257 Comments

Slifkin scatters his luggage in the airport and charedim come to his mind. Hears about the mtzva of טעינה and anti-charedi thoughts come to him. And he thinks that this silly drivel has to be regurgitated forever to save the world from the parasitic charedim. He's been engaged in this enerprise for the last 15 years and what are the results? Charedim are more numerous, recieve increasing financial support and have not lost their political power.

Why doesn't Slifkin deal with the 75% dropout rate of the DL in the army, except to blame charedim for it? Because that society's education path is doomed and leads the majority off the derech and nothing can be done about it. But charedim, who avoid this disaster, become the target of his wrath.

Expand full comment

But aside from all those non sequiturs you agree with the article?

Expand full comment

exactly

Expand full comment

אִוֶּלֶת אָדָם תְּסַלֵּף דַּרְכּוֹ וְעַל ד' יִזְעַף לִבּוֹ.

It's one of many issues and it defies a simplistic solution, if you wrap your head around it.

Expand full comment

Another non sequitur

Expand full comment

Anecdotally, the OTD rate for children of Anglo olim who quit being Charedi is around 90%. This must be an enormous source of anguish and anxiety.

Expand full comment
Feb 13·edited Feb 13

For Slifkin? For sure. DL explain that the reason is that they were taught the Galuti Torah and it's a natural and healthy process of the national rebirth in Eretz Israel. It's all part of the Divine plan to bring the Geulah. Throw in the Evolution and biology of religion, which is inseparable from it. Add to it the deification of the State and the Jewish nation on a biological level and you got a perfectly toxic coctail.

Expand full comment

75% dropout rate for DL? proof for this stat? AFAIK, Hesder Yeshiva students that fight are unmatched in their work ethic and commitment.

Expand full comment

A so called study of 35 years ago! Whose validity is highly questionable and whose parameters and variables is unknown and cannot be evaluated.

Expand full comment

Slifkin published thes stats in one of his recent posts. Hesder students are a respectable product.

Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

In 1988, Rav Eli Sadan commissioned a survey, and discovered that of the boys who go straight to the army, fully 75% are no longer religious a year later.

Correct .... in 1988! I am assuming the number is much less now, as evidenced by the tzitzis making, etc etc that has gone on for Tzahal. (perhaps there is an updated survey)

Expand full comment
author

That survey was referring to boys who did NOT do hesder.

Expand full comment

By the way, the complaint articulated here https://www.ynet.co.il/news/article/hjpzyztc6 is actually that Hesder boys are forcing kids from places like the Rabin institute to go to war. If you really want shivyon ba'netel, hesder isn't that either.

Expand full comment

"By the way"

In other words, you agree but you're deflecting.

Expand full comment

Study from 35 years ago! And who was the sample etc..

Expand full comment

If the number is much less, that's a good news.

Expand full comment

Any data to support the idea that a hesder-type program for haredim would lead to more religious attrition than the present haredi system?

(Maybe it would lead to LESS attrition? I'm just asking. Without data, all we have are anecdotes and cognitive biases.)

Expand full comment

I don' t believe there is data.

Expand full comment

I'm just reading the bickering in the comments sectiom and I'm reminded of this quote from Upton Sinclair:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it"

Charedim (and those who have bought into a Charedi ethos) can hardly admit that their socio-economic model is the biggest internal threat to the first (and amazingly successful!) experiment in Jewish self-determination in two millenia. The comments on your posts on this topic are a perfect example of this, with endless deflection from Charedi commenters, all aimed at avoiding admitting the obvious truths you point out.

Beyond the fact that this is something immensely difficult to admit, there's also the difficulty of appreciating what it means to be at an inflection point on an exponential curve. There were 1.35 million Charedim in Israel in 2023 - the Israeli statisical authority forecasts that there will be 5.83 million Charedim in 2062 vs 9.48 million non-Charedi Jews. That's only 38 years' time! Something major will have to give eventually, whether people realise it now or not.

While it's true that dealing with this issue now would save a much more challenging reckoning in a few decades, I struggle to see the necessary political will from non-Charedi Israelis materialising, given that they would be forced to stand firm on defunding Charedi institutions (and not allowing Charedi parties into governing coalitions) for a couple of decades, when immediate political considerations will always make it easier to just give in.

I'm ultimately optimistic, because Charedim are also חפצי חיים, and I don't see any other country accepting 5-10 million Charedim, and my guess is that the eventual crisis will lead to a dramatic shift, just as the crisis in Eastern Europe did a century ago, but unfortunately my guess is that the crisis will actually have to occur first.

I feel like a crazy person writing this, when the current situation is still manageable (albeit challenging and intolerable morally), but the demographics are hard to escape.

Expand full comment
author

The problem is that in the time lag between the change needing to happen, them acknowledging it, and implementing it, the country will be tremendously weakened.

Expand full comment

There will be an even longer lag before you figure out some new twist to explain why, akshully, Moshe Gafni and ponovezh grads are somehow more dangerous than marauding chawara-heads high on tag-mechir-oids.

Expand full comment
author

It's not a competition. They are both dangerous in very different ways.

