israel is covered by state health insurance, paid for by our tax shekels (a special health tax). Yeshiva students pay a ridiculously low tax – a less than 200 shekels a month for the whole family, no matter how large the family is. I know because I used to be a yeshiva student. Who foots the bill for this? The working, tax-paying citizens!

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  18. A similar refrain has it that the non orthodox dislike the orthodox because we "prick their neshamas", ie, cause them to feel guilty. Nonsense, of course. They dislike us for reasons like walking in the middle of the street on shabbos, and not out of any type of guilt.

    In fairness, though, you should acknolwedge that such stereotyping happens all the time, among all groups. How often does the left accuse the right of being mindless followers of Rush Limbaugh, for example? Or how often do the non religious ascribe chauvinism to religious law? In the same way that the "they hate us because we make them feel guilty" is a reflex defense mechanism, so are comments of the type I've just mentioned. Rather than be content with differing from our opponents, most people feel the need to disqualify the very shoresh of those different viewpoints.

    Re Dov Lipman - it was not the main thrust of the your article, so I wont dwell on it, but you did raise the issue. Suffice to say, contra your assertion, he HAS said hateful things about Charedim, he is not some heroic figure fighting for truth and justice as he would dearly like to be portrayed. I dont know whether he's a rasha or not, and dont speak in that paralance generally. But he's not tzaddik, that much is certain.

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  19. Kira about your point #2 why aren't you concerned about the many Mihallel Shabbous Jews who are out there? Since they are your brothers and sisters why don't you use your energy in being Mikarev them instead of them dying in a state of Karet (being cut off) ?
    Why the emphasis is on the "other Jews" ?

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  20. Kira- "Beinishim" (= "Bnei Yeshiva" = Hesder yeshiva boys), as well as the resources poured into Netzach Yehuda (the Charedi fighting unit) - portraying the IDF as being disrespectful of Torah is unjust."

    Actually they have been playing around back and forth. go check how many Hesder units they closed down. go ask Ehud Bardak why he did it and what his motivations were. Don't they want Religious Jews in the army? It is mainly a bluff. If they wanted to they would do more things to promote it. More Jewish units and not the goyish army that we have. Less non-sense such as having women sing and forcing Jewish men to participate and many other things. I thought the army was about fighting and protecting soo why they have to do these "cultural" things against Halacha knowing it will aggravate and cause disfavor with the religious.
    Look at the latest stunt by the IDF-
    "IDF Officially Bans Hilchos Mezuzah" google it. Is this the Jewish army we have been waiting for where Jewish law is banned?

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  21. OZ you are being disingenuous...the article is about stopping distribution of a sefer about mezezot...not about the army removing or banning mezezot.

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  22. The black hatters who don't want to be part of any secular society (Israeli or otherwise) may indeed be better off simply leaving Israel.

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  23. Oz brought up the article about the pamphlet on mezzuzah in the army--it's interesting that the left-wing elements (presumably Jewish) are more sensitive about the pamphlet offending non-Jews in the army than the non-Jews themselves! (At least I got the impression that the pamphlet was removed due to pressure from Labor MKs and Ha'aretz.)

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  24. Elemir- What? Are you serious? firstly I never implied that they want to remove the Mezuzot. And what kind of an answer are you saying? They banned a book of Halacha and your okay with it? Any real Jew must object to them and state clearly that anything to do with Jewish law MUST be upheld and not subject to them banning them because it doesn't fit their ideology and agenda.
    This is an ideological WAR going on. They ban one book here, another book there, arrest Rabbanim here and there, interrogations. Telling people what they can or cannot say. And you are okay with this police state?
    Every Jew must get up and proclaim in any issue to do with Halacha a Jews priority and only authority is the Halacha and not any man made laws or the rulings of people who themselves are the biggest criminals.

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  25. Also Elemir- the fact that you even said that its being "disingenuous" when I clearly stated the article which says "IDF Officially Bans Hilchos Mezuzah" shows how little you know about Judaism because any simple person knows that "hilchos" means "laws", soo it is a Halachic book and what difference is it when a book of Halacha is banned or a Mezuza is banned. Both are evil actions.

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  26. To Adam- Why shouldn't you leave instead? Israel is Jewish land. Why don't the Hebrew speaking gentiles leave instead?

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  27. "To Adam- Why shouldn't you leave instead? Israel is Jewish land. Why don't the Hebrew speaking gentiles leave instead?"

