Saturday, October 22, 2022

Am I In League With Pure Evil?

Over the years I've been cursed and insulted in all kinds of ways. Someone once declared that I am an "evil ugly heretic," much to my dismay. ("Ugly"???) But last week I received an insult that caught me completely by surprise. I was denounced with the very worst insult that exists in major parts of society in Israel. I was slammed as being a "Leftist."

Make no mistake, this was intended as a very serious charge. After all, the Likud and co. explicitly declared that supporting the "Left" in any way is worse than protecting rapists from prosecution, worse than harming the career prospects of IDF soldiers, even worse than harming national security.

But aside from the gravity of the accusation, it was the absurdity of it that horrified and intrigued me. After all, I have only ever supported right-wing parties. I have always been firmly against territorial concessions - which puts me way to the right of Bibi! So how on earth am I a "Leftist"?!

What was the alleged basis for this accusation? That I criticized Ben Gvir. Never mind that most of the right-wing in Israel for the last seventy-four years would have had nothing to do with the likes of Ben Gvir, the political heir of Meir Kahane. Never mind that none other than Menachem Begin denounced Kahane as a "crazy man" and Yitzchak Shamir would walk out when he spoke. Today, if you criticize Ben Gvir, you're a "Leftist"!

Another similar incident happened last week. A prominent and distinguished right-wing activist posted a video clip which showed the aftermath of an Arab woman in the Old City hurling a glass bottle at a religious Jew from Hebron. He declared that this was an unprovoked attack on a Jew who was doing nothing other than picking up garbage.

Now, of course unprovoked attacks by Arabs on Jews happen all the time. But this particular video seemed a little suspicious. There was clearly a lot that had happened before the clip started. And the Jewish guy was arrested by the police! To be sure, there are wrongful arrests. But I'd certainly like to give the official, professional security forces of the State of Israel the benefit of the doubt (and I don't agree with the right-wing group quoted in Arutz Sheva who described the police as "antisemitic"). It's not as though right-wing Jews never engage in unprovoked attacks on Arabs - perhaps that was why he was arrested.

Well, you'd think that I had denied the Holocaust. I wasn't just mistaken - I was a traitor. This distinguished person was so enraged at what I wrote that he declared that he will never visit the Biblical Museum of Natural History! My comments were so evil that everything associated with me becomes treif!

(Meanwhile, for those who do maintain that there is never unjustified violence by right-wing Jews, I'd like to see how they justify right-wing Jewish young men attacking a 70-year-old Israeli left-wing female activist with a stick.)

Then just now I saw a friend - a smart, normal guy - declare that the Jerusalem Post has "shifted to the far Left." His reason? That they harshly criticize Ben Gvir!

I was struggling to make sense of all this, but then providentially happened to be re-reading a book today which provided the explanation. 

The book is called "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom." It's one of the most valuable books I have ever read, and it's by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who also authored one of the most important books I have ever read, "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion." On p. 74 he discusses the work of another social psychologist, Roy Baumeister, whose studies revealed that people have a deep psychological need to understand violence through what he calls "the myth of pure evil":

"Of this myth's many parts, the most important are that evildoers are pure in their evil motives (they have no motives for their actions beyond sadism and greed); victims are pure in their victimhood (they did nothing to bring about their victimization); and evil comes from outside and is associated with a group or force that attacks our group. Furthermore, anyone who questions the application of the myth, who dares muddy the waters of moral certainty, is in league with evil." (emphasis added)

There you have it! Anyone who dares point out that there are serious problems with Ben Gvir, or that right-wing Jews sometimes engage in unjustified violence, is challenging the myth of pure evil - and thus must be in cahoots with it.

Later in the book, on p. 152, Haidt returns to this topic, in discussing the research on wisdom by Robert Sternberg:

"Wisdom, says Sternberg, is the tacit knowledge that lets a person balance two sets of things. First, wise people are able to balance their own needs, the needs of others, and the needs of people or things beyond the immediate interaction (e.g. institutions, the environment, or people who may be adversely affected later on). Ignorant people see everything in black and white - they rely heavily on the myth of pure evil - and they are strongly influenced by their own self-interest. The wise are able to see things from others' point of view, appreciate shades of gray, and then choose or advise a course of action that works out best for everyone in the long run. Second, wise people are able to balance three responses to situations - adaptation (changing the self to fit the environment), shaping (changing the environment) and selection (choosing to move to a new environment)."