Expand full comment

Absolutely, but avoiding that weakening requires a mixture of foresight and fortitude that is in short supply.

Expand full comment

"That's only 38 years' time! Something major will have to give eventually, whether people realise it now or not."

It might help to think back 38 years. That was 2 intifadas, a peace process, an untold number of suicide bombings, a disengagement, a gulf war, any number of military operations (with hebrew names which tended to translate into something like 'upside down gragger' in english), and innumerable governments ago. Not to mention covid, an assassinated prime minister, and a judicial revolution. Not too many of those things were predicted. And I'm old enough to remember when the demographic time bomb was that Arabs were about to become a majority and throw the Jews into the sea.

That turned out to be a dud. https://www.jns.org/2023-update-no-arab-demographic-time-bomb/

Expand full comment
Feb 12Liked by Natan Slifkin

Your point is interesting but sloppy. First, past unexpectancies are not predictive of the future and do not guarantee the failure of all prognostications. You come across as a nihilist when it comes to predictions. You are using failed predictions as an excuse to indulge in expediencies without concern for the future. Is there any place for הרואה את הנולד? Are you saying that there's no such thing as foresight? Your argument would have more credibility if there was a cogent and correct counter-prediction to point to. Something more than יהיה בסדר? You have not offered a counter prediction to explain how current trends could be reversed. Instead all you've done is gone nihilist and deny any use of any prediction.

(Of course, there were predictions that did come to fruition. Like the Meron disaster.)

Some caution is still required when it come to demography. After bashing all predictions up till now, you grasp with perfect faith the current demographic trend which appears to provide Jewish fertility a tiny edge. But that advantage is fragile. It also depends on the overall average of the Arab fertility rate. Some sub-segments of the Arab population still have a very high fertility rate- what will that mean in 20 years? Furthermore, we have seen a decrease in fertility in the Charedi world. What will happen to that trend? Not so simple. The economic fallout of the current war, and the looming one, may also have a detrimental effect on Jewish fertility. Not so simple. But that's one prediction that you can rely on.

What should be done therefor, is not to sit back passively and rely on a short term trends. A more proactive attitude is required. The trend of a Jewish fertility advantage should be nurtured and cultivated so that it keeps moving in a positive direction. Similarly, the Charedi community needs to be prepared for the post secular taxpayer supported חלוקה era.

Expand full comment

You're rambling. And putting words into my mouth yet again. https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/an-unnatural-fixation-with-charedim/comment/36903167 I don't simply claim everything will be fine. https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/an-unnatural-fixation-with-charedim/comment/36902679 I simply pushed back on some over-the-top prognostications.

Expand full comment

You didn’t answer. Maybe just give a simple one or two paragraph summary?

Expand full comment

"You didn’t answer. Maybe just give a simple one or two paragraph summary?"

Summary of what? No offense, but I tend to find that discussions with you generally devolve into a war of attrition. If you have a specific question which you can articulate, I can try to answer. Otherwise, I'd prefer to learn a lesson from the past about the fruitlessness of such discussions. https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/the-real-reasons-why-charedim-dont/comment/43218055#comment-43238465?utm_source=activity_item

Expand full comment

When you discuss things, we get to a certain point and then you start hurling insults ("You're rambling.") and then point to some thread somewhere without explaining. He's asked a perfectly rational question: if current policy has subsidies for certain things to happen and as they happen more and more, both the economy and IDF are starved. Maybe we should do something about the subsidy or in general try to reverse the bad trend. This is wholly rational , not rambling. Just provide an answer under your viewpoint.

Expand full comment

"I don't simply claim everything will be fine. "

So you agree that there's a problem?

Expand full comment

"So you agree that there's a problem?"

Yes.

Now can you answer the question: If exempting charedim from the draft en masse would lead to them becoming more self sufficient and less reliant on subsidies, would you support such an exemption? If not, then you clearly aren't serious about what a long term threat you believe they are.

Expand full comment

"I simply pushed back on some over-the-top prognostications."

So you think everything is fine?

I mean why not actually answer the question and clarify what you mean? And don't bother including links without a summary. I won't read them.

Expand full comment

https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/an-unnatural-fixation-with-charedim/comment/36933548

"If you want to solve the economic problem, the most obvious solution is to exempt charedim from the draft, and couple that with cutting subsidies, especially ones which incentivize unemployment."

Expand full comment

"Is there any place for הרואה את הנולד? Are you saying that there's no such thing as foresight?"

Of course there is, and learning from the past is one of the best ways to achieve it. Saying the past is not predictive of the future is just wrong.

Expand full comment

One of lessons from the past is that predicting the future tends to be a fool's errand.

Expand full comment

You're avoiding the question. Are you a nihilist when it comes to predictions? Is הרואה את הנולד an impossible standard?

If not, please cogently explain why current trends will not lead to a crisis. Or why you think current trends will reverse? Or you just say "I don't know".

"One of lessons from the past is that predicting the future tends to be a fool's errand. "

Like those who predicted that Meron was a disaster in waiting? Or perhaps, that any change in Charedi society will lead to mass apostasy?

