Monday, February 9, 2015

Gobsmacked

The other day I was speaking to an old friend of mine. While he is certainly not conventionally charedi, he learned in kollel for many years, lives in the heart of a charedi neighborhood, and sends his children to charedi schools. He voted UTJ in the last elections. I asked him who he's voting for in the forthcoming elections.

"Probably Lapid," he replied.

I was, to use the British expression, gobsmacked.

"Are you serious?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied. "Nobody has done more to help the charedim."


25 comments:

  1. Not surprised at all... because it's true. And any Chareidi person who decides to think for themselves should be able to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did he elaborate on how Lapid helped the charedim? I can think of two opposite approaches:
    1. By cutting gov't assistance, he is pushing more into the workworld (what he probably meant).
    2. By making the charedim feel under attack, he is pushing more of them to stay in Kollel, no matter what the difficulties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But that's the point. Haredi leadership was actually leading haredim deeper into poverty.
      There was no point at which they were going to dig themselves out of the hole.

      Lapid stood up and said that this has to change. we can't keep funding this poverty trap. it takes resources out of the economy, forces people into corruption and provides no hope.

      Lapid, like it or not, was the best thing for Haredim. If the Haredi parties get in, they will reverse it all and who will suffer? haredi children.

      it makes a lot of sense to vote Yesh Atid if you are haredi. just vote Yesh Atid and tell your friends you voted for the Haredi party. Who's gonna know?

      Delete
  3. He elaborated - he meant the former.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not so sure it's true, because of my number 2. As long as the charedim feel under attack, they will do their best to stay in Kollel, even in circumstances where otherwise they would consider leaving. There are more efficient ways to achieve what Lapid wants.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I doubt he's the only one.

    why would you be gobsmacked? Yesh Atid did more in 18 months to address haredi poverty than litzman, deri, gafni, or Bibi ever did. They just allowed the status quo to fester and allowed haredim to stay trapped in poverty.

    i'm sure Yesh Atid will do well in Bet Shemesh.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Allow me to clarify. It's not that I don't think that Yesh Atid has helped the charedim tremendously. I'm just shocked that there are charedim who recognize that and are so grateful that they want to vote for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to be really interested to see the voting results in Bet Shemesh.
      It's one thing to be ideologically pure, but when it's your financial future in the balance, I think that many people may well vote for Yair Lapid regardless of what they tell their friends.

      The one thing I wish Yair Lapid would do is to reach our more personally to the haredi voters. it would be difficult in practice to find a venue that would host him, but I think bridging that gap would be a good way to heal some rifts that are not based on much more than sinat chinam.
      do you know a yeshiva in Bet Shemesh that would host him for a 'piyus' meeting?

      Delete
  7. Lapid's biggest "achievement" will only be seen after the elections - given the priority Lapid gave to drafting the Charedim, I would imagine that the price the Charedi parties will ask to join the next coalition will be a law protecting Yeshiva exemptions from the army, and given that whoever forms the next coalition will almost certainly need the Charedi parties, I think that there is a good chance that such a law will be part of the coalition agreement.

    Although that's probably not what your friend meant when he said that he supports Lapid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Lapid threw it all away for pet left-wing causes. That's his accomplishment.

      Delete
    2. Can you clarify? (Sincerely, I'm trying to understand the issues.)

      Thank you.

      Delete
    3. Lapid knew full well what he was getting into when he entered a government with Likud and Bayit Yehudi. He should have known he would have had to compromise here and there. And he knows full well- he's said so- that he can be for the "peace process" all he wants, but it doesn't mean anything in practical terms.

      So he could have decided not to do anything about the Arabs for four years. He could have compromised a bit on his economic plans. He could have worked out a version of the Jewish State Law that would have been least offensive to everyone. But instead, he dug in his heels and ended up quitting/being fired. And so now we're going to get a government dependent on charedim, and any progress that may have been made will be lost. Alas.

      A similar opportunity existed under Sharon's Likud-NRP-NU-Shinui government, which fell because of Sharon's bizarre Disengagement plan. But now, I mostly blame Lapid. And Livni, of course.

      Delete
  8. Sad part is I know which episode that picture of Captain Kirk comes from. Wish I know Tosafos that well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't place it--which episode was it? Is it "And the Children Shall Lead"?

      Delete
    2. Turnabout Intruder was the last Star Trek episode made. I wish I knew Tosafos as well too. However, there were lots of Jewish themes in Star Trek, particularly "Enemy Within" - perfect description of yetzer hara and yetzer tov and why you need both.

      I became a Trekkie at age 6. I was very much attracted to the show and got very upset if I missed any episodes, even though I didn't really understand it.

      Delete
    3. Very last episode, aired months after the second to last. Shatner plays a woman.

      You see, you're not the only one.

      Delete
    4. In my opinion, Star Trek is the Jewish version of Star Wars. Turnabout Intruder wasn't a very good episode though. The third season had some good episodes but as a whole they weren't as good as the first and second. And some of them were just plain bad, like Spock's Brain. That's probably why the show got cancelled.

      Delete
    5. It's actually pretty complicated...
      The Truth About What Went Wrong With The Third Season Of Star Trek
      http://io9.com/the-truth-about-what-went-wrong-with-the-third-season-o-1684057419

      Delete
  9. Chareidi woman here. I once met Lapid- before the 2013 elections- and I spoke to him briefly. When I told friends about it, some were horrified I would speak to the devil, while others were upset that I didn't try to be mekarev him :) My brief impression was that he is arrogant, very full of himself. Was quite proud of his very bad English. I wasn't impressed although I was glad that he was not kow-towing to the myopic chareidi Knesset leadership.
    I hate Lapid's socialist/populist economics. Bibi did more for the country as a whole by tackling the socialists, but has recently become entirely focused on security threats, and unable or unwilling to continue to deregulate the crazy system here.
    I'm not sure if Lapid's effect on Chareidim and the entire state of Israel is entirely so positive.
    Some Chareidim have radicalized as a result- see Rav Auerbach's followers and tell me how anyone can call such a huge amount of Yerushalmi wannabees a success?
    The question is if the trickle to training or work or army has increased since Lapid's rhetoric began. I'm not entirely convinced.
    (I would vote for Bennet because I think security comes before international relations. JMO)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even North Korea depends on its relationship with China. Our soldiers died in a 1970s vintage tinny m113 in Shujeiah because the economy is struggling to fund our defence. Pursue your policy far enough and we will be left to fend off invaders with pitchforks.

      Delete
  10. Chareidi woman here- To add, UTJ does not get nearly as many votes as they *should* considering the Chareidi population and the amount of manipulative rhetoric they and the gedolim employ.
    There actually are many Chareidim who are not 1-issue voters. And there are also some who see the 1 issue as a misguided one, which entraps the community it is meant to help.
    I vote for security, economic freedom and religious freedom (which means no theocratic UTJ). I don't vote for a party that will sell its soul to any devil for a few shekels for their prized institutions.
    I'm no fan of Yesh Atid, but it is not so surprising that there are Chareidim who are not True Believers of the opportunistic UTJ.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Just wanted to add a few words of precision here. While "gobsmacked" is undoubtly a British word, it's origins are Scottish. You may wish to keep this in mind if England and Scotland become two separate countries in the near future.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If i were in Israel that is who i would be voting for.

    ReplyDelete

Comments for this blog are moderated. Please see this post about the comments policy for details. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.