Sunday, May 30, 2021

Dying To Be Charedi

It's almost impossible to believe. Even after the extraordinary high mortality rate in the charedi community due to disregard of Covid regulations, even after the terrible loss of life in Meron due to disregard of event regulations, even after two people died and 184 were injured at Karlin-Stolin with the collapse of illegal ramshackle bleachers held together with cable ties, the Vizhnitz branch of chassidus is planning a grand wedding in Bnei Brak with illegal ramshackle bleachers held together with cable ties.

Fortunately, after the Bnei Brak municipality issued a closure order and a media stink was created, Vizhnitz has since decided to explore alternate venue options. But how could they originally have planned to go ahead with the exact kind of dangerous setup that killed people a few weeks earlier? 

This is not a rhetorical question. It's a question that genuinely requires an answer, in order to understand the chassidic mindset. And I think that the answer relates back to Covid.

Last year, when charedim in general and chassidim in particular were crowding indoors for Torah, Tefillah and weddings, many of us were wondering why they didn't seem to care about killing people. I presented two theories. 

One was that they simply didn't perceive the cause-and-effect. The charedi community is oriented towards non-rationalist approaches, including a general lack of belief in cause-and-effect, a belief in the protective power of Torah, theological fatalism ("it's all in God's hands"), and covid conspiracy theories. Accordingly, they simply did not see the connection between their disregard for Covid precautions and their high mortality rate. But while this mindset would certainly also explain why there is a tendency to negate safety precautions regarding crowding and engineering, it wouldn't account for ignoring them immediately after this has very obviously and undeniably proved fatal.

But I also presented another theory. Fighting to defend a lifestyle against externally imposed restrictions is not only the charedi world's modus operandi; it's virtually their raison d'etre. Losing a few lives along the way is an unfortunate but worthwhile price to pay, just as every society is willing to sacrifice lives for its greater values, whether via wars or fast transportation. Vizhnitz presumably felt the same way about their wedding. This is how they do things, and ain't nobody gonna tell them otherwise.

And this takes us back to the Meron tragedy. In a must-read article at The Times of Israel about why charedim MKs are blocking a Meron probe, the writer notes as follows:

So much of what went wrong at Meron — the bickering sects, the refusal to accept police safety regulations or government oversight, the mobilizing of Haredi political leadership to guarantee the event’s independence from state oversight — cuts to the heart of Haredi culture, to its sense that it has achieved a kind of purity and superiority over the surrounding society through its separatism and isolationism. On May 17, a day after the Karlin disaster, the Haredi journalist Moshe Glassner of Kol Barama put the point bluntly: "Haredi separatism is leading the community from one deadly failure to another... it cost us lives in the pandemic, at Meron, and again on Shavuot" ...In Haredi society’s terms, the politicians are protecting not just themselves or their religious sects. They are safeguarding the psychological walls that Haredi society has constructed around itself, the deep-seated ethos of resistance to state interference in their lives and communities.

 But Meron may yet prove to be the straw that breaks the camel's back:

For a growing chorus of critics in the community, however, the 45 dead at Meron are too high a price to lay at the altar of isolationism and self-regard.

The charedi MKs' opposition to the Meron probe, which could expose many flaws in how charedi society operates (as described in an insightful Mekor Rishon article), is not finding favor in the charedi street. The leaders of the chareidi community might decide that maintaining their way of life is worth a few deaths, but many in the community are not willing to go along with that. Not everyone is dying to be charedi.

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  1. I would point out that generally Stolin doesn't subscribe to this mentality at all, notwithstanding the tragedy there. The Rebbe has stated to hand over anyone who was guilty of putting up the parenches and to participate in the police probe, no matter how influential that person may be. Hopefully other chassiduses will follow that.

    1. I've seen these claims.

      On the other hand, two people are dead.

    2. Nachum,
      We know. Mistakes can happen. Or is it your position if a leader takes responsibility for his failure, we still attack him? The stoliner Rebbe is doing everything Slifkin would want him to do.

    3. According to what I heard, the people who set up the bleacher additions gave themselves in to police in Givat Zev. By order of the Karliner Rebbe. I don't know if it is true.