Expand full comment

Almost no one actually leads their life like this and those who do end up divorced, and on the street and put into institutions to care for them. You certainly don't lead your life like this (unless you are posting from your parents basement or something). If it was true, then there would be no need to vote, which is completely contrary to mainstream charedism. The only thing is, I'm doubting your own belief in this argument.

Expand full comment

A couple of things.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it"

This describes chareidim? They are motivated by money, which is why they are reluctant to work or attend college? If not, what was the point of this quotation?

" first (and amazingly successful!) experiment in Jewish self-determination in two millenia"

It's a successful experiment in something, but given all the articles about how they have to endlessly please Americans and Europeans or else the State is kaput, I would hardly call this self determination.

"The comments on your posts on this topic are a perfect example of this, with endless deflection from Charedi commenters, all aimed at avoiding admitting the obvious truths you point out."

That's because they are not obvious truths, but falsehoods.

"There's also the difficulty of appreciating what it means to be at an inflection point on an exponential curve. "

Can you explain what you mean by the "inflection point on an exponential curve"? If you mean it in the normal mathematical way, can you please show your calculation to determine that we are now at the inflection point?

Expand full comment

" I would hardly call this self determination."

More utopian narrow mindedness. No country is 100% perfect. You can always find fault. But fault is not failure. Indeed, Israel's sovereignty is undermined by the West, but it is to the extent of being a mere colony? Of course not.

But behind your negativity, appears to be a passivity. If you are correct that Israel is too dependent on the dictates of foreign power, what is your solution? To push back and re-declare independence? (Is that allowed before the messianic era?) Or should we go along with the West and follow their dictates? If not, how should Israel strengthen sovereignty? I'll tell you: Israel's situation can be improved by strengthening the economy, so that there's less need for foreign money and the strings that come along with it. Any clue how Israel can improve economically?

Expand full comment

"To the extent of being a mere colony? Of course not."

Why do you say "of course not"? What do you have against mere colonies?

"But behind your negativity..."

Negativity? What in the world are you talking about? Do you just write stuff with no attempt to relate to what you are supposedly responding to?

" If you are correct that Israel is too dependent on the dictates of foreign power, what is your solution?"

Do you think every problem has a solution?

" I'll tell you: Israel's situation can be improved by strengthening the economy, so that there's less need for foreign money and the strings that come along with it. "

If you are flinging stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks, I have a few more solutions my sleeve. Maybe Israel can be a world leader in faster-than-light space travel. That will surely improve their standing, both economically and militarily.

Expand full comment

"Why do you say "of course not"?

Because, Israel is obviously not a mere colony.

"What do you have against mere colonies?"

My personal preferences in regards to the limits and extent of sovereignty is irrelevant to the current discussion. Facts trump my preferences.

"Negativity?"

You have been negative: " I would hardly call this self determination."

"Do you think every problem has a solution?"

Point taken. But problems without solutions often have mitigations. So I'll rephrase the question: ", what is your solution, or mitigation?"

"If you are flinging stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks"

So you think it's impossible for Israel to improve economically? What was so outlandish at my comment that you're calling it "flinging stuff" and comparing to sci-fi fantasies...

...such as:

" Maybe Israel can be a world leader in faster-than-light space travel"

Utopianism = Nihilism

Expand full comment

"Because, Israel is obviously not a mere colony."

Based on what do you make this claim?

" Facts trump my preferences."

Apparently not.

"So you think it's impossible for Israel to improve economically?"

No, there are many ways Israel could improve in all areas. But there is only one way that you are interested in, which is changing chareidi society, which is probably one of the most difficult ways. So the comparison to faster-than-light travel is on point.

"Utopianism = Nihilism"

Obsession with chareidim= nihilism

Expand full comment

Israel is a tiny country. The US maybe a few other countries can afford to act unilaterally (sometimes). Every other country has to form alliances and that means compromise.

Expand full comment

It's a good excuse. Maybe by self-determination, you mean the self-determination to come up with excuses.

Expand full comment

China doesn't invade Taiwan because of the rest of the world. Are you saying that China doesn't have self-determination?

Expand full comment

China doesn't invade Taiwan because it is afraid of a war with the US, not because it is totally reliant on US military aid.

Expand full comment

So China is dependent on what the US wants and has no self-determination. They can only invade Taiwan with US permission.

Expand full comment

I mean even China pays attention to the rest of the world which is why it hasn’t taken Taiwan yet.

Expand full comment

Spot on!

Expand full comment

Many of us are quite aware of the issue; the "not realizing" was never the problem. Instead, I ask yourself and your group to stop deflecting from the question of the importance of Torah learning. Is Torah learning as important as Chareidim believe it to be? And even if you (in your rich knowledge of how things work) decided not, is there a valid Torah opinion which they are entitled to follow, which believes as they do? If the answer to that is yes, you can surely understand why they are raising their children with this utmost value, correct?

Once this is acknowledged, we can discuss the very real issue(s) at hand as to how to make things better - a question which surely needs answers. But you guys are the ones deflecting when you focus on these issues without even acknowledging the core Chareidi values.