    Mask off, core of the problem exposed.

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  28. Oz said...
    > Every Jew must get up and proclaim in any issue to do with Halacha a Jews priority and only authority is the Halacha and not any man made laws or the rulings of people who themselves are the biggest criminals.

    Tomush said...
    > Why don't the Hebrew speaking gentiles leave instead?

    And that’s why people don’t like Chareidim. Self-rightous people who tell others what they MUST do, denigrate their values, and insult them are not likeable. If any of Israel’s policies are anti-Charidi, this is why. Not because the secularists are anti-Torah, but because they’re anti- people who insult them while trying to tell them what to do.

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  29. Tomush, why are you calling jews gentiles? would you like it if i call chareidim frum but not ehrlich? Who built the state ? Who defended the state in its birth and onward? Gentiles? Who built a thriving modern country in a land made inhospitaple by the romans and heavily neglected by the muslims that the land was undesirable to but a minority of mankind. If anything the chareidim should pick up and move to jordan and see what oppression is! And jordan is moderate for the arabs/muslims.this hatred by the chareidim needs to end they hate a enemy that doesnt exist.maybe in the 50s-60s the monster was real not anymore, their not reprograming youth to not be religous like when the jews from arab lands ran to israel. What really peeved me was the charictization of secular jews as gentiles i dont think that their is any precedent for that in jewish history. As a matter of fact if you call them gentiles then you really cant bound them by jewish law now can you? See what i did their ignoramous!!! Such arrogance to call another jew a gentile must be met.. with equal or more ferocious resistance. People of this board dont let that comment slip by without heavy retort!!!!! We are one nation so stop this holyier then now bs because without that secular their wouldnt be such a enormous chariedi community in israel. Its time to forgive the seculars because without ths haven they built in this desert we call israel the religous worlds that exist now in the territory formarly known as mandatory palistine would hardly blip on the rader. Sorry, from my phone .

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  30. G3-

    Being a "secularist" (not in the sense of learning secular subjects such as math etc.) but defining oneself as a "Hiloni" and being devoid of Torah and Mitsvas is by definition being a criminal.

    "denigrate their values"

    Of course. What else are Jews supposed to do when someone believes in eating pork and being Mihallel Shabbous? On top of that believing that we are supposed to accept those values as well? (Not with these but with many other examples as well).You want a pat on the back. Spare it, if anything today these things aren't said enough and that is perhaps why (partially) why many aren't Shomer Torah and Mitzvot. If they knew that the are Karet (cut off) from the world to come and the horrible people that they are, perhaps they would be more open to change, but they usually hear that they are great people just because they have a Jewish mother.

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  31. "Is this the Jewish army we have been waiting for where Jewish law is banned?" I don't know what was in this book, who published it and why it was deemed unacceptable.

    I can tell you what my son just told me. He's a Beinish in Cheyl HaYam (that's a relatively new program, very successful) and their ship was just inspected for Kashrus. He said, they had to separate the milk and meat in the refrigerator, that is, they can't have both meat and milk in their fridge at the same time.

    He said, "Mom, our ship is very kosher, but the army has policies that go beyond that, and we had to make sure the ship conforms"

    Yes, this is exactly the Jewish army I have been waiting for. Even if they are a little too machmir.

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  32. Kira it doesn't matter. As long as even 1 Halacha is distorted or said that it cannot be read, or studied or anything else it is very problematic. Who is the King G-D or the courts or any other human being. Worship belongs exclusively to Hashem and no one else. Your example is like saying, well hitler was a good guy because he made sure the trains ran on time.

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  33. "Such arrogance to call another jew a gentile must be met.. with equal or more ferocious resistance."

    Why? some of them want to be gentiles and see it as something honorable. What is problematic? Why you putting down gentiles? Anyway my comment was that some are fighting for not a "Jewish State" but a State resembling more like a Hebrew speaking gentile state. Or a "State of all its citizens". Make your choice.
    By the way I love all Jews and that is why I am saying this. don't you read the Torah and not know the problems they will face?

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  34. Oz-
    "...the horrible people that they are..."

    Horrible people are not those who eat pork and desecrate Shabbos. Rather, horrible people are those who protect child tormentors like Elior Chen, child molesters like Yehuda Kolko and Nechemya Weberman to name just a few etc etc etc from punishment they deserve and punish and ostracize their victims instead.

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  35. > defining oneself as a "Hiloni" and being devoid of Torah and Mitsvas is by definition being a criminal.