    4. Well, if that's what you heard.

      Thd fact is that after forty-five people died, they still didn't care. And the rebbe certainly didn't.

    5. I don't know what happened in Givat Zeev on Shavuot, but Karlin were one of the few Chassidic courts that took COVID restrictions very seriously. Take a look at this article and the accompanying picture of Kariner Hassidim davening outside with masks and social distancing, in spite of the fact that around the corner other Hassidic groups were packing the Batei Midrash and ignoring the Pandemic.

    6. Nachum - stop lying. The rebbedid care, they practiced emergency evacuations and safety procedures in case of a tragedy! That's why there was no stampede and no panic after the collapse, everything went as the drill. What do you want the Rebbe to do - build the bleachers himself? He outsources some work and the chassid who did it screwed up.

    7. ash, if they cared they wouldn't keep doing this. They wouldn't have ignored all safety and engineering standards. They wouldn't have done it fast, cheap, and bad. They would have cared enough about the lives of their own people to obey the law and do it right.

  2. It's true that one of the most important parts of the chareidi worldview is separating from secular society, to greatest extent possible. As opposed to the secularist worldview. Still, that doesn't mean they need to give up completely on health and safety. This is where Rabbi Yair Hoffman's excellent recommendation comes in ( "What we need to do is have the Chareidi world engage these experts. We should hire them and bring them down to our buildings and levaya venues, to our chasuna venues, to our shuls, and to wherever else we gather..."

    1. Thanks for posting that link. R. Hoffman has a commonsense and - more importantly - non-threatening approach. Just wish it wasn't Meron specific and that there was a respected chareidi middleman to approach the various sects' leaders to offer services for these large venues.

    2. Why do they need their own experts? There are experts aplenty.

    3. much like the "kashering" of modern parenting advice through "frum" books showing it was all in chazal, inside experts allow the information to be socialized as an internal evolution rather than outside force.

    4. Unclear that this would prevent proteksia, politics, etc. from influencing and potentially undermining the process. The Charedi community has not convincingly demonstrated the ability to self-regulate and weed out undue influence and corruption (in fact, these conditions seem to thrive in the under-regulated Charedi sphere).

    5. Ha, Chareidim are no more corrupt than anybody else. How much fraud goes on in the secular world? How much proteksia and politics? We can make lists upon lists.

    6. I didn't say Charedim are more corrupt. If you have a community or large organization, such as the Charedim, (a) checks and balances, (b) transparency, and (c) accountability limit proteksia, corruption, and fraud from occurring and minimize their repercussions. All of this is often lacking in the Charedi community and many of its organizations (although they by no means have a monopoly on any of these infirmities).

    7. But when you hold yourself out as Gds gift to humanity, and you dress and act publically in some super pious manner, all the while being cheating, scamming scumbags, well, dont be surprised when people call you out on it.

    8. Yes, I agree that chareidim should be held to a higher standard than non-chareidim.

  3. Not sure what exactly you expected, Rabbi Slifkin.

    To date, over three and a half million people have died worldwide of Corona (more than 10,000 in the last day).
    The Gedolim have nothing of any value to contribute.
    So much for their supposed insight into issues based on their immersion in Torah.

    One wonders what their value is to society on any level.

    1. They believe they are saving the world (not from corona) but from total extinction. They believe if at least one Jew is not studying Torah, the entire world would cease to exist. In this sense, in their worldview, they are contributing more to society (the continued existence of the world) than anyone alive.

    2. Thank you for showing how dumb they are if they believe that. And how dumb their followers are if they swallow that crock.

      I believe that the whole world is pink. And by telling people that I am helping to enlighten the whole world.

    3. The comedy of someone who believes "three and a half million people died of Corona" calling someone else "dumb" and speaking about OTHER people "swallowing that crock" is just too rich. That's gold, Jerry, gold.

    4. Yes—they really do believe that.

    5. Sadly, you are underestimating the deaths enormously. A dear friend of mine, one of the two or three most respected and accomplished epidemiologists/biostaticians in North America went over the excess death numbers for January 2020 - February 2021 with me. The real COVID total in the US alone is about double the official score. He says he can only guess at the factor by which deaths in China, Russia, Brazil, and India have been under-reported.