God have mercy on your souls!

Expand full comment

" valid Torah opinion they are entitled to follow"

This attitude only works for an individual not receiving support from the community. He can say " leave me alone , I have whom to rely on". But if someone who uses the communities services (security, infrastructure, welfare) were to claim this he should be ignored.

Expand full comment

It is very unclear why a person running a zoo funded by his father-in-law and constantly on the prowl for more government funding, or trying to ensnare private donors, should be giving mussar to those who are at least dedicated to learning Torah instead of raising pet snakes.

Expand full comment

"It is very unclear why a person running a zoo "

He doesn't run a zoo. That was Dr. Seuss. Same initials, but different degree.

But aside from that, you agree with the article?

Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

Hey, look. Any one of us who has grown up in a Jewish community can write a book outlining the foibles and flaws of that community. So what? Focusing upon this is neither the sign of intelligence, good character, or a power of influence. If the individual is talented, he can become a standup comedian and in a healthy way, help us laugh at ourselves. But Slifkin's take is to help his friends laugh only at others, and especially to discredit Gedolei Yisrael. Nothing good or positive will come out of this, and the fact that he continues - even at a time like this - shows the depths to which even an intelligent and talented man can stoop to. I feel sorry for him, a victim of his own obsessive vindictiveness.

Expand full comment

"Focusing upon this..."

So you agree with the substance of the article, but you disagree that it should have been posted?

Expand full comment

Nothing written by Dr. Slifkin in the past twenty years is intended for its objective truth value, so agreement is irrelevant. HIs underlying motive is only: I hate Haredim and I want others to hate them as well. I will never forgive them and will henceforth devote the balance of my life towards demeaning and delegitimizing Haredi Yeshivos, Talmidei Chachamim and Yeshiva Bachurim, their wives, children and extended families, and cover my tracks as well.

Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

@Walter

If Rav Slifkin deliberately subverts the authentic objective truth, can you define that truth using your objective criteria? What is that truth and the critical criteria that evidences that “truth”?

Expand full comment

hate is a strong word to attribute to someone who issues critique in a milchamta shel torah ... would you say the other way around? when charedi leaders critique the IDF - is that also hate? tread carefully, my chaver.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

Not if it's not just a fringe opinion. (Btw I was just saying that whole thing in case others think they are entitled to they're opinions such as following a supposed Rambam.)

Expand full comment

Quotas for recruits for every yeshiva or no funding

Expand full comment

You seem to be completely unacquainted with chareidim if you think that this would induce chareidim to send their sons to the army. Or maybe you know that, and this is just a wishful revenge fantasy, like Yidposhut's above comment.

Expand full comment

It affects the leadership and from there issues change.

Expand full comment
deletedFeb 11·edited Feb 11
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

Unrealistic revenge fantasy to start treating chareidim worse than blacks in pre-civil rights south. Start doing that, Israel becomes an untouchable apartheid state that makes all their Arab neighbors look like angels, even if they are full of excuses that they need to punish the evil chareidim, the chareidim are destroying us, blah blah blah. Actual policymakers know this, which is why it is so unrealistic.

Expand full comment
deletedFeb 12
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

They can do what they want, of course, but they can't pretend they're representing torah Judaism as Rabbi doctor claims to be.

Expand full comment

Did you have a communication from G-d. lately?!

Expand full comment

" Is Torah learning as important as Chareidim believe it to be? "

Yes.

The question is whether "Is Torah as important as Chareidim believe it to be? ". And the answer is, "No, Torah is more important than Chareidim believe it to be."

Expand full comment

They will just say the same thing back to you.

This is a clear example of why no Chareidim will never listen to you , you completely undermine their entire hashkafa as substandard . Maybe take a second to see them as equals understand their approach and start the discussion from there.

Expand full comment

Explain yourself kind sir.

Expand full comment

Anyone who thinks a coalition can be formed without Charedim can only be thinking of using Arabs, and they aren't drafted either. So you've gained nothing, and gone straight, even from your perspective, מהפח אל הפחת. You've actually done a lot worse - the last govt that relied on Arab parties (other than Bennet's cup of coffee) gave us Oslo.

Expand full comment
author

Well, at least Arabs believe in working for a living. And by the way, charedim facilitated the disengaged.

Expand full comment
Feb 13·edited Feb 13

....Pretty weak response there, man.

Expand full comment

https://www.timesofisrael.com/after-the-october-7-cataclysm-has-the-haredi-attitude-to-serving-in-the-idf-changed/

There is nothing wrong with raising the issue. Here we have an article that discusses the issue professionaly. Slifkin is an anti-charedi maniac and needs psychological help.

Expand full comment

But expecting others to fulfill your responsibility is sane and moral?! Now who needs psychological help.Face up to it your society is in need of a fixing. Also note many are חוזר בתשובה after the Army.Your society would be 95 per cent OTD. The Army has challenges for everyone.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

If they charedim would go 95% OTD, they shouldn't serve, obviously. If Slifkins make their lives impossible, they will emigrate and leave Slfkins with more resources for progressive, causes, goiyim being brought in on aliay, arabs and DL yeshivas. This will be an obvious decision. If the State and the army, in their present form, are incompatible with Judaism, this isn't something that charedim can solve and neither can Slifkin.