Ignorant people see everything in black and white, in the short term rather than the long term, and do not think about other factors and aspects of a situation. The actual Left (now mostly extinct) used to make the mistake of believing that if the situation of holding on to the West Bank was bad, then the alternative would be better. The far Right makes the mistake of thinking that if there is terrorism, then electing a firebrand will make things better. Maybe they don't care that not only is he a hothead who could set the country on fire but also that he never served in the IDF, has a criminal record, and will ruin crucial international support for Israel. But those who do care about those things are certainly not Leftists! 

84 comments:

  1. Since you mentioned Yale professor Dr. Robert J. Sternberg's theory of wisdom, I will just add that Dr. Michael G. Samet (a brother of Ohr Somayach’s Mashgiach Rav Yehuda Samet) told me that he once pointed out to Dr. Sternberg that his Triarchic Theory of Intelligence closely resembles the three types of intelligence of chochma, binah, and daas discussed by Jewish exegetes and Dr. Sternberg was quite taken aback by this finding.
    I developed these ideas at greater length in my two-part essay "To be a Wise Guy": Part 1 = https://ohr.edu/this_week/whats_in_a_word/9103 and Part 2 = https://ohr.edu/this_week/whats_in_a_word/9113

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  2. Replies
    1. Rabbi Slifkin,
      How dare you compare Ben Gvir with criminal right-wing elements in our society Itamar is a respected MK, lawyer, and an upstanding citizen who wants to rid our beloved country from evil Arab terrorists.

      To condemn him and his platform for killing terrorists ( before they kill you ) shows that you are indeed a leftist. Btw: your articles smell of FAKE NEWS-just like the leftist media!!
      באהבת ישראל,
      חיים הלוי

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    2. Do you have the intelligence to appreciate the irony of ending your tirade with באהבת ישראל?..

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    3. חיים הלוי
      There was a typo in your comment. It should have said "Ben Gvir is a common thug with a criminal record, who is not only disrespected but actively derided and boycotted by the majority of Israeli society. Bibi only let the thug out of his box due to his legal troubles and now possiblyregrets it . But hopefully after this election Ben Gvir will once again be locked away fro decent society. "

      Hope this correction helps.

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  3. R. Slifkin: "After all, I have only ever supported right-wing parties. I have no sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians, and I have always been firmly against territorial concessions".

    Perhaps think through what this admission means.

    "I have only ever supported right-wing parties" Why? Many IL parties of the right or the left have made terrible decisions and made terrible mistakes. Both have proven to be duplicitous in their approach to managing the martial occupation of Judea & Samaria. But to proudly state that you have always voted for the 'right' seems blind and not dictated by objective choice. Did you continue to vote for the right when they vocally vilified Rabin to the point that he was murdered by a representative of the 'right'?

    "I have no sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians" - this is telling and also indicative of a form of revisionism that has pushed the 'right' in IL further into ethno-nationalism.

    "I have always been firmly against territorial concessions" - what does this mean? You agree with annexations? All of them? Where you against the return of the Sinai in return for decades of relative peace? Against the concessions to Jordan and Lebanon?

    This kind of broad sweep positions are what have pushed the right into the domain of authoritarianism and eventually they always turn on those who don't wish to go further. It's hard to conclude other than that you, alongside hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews have enabled this.

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    1. "Did you continue to vote for the right when they vocally vilified Rabin to the point that he was murdered by a representative of the 'right'?"

      It reminds me of a story, where someone asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe about the conduct of particular Chabad Chassidim. The Rebbe answered, "By what right do they call themselves my Chassidim?"

      Yigal Amir was not an elected official representative of the Right. His actions represented no one but himself.

      The demonization of PM Rabin was wrong, but that doesn't make the left-wing approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict the correct thing to do.

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    2. Netanyahu literally stood with demonstrators who painted Rabin as a Nazi, Arafat and a Rodef. We know what this led to.

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  4. Is it supposed to say wisdom is the "tacit" knowledge...?