      And all the toyreh study in the world hasn't stopped it. Public health measures, improved medical science, distancing, PPE, washing hands (and not from a negel wasser cup everyone touches), and vaccines have done it.

  4. Every charedi I've spoken to or heard interviewed on the radio have all clamored for an official state investigation into the tragedies. Me thinks the charedi politicians have something to hide... What do "the Gedolim" whom they supposedly follow say?

  5. I am reminded of a letter written by a modern orthodox fellow (possibly a Dr) to a magazine (I think the OU's Jewish Action) during the MbP controversy.

    He said that while he felt from a medical perspective etc it made complete sense to clamp down ,on MbP, nevertheless, he supported Neiderman and the other ultra's who told the NY Medical board hands off Milah, because once they get involved you have no idea how far they will want to get. And what starts as a waiver for permission for MBP could well end up with them tampering with Milah itself.

    There are however many differences between that and נידון בידו, ודי לחכימא וכו'

  6. I feel compelled to reiterate my point from the last post. If you are going to attack the mentality of haredim vis a vis precautions necessary as far as covid and safety regulations goes, and I'm not saying there isn't anything to be said, then at least don't make it as if the government and wider society are on higher ground when it comes to sanctity of human life.

    Actually their much worse.

    Let's examine their modus operandi which may even be their their raison d'etre.

    How is it that a Jewish state can have twenty thousand abortions a year? Does it have any conscious? Did the tiny baby do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g wrong to be denied the right to breathe? What type of savage subhuman would vacuum out a baby from its mothers womb? What happened to murder? What happened to sanctity of human life?

    A common case is a girl in the Israeli army who isn't married. Not only is she immoral, she compounds her sin by killing her baby because she is a selfish thug.

    So what is their modus operandi vis a vis life and death issues? The answer seems to be that they want to be a nation like any other and not be identified as Jewish. Thats too shameful.

    Israeli. Thats better. Now they have democratic rights. If that, G-d forbid includes slaying babies, so be it. It is worth sacrificing twenty thousand children for the greater good.

    Losing thousands of lives along the way is an unfortunate but worthwhile price to pay, just as every society is willing to sacrifice lives for its greater values, whether via wars or fast transportation.

    The bottom line is that if you would get so excited about such atrocities, and then also vent about the haredi attitude to covid or safety regulations, that would be one thing.

    But instead all you care about is to attack your former way of life. As for the non religious and anti religious, you remain much more restrained.

    It's disgusting. Plain and simple.

    1. Something's disgusting here, but I think it goes by the name "Ezra."

    2. I have no idea how you can equate abortions to a reticence to follow health and safety regulations. We may oppose abortions on religious grounds but it is a personal choice, not one that somebody is compelled to make by the state. Whether we like it or not, it's legal in most Western democracies and the price one pays in exchange for the freedom to live one's life as one chooses in a democracy. We might not agree with it on religious grounds but liberal democracies are designed to give individuals freedom of choice, even if that choice goes against
      religious values. By contrast, health and safety regulations affect entire populations and are therefore outside the realm of personal choice. These can and should be enforced by a democratic state. If you're going to argue that Israel should be run along the lines of halacha then you're ignoring the reality that a majority of Jews both inside and outside Israel are unfortunately secular. Should they be coerced to follow the Torah? If they were, they'd all run away. Is that what you want?

    3. We are not Catholics. Halakhah is more nuanced

    4. Oh yes, we definitely can't have a probe into the Meron tragedy, and we can't consider the reasons why haredi politicians and leaders are blocking the probe, and we can't try to make events like that safer in the future, because the seculars will force us all to have abortions.
      Rock solid logic.

