Monday, February 8, 2021

If Everyone Was Charedi

About twenty-five years ago, when my parents were trying to convince me to leave yeshivah and go to university, one of the arguments that they used was, "If everyone was charedi and in yeshivah, then where would we be?" My reply at the time was that if everyone was charedi, Mashiach would be here, and we wouldn't have any worries at all.

Today, I see things differently. According to the statistics of Covid fatalities in different sectors of the population, it can be said as follows: If everyone was charedi, there would be an additional seven and a half thousand deaths from Covid in Israel.


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52 comments:

  1. If everyone was chareidi there would be no wicked government to fight and the rules would be obeyed

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    1. If everyone was charedi there would be no government

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    2. You must be kidding.

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    3. Are you kidding? There will be no covid rules only denial and Atsoros tefilah and hischaskus without mask and distancing and the responsibility of the casualties will be put on the internet.

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    4. Nobody would work. Science, engineering, and most of the Arts would disappear. The only education would be religion. Communicable diseases would run rampant. But it wouldn't last long since the first invader would walk in unopposed by any military force.

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    5. You don't know the story of a crippled mother who got up and walked the day her daughter who was caring for her died. That's what would happen to the chareidim the moment the buck stopped by them.

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    6. @avraham, are you clinically retarded? If the Charedim were in charge there'd be no govt, no healthcare system no vaccine production or distribution. The gedolim and their friends would get flown out for preferencial treatment and the klal would die as a punishment for internet and pritzus. Oh wait, who would run the airport security?? The shvartahz of course...

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    7. Guess I am clinically retarded but that's how I see it.

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    8. Avraham, look at Bnei Brak, Beitar, Kiryat Sefer and another Charedi cities. You will see poverty, nepotism, obsession with tzniut laws, etc.

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    9. I think Avraham's point is that the argument of "They are trying to squelch us" would not exist if the government was directed from Rav Kanievski's house. Whatever the government would decide on - and possibly they would decide on masking - the rank and file would follow because a law from the government would in this case also be daas Torah.

      That's how I understood him at first.

      Then I saw how he referenced that story of the needy mother who got up and walked when there was nobody to help her. Currently, the secular government and Diaspora guilt-ridden "rich" Jews are not so far away, so there is no reason to create a healthy society.
      But if there TRULY is nobody else - which is not that case in current Bnei Brak or Beitar or wherever - then maybe they would stand up and create a better system (than they tend to do now in local gov't). Now, one could argue this theory, of course. I'd like to think that it has merit (eis laasos and bamakom she'ein ish are principles that at least SOME individuals might utilize in order to stand up and make a better system), but like the mother in the story probably didn't go join a basketball team, this hypothetical chareidi government MIGHT do certain things better than the current chareidi local governments, but yeah, I'd guess that certain negative aspects would stay the same.

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  2. How much of Natan Slifkin is himself and how much is he a product of reaction to chareidim?

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    1. This is a fair criticism but doesn't negate points made.

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    2. That, dear one, applies to every single person on the planet. We are each the product of the sum of our parts.

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  3. It's not a contradiction. According to medrashim, there will be many additional deaths when Mashiach comes. But for the anti-chareidim, the coming of Mashiach wouldn't even be worth one additional death...

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    1. you meant to write: for "R Chaim Brisker" the coming of Moshiach wouldn't even be worth one additional death...since, you know, that's attributed to him.

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    2. I have heard that story about R' Chaim. I don't know if it's reliable, it's hard to believe.

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    3. See p. 130-131 of Vol. II of "The Rav The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik". R' Soloveitchik said he heard it from his father who in turn heard it from R' Chaim.

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  4. Technically, if everyone was charedi, and Mashiach would have come by now, then לכאורה, we wouldn't even have corona, right?

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    1. Do you have a source for that?

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    2. Exodus 15:26, 23:25; Deuteronomy 7:15 --> No plague if we listen to Hashem.

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  5. But for better and worse we’re not all chareidim

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    1. Better, obviously. Someone has to actually do things.