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  5. Don't you believe in evolution??? Standards evolve. Just look at other leftists. The standard used to be simple equality. Today though, they believe in overt favoritism in favor of blacks, women, and all the rest. A dozen more examples can be shown. So even if one accepts your claims as true (which I don't) why are you surprised that rightwing standards have similarly evolved?

    In any event, one's place on the spectrum of left and right is determined by numerous factors. It must also be judged vis-a-vis his peers, as obviously the term is relative. Since you still consider yourself an orthodox Jew, you must view yourself against other orthodox Jews, your peers. And on that spectrum, the only one that matters, you are very, VERY far to the left.

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    1. Also interesting is that only leftists are embarrassed of their own politics, ashamed to be known as leftists. Same thing with "liberal", they try to avoid the stigma of it with their usual tactics of words, by renaming themselves "progressives". Those on the right and those conservative are proud to be known by those markers. The shame of the left is telling.

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  6. I am to the Left of you ( religious centrist/moderate leftist) and believe some form of painful territorial concession may be necessary. I still will continue to visit the
    Museum despite our disagreement on this issue….

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  7. Who cares what Begin told somebody about R.M. Kahane? Begin was also against taking war reparations from Germany, also wrong. He was a great man, and was a great hero, but that doesn’t mean he was right about everything. Right leaning people do not deify their leaders like leftists, who are usally atheists, need to do.

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    1. "Right leaning people do not deify their leaders like leftists" Lol! Meanwhile, in America, the Trump worshipers are far more cultish in their devotion to dear Leader than the Obama cultists ever were.

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    2. Bibi's followers literally made a golden idol of him.

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    3. Both responses complete fiction. As to a carpenter the whole world looks like a nail, leftists believe everyone thinks like them. They deified Rabin and Obama, so they think their political opponents deify their own leaders. Wrong. We respect our leaders, but we don't worship them. Remember: Those on the right have actual religion, unlike leftists, and don't need to fill the void with ersatz gods of their own.

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    4. https://www.timesofisrael.com/likud-activists-slammed-for-cult-worship-over-netanyahu-medallion-of-loyalty/

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    5. Are you for real? Why don't you also cite the New York Times as "proof" of other anti-rightwing slurs?

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    6. Any, boy, this is great. I’ve already counted three different commenters here alone who have somehow managed to bring up on their own the name of Trump, and every one of them by a rabid lefty. Come to grips with reality. It is only the left and it’s media who, thinking like lefties, obsess about Trump and delude themselves that the right wing does too. They THINK we worship him, because their own paradigm and mindset is to worship their own politicians, from FDR to Obama. Again, get it straight: The right respects its leaders, but doesn’t idolworship them. Only the atheist left dies.

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    7. If you've been following American politics and have a lick of sense (as I presume you do), you'd look at the Right's acceptance of Trump's baldfaced lies and apparent violations of laws, their complicity in helping him attempt to steal an election, their insistence that the election was stolen FROM him (nearly 300 election deniers are on ballots for Federal office across the country), and their fear that he'll turn on them, and you'll have to conclude they worship him. Just look at Lindsey Graham.

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    8. I must amend my comment to state that not everyone on the Right in the US is a Trump worshipper; consider Liz Cheney et. al. (but also consider how the GOP has disowned her for her refusal to kowtow to MAGA).

      Nor does everyone on the Left worship Obama. Case in point: we've just finished watching a Netflix series on the good and bad of American government, where a segment in the episode about health care points out a failure of his administration. You would expect the writers to be sympathetic to Obama, seeing that they make the case for government has a force for good--and that Barack and Michelle Obama are this series' producers!

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  8. If you were truly against territorial concessions you wouldn't be acting as an enabler of a Lapid government. For shame!

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  9. Maybe he was calling you a leftist for criticizing Smotrich and not Ben Gvir? Smotrich is promoting a return to religious norms and the morality of the Torah. You seem to be against this and you are more inclined to allow everyone the freedom to live as he pleases no matter how sinful the Torah considers their lifestyle to be.
    Additionally, and more troublesome, it seems you are exclusively worried about economic collapse and threats to physical security, while the collapse of spiritual and moral values take a very far back seat on your list of concerns.
    I believe these positions justifies calling you a leftist/liberal.

    Maybe you should have an honest discussion about this issue rather than take the easy way out and insult those who defend the extremist positions of Ben Gvir.