    5. Ezra:
      1) Yes, it is very sad that so many abortions are performed in Israel.
      2) Yes, abortion is generally contrary to Jewish Law.
      3) However, it is not necessarily murder, nor is it necessarily a Torah prohibition. It is a matter of halachic dispute whether abortion is forbidden by Torah or permitted by Torah, but forbidden d"Rabbonon. There are great Rabbis on both sides. And yes, I know that "the Gedolim" say otherwise. However, it's a fact that there are two opinions and prominent poskim (a very prominent one in Brooklyn, for instance) do give hetterim without publicly advertising it. However, those who are looking for a hetter easily find out exactly where to go, including avreichim from Lakewood. ANd I am personally aware of a great posek who would not himself give a hetter, but directed the questioner to a Rav who does give a hetter, even writing down his phone number and address on a piece of paper that he handed to the questioner. He told that questioner "This person knows more about this subject than I do." I heard this from someone who was present at this meeting, as he had brought the couple to this very famous posek.
      4)The author of this blog tries to write about things that are done in the name of Judaism, not things that are done by the State of Israel as a democratic state, despite what Judaism might say about it. However, I have no doubt that the author of this blog also wishes that there would not be so many abortions in Israel.
      5) I see you are very passionate about this issue and congratulate you for it. I myself have intervened in order to help convince families to not abort. I refer to families who had already received a hetter.
      6) However, I would suggest you draw your judgements about who is a "murderer" and a "thug" from Jewish sources, rather than non-Jewish ones. As I said, Jewish sources are less definitive about this than you are. No reason to use such harsh judgements against irreligious young women who are caught in a very difficult situation and made a choice that was very painful and that many of them will be haunted by for the rest of their lives.
      7)I have said what I wish to say on this matter and will not participate in any further discussion.

    6. Classic whataboutism. Kol Hakavod! Comparing the isolated and complicated issues of the abortion of a foetus with the literal crushing of sentient grown men and children owing to deliberate ignorance and stubbornness is a separate matter that has far more impactful implications on IL society.

    7. Ezra, I find it very ironic that when it comes to covid, everybody jumps on those "murderers" for the crime of going to shul or a wedding, or keeping yeshivos open.

      But when it comes to abortion, there is much hemming and hawing about halachic technicalities, personal choice, democracy, etc.

    8. Eli,

      Abortions aren't illegal in most democracies? Therefore?

      Homosexuality isn't made illegal. Therefore?

      You are making a classic secular mistake. The Jewish nation is bound by Torah and those who don't care are punished in the after-life or in this life or both.

      The fact that the State of Israel or any democracy chooses to do something, doesn't make it correct. It can be terribly wrong.

      You say the reality is that most Jews are secular. Therefore? Do you mean to say that since most Jews profane shabbos therefore the Israeli government is not responsible for such things?

      Are you religious? Have you ever studied tanach? The leaders are always held accountable for the misdeeds of the people.

      According to you, the kings of Israel have no responsibility because anyhow the people served the calves of Yerevam.

      But they are held accountable. The fact that they didn't change from the established ways of their founder Yeravam, is what led them into exile eventually.

      The problem seems to be that you are so secularized that you can't see basic truths.

      Your big argument is that abortion is a personal choice. But that is a complete falsification. If, let's say, a girl enters the tzahal and lives with a young soldier. Then she becomes pregnant and wants to kill the baby because she isn't married.

      Is that a personal choice? Since when is killing someone a personal choice? A killing B isn't a personal choice because B's life isn't the personal choice of A.

      The same applies to vacuuming out the baby in your belly. It's not remotely a personal choice, no matter how many times liberal Israelis or non-jews hammer it into your brain. Its just factually false.

      You contrast abortion with health and safety regulations that affect entire civilizations.

      Abortion laws affect entire civilizations! 20,000 murders a year is pretty steep, no?

      Are there 20,000 deaths due to car accidents yearly in Israel? I believe there are fewer than 500 a year.

      Do you consider speeding laws to be safety regulations that protect others?

      Well mamy more are killed by mothers and medical personal via abortion.

      Bottom line, your arguments are false.

    9. Fetuses aren't babies, just like acorns aren't trees and eggs aren't chickens. They're just different things.

    10. Nice try at a false analogyJune 1, 2021 at 2:03 PM

      Let's hear you say that after you and your wife finally conceive, and a few months later hear a heartbeat and get an ultrasound print out of your fully formed "acorn" with most of their organs functioning.
      A fetus--after 40 days-- is really an underdeveloped human being on life support--no comparison to an acorn.