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    2. But would our R. Shimon bar Yochais be :)
      Also although they may not realize it but if everyone were chareidim they would recognize that some of them would have to work, join the army etc. part of their thinking is that they are still a minority (for now) so society at large can afford for them to study Toirah. That’s also how they answer all the pesukim, divrei chazal etc

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  6. The Bet Hamikdash was charev because there was no shalom.
    If people would put aside their differences in opinion and let their hearts feel for every other Jew, no matter what affiliation, then maybe Mashiach would've been here already...
    I don't see how showcasing hatred and negative views about a certain group of Jews will bring the geula.
    Whether your views are anti-chareidi or pro-chareidi, this is a true statement you can't disagree with, so it might be boring on a blog where the aim is usually just to argue (because we Jews love arguing!) but its an important point to remember.
    Yes, be rational, but being rational also means realizing that the drive to put others down isn't something Hashem likes to see in his nation.
    So to Rabbi Slifkin and to all of us Jews, if we really want Moshiach to come, we need to take this message to heart.

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    1. Sholi Katz - Monsey NYFebruary 9, 2021 at 8:08 AM

      Nice Try - basically if we critique our misdeeds Moshiach doesn't come. How then can we challenge our community to be better?

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  7. The Twitter “statistic” you cite does not say “If everyone was charedi, there would be an additional seven and a half thousand deaths from Covid in Israel”.

    It says (my own free translation) “if the rate of death in the general population would’ve been the same as in the Charedi community the death rate would’ve been 7600 more”.

    This is a lie on your part, you know quite well that if israel would’ve consisted only of chredim things would’ve been different for better or for worse. You use neutral statistic that doesn’t really say anything relevant to the real world and you use it as if it does.

    Moshe from BP

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    1. True, if Israel was all Charedi it would be vastly worse as there would be almost no doctors or nurses or scientists or industry or progress or money and it would generally be a massive mess.

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    2. Or charedim would've adapted and evolved according to the necessities of their environment in order to survive. They wouldn't live in cramped cities because the whole country would've been open to them, and so on. "What ifs" are cute but you cannot plug in just one single factor in your model. My problem with RNS's post is that he makes it sound as if he has a source with a 'statistic' that properly studied it, when in fact the 'source' doesn't even say what RNS says, this is intellectually dishonest.

      Moshe of BP

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  8. "Today, I see things differently" - and that's a huge shame.
    Imagine that you'd have managed to look beyond the humiliating ban of your books and stayed true to the goals you aspired towards. You may then have ended up using your undeniable talent for writing, to the benefit and defence of the most intensely committed group of Yidden - that you would have then been part of.
    With a pen such as yours you may even have been able to convince some of the commenters on your current blog that many of the "irrational" behaviours on the part of the Charedim are not entirely irrational at all and can be rationalized when not viewed with such an antagonistic stare.
    You may then have been the cause of so much Shalom that maybe just maybe Mashiach would have truly come already once and for all.
    Instead "today you see things differently" and you use your G-d given talent to verbally abuse and attack the largest segment of Torah true Jews, widening the rift between them and their frustrated brothers, who stand in desperate need of someone articulate enough to rationalise what they perceive as being sometimes a little irrational.
    Maybe its finally time for you to try and see things differently yet again, and with the benefit of hindsight realize what you could have realized so many years ago - that the community who took the potential effects of your writing seriously enough that they were prepared to go through such an intense backlash all in order to stifle what your writings may have caused - are the community who truly deserve to have you acting in their defence, most of all.

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  9. If everyone would be chareidi there would be more people total in Israel because of their higher birth rate.

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    1. I  find that chareidi don't take COVID seriously. IF we were all chareidi we would all get sick! 

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    2. Ash, 10:25 PM

      “ If everyone would be chareidi...

      That’s not a good thing, right?

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  10. Regarding a comment above regarding R Hayyim Soloveitchik's view:
    Do those now having large weddings, levay's and on and on believe in the same Torah as that Gaddol?

    See Marc Shapiro https://seforimblog.com/2020/12/rabbi-steinman-and-the-messiah-part-2/
    "R. Hayyim Soloveitchik is reported to have said that if the messianic era will bring even one Jewish death, then he doesn’t want it, and if we had a choice in the matter the halakhah would require us to reject the Messiah in such a circumstance. I wonder, therefore, if R. Hayyim was really able to look forward to the messianic era, knowing that its arrival would bring the possibility of Jewish death.