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    1. A vote for one is a vote for the other. It is not possible to support Smotrich without also supporting Ben Gvir.

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    2. “A vote for one is a vote for the other. It is not possible to support Smotrich without also supporting Ben Gvir.”

      Great. Now do Lapid.

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    3. @kornreich you can be pro a return to jewish morality and be against smotrich's juvenile and misguided attempts to create a halachic state.
      Coercion seems unlikely to work. There is no mechanism for suggesting what authorities would provide religious guidance and it seems likely that under smotrich we would have some fairly extreme people in charge. Hardly a desirable outcome..

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    4. So apparently now the yeshivish view per DK is to support hardline religious Zionist extremists. I had no idea.
      Does Rav Wachtfogel know about this?

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    5. @not a fan:
      I don't think you have given any serious thought for how to incrementally restore Jewish morality in Israel. I'm sure if you tried harder, you could come up with at least some suggestions.
      The problem is that Rabbi Slifkin has never intimated that it is even desirable for the broader Israeli society to return to Jewish morality. Again, his only concerns have always been the economy and physical security. That is why the leftist/liberal label is sticking.

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    6. Did you ever read נ"ך or the Talmud? They are both massively concerned with both the economy and with security, provided that they are coupled with fealty to Hashem ( which doesn't necessarily mean 'learning lots of Torah' or ' being makpid on halachit being Adam laMakom'). All legit halachic authorities take this seriously. Note and consider: haredi rabbis are not very serious about this. Perhaps they should reconsider their commitment to the Jewish tradition.

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    7. "haredi rabbis are not very serious about this. Perhaps they should reconsider their commitment to the Jewish tradition"

      You can't make this up if you tried. The guy who thinks it's ok to argue with the Talmud when he disagrees, and thinks that נ"ך and Talmud aren't too concerned about בין אדם למקום or learning lots of Torah, is accusing Charedi Rabbis of not being sufficiently committed to tradition.
      The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

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    8. I meant it utterly seriously. They have created a new religion based on a distortion of rabbinic judaism. The texts might be the same but the meaning given to them is utterly new and bizarre.

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    9. That is an utterly bizarre accusation. Perhaps you can tell us how they created a 'new religion' and what the 'utterly new and bizarre meanings' are to the texts?! Any objective historian will tell you that DL is much further from traditional Orthodoxy than the Chareidim. (Yes, I know, I know. You are going to say 'mass Kollel'! But as Mecharker pointed out a few weeks ago, there is nothing halachicly wrong with it, even if it is historically unprecedented, and we base our religion off what is permitted or not). And if you want to go with what was done historically, I can find a lot more things different with the DL, such as how their women dress, their embrace of secularism, and carelessness towards halacha in general.

      You don't seem to be too educated in Jewish history or halacha yet like to through out silly and unsubstantiated theories.

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    10. Not a fan, the irony of your latest comment is hilarious! You are the one who told me just last week that it is ok to change Halacha, and as a 'proof' posted a link quoting some leading MODOX rabbis that it is permitted to shave on Chol Hamoed nowadays because 'times have changed'! Utterly new and bizarre indeed!

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    11. 'They are both massively concerned with both the economy and with security, provided that they are coupled with fealty to Hashem ( which doesn't necessarily mean 'learning lots of Torah' or ' being makpid on halachit being Adam laMakom')'

      This is the exactly one of the reasons that most rabbis were against Zionism when it emerged in the 1800's (even Marc Shapiro admits to this in his book). They were concerned that Jewish nationalism would end up replacing authentic Torah Judaism.

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    12. @not a fan:
      You are a master at deflection and evasion.
      You never responded to the point I was making. It seems you have nothing of substance to say so you evade and change the subject to chareidim and whataboutism.
      You used this exact tactic in our previous exchange a couple of posts back.

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    13. @Anonymous October 24, 2022 at 5:04 PM,

      Wow, and the rabbis really got it right! Look at this poor chap here. Not only did he replace Judaism with Jewish nationalism, he accuses Jews clinging to traditional Judaism of creating a new 'utterly bizarre' religion.

      חכם עדיף מנביא!

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  10. A lot of “Rightist” Israelis voted for Rabin or for Sharon’s Kadima. There seem to be a presumption that former generals will make good politicians, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Trump made the same naive mistake.