    11. This whole discussion - this whole line of questioning - aside from being "whataboutism," is IRRELEVANT.

      This blog is about rationalism in Judaism. More precisely, the interplay between rationalism and Torah. The Chareidi mindset is one of irrationalism. Therefore it gets discussed.

      The State is not talking from a point of view of Torah or Judaism in this instance. Of course, there are heteirim, and there are guidelines, and there are cut-offs. (Stricter cut-offs, as 40 days is not 24 weeks, to use one set of numbers.)

      There is no rational-irrational divide in the abortion debate. (Other than I suppose people being irrational in wanting to kill their own babies, but that's a different use of the term, and anyway, there is a lot that goes on in anyone's mind, etc etc)

      If there was an issue where the State put out a missive saying "We permit abortions because unborn babies are a disease and we need to carefully limit our hospital resources so as to best be able to manage a few pregnant women," well THAT is intellectually irrational and perhaps worthy of discussion.

      There are other venues for lobbying to increase the weight of traditional Jewish values in Israel, in Israeli law, and in Israeli government. Many of us support this sort of thing. That is IRRELEVANT to the issue "how can we keep 100,000 people safe if they go to a crowded event?"

    12. Yosef, it's not irrelevant at all. This post isn't discussing rationalism. It's discussing how chareidim have less value for human life than non-chareidim. The comment was pointing out that this is not true.

      Everybody has different tradeoffs that are acceptable to them. For chareidim, there are certain acceptable tradeoffs to preserve their way of life. For non-chareidim, there are also acceptable tradeoffs to preserve their way of life. One of which happens to be getting rid of thousands of unwanted babies annually.

    13. Yosef R.

      It is relevant if you read what I wrote.

      Nathan is outraged at the haredi mindset he perceives as not taking safety issues seriously enough and not being too worried about dangers.

      He says that "Losing a few lives along the way is an unfortunate but worthwhile price to pay" to maintain their way of life.

      What I said was that if you think that's bad, get a load of the Israeli governments attitude vis a vis safety and death issues!

      They don't mistakenly kill. They legalize it! Its all in the name of good old "freedom of choice".

      Its so critical, they condone it even when "A" (in this case the mother) kills "B" (in this case baby) because "B" happens to be located "A"'s belly.

      "A" sinned with a man outside of marriage, now she has a "right" to be a cruel and selfish savage and kill a baby that did no wrong.

      With this comparison we see that the Israeli government is 1000% times worse. Thousands of planned and willful cases every year vs 45 unintentional, yet unexcussble cases.

      Both horrific, but which one is an immensely greater crime?

      Fun fact: this site isn't about objective truths. Its about attacking groups that the author hates due to events in his life that may or may not have been self imposed.

    14. Hey, Ezra.
      Wanna give a shot at responding to the comments above from Sholom? Hatzlocha.

  7. They missed many spots that for some reason don’t have CABLE TIES. Probably because they had no ladder. Whoever did that cable tie shtick needs to be sued. Have they never heard of u bolts and other hardware ? Dumb and getting dumber. ACJA

    1. I also wanted to comment on the shoddy and incredibly stupid construction of the bleachers. When I first saw the picture, I was appalled. How ignorant and clueless does one have to be to think that some plastic strips will hold the weight of all those people? This is just one more example of how divorced from the real world some of these people are. The issue is not that they want to remain secluded as that is their right. The issue is the purposeful refusal to understand the real world which, after all, they live in whether they want to admit it or not. Everything is in G-d's hands but if you want to be willfully stupid, He's gonna let you (free will and all that) and you will suffer the consequences hoping you will learn a lesson.