    Most people who don’t keep the Mitzvos were raised that way, and so would be considered a tinok shenishba and not “criminal” according to halacha.

    > What else are Jews supposed to do when someone believes in eating pork and being Mihallel Shabbous?

    Show a little humility, accept that no one can claim with certainty that they have the Truth, and try to understand that most people are good even if they disagree with you.

    > if anything today these things aren't said enough and that is perhaps why (partially) why many aren't Shomer Torah and Mitzvot. If they knew that the are Karet (cut off) from the world to come and the horrible people that they are, perhaps they would be more open to change,

    Right. The same way you would become a Christian, is only someone would make you aware that you’re risking eternal damnation by not accepting Jesus into your heart.

    You wouldn’t become a Christian because you don’t believe the tenets of Christianity, not because you aren’t aware of the “risk.” Non-religious Jews similarly aren’t religious because they don’t accept the tenets of Judaism, not because they don’t understand the risk.

    As for calling Chilonim “horrible people,” that’s just disgusting.

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  36. Tomush, stop with the double talk. i didn't put down gentiles, but to call a jew a gentile is abhorrent. its like saying the color red is blue and blue yellow and so on and so forth. if a jew, acts like a gentile it doesn't change a jew from being a jew. the same if a goy adopts jewish practices(not refering to converts).

    "Anyway my comment was that some are fighting for not a "Jewish State" but a State resembling more like a Hebrew speaking gentile state."
    the same state, that allows you to practice freely anything you wish as long as you don't infringe on others rights.
    anyway i disagree. it will always be a Jewish state nobody wants to remove that identity. otherwise they remove the pillars which give them legitimacy.
    and no what they want is a Jewish state but the freedom to choose to be secular. its not like you can force them to be religious.
    if you cant find any redeeming qualities in secular jews i think you are on the wrong blog. "he who has not seen the temple of herod has never seen a beautifull building" that is the Talmuds words. if the Talmud can find redeeming qualities in somebody like herod. you are telling me the present State of Israel doesn't deserve respect from the chariedim????????????????

    you say you worry for them because they are secular. what have the religous leaders done for them, did they ever think to streamline Judaism and remove the chumrahs so it is even appetizing to the seculars? NO, because they wont admit their are other ways to practice judaism. because they believe they are the only holders of the MESORAH. so keep your worries to yourself until your leaders have a will to actually help their brothers.

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  37. Oz - As a frum person I find your comments utterly nauseating. If you represent actual Jewish orthodoxy then all I can say is "pass the pork." I want nothing to do with the Judaism that you represent. Luckily, you are not representative of Judaism. People like RNS (and so many of the readers who post comments) present coherent and rational discussions devoid of the histrionics and extremist dogma you spout. Sad to say, but the Jewish orthodoxy I knew while growing up has been transformed into something the Taliban would be jealous of.

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  38. DE- Those people who do soo knowingly are horrible people, but it doesn't take away from the crimes of the pork eaters either.
    Everything the Torah said is wrong, IS wrong. Everything the Torah said is correct and we should do, then we should do. No ifs and buts.
    And finding someone who supposedly calls themselves religious (or wearing a certain outfit that you deem to be "Religious") doing horrible things doesn't take away from the crimes of those who for example eat pork or break Shabbous. Hell is big enough for all of them and no such excuses will work.

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  39. "Perhaps it is precisely because the 'share the burden' demand is so obvious, so reasonable, and so consistent with classical Judaism, that the charedim have to come up with absurd charges of "hatred of Torah" in response."

    Yes, perhaps, but another strong possibility is that the charedi community has adopted the discursive or psychological norms of crude nationalism, in which all problems are based on outsiders, and any criticism by outsiders of the group is seen as an unforgiveable insult. Of course, this attitude is antithetical to Torah, which tells us to be humble, to do teshuvah and blame ourselves when something bad happens, and to try to have good behavior that wins us approval in the eyes of other people (as well as Hashem).

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  40. I and others are trying to help our brothers. I am a Baal Teshuva myself. And speaking the truth only works and not the feel good non-sense.
    By the way those who offer real rebuke have true love for the offenders. It is similar to a case of someone (G-D forbid) having Cancer or some disease. Which doctor is a real good doctor. The one who tells his patient the seriousness of his illness and the things he/she needs to do in order to change it or the doctor who says everything will be fine, don't worry, contineu eating junk continue smoking and taking drugs etc. Which one of these doctors is good and which is aweful? Same with Rabbis as well. Only those who are real and are willing to be unpopular by saying the truth deserve respect and not the flatterers which G-D hates.