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  11. R' Natan
    You seem happier with the prospect of pumping 50 billion nis into the Arab sector - under the direction of an Islamist - than directing a couple hundred million to people learning Torah.
    You seem more comfortable with a left-leaning government that lacks the Jewish identity to truly fight for a Jewish state than a traditional/nationalistic government that will tolerate Chareidim.
    So, yeah, Ben Gvir aside, you come across as a Leftist - certainly relative to other Orthodox Jews.

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    1. Sure. Because the money for the Arab sector is Good For The Jews (they are less likely to attack us if they are not neglected), whereas the handouts for people in kollel is Bad For The Jews, because it strengthens the cycle of willfull unemployment.

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    2. @s leizerson... there is nothing traditional about tolerating current charedi society. Such a situation, where so many jews didn't work, pay taxes, devoted themselves to learning and not working is unprecedented I'm Jewish History and flies in the face of established Jewish practice since the times of the Mishna.
      A proper Jewish state would end this situation immediately.

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    3. Why so resistant to basic notions of justice and equality? Why instrumentalise and be embarrassed of your own morality?

      Spending money on citizens equally regardless of race is justice, is tzedek, is normal.

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    4. To "Sure": Right, this is the Leftist view, exactly - If we would just treat the Arabs well (IMHO, we already do), maybe give them a state, they would stop attacking us. Worked in Gaza, didn't it?
      To Not a Fan: I didn't say the kollel set-up is traditional. Just that R' Natan would prefer a Leftist government to a traditional/nationalistic one that happens to be more tolerant of Chareidim (probably because they have some respect for Torah learning, but that is totally not my point here). Thus, he comes off as a Leftist.
      To The Hat: Absolutely, there is some merit to being a Leftist for moral reasons. The mistake is sacrificing our own security and being naive about the intentions of those who would be happy to destroy us. R' Natan, however, is not a Leftist for moral reasons. He himself has written here that he "has no sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians". His position appears to be based on nothing more than hatred of Chareidi society.

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    5. "His position appears to be based on nothing more than hatred of Chareidi society." Naturally! It couldn't possibly be that I am deeply concerned about charedim harming the national economy due to not working, along with their not sharing the burden of military service. No, it must be that I irrationally hate them!

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    6. It must be. In light of the multiple erudite and comprehensive refutations of the recent NYT hit piece, which you breathlessly embraced, will you reconsider your claim of propriety as to the article's accuracy? Is the feeling guiding the intellect or the other way around? Do sheer numbers (ie the number of people interviewed) overwhelm your ability to think clearly?

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    7. @s leizerson why are you so interested in a government that protects a non-traditional form of Judaism?

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    8. The Charedim couldn't possibly be concerned of their spiritual life being affected by the Zionist approach. No, it must be that they just irrationally hate them!

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    9. This is what happens when you take your eye off the wheel. You morphed into an entirely political blog, and still proclaim to represent "rationalist" Judaism. Thus, you equate your politics with rationality and Judaism. All those other millions of Jews who dont share your POV are thus, in your world, both irrational and not even practicing Judaism. If you limit yourself to simply stating your opinions and your thinking, no one could have an objection.

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    10. "In light of the multiple erudite and comprehensive refutations of the recent NYT hit piece." Er, no, there weren't any. Only attempts to obscure the issue by dwelling on trivialities. And the central charge, that they yeshivos misappropriate funds, was just confirmed today: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/24/nyregion/hasidic-yeshiva-fraud-central-united-talmudical-academy.html

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    11. If you can't accept that the times piece was thoroughly debunked, it means you'll never accept or admit that *any* thing you believe in is false. Because that piece of garbage was proven false by countless people, religious and secular, Jews and Gentile. You've categorically walled off the possibility of admitting error. In other words, you've made a religion of your opinions. Noted.

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    12. There was a lot more in the article than misappropriation of funds. And that was hardly the "central charge" of article that involved dozens or hundreds of people contacted.

      In general, many Hasidic boys’ schools score lower on state standardized tests than any other schools in the state, public or private.

      In 2019, The Times reported, the Central United Talmudical Academy agreed to give state standardized tests in reading and math to more than 1,000 students. Every one of them failed.