  8. Sholi Katz - Monsey NYMay 31, 2021 at 5:13 PM

    Rabbi SliFkin,
    Your 2 arguments as to why charedim did not try to help out during the deadly pandemic is something I have tried hard to rationalize those very same theories. However, it does not work. For a Yid in the shtetel those arguments would make some sense, as they were living in an insular community with an education by someone of the lowest capacity who could not do anything else. Here, they engage with the general public and others around them. They have at least a half decent education and have access to the internet and they don't have their heads all the way in the sand.
    The conclusion of myself, and I see many intellectuals came to the same reasoning - the Cheredim are "selfish people" thinking only about themselves. Yes they do great chesed and help out in the community in so many good ways. However, once they are called upon to restrict their own lifestyle to help others, they reject that entirely to keep "their" freedom. Very sad to see.
    Like some doctor told me, if Covid would not be something that killed the elderly but something like lung cancer and everyone is equally susceptible to it, not just the elderly or the compromised. If they caught it they could also die. they would act totally different. You would see a 100% u-turn of how they acted during covid. They would not be searching and looking up, if you can add zinc to Chemo therapy and you are good to go, nor showing reports that in Uganda they don't get cancer, or any other fly by night report of some Doctor that claims do not worry if you take chemo real fast can beat it. They would not show you statistics that over 50% of Cancer patients recover and so on and so forth. As long as they did not feel they are exposed, its the other guy who can die (even a Yid) they remain selfish and are bigger chachumim then the rest of the world . Hard to accept, but we must be honest with ourselves.
    However, it is still nice to see you are trying to find some good meaning to their horrible acting. Beautiful to be Dan L'kaf Zichus. But rationality and intelligence should be the real marker to look at and guide you

  9. "They are safeguarding the psychological walls that Haredi society has constructed around itself, the deep-seated ethos of resistance to state interference in their lives and communities."

    Greed. Lust for power and control. These are the only explanations of this phenomenon. Because in reality, if they ceded some control over the site to secular authorities and complied with secular/non-haredi safety protocols and procedures, the rank and file haredi man on the street wouldn't even perceive the difference. He wouldn't have any perceptible change in perspective. No one would be standing around saying, "Oh, so our isolation isn't so great and we need to integrate somewhat?" They wouldn't even notice the difference or who is in charge, nor would anyone care! (As long as unnecessary tragedy can be averted).

    It is not a threat to haredi philosophy, it is a threat to the status and power of haredi power brokers.

    1. You cannot see any reason for fear on the part of the Charedim, so you defaulted to 'Greed. Lust for power and control". You refuse to entertain the idea either a. that they have what to fear, or b. that they are simply mistaken about that. If they are wrong, it must be something nefarious.

      I think they do have what to fear. They have precedent. The Kosel was once a place for prayer. When organized Zionism came along, things changed. Before 1948 they used it as a political prop, after 1967 it has become a symbol of Zionist power, a tourist trap for people who do not treat it with the respect due to a holy place of worship, and the scene of ugly fights between rabble rousers and children. They have every reason to fear Meron becoming something similar.

      I personally am not a big fan of the whole 'holy places' lifestyle, that seems to me to be a product of Arabic influences. But if they do believe in it, they have every reason to be scared.

    2. "On the part of Charedim"

      You seem either entirely confused or entirely disingenuous. Which is it?

      The Charedi man on the street certainly has what to fear: The "leaders" who have power over their communities, are blocking inquiries into this tragedy, and refuse to cede their unilateral control over sites to ensure the safety of the participants (the charedi man on the street). By and large they are against what these power brokers are doing, (Because they want their communities to live, not die), and so am I.

      As for the rest of what you said, it's also deliberately misleading. Today the Kotel is still a place of prayer, and it's still controlled by the Zionists.

      But keep playing that "de zionists!" card. And keep playing that "You slander 'The Charedim!'" card. It really makes you sympathetic

  10. I just discovered Haviv Gur (author of the “must read article” from the Times of Israel R’ Slifkin cites in his post) earlier this year, and he seems like a very smart guy.

  11. I'm constantly amazed to see you declare as a factual matter that Covid rules leads to fewer people dying when there's an abundance of evidence showing that that's simply not true. Look at the numerous graphs on Ian Miller's Twitter account among other places. There's no simply no correlation between mask mandates and lockdowns and number of Covid deaths. I'm amazed that you, as a person who claims to only follow facts, would ignore this abundance of evidence and pretend like the science supports one view when it actually supports the exact opposite view.