    Here is how R. Hayyim is quoted by R. Dov Katz.[17]

    מספרים בשמו של ר חיים סולובייצ’יק מבריסק, הגאון של הדור הקודם, שבימי המלחמה כשנפלו כל כך הרבה חללים בחזית המלחמה וסבלו כל כך הרבה, אמרו לו פעם בשיחה, שלוא היתה לכל הפחות מביאה המלחמה הזו את הגאולה, כי אז היה אולי כדאי הדבר. גער בהם ר’ חיים ואמר להם: “תדחינה מאות גאולות ואל תפול נפש אחת מישראל, כי אם היתה באה שאלה לפנינו שאם על ידי קרבן של אדם אחד יבא המשיח, בודאי שהיינו פוסקים שלא יבוא המשיח ולא ת
    מות נפש אחת, כי הלא פיקוח נפש דוחה כל התורה כולה, ואף המשיח והגאולה בכלל.”
    "I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of this report. It is very much in line with what we know about R. Hayyim’s views both about the value of human life, and also about the downplaying of messianism..."
    [17] Divrei Hagut u-Reut (Jerusalem, 1979), vol. 1, p. 170.

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    1. Thanks for the source. Although he brings R' Eliyahu Zini who disputes that R' Chaim said that with a pretty good argument, I think ואם נאמץ אותן, עלינו לומר שהיה אף אסור לצאת ממצרים, כי יציאת מצרים הביאה למות דור שלם, ולכן היה עדיף לדחות אפילו גאולת מצרים!

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    2. יציאת מצרים brought the deaths of 1) the people who refused to leave Egypt, who died during the plague of darkness, and 2) the deaths of דור המדבר who believed the spies' report.
      In both cases, they caused their own deaths, because of their incorrect choices. יציאת מצרים, and the journey to the land of Israel, didn't require that anyone die in the process.

      It would be interesting to hear Rabbi Soloveitchik's position regarding the establishment of the modern state of Israel--which would not have been possible without people willing to fight and possibly die for the cause.

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  11. I am confused about their behavior. 1] pkuach nefesh demands following best medical advice 2) CHILLUL HASHEM demands they follow the law of the land even if they are denying the best medical advice.

    Something has gone wrong in the transmission and understanding of Halacha. ACJA

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    1. 1] pkuach nefesh demands following best medical advice -
      correct in a situation where the medical advice is to a specific individual that by him or her engaging in a specific activity it would likely cause someone to die. NOT SO in a situation where the medical advice is that as a community people will die if everyone engages in a certain activity, and the the way to stop that is by keeping everyone at home despite each individual himself not actually being a significant risk at all.
      2) CHILLUL HASHEM demands they follow the law of the land even if they are denying the best medical advice -
      Chillul Hashem is to behave in the way the Torah requires. If despite medical instructions one believes that in this situation one is still required to daven BeMinyan, keep the schools open etc... then to not fulfil those requirements because of an antagonistic frustrated outside world is not only not not a chilul hashem, on the contrary to stop going to a minyan would be a chillul hashem.
      THIS IS NOT TO ARGUE THAT HAKACHA REQUIRES US TO DISREGARD COVID RESTRICTIONS, THIS IS JUST TO SAY THAT IF ACCORDING TO MANY PEOPLE IN THE CHAREDI COMMUNITY THAT IS INDEED THE CASE THEN YOURE ARGUMENT ABOUT CHILUL HASHEM IS INCORRECT.

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    2. It seems that we perceive reality in a very different way, people here are dying, this is not a joke, nobody can know if he gets covid what will happen to him. Also it is a chilul Hashem because a lot of non religious people begin to ask, this is the solidarity that this chareidi people have, they don't care about spreading the diseace.
      By the way, what the chareidi children are learning now, that you can lie and also you can cheat , and that is it OK, why do I say that because is not a secret that the talmudei torah opened in secret during the quarentene, even though they don't learn the whole time , the chareidi politician keep sating that everything is closed. Alos yesterday , and todat the talmudei torah are completely opened even though they are in red cities.
      Again what the non religious people see: not only the chareidim do not go to the army, they get more than a billion shekels each year and no one knows where exactly this money goes.
      But also they spread the diseace , if this is not chilul hashem
      then what is it
      By the way chareidi people are expected to have a higher level of mussar.

