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"this is not only deeply upsetting and annoying for everyone else; it’s also nothing less than an existential threat to the entire country. The tiny State of Israel, surrounded by hostile countries that seek to destroy it, cannot survive with a Third World economy."

"The alarm needs to be sounded, and sounded again, until things are changed."

And likewise debunked again and again.

https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/the-fallacy-of-economic-catastrophism

https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/oh-no-the-sky-is-falling-again-this

https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/shteiging-into-the-abyss/comment/36716649

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Claiming that charedi society - one that is massively resistant to change - will suddenly and dramatically completely change course in the span of a few years is not "debunking" this post.

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"Claiming that charedi society - one that is massively resistant to change - will suddenly and dramatically completely change course in the span of a few years is not "debunking" this post."

Who's claiming that? Certainly not me. Nor the posts I linked to.

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"Debunked?"

I can't be bothered reading your long winded posts. So I asked ChatGPT. Here's what it wrote:

1) While the author does provide some counterarguments, it's important to note that the tone of the post is dismissive of the pessimistic viewpoint, and the author relies more on logical reasoning and critique rather than offering a deeply analytical or evidence-based response.

2) The author doesn't provide a straightforward debunking of the guest's arguments in a structured or rigorous manner. Instead, the author uses sarcasm, humor, and ridicule to dismiss the guest's predictions and qualifications.

In any case, your basic point is: "Chareidim will adapt to external circumstances, just like any other society in flux,"

Of course, you don't bother to mention what adaptions will occur. Could it be one (or more) of those adaptations that RNS has advocated?

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In Rational Judea, where Ephraim doth reside,

A fellow bold named, he, with thoughts worldwide,

His vexations did his spirit ever rail,

'Gainst Charedim's ways, their toil did he assail.

"A plague upon them!" Ephraim did exclaim,

In fervent ire, he did their actions blame,

"Charedim, idle souls, a burden borne,

Refuse to work, their duties left forlorn."

Yet readers, like a stream, did words impart,

Cautioned him, "Thine anger, ease thine heart,

Thy fixation, unnatural it seems,

Born of torturous past, perhaps in dreams."

Ephraim, unbowed, replied in kind and bold,

"My stance 'gainst Charedim's ways, 'tis truth be told,

Not rare, unnatural; in Israel wide,

Many souls with me, Charedim deride."

"In sacred land, where history's tales abound,

Millions share my view, their voices resound,

Religious souls, yea, yeshivish in kind,

Within Charedi ranks, concern they find."

"In truth, 'tis different here," he did proclaim,

"Charedim's stance, a cause for just acclaim,

Less secular learning they embrace,

Thus darkness shrouds their minds, this is the case."

"Unlike yonder shores, where scholars bloom,

In low-paid work, Charedim meet their doom,

No doctors, scholars, scientists you'll see,

Exiled they remain, from knowledge's decree."

"The scale, a difference vast, 'tween here and there,

Charedim's presence, ever more to bear,

As population swells in rapid flight,

Existential threat casts shadows in sight."

"Defenses weakened, unity's crux strained,

Charedim's choice, where service be disdained,

A burden placed on shoulders far and wide,

Nation's fate at stake, none can abide."

Thus, Ephraim's voice did ring throughout the land,

A plea for change, a future's steady hand,

In Rational Judea, where thoughts collide,

A tale of conflict, Charedim doth bide.

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In any case, your basic point is: "Chareidim will adapt to external circumstances, just like any other society in flux,"

Of course, you don't bother to mention what adaptions will occur. Could it be one (or more) of those adaptations that RNS has advocated?

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That's not my basic point. You have an unfortunate habit of putting words in my mouth.

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You're complaining that I'm putting your own words in your mouth? Or that I'm over-emphasizing a selection of your words?

In any case, please elaborate on what these adaptations will be.

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I'm saying you aren't responding to what I what I said and are instead inventing things which I didn't say. Which makes sense, since by your own admission you can't be bothered to read stuff and instead feed it to ChatGPT.

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ChatGPT is fun. Here's this post rewritten as a royal proclamation:

Hear Ye, Noble Subjects and Distinguished Denizens of the Realm,

It has come to my august attention that a missive, composed by an inquisitive reader, hath recently graced my presence. The contents thereof do convey a sentiment of import, and thus, I deem it requisite to disseminate this discourse through the corridors of royal proclamation.

Verily, it is suggested, though humbly disclaimed as devoid of expertise, that an unnatural fascination hath befallen my humble persona, directed steadfastly toward the esteemed assembly of Chareidim. The audacious query doth arise: how might such an anomaly, a rarity not oft seen, take root? The answer is surmised to be rooted in the crucible of torment to which I, a hapless soul, hath been subjected.