      This could be 100% true and still meaningless. Regarding the first paragraph, it is well known through observation that the worse the problem, the more money politicians will throw at it. And regarding the second, for all we know, the administration told the boys to fail the test intentionally. Maybe they "agreed" to an offer they could not refuse.

      Schools that care about test scores teach to the tests. This is so obvious I shouldn't have to even point it out. I have seen this firsthand here, with a school teaching to the bagriot. When the bagriot for some subjects were omitted due to paperwork error or something one year, guess which subjects got less time? Schools that don't care about the tests don't mold the curriculum to them. Just because they don't care about those tests doesn't mean they don't care about all tests or the well-being of their students.

      The thing is, I can say all the above, which pretty much all of my compatriots will consider logical, and even rational points to consider. But the so-called rationalists won't, period.

      They will ignore all of the above because they are retarded. When called out for ignoring points like this, they then make the subject about which they are arguing the use of the word "retard" and its variants. It's like legal trolling. I feel like I am shooting fish in a barrel. If only they would argue rationally.

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    13. Maybe this and maybe that...for all we know...fail the test intentionally...
      What other conjecture are you suggesting.



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    14. We all know that that to Hadsidim the Liba is Treife or close to it and should be avoided as much as possible. Some Chareidim too. At best a necessary evil. A spiritual pure education is without the Liba curriculum.

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  12. Natan, you have a thing or two to learn about the purpose of voting.

    https://vinnews.com/2022/10/19/op-ed-chareidim-can-blame-themselves-if-another-leftist-government-is-formed-in-israel/

    find dubious legal loopholes. Hashem, of course, runs the world.  But in the long run, in terms of our hishtadlus, involvement in politics and voting is how chareidim will be able to maintain their lifestyle and prosper in the coming years in Israel. The fate of the yeshivos, the fate of seminaries, the fate of kollelim and young families is now in the balance. Who would want to be responsible for a negative, hostile, anti-chareidi government taking power once again in Israel?

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    1. Are you kidding? It's just the opposite. Charedi MKs are the worst thing for their constituencies. It was the current government which promised hope for the charedi community, by incentivizing them to teach basic secular studies and thereby enable them to be employable.

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    2. Mistake in reposting the article, thought I had reposted it in it's entirety. Read the part about why we vote.

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  13. Beating that evil leftist traitor is nothing to be proud of. According to Rambam traitors should be killed without a trail.

    ". It is a mitzvah, however, to eradicate Jewish traitors, minnim, and apikorsim, and to cause them to descend to the pit of destruction, since they cause difficulty to the Jews and sway the people away from God."
    עֲמָמִין אֲבָל הַמּוֹסְרִים וְהָאֶפִּיקוֹרוֹסִין מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל הָיָה דִּין לְאַבְּדָן בְּיָד וּלְהוֹרִידָן עַד בְּאֵר שַׁחַת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיוּ מְצֵרִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמְסִירִין אֶת הָעָם מֵאַחֲרֵי ה':
    Avodat Kochavim - Chapter Ten

    Ssvi

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  14. I am dismayed by the conformist “left/ right”declarations. Is it really necessary to call yourself ‘right-wing” in order to defend your positions? This kind of binary thinking is no-longer useful, especially since the internet. This kind of simplification is not necessary any more, Unfortunately you have written in an apologetically tone, trying to convince everyone of your loyalty You have succumbed to self doubt. We live in a climate of incrimination should we differ from the norm.That you plainly say you have no sympathy for Palestinians undermines your shock of unremitting violence. Palestinians are people caught in conflict-not all terrorists. Rather then using your popularity to raise the political/ethical dialog you in the end merely contribute to the status quo. Next time don’t qualify your comments

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  15. This is how th modern right wing mindset works. From Orban to Putin to Trump to the literal Hitler-praising fascist government in Italy to Modi. Oppose them in the smallest way and you are against God, worship demons, and harvest the organs of sexually abused children to make drugs. And no, I am not exaggerating. In their world of "alternative facts" only total loyalty is permitted. So you should not be surprised.

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  16. Well of course you were called a leftist. I'm surprised you were surprised. Extremists always label relative moderates as their enemy, and are rarely aware of the extent of their own extremism. In the current febrile environment of course any Ben Gvir supporter labels his detractors as Leftists.

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  17. This blog is so utterly painful to read.