DL hold that it's better to be chiloni in Israel, then observant abroad, because a chiloni brings closer the final Geulah. Charedim don't share this bizzare ideology, but Slifkin thinks that this is the original Judaism. Let's see how it works out for him in 20 years from now.

Expand full comment

Maybe we have to support Chareidi because they don't take responsibility for themselves because they are incompatible with true Judaism! OR we can do what is necessary to educate our youth and inspire them to maintain their faith.AND have the Army provide the nececessary

Expand full comment

provide the nececessary requirements for religious youth.

Expand full comment

Yakov

Expand full comment

When did the world adjust to you and what you need,? Teach and learn and do.

Expand full comment

Maybe things will move in that direction. But with Slifkins around it makes it more difficult.

Expand full comment

"DL hold that it's better to be chiloni in Israel, then observant abroad,"

No, DL demands the whole integrated Torah agenda, instead of the Charedi world which has rejected most Torah values aside from study dependent on external support.

"because a chiloni brings closer the final Geulah. "

You're exaggerating. You don't know what you're talking about. + Are you aware that not all Dati Leumi engage in messianic speculations beyond that which is mandated and advised by הלכה?

Expand full comment

"instead of the Charedi world which has rejected most Torah values aside from study dependent on external support." once again, you missed the boat on Chareidi attitude. You think having a "V.I.V." (very important value) is the same as a rejection of the other values. It actually turns out that Chareidi ideology has a lot of support from a lot of very reputable sources.

Expand full comment

Most of our rabanim follow rav kook

Expand full comment

No exageration here. 45 years ago I studied in מכון מאיר. I rejected their ideology, but kept my ear to the ground. They say so openly as I had illustrated on the links posted. Integrated Torah agenda sounds nice and I wish them sucess on their path. I wouldn't chance it, though. Torah, in any traditional form, cannot survive an encounter with the modern world. Maybe one day? I don't know .

Expand full comment

" I wouldn't chance it, though. Torah, in any traditional form, cannot survive an encounter with the modern world. "

Your Torah cannot survive an encounter with the modern world. Others can.

Expand full comment

I will be glad if it turns out this way, but I haven't seen it yet.

Expand full comment

Agreed. But if we are honest the DL world has gone off the rails too in its politics. Ben Gvir and Smotrich with 10% of the vote is a problem too.

Expand full comment

DL without Smotrich and Ben Gvir ideology wouldn't pass the electoral threshold. They have succefuly self destroyed.

Expand full comment

I think you're conflating DL with a party that represents them. But not all DL vote for them. And not all their voters are enthusiastic with BG's antics.

Expand full comment

I don't think I did. I said the DL world has gone off the rails in its politics. Not all voters, but enough so that he gets into power which is what makes a difference.

Expand full comment

" If the State and the army, in their present form, are incompatible with Judaism, this isn't something that charedim can solve and neither can Slifkin."

Why can't the Charedim try to solve something, instead of withdrawing the problem and complain afterwards?

Expand full comment

There is some progress in that direction. They do solve other problems to the benefit of their society such as draft deferrment, charedi housing, financial support for their institutions. They, as a society, follow their own evolutionary survival path. There is no wrong and right in evolution, remember.

Expand full comment

Is there an objective morality?

Expand full comment

Slifkin is an evolutionist. If you accept evolition, there is only one possible answer. Morality, like everything else, is an evolutionary adaptation.

Expand full comment

Oxford Dictionary

ASS

noun

1.

an animal of the horse family, which is typically smaller than a horse and has longer ears and a braying call.

2.

INFORMAL-BRITISH

a foolish or stupid person.

"that ass of a young man"

Dictionary.com

ASS 1

noun

1. A long-eared, slow, patient, sure-footed domesticated mammal, Equus asinus, related to the horse, used chiefly as a beast of burden.

Also called wild ass . an African wild ass, kiang, onager, or any of their subspecies.

ASS 2

Noun Slang: Vulgar.

1. The buttocks.

2. the rectum.

Natan - You constantly claim that criticism is not hatred, that your attacks are not divisive etc. etc.

But here you clearly insult an entire group - maybe the majority of charedim in EY. Are you really surprised that people view as an obsessed hater?

Expand full comment

I hear Lemaan Achai has really extended their scope in the last few months.

Expand full comment

I can attest to that. They definitely extended their scope.

Expand full comment

Is there any aspect of chareidi society that you dont look for an issue with?

Expand full comment
author

I don't "look for" issues. Here in Israel, they kind of stand out.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

Your outlook is completely disproportionate to the reality.I live in a neighbourhood where the overwhelming majority are (very nice respectful and peaceful) Israeli avreichim. There is no cycle of poverty, the general standards may be lower but there is a distinct difference between that and poverty. Again you overgeneralize.