Such words, spoken from the mouths of many a tongue, doth find resonance within the recesses of my being. Yet, let it be known that my sentiments regarding the society of the Chareidim are naught but a manifestation of the natural, a thread woven within the tapestry of countless hearts. In my case, this sentiment finds its genesis not solely in the proscription of my literary works (a stance for which I extend my heartfelt empathy, as it doth pertain to the social fabric), but rather in the very crucible of existence within the borders of our revered land, Israel.

In this cherished realm, a multitude numbering in the millions doth share my critique of the Chareidi society. Amongst them are those of devout faith, those whose demeanor might be dubbed "yeshivish" within the faraway lands of the United States and the United Kingdom. Yea, even some who dwell within the very fold of the Chareidi community itself bear this sentiment.

Let no foreigner, alien to the subtleties of our land, misconstrue its character. The chasm betwixt the Chareidim of Israel and their black-hatted brethren dwelling in the lands across the sea is vast, defined by two elemental disparities.

First, in the realm of education, the Chareidim of Israel find themselves bereft of the light of secular learning that their counterparts in the United States and the United Kingdom are privy to. Their educational apparatus stands staunchly against the tide of worldly knowledge. Moreover, the Chareidim of Israel shun gainful employment, for their creed doth discourage such worldly pursuits, leaving those few who partake to toil in lowly, unskilled occupations, borne of necessity upon their entry into the labor market in the twilight of their years. It is a realm wherein no Chareidi physicians or scientists, save those who have journeyed from foreign shores or embraced the path of religious return, do tread.

The second distinction, a chasm as vast as the celestial heavens, lies in the proportion of these black-hatted devotees within our sovereign land compared to their brethren dwelling in foreign climes. Here in Israel, they burgeon, an exponential swell within our populace, heralding consequences most profound for the realm at large. When such a burgeoning assembly, steadfast in their refusal to bear arms or contribute to the economic tapestry, does swell amidst our midst, their undernourished education and reliance upon the largesse of those beyond their kin bears with it vexation and perturbation to those who reside beyond their enclosures. Indeed, this burgeoning sea of devout souls, averse to worldly engagements and reliant upon the largesse of others, dost pose naught but an existential menace to our realm. The Land of Israel, nestled amongst belligerent nations harboring ill intent, cannot endure with an economy of meager proportions. Even from within the Chareidi ranks, a semblance of this stark truth hath found voice.

Therefore, let it be known that the clarion of alarm, in all its resounding glory, must be sounded ceaselessly until the very fabric of existence is reconfigured. This proclamation, a call that doth emanate from my sovereign lips, shall echo and reverberate throughout the land until change, like a mighty tempest, doth sweep through the Chareidi society.

Given under my hand and seal on this day, a day marked in the annals of our realm.

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In any case, your basic point is: "Chareidim will adapt to external circumstances, just like any other society in flux,"

Of course, you don't bother to mention what adaptions will occur. Could it be one (or more) of those adaptations that RNS has advocated?

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Why haven't you answered the question? You've posited that the Charedim will adapt, but you haven't explained how.

Why not? Could it be: Because adaptation is change, change is reform, and reform is admission that the status quo is not a lifestyle that is demanded uncompromisingly by ikkarei emunah.

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There's nothing like repeating the same thing 100 times, to convince others that you're not obsessed with the subject.

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It's nothing compared to repeating something 101 times!

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Hahaha! Perfect comment.

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Aug 22, 2023·edited Aug 22, 2023

I'm sorry but you are being disingenuous in this post.

Yes there are many people in Israel who have a negative opinion of charedim, even millions. But very very few of them (unless they are in an actual decision making position to do something about it - unlike you) spend even close to the amount of time and energy focusing on it. Most people just get along with their lives and can't be bothered to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking and posting about such things. Roughly a third to a half of your blog posts are attacking charedi society or ideology in some way. Why do you think that is? Why do you think you out of all the millions are spending so much time? Why aren't they all sounding the alarm as much as you? Is it that you are just more selfless than all of them so you are willing to give more time to this holy cause?

Secondly, it wasn't just that your books were banned. You were basically booted from the community/society that you were at the time a part of. This would be a severely traumatic experience for any normal person and I would be very surprised if you didn't have a chip on your shoulder and axe to grind. The fact that you deny this just causes you to lose credibility in the eye's of your readers.

You seem to think that if you admit this then you lose the credibility to criticize and so you have convinced yourself that it isn't true. But the truth is that this denial has damaged you more then you think. Because of it you've never been able to really get passed your trauma. Acceptance is always the first stage of healing. Its quite sad to watch. You can't even talk about how proud you are of your son moving on to his next stage in life without disparaging charedim at the same time.

