Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Charedi Housing Crisis: You Can't Have It Both Ways

There's a fascinating letter that outgoing Beit Shemesh mayor Moshe Abutbul sent to someone who begged forgiveness for not voting for him. Abutbul notes that he opened the city up to enormous expansion of the charedi population, and laments how in every other city in Israel, they throw charedim out and do not want charedi communities to be established. He thereby echoes a common refrain in the charedi media, bemoaning the intolerant, hateful anti-charedi sentiments of society at large.

And yet, in the very same letter, Abutbul also boasts of how he catered to the charedi community by giving 90% reductions in municipal taxes to kollel families. This is consistent with several public addresses that he gave to non-charedi communities in Beit Shemesh, in which he proudly told the stunned audiences that it is their privilege to be the Zevuluns for the Yissachars of the charedi world. He also ridicules (both in this letter and in interviews that he gave) those who attempted to prevent the settlement of new neighborhoods until adequate infrastructure was in place. It should also be noted that in the various clashes between dati-leumi and extremist charedi communities that took place, such as with the Orot Banot school and with the tzniyus signs, Abutbul expressed his belief that the dati-leumi community should be tolerant of the strictures demanded by the extremists, even though the dati-leumi community was there first.

You can't have it both ways. If you believe that the priority is to rush the settlement of charedi families even if the city infrastructure can't cope, and you believe that the city budget should be disproportionately paid for by non-charedim (who are effectively subsidizing people in kollel), and that as the charedi population increases the non-charedim should accept extremist charedi societal demands, then how can you simultaneously express horror and disapproval that other cities in Israel do not want to become charedi?!



14 comments:

  1. A well thought out and articulate perspective on the challenges Chareidi communities within an established city present. One cannot have it both ways: We all live with other people and the tolerance and love for our fellow Jew MUST be a two way street. My property taxes should never pay for those who choose not to work and study all day. I can be asked to donate to support if I choose. What of the poor non-Chareidi residents who do work but cannot make ends meet?

    Further, my lifestyle should not be dictated by the most extreme among us. A mayor's job is to meet the needs of ALL the city's residents, not just the Chareidim.

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  2. I think a huge proportion of the budget comes from the government. I guess spending on bs is better than - and a fraction of - the money wasted on the junk F35's

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    Replies
    1. Possibly. But that doesn't mean that the money should have gone to charedim. It should have gone to the public as a whole.
      And you could have said submarines instead of f35's.. #justsaying

      Delete
    2. :-) but at least the submarines are fit for purpose... I hope. Or do you mean yellow ones?

      Delete
  3. Isn't the 90% arnona discount given pretty much throughout Israel to anyone whose income is below a certain threshold and with more than a certain number of children? Of course most of those eligible will be chareidim, but how can that change under a new mayor? The municipalities don't make the rules, the government does.

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  4. But until now the Chareidi community has had it both ways. They take money from Israel and in return they refuse to serve in its army or participate in its workforce.
    They've convinced their women that segregating themselves to the back of the bus is a great mitzvah and honour to them. Why wouldn't they think the Chilonim and Datim Leumim would be just as stupid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. isn't it a mitzva for non-haredim to be the chamor that mashiach will ride on?

      Delete
  5. But wouldn't there be a huge benefit to the _whole city_ to have a large haredi population, with many students in yeshiva and kollel ?

    Surely, given a choice between letting a missile land in Tel Aviv, and letting one land in Beth Shemesh, haShem would arrange for the missile to hit the city of the unbelievers! And the faithful (and those around them) would be safe.

    Isn't that worth some extra taxes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gd doesn't work that way, it's not that simple. For reference, please see all of Tanach.

      Delete
    2. Absolutely.

      That's why Hashem diverted terrorists from a shul in Har Nof, where they might have murdered four Rabbonim and sent them to a cinema to punish unbelievers.

      That's why Hashem arranged for terrorists to avoid the Yeshivah in Chevron in 1929 and kill scoffers lounging at the cafe.

      That's why Hashem spared all the Rabbonim, Rebbes and talmidei chachomim in the Shoah and eliminated only Reformers, maskilim and tumadikeh Zionists.

      That's why the Charedi Yeshivos all hastened to relocate to the Gaza Envelope instead of running with their tails between their legs to the center.

      Delete
  6. "... that he gave to non-charedi communities in Beit Shemesh, in which he proudly told the stunned audiences that it is their privilege to be the Zevuluns for the Yissachars of the charedi world". Could you please share any source that it's what he literally said?

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  7. I need to be more explicit in my posts -

    : Joke on :

    : Joke off :

    would do nicely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes.

      Since there are too many, including some who comment here, who make such statements earnestly. For them, it's a fundamental tenet of the faith.

      In print tone can be difficult to convey.

      Delete

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