There are many non chareidi jews who expect handouts as well (I heard this directly from the head of a seperate chessed org) , according to your logic the criticism only should be directed only at the givers , not any specific group of receivers. But you choose to single out the chareidim, again.

Expand full comment
author

These avreichim raise their children to also be avreichim. Where is the financial support coming from?

Expand full comment

Maybe stop counting other people's money?

Expand full comment

No,we are counting our own.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

Why don't the politicians you vote defund the charedim? Will never happen, right? Empty words.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

I knew you would respond with that. Classic, ignore half of my commment.

Kollelim do pay something.Many wives work , some are rabbeim who teach , some work part of the day,supportive parents (at least initially like many other non-chareidim). Again they are content with less. It does not mean they are poor.

Either way If there is an infrastructure in place from people who value full time learning , why is that considered co-dependancy? Why is it irresponsible to rely on a system that is built for you?

Expand full comment
author

Because it weakens the economy. Government stipends, welfare benefits, and low taxes.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

That's a completely separate argument to your article.

Invalid for other reasons.You haven't taken into account a NY of the money the chareidim bring into the country.

Expand full comment

I'm sure they are respectful, and lovely and peaceful..

Our kids are also nice, and they would love to be peaceful...but what can you do, they've spent the last 4 months in a much rougher neighborhood

Expand full comment

This is not about who's nice and who isn't. This isn't even about the Gaza war. Here's what it IS about: at the end of the day, the Charedim hold Torah to the highest extreme - I can share with you an exhaustive list of sources - and will therefore train their kids with this most V.I.V. (very important value). And (sadly, due to the nature of black and whiteness in a society), this is sometimes played out as if to the exclusion of all other values, which truly aren't even close to this one. In truth, we actually do teach plenty of other values, strongly, but Torah is just so much higher on the list that in a society which espouses such, there will be the curve that you see. This doesn't mean it is a perfect system, but at the same time, the issues Rabbi doctor raises are also hardly as dire as they are made out to be. We have a large majority of well balanced individuals who have their heads on straight (like in any society), unlike what is portrayed in this one-sided blog.

The fact that they aren't serving AT ALL is something that shows a glaring issue in our society, and this needs to be fixed, no doubt. I contend that it comes from two sides fighting. The Gemara says that a fight is like a stream: once it divides, the divide only gets greater and greater (Sanhedrin 7a). As such, since the IDF is the enemy, the symbolism of power of Jew without God, we have created a space where we cannot coexist. But excuses aside, this is an issue that needs to be fixed.

But it CANNOT happen at the expense of what we consider to be so important. The contention of this blog seems to be to ignore that our opinion is even valid, yet we need to change. I promise, change will not come from here. Machlokes only creates greater divide. What Rabbi doctor *should* do, if he actually was serious about trying to make the world a better place (ha!), is acknowledge our side, and work from within. But he will never do that because he has already expressed numerous times that he thinks that we are not actually entitled to our opinion. So good luck to him and his group.

Expand full comment

We've been through this before. Your deeply held beliefs (and I believe that they are sincere, but I also believe that they are wrong), cannot be used to shirk responsibility or cause damage to those who don't share those beliefs. It's.that.simple.

Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

I don't believe I've ever spoken to you before.

Would you say the same thing about abortion laws? Just because I have a deeply held belief that abortion is murder, I can't have my political opinion about it?

I don't think you're being honest here at all. Really your only disagreement is that parenthesis that you think I'm wrong. But if I'm not, which I can provide for you tens of sources, then why in heaven's name am I not entitled to my opinion? Because it affects others negatively? Well, says you... because you disagree with me!

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

So you will just ignore the actual points I was making,and fish out a few words to attack the chareidim on a separate issue.

Seriously!? That's just completely unnecessary.

Expand full comment
Feb 12Liked by Natan Slifkin

Right now everything is about the war...

Unless you're in a community who believes that the war does not affect them.

Possibly because you "live in a neighbourhood where the overwhelming majority are (very nice respectful and peaceful) Israeli avreichim" you don't fully appreciate how much has changed since October 7th and how thinly stretched the army is. Situations that may have been tolerable then are simply not tolerable now.

Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

My comment literally had nothing to do with chareidim going to the army.

And if you believe at did at the very least respond directly.Not with some backhanded smirk.

"Unless you're in a community who believes that the war does not affect them." - So we go from chareidim not serving to them just not caring at all, unbeleivable.I never even insinuated such a thing.

Expand full comment

" There is no cycle of poverty"

So why is UTJ insisting on more money?

"I live in a neighbourhood ... Again you overgeneralize."

Maybe you're "overspecifying"?

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

Why are they insisting more money ? Is there a group in government that isn't? Hardly an argument.

On you second point I have live din various chareidi neighbourhoods for the last 10 years. I think that should suffice.

Expand full comment

"On you second point I have live din various chareidi neighbourhoods for the last 10 years. I think that should suffice."

Your wanderlust is no evidence of Charedi affluence. Nor does it provide you with any insight. The poverty rate among Charedim is double the rest of the population.

Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

I will assume you agree on my first point then.

"nor does it provide you with any insight"- That is ridiculous.