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  18. JTF and Hilltop Youth supporterOctober 24, 2022 at 3:20 AM

    Ben Gvir is NOT the political heir to Kahane despite whatever he tries to present himself as. Never has been and never will be. He's "just another guy" on the so-called right-of-center along with Likud, Bennett and all the rest who isn't actually willing to do what must be done to defeat the terrorist enemy.
    And the commenter above who claimed Ben Gvir wants to remove the Arabs from the country is just lying to himself. What a joke!

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  19. JTF and Hilltop Youth supporterOctober 24, 2022 at 3:30 AM

    As for the fact that so-called "rightwing" leaders like Begin and Shamir felt threatened by Kahane since he was going to take voters away from their party (and in fact it was Likud that spearheaded the effort to ban Kahane from Knesset, NOT the so-called left!) should come as no surprise to anyone. To couch this obvious conflict of interest in moralist terms as if these two gentlemen were the be-all and end-all of judgement of character and their negative word "pasuls" a man is outrageous.

    The phony characterization of Kahane as a fringe element is just historical revisionism. He was projected to achieve the third largest party in the 1988 elections, and that is precisely why they banned him. Not because he was going to remain at 1 seat forever, as in the case of his first election to Knesset 4 years earlier. It was precisely because of his growing popularity and the continued failure of the Israeli establishment to deal with the problems Israel faced that they felt they must ban him.

    And the result we all received for this "noble" decision was Arafat and the Oslo Accords.

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    1. Agree or disagree - finally an intelligent comment on this blog.

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    2. "so-called "rightwing" leaders like Begin and Shamir "
      You're being silly.

      "He was projected to achieve the third largest party in the 1988 elections, and that is precisely why they banned him."

      Wasn't he banned in 1984?
      See here: https://www.jta.org/archive/kahane-group-barred-from-july-23-knesset-ballot-ban-first-for-jewish-list

      Delete
    3. Indeed, very well stated. And it goes to what we pointed out above. Begin and Shamir did many great things, but they were still and all politicians. They had political calculations, and not everything they did was right. ואין צריך לומר that what Begin said to some american in the early 80s is thoroughly irrelevant to a world in which we are still suffering from the accursed Oslo accords.

      Delete
  20. Indeed, the Likud sought the banning of the great visionary, Rabbi Meir Kahane ztz"l because in the 1980s they were about to lose many seats to him because of his surge in popularity. Ben Gvir is experiencing a similar surge now and it currently serves the Likud's interests.

    The "moral" issue was just window dressing.

    Transfer is ultra-moral. We have a right to a Jewish State without internal enemies.

    If it was moral for Poland to expel the ethnic Germans after World War 2, how much more so is it for us to transfer fifth columnists who attack us in different ways on a regular basis.

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  21. 1. I would have to ask if you are aware how many times the Jews get arrested when defending themselves from Arabs. It is not rare and so I'd have to ask if your thoughts about the video are based on reality or myth.

    2. Regarding right wing violence, it is a case of man bites dog. It is not common, yet receives proportionately way more attention.

    I will not condone any unprovoked violence yet context is important. Left wing activists endanger the lives of people living in Yehuda V'Shomron. Not all of course, but many incite the Arabs. Now imagine being one of those Jews living in an area threatened by Arabs incited by extreme left wingers.

    With the greatest of respect, I'd like to suggest that those living far away from the daily realities of settler life, are not best placed to understand the full context. Comment freely, but so much nuance is missing if you do not live with the reality of false arrest or left wing activists who endanger lives.

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    Replies
    1. @david very sneaky the way you conflate 'settler life' with 'fairly extreme settler life' as I'd it is all one thing. Most settlers do not live with the threat of arrest. I would venture to say that only those who earn it or live in close proximity to those who earn it, experience it

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    2. By saying that those arrested deserve it, you too are showing that you are unaware of the daily realities.

      Delete
  22. Perhaps the 94% of this country, "left" of Ben Gvir, can all now be designated "the New Left".

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  23. I'm sorry, R. Natan, but your previous post was not just about "criticizing Ben Gvir", it was quoting or even parroting the election propaganda of very specific - Left-wing - parties. The fact that it appeared in a Jerusalem Post editorial does not mean it wasn't election propaganda (in fact, very much the opposite this close to the election). So, sadly, in this case an accusation of "Left wing" is somewhat earned, however unthinkingly, and regardless of which political parties you actually support.