    Jeffk- what makes you frum? A black hat and a black suit? Okay fine I am sure you keep shabbous and many Mitsvas and work on your midot, etc. My point is- Being "frum" if you will is obedience to G-D and His laws and ways.
    I don't need to represent Judaism. Real Judaism is represented in the Halcha and if what you read will get you to eat pork (by not agreeing with it), if it is me, then fine who am I, but when it is G-D and the Torah and the Halachot and you will rebel against that then you might be doing the motions but not real obedience to G-D because its what YOU want and not what G-D wants. That is the difference. Ask yourself are you serving G-D or serving yourself.

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  41. Oz - You wrote: "Ask yourself are you serving G-D or serving yourself."

    Apparently you equate my rejection of the Chareidi interpretation of Judaism as

    "serving myself." Nice rhetoric. it might even make a rousing pulpit speech to

    whip up the masses if said with the right inflection and cadence. But alas it

    is totally devoid of facts, explanations and philosophical viewpoint and

    background. It boils down to "because I said so!" coupled with an ad hominem

    attack on someone you disagree with. How persuasive. How amazingly well

    elucidated. how brilliantly expressed. I'm convinced now. How blind I was ...

    But such is not the traditional jewish way. We explain our reasoning, and let

    the light of our logic speak for itself.

    Let's even look at how it is done in modern times. Think of any posek of note

    (or "daas torah" to use the terminology currently in favor) who wrote sifrei

    shu"t (eg. R. Moshe Feinstein, though the list of shu"t sefarim goes on

    endlessly). Each one explains the logic and basis behind their psak. They let

    their logic speak for them. But Why explain? Why not just write the question, and in 2 sentences sunmarize their "psak" and end with "here's my answer"? Why

    bother with all that nonsense like logic, foundation from gemara through

    rishonim through achronim? Seems like a waste of time when all they needed to

    write was "because I said so?"

    The answer, of course, is simple. Because they are not relying on the

    harshness of their loud oratory or a bully pulpit. They ALL knew that it was

    their logic that would lead the way. If one's only solution is to scream down

    their opponent, then it speaks volumes about the lack of foundation in their

    position.

    One of my guiding principles is: When people interact with me and see my

    behavior do they praise Hashem or not? If it ain't a kiddush hashem I am

    creating, then perhaps it is time to hold up a mirror and reevaluate my

    behavior and the guiding principles that led me there.

    I find the behavior of this group of satmar chassidim beyond the pale and

    utterly abhorrent. I therefore look at their guiding principles to see what

    could possibly have led them so far astray. And the conclusion I have come to

    is that their guiding principles are simply wrong (for me). Apparently, according to you, that means I am serving myself and not Hashem. If rejecting their behavior is serving myself then I proudly wear that crown!! I would rather that than to be affiliated in any way, shape or form with such an on-going chillul hashem as represented by that group!

    When you want to provide logic, explanation, explication and illumination of

    what you believe and why, then I am happy to hear and listen and try to

    understand. We may not agree, but at least I can respect you. But When all I hear is hell-fire and brimstone rhetoric and personal attacks, there is nothing to listen to. You seem to have replaced thoughtfullness and thoroughness with volume.

    One of the things I respect about this site is that RNS provides his logic and foundational basis. You can disagree. you can (and should) argue about the points made or the facts missed or the logic misconstrued. the end result will be that everyone gets a slightly better understanding.

    But Oz, if all you can do is question my character and belief in G-d, then you

    must have very little in the way of foundation based on Judaism and logic. I hear you loud and clear. Apparently all you have is "loud."

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  42. jeff- I don't know why you assume I accept the "daas Torah" argument of today? And I go mainly by the Rishonim myself in Psak Halacha. Yoru making too many assumptions.
    Anyway I dont understand your rejection of what I said and why you find my comments to be worse then the Taliban, Really???
    And about telling people that they are doing wrong, I can quote you Rambam and many others, your not doing anyone any favors by telling them that they are doing well when they are not. Imagine someone who would keep Shabbous had they listened to the Torah and those who say the seriousness of not keeping it as opposed to people like you (and others) who don't tell them and in fact accept them and say its all okay and not a big deal. What do you think happens to the psychology of those people? They think its fine and not a big deal soo they will continue in their evil ways. And by me just saying that those actions are wrong I am getting attacked and challenged for it? Pleeease. Their are sins of Karet involved and the Torah says not to stand idly by when your brothers are in trouble, your just letting them drown.