Its one of the wonders of human psychology that something can be so clear to everyone else, and they can even tell you about it, but a person himself/herself (the most nogeah badavar) will still deny it.

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I agree with Cappy, and with the reader to whom Rabbi Slifkin responds in this post.

To Rabbi Slifkin directly: While I agree with most of your positions on the matter (he's right, he's right, and you're right too!), in recent years you have been writing far fewer posts about the rationalist approach to Judaism and far more posts criticizing the charedi lifestyle and system. Such posts do of course have value, but there is a fixation and overemphasis that I feel is psychologically damaging.

This is of course a widespread phenomenon nowadays, where otherwise-innocuous blogs and Twitter accounts post one or two political messages as a one-time exception and then get gradually taken over by politics until they're no longer what they once were. Podcasts about television shows or board games gradually talk about those topics less and less over time. Everything is becoming political, and it's unhealthy - for the creators, for the consumers, and for society as a whole.

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I'm not sure. As you say, human psychology is a wonder.

There really are problems in the chareidi community, especially if you don't believe in the level of bitachon we do, and perhaps the person who was in the community and didn't learn to appreciate these bitachon ideas has, for himself, a clearer picture of the issues having been shown the flaws personally. If the foundations of the chareidi ideology are indeed faulty, shouldn't someone speak about these issues? Most people who speak about them are an outsider's perspective. And although the Slifkin approach is also an outsider's perspective to us insiders, he is dealing with the right issues, such as questioning the whole bitachon approach, as opposed to the others who presume we're wrong and tackle outgrowths of our approach.

I'm not saying Slifkin doesn't have an axe to grind - I can only imagine the pain of hearing your very own leaders like Reb Elyashiv zt'l denounce you - but I think Slifkin really doesn't understand the idea that the chareidim profess about bitachon and he feels strongly that there needs to be more hishtadlus, from a pragmatic, thought out perspective.

The fact that he is busy more than most with these issues could be because he feels stronger about the issues since he was personally involved.

I wonder is all.

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"I wonder is all."

Huh?

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Meaning I don't know, all I do is wonder

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Thank you for explaining.

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I'm sorry Rabbi Slifkin, but I find this post and the previous one sad and distressing. I'm not sure what you meant to bring out, but the message that comes across is that 30 years ago you defined your chareidiness by finding flaws with DL, and now you define your DL status by finding flaws with charedim. When will you just be comfortable enough in your own skin to just be you, with your own unique maalos and chisronos, and let others be who they are, with their maalos and chisronos?

(This point is even more apt regarding the previous post but you didn't allow comments)

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One "sounds the alarm" when someone spots something no one else has seen. But anti-charedi speech and doomsday predictions have been heard for decades and decades, from countless haters. [In the 90s the Slifkins of the time thought it would happen upon the "power void" they imagined/hoped would occur upon R. Shach's death.] And, one after the other, the predictions fail.

Be real. Many years ago you tried to join a community, and were so excited about it you even wrote a book to sings the praises of the community to the world. Fast forward a few years and you're now writing a blog to tell the same world how wrong you were. Don't you think we know that, if we just wait a few more years, you'll be doing the same thing about religion in general?

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"Here in Israel, there are literally millions of people who have the exact same criticisms of charedi society that I do. And many of them are religious, and are even the type of people that in the US would be called "yeshivish." Their [sic] are people whose entire life is built around trying to solve the problems created by charedi society. Some of these people are even in the charedi community!"

Then maybe quote those people more and post less about R Chaim Kaniefsky's pants? I'm somewhat sympathetic to claims that society can't afford to keep funding charedim. But not when that claim is made by someone with a history of taking cheap shots at charedim which have nothing to do with economic viability and everything to do with being a jilted ex-charedi himself who routinely calls his ex-community selfish, mocks them for calling an exterminator to deal with rats etc.

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As another one of your commentators wrote, your last posts brought tears to his eyes. Well, when I read that post and saw the picture of YOUR Tefillin bag, and how through all your Torah bashing, you seem to have still kept your old Erleche velvet Tefilin bag, it brought tears to MY eyes. Because yes, I agree with the beginning of your post, that the different style Tefilin bags embody the different style Yidishkiets - and I realized looking at your current Tefilin bags, that you never really left us.

I Think this latest post of yours proves it even more.

By the way and without trying to be obtuse, you wrote in the last post about how nervous you are about your sons spiritual future, if I'm not mistaken you wrote something similar about your daughter in some other post of yours. If that's how even you feel, how the heck do you have the audacity to criticize all of us for not doing the same.

