Meron: One Year Later
Last year, the terrible tragedy at Meron cost 45 lives, along with the subsequent tragedy at Karlin-Stolin that cost further lives. I wrote a series of posts analyzing different aspects of the tragedies:
The Message Of Meron: The Need to Think Big - About how charedi leadership acts as though they are living in a shtetl rather than thinking about the issues that are of importance with large populations.
The Truth Becomes Clear - But Who Will Listen? - About how safety protocols at Meron were disregarded by charedi politicians who do not care for such things.
The Writing Was On The Wall - About how previous attempts to remove Meron from the religious authorities who were not running it with sufficient professionalism and safety were opposed by charedi Gedolim.
Denying the Reality of Physics - About how some of the charedi "soul-searching" in the wake of Meron exposed the very anti-rationalist mindset that contributed to the tragedy in the first place.
The Horses of Chelm - A parable.
Die and Don't Learn?! - About the subsequent tragedy at Karlin-Stolin, and charedi reactions that fail to understand the importance of being part of a system of civic law.
Meron: Those Responsible, And Those Responding - About the Askanim, politicians and Gedolim who were responsible for ensuring that Meron did not conform to safety regulations - and the people in the charedi community who recognize this and are furious about it.
Meron: The Unavenged - About charedi and Likud political opposition to forming a State Commission of Inquiry.
How to Avoid Teshuva for Negligent Homicide - About how certain charedi rabbinic leaders and their enablers avoid acknowledging the cause of the tragedy
The Shocking News Report You Missed - About the appalling extent of illegal construction at Meron that was subsequently revealed.
A year later, with Lag B'Omer approaching, there are still people who are making the same terrible mistakes.
The safety consultant for this year's event at Meron just resigned. He said that his warnings that the site wasn’t prepared to handle the number of people expected tomorrow were ignored. He also charged that decisions were being influenced by outside interests and political considerations. If this is what is happening this year, after all the deaths of last year, and with a non-charedi government, can you imagine what it was like beforehand?!
Meanwhile, Rav Yitzchak Kirschenbaum of Yeshivas Toldos Aharon announced at a large rally that everyone should go to Meron regardless of government attempts to limit the number of participants.
To this day, there are people who believe that the tragedy happened because of police mismanagement at the time. Or that the tragedy was just "one of those things" that inevitably happens occasionally at mass events. Or that it was because of problems of tzniyus, as you can see in the picture of a poster adorning the streets.
Meron was an accident waiting to happen. And it was that way because the movers and shakers in charedi society do not know or care to know about responsibilities which involve professional planning, science, and large-population considerations. It's exactly the same as what we see regarding chareidi negligence towards the economy, towards the IDF, towards Covid. If even 45 people being killed didn't wake everyone up, what hope is there?
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