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  43. See my post Does Stanley Fisher hate Charedim? for another perfect example of this phenomenon.

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  44. To clarify only the first Tomush above is me (the one with the four questions) the latter one is somebody/ some people else

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  45. "He thinks that a statement that a secular judge is passul le'edut is extremism. I disagree."

    Not only is it extremism, it is a redefinition of eidut from that which has been used for thousands of years. It is basically Conservative Judaism.

    Here in America we have LOTS of totally frum judges in our secular courts. There are frum judges in Israel, too. You can't complain that the courts are unfair when you asur particpating in the process. It is the same nonsense we hear from the Arab residents of East Jerusalem when they complain about poor public services -- and refuse to vote out the people responsible for the poor services.

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  46. "He thinks that a statement that a secular judge is passul le'edut is extremism. I disagree."

    Not only is it extremism, it is a redefinition of eidut from that which has been used for thousands of years. It is basically Conservative Judaism.

    Here in America we have LOTS of totally frum judges in our secular courts. There are frum judges in Israel, too. You can't complain that the courts are unfair when you asur particpating in the process. It is the same nonsense we hear from the Arab residents of East Jerusalem when they complain about poor public services -- and refuse to vote out the people responsible for the poor services.

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  47. "why so much less fuss about the exemption for Israeli Arabs"

    Because nobody thinks that it is in the interest of Israel to give automatic weapons to hundreds of thousands of Arabs.

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  48. "How often does the left accuse the right of being mindless followers of Rush Limbaugh, for example?"

    Only when nobody on the Right distances themselves from one of Rush's too many beyond the pale statements.

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  49. "like the Amish"

    The Amish never try to force their religious practices on others.

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  50. "like the Amish"

    During the Vietnam War the Amish banded together to negotiate for an Amish equivalent of sherut leumi for their young men to do alternative service in Amish environments.

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  51. "Does Stanley Fisher hate Charedim?"

    Suppose all Israelis become charedi, which is what the charedi leaders want?

    I presume the IDF will cease to exist because it is asur to serve. Hopefully the US will continue to track ships carrying Iranian munitions on their way to terrorists. Hopefully Arabs will continue to go to medical school since secular education for Jews is asur. I could continue, but you get the point.

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  52. Eli Former ChareidiMarch 10, 2014 at 5:48 AM

    OZ,
    I read your comments carefully, It is so sad that apparently in becoming a Ba'al Teshuva and trying to learn the Torah, you have gone about things backwards. To be honest, it's probably not your fault, because I follow almost all the great poskim and consider those who started without a Torah education to be a Teenok Shenishba. But in any case, I suppose I can blame your rebeyim and those who were mkarev you, for approaching things backwards. Hillel taught us to START with ahavas yisroel first. Apparently, you haven't gotten to that part yet. Your knowledge of Torah is frankly sad. You condemn as goyim people who risk their lives to protect yours. Wow! Moshe had 10 names, but haShem called him Moshe, his EGYPTIAN name, because the ssence of Moshe was hakaras hatov to the daughter of the man who enslaved the Jews. She, by the way, was an actual real gentile. Moshe gave her more hakaras hatov than you want to give for people who risk their lives for you. Remember the old Sesame Street song about the people that you meet in your neighborhood? The purpose of that song was to teach young children to be thankful,cheerful, and friendly to the people who are in society and help society function --- the mailman, the policeman, etc. Maybe you used to know that, but you sound like you are just filled with hate towards all of them if they are nebech teenok shenishba. Maybe you hate me too and think I am a sonei yisrael because I think chareidim should serve in the army.

    I really have rachmanus for you, just as you should have for those who eat pork. You seem to have learned a yiddishkeit focused on hating others. I used to be like that. Now I know there is no need for that. I don't agree with the person on the blog who posted that the Tosefta is wrong --- maybe we need to understand it better, to understand exactly who it is that is being described... and I have no idea why you think that the amei haaretz described in the gmara are equivalent to today's generation. I don't know if you still check this blog, as I see your comments on this page are dated, but let me assure you as someone who learns that you don't need to be so hateful to be faithful to Torah. In fact, the two are incompatible.

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