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Surprised you didnt mention that belz is potentially turning the corner now

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So long as Shas and UTJ are part of the government, nothing will change. The PM made a deal with the devil and we must live with it.let us hope we can survive till the next election. Then we can elect a government that does not need the religious parties to survive. The future is in our hands. Wake up Israel.

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The chances of electing a government without the charedi parties are very low.

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"Wake up Israel."

Sounds like you're among the literally millions of people who agree strongly with the post. Why do you spend less time than Rabbi S writing about it?

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Perhaps there is room for an article about the causes and roots of the Charedi mistrust of secular society and how that can be addressed? The damage done by the Maskilim continues to hurt us almost two centuries later.

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Rabbi Slifkin, you have a typo. Sentence "Their are people whose entire life..." should be "There are people whose entire life...".

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You're the most recognizable name of the Jewish substacks. Maybe I should try a little more controversy.

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I have a serious question, with regard to previous post and applications to this one (I realize you didn't allow comments because topic was personal, and I respect that. But I'll ask, and if you don't want to discuss, I understand.)

You wrote that you are concerned for your son's physical *and spiritual* safety in the IDF.

If you feel that joining the IDF is a threat to his spiritual well being, how can you allow him to join? Is there a value out there that's more important to you as a parent than your child's netzach netzachim?

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author

And why don't you ask how I can let him join in light of the physical dangers?

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Because I recognize that there are values higher than physical life.

People can disagree over what specific values, but the principle is understandable.

I don't understand even in principle how there can be a value that's worth sacrificing one's nitzchiyus for.

Do you?

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author

It's amazing how you are proving my point.

How about sacrificing to help other people live?

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So you will risk his nitzchiyus for other people's lives?

Do you truly believe that?

Would you risk his life for other people's nitzchiyus? Perhaps travel to a remote place with no medical infrastructure, in order to bring Yidden closer to Hashem? Would you encourage that?

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author

Uh, isn't that exactly what Chabad does?

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You totally missed the issue.

To most people, the self is worth more than anyone else. They will not risk their lives for anyone or anything else.

To believing Jews, Nitzchiyus is worth more than anything. Dying is a trifle as compared to nitzchiyus. Which is why risking our lives for a Mitzvah can make sense. But you are risking your child's nitzchiyus for people's short term lives.

Your system is backward. You don't think your child's physical life is worth more than anyone else's, and you don't think nitzchiyus is worth more than anything.

Nisht kein Yid un nisht kein goy.

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No.

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So you're not planning on answering?

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That's an easy one. Physical dangers are temporal. Spiritual dangers are existential and eternal

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His son's spiritual life is intertwined with Yishuv Eretz Yisrael.You miss that because you think spiritual life is confined mainly to the Bait Hamedrash.Yishuv EY is a Mitzvah Dioraitah. Time to awake rise up and fulfill Torah as it should be in EY.

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Let's assume you are correct. You have zero influence. You sounding the alarm does nothing whatsoever. It just incites hate.

For example, consider the many problems of the Black community in the USA. Someone with no influence who kept focusing on their issues and how they are harmful to society would rightfully be considered racist.

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author

That's not true, I have lots of influence. There are over four thousand people who receive this blog via email and thousands more who read it online. Many of these people make decisions about where to send their kids to school in Israel, which parties in Israel to vote for, which organizations in Israel to support, which type of Orthodox Judaism to align themselves with.

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This should have been the argument in your post. Not that you are just like all the rest of the millions which is simply not true. Rather, you do spend an unusual amount of time criticizing charedim, but the reason for this is because you are in a particular position to have a large influence on an important constituency. That is at least an argument that makes sense.

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How many of your thousands are in the choir, how many in the opposition, and how many on the fence? How many who subscribe to another dozen stacks and read yours when time permitting?

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And how many tune in for discussions that have something to do with the title of the blog instead of this garbage day in day out?

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It's interesting, the recent Trump post brought a number of commenters, notably some women, out of their silence. Or they don't read non-Trump posts.

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Wow! A G-d complex to boot...

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Which is why irrational started their blog...

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No other reason?

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Points taken RNS but you still clearly have a personal animosity for the chareidim

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All my children and grandchildren served in the IDF defending Israel and all its citizens, charedi and Chelonia. Now their taxes are supporting them while they curse our soldiers. They won’t even pray for the welfare of the land. For shame.

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The vast majority of charedim don't curse anyone, certainly not soldiers.

And we do pray for the welfare of the land and the soldiers, just in a different text than the one used in most non-charedi synagogues. Just today I got an email (Modiin Illit email list) with a request to pray for the border police etc. in view of the recent increase in terror.

Thank you for the service of your descendants!!

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