    2. I'm not very familiar with the numbers in Israel, but I am fairly familiar with the numbers in the USA and the rest of the world, and I don't see how one can spend 10 minutes looking at the graphs on this person Twitter's feed,, for example, and come away thinking that it's obvious that lockdowns and masks help prevent deaths. (And I'm not even talking about non-Covid-related deaths that these measures cause; I'm talking about Covid deaths themselves.) *At the very least*, one should say: These measure seem to have had uneven results.

  12. There was no high rate of mortality in the Charedi community from COVID. You have a source to back that up or do you just assume any condemnation of the Charedim has to be accurate? After all, some of them banned your book and you still can't deal with it.


  13. Seems like pot calling the kettle blackJune 1, 2021 at 2:13 PM

    "But I also presented another theory. Fighting to defend a lifestyle against externally imposed restrictions is not only the charedi world's modus operandi; it's virtually their raison d'etre. Losing a few lives along the way is an unfortunate but worthwhile price to pay, just as every society is willing to sacrifice lives for its greater values, whether via wars or fast transportation.

    You're getting close to an admission that your camp is no better, Rabbi Slifkin.
    You just forgot to include your own community's conscious decision to put families and security personnel in harm's way in order to fulfill their ideological raison d'etre-- of settling every inch of biblical Israel regardless of how much they provoke their hostile arab neighbors.
    Please don't act so morally righteous and condescending towards chareidim if you can't criticize your own for the exact same thing.

    1. Don't be silly. Charedim probably make up a plurality of settlers (compare their numbers with secular & dati-leumi settlers). Consider the populations of Modi'in Illit, Beitar Illit, Ramat Shlomo, Matityahu, Emmanuel & a good part of Pisgat Ze'ev & J'lem neighborhoods.

    2. seems like the pot calling the kettle blackJune 2, 2021 at 3:32 PM

      Please, don't be disingenuous. You know as well as I do that these "settlements" are not nearly as provocative as the settlements occupied by the DL community.
      Let's look at the facts:
      The chareidi "settlements" do not suffer from infiltrations by neighboring arab villages, do not routinely get shot, knifed or rammed at their intersections and they take a fraction of the security personnel per capita to keep them safe.
      So don't insult my intelligence.

  14. Someone who considers Ramat Shlomo, Ramot and Ramat Eshkol as occupied territories is obviously not a true religious Zionist. Shame on you, Ephraim...

  15. Seems like Pot calling the kettle blackJune 3, 2021 at 2:10 PM

    In addition to the total hypocrisy of Rabbi Slifkin, the level of tone-deafness of the title is enormous.
    Imagine if after the Fogel family massacre or the kidnapping and killing of the three DL teenagers a few years ago, which had the whole country reeling from grief, some leftist blogger would respond with a post titled "Dying to be Zionist".
    I assume Rabbi Slifkin would find such a blogger repulsive and beneath contempt for using the tragedies of his opponents to score political points against them.
    Well Rabbi Slifkin, just hold up a mirror.

    1. This is EXACTLY what the Satmar Rebbe of KJ did when those three teenagers were killed.

      Most people were enraged and disgusted then. But I guess it's different when it happens to the other side. When it happens to your side, it's despicable and disingenuous, but when it happens to the other side, it's important to show how their flaws led to the tragedy. I pointed this out in Rabbi Slifkin's earlier posts about Meron.

    2. Seems like Pot calling the kettle blackJune 4, 2021 at 1:47 PM

      Fortunately for Rabbi Slifkin, being a popular blogger means never having to respond to comments which undermine his credibility.

    3. What a ridiculous analogy. RNS is not blaming the families. He's blaming rhe charedi leadership. Which is exactly what many of the families are doing.

    4. He blamed the Zionist ideology. Same as Rabbi Slifkin who blamed the chareidi ideology.

    5. This post certainly is blaming everybody who follows chareidi leadership (everybody who is "dying to be chareidi"), not just the leaders themselves. Previous posts likewise. No different than the Satmar Rebbe, who blamed Zionism and everybody who followed it.


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