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    3. ACJA : ”The pandemic continues to rage throughout the world and within our communities. Especially in light of the new virus variants, public health guidance dictates continued conscientious mask-wearing and social distancing, and vaccination as soon as possible. These mitigation efforts are a clear Halachic responsibility, fulfilling the value of pikuach nefesh – concerning ourselves with doing all we can to preserve and protect our lives and the lives of those around us.“ OU January 2021

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    4. ACJA

      See “How horrible would we be to act in a fashion that makes Him look bad and causes people to say, “That’s how Jews act?” or “That’s how religious people act?” The sin of making a chillul Hashem is so serious that the Talmud in Yoma (86a) tells us that neither teshuvah (repentance), Yom Kippur nor suffering can fully effect atonement for a person.“ outorah.org

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    5. Halacha demands that in general you follow law of land and the behavior RNS keeps writing about is a Chillul Hashem. ACJA

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    6. From OU.org “Another way of defaming G-d is by an individual who is recognized as a Jew behaving in a manner reflecting dishonesty, greed and general lack of concern for other human beings, contrary to the spirit of the Torah.” ACJA

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    7. “...then to not fulfil those requirements because of an antagonistic frustrated outside world ...” NOBODY gave that as a reason for COVID restrictions. This betrays a lack of sensitivity and concern for others which is yet another indictment. The Davening and outward trappings of religion will fall on deaf ears and will be spurned. ACJA

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    8. April 2020 Agudath Israel of America head Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe, 89 years old, died after contracting COVID-19, one month after he urged American Orthodox Jews to follow social distancing and other precautionary guidelines in response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying: "We cannot behave the way we did last week or two weeks ago. We're told that the halakha (Jewish law) is that we must listen to doctors, whether it's about a sick person or Yom Kippur" ACJA

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  12. And if everyone were Amish, there would be 40,000 fewer deaths per year in the U.S. (the number of car accident fatalities). And if no one ever left their houses again, we could drastically reduce the number of people who die from pneumonia annually in the U.S. (50,000).

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  13. RNS
    If everyone was MO with a dropout rate of a estimated 40% there would be no (orthodox) jews left within a few generations.
    If everyone was a bigot like you are we would be back in the dark ages fighting each other.
    If everyone was trying to find fault at each other (like this blog is) society would deteriorate further.
    If everyone was biased like you are we would struggle to talk reason.
    If everyone would turn a rationalist blog into hateful bashing by generalising a entire community we would struggle to think.
    On the other hand:
    If everyone would use the IHRA definition of antisemitism which is :Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group and apply this with to bias against Charedim we would live in a better society.
    If everyone would try find fault at themselves rather than others society would progress into a better world.
    If everyone would try and rise above their bias we can have more sensible debates.
    If everyone at the Israeli police would learn from their UK counterparts and police by consent rather than beating up anyone charedi standing in their way they would be more trust and more compliance just like in the UK.

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  14. Like many people, I have been struggling to understand what has been going on in the Charedi world recently.

    I then had an epiphany.

    When thinking about R' Dovid Soleveitchik's Levaya, perhaps it would do us all a lot of good, not to focus on the 15,000 people who attended, but instead on the far larger number of 85,000 who didn't attend (but would have done, under other circumstances). Perhaps this constant haranguing of Charedim isn't justified, since the vast majority behave correctly. If we all try to look for the good and not focus on the bad, then perhaps the world would be a better and happier place.

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    1. I agree that there would be many multiples more attending R' Dovid Soleveitchik's Levay if it were not for COVID19.

      " Perhaps this constant haranguing of Charedim isn't justified, since the vast majority behave correctly. " - I don't think that is true. For example has been huge non compliance with masking wearing and social distancing among Charedim in Isrel. If I had to guesstimate it is up to 30% are behaving properly to ensure Covid19 safety.

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  15. if RNS truly hated haredim , he would encourage any and all suicidal behaviours that their community might harbour....

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  16. "... If I were a rich man ..."

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