Like the other $131bn is pro-Chazal.

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Wow, long time no post. Looks like you didn't take my recommendation yet. Oh well.

A billion dollars is a small price to pay for the tremendous benefit Shomrei Torah impart. Like, a really small price. Be happy Hashem is letting you guys stay in the Land for now. https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/does-torah-protect

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"One can only pray that somehow the budget will fail to pass and the government will collapse."

Whatever makes you feel better. Just remember:


"In fact, it seems that according to Rambam, while petitionary prayer is of great religious importance, it does not actually serve to attain the object of one's requests."

I guess if your religion consists of hating Charedim, you might be able to justify praying for the collapse of the government. Ask your local rationalist blogger.

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Aren't most topics taught in schools useless for actually earning a living? Is not learning about photosynthesis and Pythagoras theorom really something that hareidim can't make up for later?

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Is it relevant to the "Torah protects; ignorance (of secular knowledge) is bliss" camp that it is one thing for them to hold these beliefs; it is quite another to demand that the great majority of the Israel join them in that belief and subsidize them.

To put this in a broader context, one of the bedrocks of a liberal democratic system is that I have a right to believe whatever I want - as long as I don't try to impose those beliefs on others by, for example, demanding that they pay for them. And yet that is exactly what the Charedi camp is trying to do.

Of course, they may respond by rejecting the premise - that Israel is a liberal democracy. Which admittedly highlights a contradiction built in to the democratic experiment: it allows those who reject the fundamental principles of the system to take advantage of the system by participating in it, and subverting it. But the Chareidim should at least be honest about their demand that their fellow citizens finance what 80% of the country sees as beliefs that will destroy the state.

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A journalist called Charedim "parasites"? Drop everything, OMG!!!----Political opponents have called them this name for at least fifty years, why does it shock you? This is what happens in politics - your opponents call you names. I got new for you: the Charedim also call the Chilonim names. Only a fool (and yes, there are some fools, but not that many) sits there worrying about how his political opponents try to spin them.

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May 21·edited May 21

"The amount of harm that the charedi mass-poverty system causes both to themselves and can bring upon the country is incalculable."

Nearly ten years ago, you offered your prognostications:


"The charedim are kicking and screaming about the new government, which will cause many people to leave kollel and change the way in which they educate their children. But the irony is that the particular person most hated for all this, the person who is behind the make-up of the government and its policies, is Yair Lapid. And do you know which single person is most responsible for Yair Lapid's extraordinary rise to power?

Moshe Abutbul.


It was Mayor Moshe Abutbul's appalling mishandling of Beit Shemesh in general, and the Orot Banot girls' school situation in particular, that drew Beit Shemesh into the headlines, caused the rest of Israel to react with horror, and led to the 19 seats that Yair Lapid won in the Knesset. It was because Abutbul immediately caved in to the extremists, refused to condemn their terrorizing of children, refused to express any support or sympathy for the girls who were being traumatized, and sought to prevent the Orot Banot school from opening, that Bet Shemesh became the focal point from which Lapid drew support.

You can be sure that with the re-election of Abutbul, there will be further explosive events in Beit Shemesh, since Abutbul never takes a stand against extremists. Abutbul will continue to give the city a bad name - indeed, just a week after his last re-election, he got in trouble for making disparaging comments about homosexuals. And the rest of Israel will respond by continuing to give political power to Lapid and Bennet.


The result will be that in the next national elections, the charedim will again be unable to enter the government. The government will continue to be able to bring charedim into the workforce and IDF and stem the crisis discussed earlier."

That was 2014. Now it's 2023, and you're complaining about Charedim- who somehow have managed to sneak back into the government, with Moshe Abutbul somehow even managing to snag a deputy ministry- wielding too much power. And you're making yet more prognostications.

Along the way, you've offered various anecdotes about Charedim voting for Yesh Atid, a charedi spring where charedim are becoming irreligious en masse, charedim dying en masse from covid, charedim finally seeing the light after meron, charedim finally seeeing through the farce of daas torah in the wake of Walder, etc etc etc ad nauseam. One wonders who keeps voting all of these charedi politicians into the knesset. Tel Avivians?

You probably would do well to get out of the fortune telling business. Maybe focus more on eating various locusts or chasing down headless chickens like you used to do in the good old days before you turned into an English version of Yediot.

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"One can only pray that somehow the budget will fail to pass and the government will collapse."

This is a political issue -- it's about the distribution of Government funds. Israel is still a democracy -- votes count, more than prayer. The willingness of Likud to accept the haredi demands, to maintain the coalition and keep Bibi out of jail, are worrisome to an outsider.

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Its called a mature and well thought out investment.

Studying the crocodiles abdomen may give one the title "doctor" but hey, in the next world it wont get one very far.

On the other hand studying Torah may mean eating class 2 zucchini for 70 years but the million year afterlife will be so much more enjoyable.

Its called a well thought out and mature investment

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I know this has been brought up in the past, and I'm not calling anyone names, but the idea seems quite relevant:

Sanhedrin 99b - אפיקורוס כגון מאן אמר רב יוסף כגון הני דאמרי מאי אהנו לן רבנן לדידהו קרו לדידהו תנו

who is an example of an apikorus? Rav Yosef says: It is referring to one who conducts himself like those who say: In what manner have the Sages benefited us with all their Torah study? They read the Bible for their own benefit and they study the Mishna for their own benefit.

רש"י: מאי אהני לן - והם אינן יודעין שעולם מתקיים עליהם

The Gemara then goes on to say that such a person is actually worse than an אפיקורוס because he is denying flat out psukim, but we can start here.

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Well, if you read Lehovin, you would know the government also spends tons of money to brainwash Chareidim, which is exactly like the nazis.


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I identify as charedi, and, essentially, I agree with the points you are making.

However, I think we should be trying to find the best way of solving this whilst taking into consideration why the chareidi leadership are making the decisions they are, and to engage with them regarding the serious problems they are bringing to the state of Israel.

There is little point in criticizing their approach, if they won't agree to make any changes. After all, even if, for example, a left wing government were in charge, and they withdrew all funding for chareidi schools would that really bring about any educational change in chareidi institutions? It would likely only bring increased poverty and groing hatred/distrust between the chareidi community and the rest of the Israeli population.

As far as I can see, the best way to solve these problems is to engage with the chareidi community, understand the reasons for what they are doing, explain the problems it's causing and working together to find solutions/compromise etc.

Any thoughts?

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May 21·edited May 22

Once one subtracts non-working and working-off-the-books haredim, Arabs, retirees, and minimal income households, how many taxpaying households are there in Israel, between whom this billion dollar bill will be split? Maybe 350,000, meaning $3,000 per taxpaying family?

Does it count towards their ma'asser money, given the amazing Torah they'll be enabling?

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It is very confusing that each side of the debate claims to be the only 1 consistent with Chazal's teachings. Obviously, each side can invoke passages that support their contention. It is unconvincing to Haredim for u to tell them that the anti-education faction goes against Chazal.

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