I never denied there was poverty,and on the contrary I denied affluence, as I said its a gross over generalization.

As of 2021 it was at 34% ,less than double the rest of the population , and guess what, more importantly, DECREASING year on year, talk about a cycle.

https://en.idi.org.il/publications/52436

Expand full comment

Yes but not the ones you should hear.RDNS is trying to get the message across to you and others about responsibility, morality, and Halachah.Buy you won't listen. Instead you and yours are busy calling him names which make you look ridiculous and pathetic.

Expand full comment

The problem is that Rabbi Slifkin comes from such a different worldview than chareidim, that his message will never resonate. Instead it just sounds like a constant barrage of hate, while to somebody who shares his worldview, it perhaps sounds like constructive criticism. It is very similar to the vast difference in worldview between those who support Israel and those who criticize Israel. To those who support Israel, any criticism sounds like anti-semitism, which it may well be.

Expand full comment

"The problem is that Rabbi Slifkin comes from such a different worldview than chareidim, "

But what about the problems he mentioned in the article?

Expand full comment

This is like asking, what about the problems the government of Iran mentions when they criticize Israel. Do you really not get it, or are you just pretending?

Expand full comment

But what about the problems he mentioned in the article?

Expand full comment

But what about my comment?

Expand full comment

Spot on!

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

Its called disagreeing not "not listening."

Please point out the names I called him? It's pretty ridiculous to accuse someone of something that's just not true.

Expand full comment
deletedFeb 11
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

You must be one of the smartest posters I've ever read, spot on.

Expand full comment

Hahaha

Expand full comment

Right. Learning torah is not helping at all. We're just sitting on the side watching you guys toil and labor.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

Nothing against lemaan achai btw but supporting (full time learning) torah is one of the best things you can do for your soul if you're not actually learning full time

Expand full comment
author

It's not good to encourage the cycle of poverty. If you want to support Torah, there's much better ways to do so, e.g. one of the many dati-leumi kollelim whose members are raising their children to be able to support themselves.

Expand full comment

Let me phrase my question better: I agree it's not good to encourage poverty. But it's also not good to discourage learning. Why do you think your way is the right way to go?

Maybe what you should do is encourage learning AND acknowledge the issue as a follow up point. Otherwise you're just sticking your head in the mud and missing the argument entirely.

Expand full comment

"But it's also not good to discourage learning."

Learning is not discouraged. Torah values like self sufficiency and ישוב ארץ ישראל should be encouraged as well.

Expand full comment

Exactly my point. You have values which equal torah

Expand full comment

". But it's also not good to discourage learning. "

Why is UTJ discouraging learning and demanding that Hesder Yeshiva students stop?

Expand full comment

I'm not accountable for utj but hesder people signed up for that. They have values that equal torah so it's weird to blame us for that

Expand full comment

But the members of the Kollel themself aren't supporting themselves?

Expand full comment

Rinse, wash, repeat.

https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/an-unnatural-fixation-with-charedim/comment/38953694

"My friend Rav Menachem Bombach is an absolute hero"

Excellent. Looking forward to your enthusiastic support for his proposal:

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/isnt-integration-more-important-than-army-service/

"The idea of barring Haredi men from working while their peers were serving on the front lines was legitimate, but it was also harmful to Israeli society. Thankfully the IDF needs less manpower these days...

Lowering the barrier to entering the Israeli workforce from age 26 to age 23 will allow thousands of Haredi men to gain qualifications and embark on better-paid careers. Through their earlier social integration, they will be able to contribute their skills to the Start-up Nation, paying more taxes and receiving fewer benefits. Releasing Haredi families from enforced poverty will clearly be better for Israel’s economy in the long run. We hope that our leaders can reach a workable agreement that will keep Israel safe and united."

Expand full comment
author

""The idea of barring Haredi men from working while their peers were serving on the front lines was legitimate, but it was also harmful to Israeli society. Thankfully the IDF needs less manpower these days..."

Good grief. You are aware that he wrote that article before Oct. 7, right?

Expand full comment

Yes, I'm aware. Doesn't change anything.

You somehow managed to maintain your equilibrium regarding Israeli arabs. You didn't suddenly become a kahanist who wants to expel them from Israel. You're just happy that they're behaving, rather than rioting in Lud. Try doing the same re charedim. Spare us the phony Moshe Rabeinu theocratic talking points.

Also, you need to stop shuttling between whining that charedim don't join the army and whining that charedim don't work. If you're truly concerned that charedim are an existential threat to society because they don't work, stop kvetching about how they don't measure up to your kid's hesder yeshiva and focus on actual solutions to the problem you purport to be concerned with.

Expand full comment
author

Huh? You think that Menachem Bombach isn't also very concerned with the problem of charedim not joining the IDF? Why don't you speak to him? (I did.)

Expand full comment

That is completely irrelevant , obviously less manpower is required without war, its something that needs to be taken care of before a war starts not after.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

That's not called supporting or appreciating full time learning.

Expand full comment

Why learning over helping עניים?