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    Replies
    1. I think this is the first time I agree with Shlomo Goren!!

      Delete
  24. After reading so much right wing lunacy in these comments, I think it's about time I pointed out that being g a left winger in this election is nothing to be ashamed of and is also a sign of moderation and a return to sane government. Let me illustrate:
    To be a right winger means:
    1. supporting a government of criminal MKs, of racists and of religious extremists who will severely damage Israeli society by weakening the checks and balances between the branches of government and loosening rules that require our elected leader to behave morally
    2. They will include racists a d homophones in government
    3 they will treat those who disagree with them as traitors and enemies
    4. Who will attempt to legislate religious laws and impose them on non religious citizens
    5. Who will bankrupt the country by bankrolling Talmud students and ensuring that the next generation of hareim are even more unemployed than the current one
    6. Who will likely bring about war with the Palestinians (and they probably wee this as a good thing, despite all the deaths that will be involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I think this comment gets the award for the most typos and grammatical mistakes on this post! And this is coming from the guy who claims that Chareidim can't write clearly!

      Delete
    2. I did it on my phone and in haste
      I think you get the point
      Plus, yeah haredim are becoming more illiterate by the day / generation

      Delete
    3. "Plus, yeah haredim are becoming more illiterate by the day / generation"

      You're like the empty pot around here. Loudly making baseless and silly claims.

      Delete
  25. Sometimes I think that you are a spokesman for Lapid. Think about it.

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  26. 1. Calling the police "antisemitic" is exaggregarion, but yes - anyone who knows what is going on in "West Bank" is aware that the police is generally hostile to the settlers.
    It does not occur because the policemen are bad guys in their nature. It occurs because the Israeli ruling regime is interested to demonstrate "even-handed approach" towards both Arabic and Jewish terror. And, due to a deficiency of true Jewish terror, the police invents it: they exploit every opportunity to arrest a Jew and accuse him. It's strictly business, nothing personal.

    2. In contrary to what you claimed: "there is no political Left", the reality is that there is almost no political Right. Both Lapid and Bibi, for example, openly support "the states for two nations solution", i.e. creation of yet another Arabic state in a part of historic Land of Israel.
    The rest of political parties agree to accompany them in principle. The only currently existing party which is consistently against territorial concessions is Smotrich, Ben-Gvir & Co. You could criticize Ben-Gvir before the parties lists were locked; If you preach against Ben-Gvir in the current stage then you support territorial concessions.

    3. Probably Menachem Begin, Shamir and even Bibi could be called right-wing. It depends on how do you define what is Right. For me, Shamir betrayed Right when started the Madrid conference that worked as a trigger for the "peace process". But you are free to propose a definition of Right to which Shamir and Bibi could meet.
    What is important here is not whether Shamir was right-wing or not. Shamir and the Left share their core dream: "to be like the rest of nations to worship wood and stone". That's why Menachem Begin denounced Rabbi Kahane as a "crazy man" and Yitzchak Shamir would walk out when he spoke. So, it's not a surprise that Yitzchak Shamir ended up in Madrid and Bibi went even much more far. No one than Rabbi Kahane predicted that a while ago.

    4. Last but not least. Israeli police works very ineffectively. How many rapists may avoid prosecution because of the law that Likud did not support? Few dozens. Meanwhile, thousands of rapists, killers and robbers avoid prosecution simply because there are no enough investigators to look into their cases.
    In contrary: how many Arabic rioters from the wave of riots an year ago avoided prosecution? Dozens of thousands. How much money Arabic pro-terror organizations got from the current Left government, thanks to Ra'am party? Dozens of billions. How many women might be raped in another wave of Arabic riots? I even afraid to think. And you care so much about the few dozen of victims when the entire country is in danger??

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  27. It occurs to me that this forum is full of Boomers who are technically and emotionally immunologically naive to the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ben Gvir never served in the IDF as the IDF refused to draft him because of his views. Therefore, to say that he cannot do this or that because he never served in the army is disingenuous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tells you something though? How far nuts are a persons views before the army disowns them?

      Delete
  29. Few news from Left and "anyone-but-Bibi" gov't reality:
    https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/361707
    https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/320485

    ReplyDelete

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