Expand full comment

It's not actually one over the other in practice (in fact, in Halacha, helping an Ani wins over supporting Torah in some cases), but hashkafically, supporting Torah is life itself and is apparently higher on the hierarchy of importance.

Expand full comment

"but supporting (full time learning) torah is one of the..."

...things that the UTJ is opposed to when it comes to full time Hesder yeshivot.

Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

You attribute way too much of chareidi ideology to what their politicians say.

Its one of this blogs fundamental mistakes in its attempted understanding of the chareidi world.

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 12

Regarding commentators' often-stated 75% drop-out rate in the DL world, due to the IDF, is there data on that or is it just anecdotal?

And what if one looks at the chardal community, what would their % be?

What about among hesder yeshiva students, what % finish their service as no longer observant?

And whatever the numbers, how would we know it's because of the army?

Any data on that?

And comparing apples to apples, what's the attrition data for chardal families (among sons who served) as compared to haredi families (among sons who have not served)?

Expand full comment

The operant word is enable. Allowing an addict to continue to feed his addiction. Consider Tough Love as an alternative.

Expand full comment

The organization, Lemaan Achai, is indeed a wonderful organization. We donate to it every year.

Expand full comment

slifkin, have u ever heard it's not always if your right its about doing whats right? As the rambbam himself puts into hilchos teshuva a mans constant ability to reevaluate his actions and have complete bechira going forward. We are not trapped by our past we are not prisoners of our routines! I beg of you- chazor bach! Stop spewing your negativity and hate to a community and leadership which perhaps wrongfully spurned you. Rise above, close down this blog and perhaps hashem will forgive you. Do it for yourself. Do it for klal yisroel.

Expand full comment
author

Not sure if you're aware, but pretty much most of Israel is furious with the charedi community right now. And it really shouldn't be difficult for you to understand why.

Expand full comment

Yes i understand. But there's a difference between being mad and public bashing of the community and its scholarly leaders... I my self have a hard time with many of the stances of the charedi community, as an american yeshiva guy I see much of the rhetoric as "politics" and survival tactics more then real beliefs at times. Yes, I do believe we must be grateful to the idf, but perhaps its still not a possibility to enlist the charedim. Again, you are entitled to you're opinion but how you go about it, particularly in regard to renowned torah leaders is simply unacceptable and franklly a grave sin at times.

Expand full comment

Rabbi Slifkin, I'm curious. There is a similar story regarding Buddha where he told his students to help a man to get his animal out of a pit, when he was trying it himself. But another man who was crying, and was doing nothing he did not help. When his students asked him why he didn't order them to help this man, he said "Help him cry?"

How is the concept present in a religion that developed in a different part of the world?

Expand full comment

Gee, this sounds like a concept no one else would or could ever think of!

Expand full comment

Very glad to hear you finally found yourself a speaking engagement you've been desperately looking for!

Expand full comment

I love to kick off my Sundays with a a pop psychology citation from Rabbi Lord. It is good to know that Chazal pre-saged all of today's gobbledygook! They were so wise!

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 11

Someone with half a pea brain is destined to think they were unwise because his little mind can't understand any depth whatsoever. You're just shouting to the world how stupid you are. And we hear you, loud and clear. #FlowersForAlgernon #IgnoranceIsBliss

Expand full comment
Feb 11·edited Feb 12

Your reflexive dumb-ass insults will wind up killing this worthwhile column. By the way, u r as unfunny as the "comedian" to whose name u pay homage, and u r about more "nothing" than he is. U ever notice how lots of Asian people eat with chopsticks?

Expand full comment

Chaver Howard, using profanity defames our geniune milchamta shel torah here. Tone it down, good sir.

Expand full comment

Here's a basic human decency tip, Algernon: don't go on a forum and disrespect the people whom others on that same platform respect as their entire mesorah. And if you decide to do so, don't expect them to lay down and love you back.

Expand full comment

Wasn't trying to be funny. I was making an observation is all, and I guess the truth hurt.

As for the poor column whose feelings I may have killed, dw, it was DOA. Or at least when you made your stupid remark, bashing people far greater than you.

Expand full comment

The cliché about the truth's hurting is beyond ridiculous. Falsehoods can hurt just as mush as "the truth." However, u r nuts to think your clichés can hurt me. Also, your yeshivish claim that 1 cannot criticize those "far greater" than 1self, especially those canonized in the Jewish Press's Tales of the Sages.

Expand full comment

Oh please. You aren't just criticizing. You think they have absolutely no substance to begin with. A shame, Algernon, a real shame.

Though I concede your other point about falsehoods hurting too, and I retract that. With that aside, let's not take our eye off the ball: let's stick to the fact that you think our Mesorah is a bunch of made up garbage, which just means you know nothing about it to begin with.

Expand full comment

I never said the mesora was "made-up garbage." It is more like a collection of national/nationalistic man-made folklore, not too dissimilar from other national folklores. Only a few "traditionalists" cling to the belief that our god/God (Yahweh) gave it to us carved on a full-thickness stone that u could read off both sides.

Expand full comment
deletedFeb 11
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Feb 12·edited Feb 12

Whom r u addressing?

Expand full comment