Friday, December 30, 2011

The Ugly Chareidim & their Frightened Leaders

It is time to point out the obvious - the chareidim collectively are being viewed as vile, disgusting creatures. There are those who claim that it is because of the biased and hateful media while others say the odious behavior is obviously done by a bunch of extreme nuts in Israel. But after reading the embarrassing defense of chareidi idiots by so called moderate voices and after hearing the deafening silence of the leadership - (a press release of the Aguda & RCA is not sufficient) - there is a deeper problem which can't be blamed on others.

There has been a collective amnesia in the Chareidi world that we live in Golus. There is a further problem of Chareidi insisting on their so-called "rights" even when it severely offends everyone else. They have collectively forgotten that their main purpose is to create kiddush hashem and minimize chilul hashem. I have heard that since the Beit Shemesh activity and the fight for gender separation on public buses - there has been a significant drop in attendence at Arachim kiruv conferences. There has apparently been a drop of enrollment in schools by secular Jews who were attracted to the positive elements of religion.

The arrogance and distain that exists in religious circles literally scares not only the secular Jews but it also frightens the so called normal observant Jews. There is simply no leadership to stand up to religious coercion within the Charedei ranks. One gadol said, "Everyone knows that these activities are from the extremists so the majority are not being blamed. Everybody knows that these elements won't respond to criticism. So what is the benefit of protesting?"

The answer is simply - it is to reassure the rest of the world that the worst fears of the secular Jew about us are not true.  This fear is a tremendous chilul  hashem. It is not enough to call for the 99% of charedi to protest.

IT IS TIME FOR EVERY SINGLE LEADER TO SPEAK UP DIRECTLY. But sadly they are afraid.


Update: On my way to Boro Park for Shabbos, I was stopped in the Atlantic Avenue subway station by a goy who said he was from Trinidad. He said, "Do you know what is going on in Israel? Did you see the report from CNN? I know that you Jews treat women in a dignified fashion - but why are they forcing women to sit in the back of the bus? "

8 comments :

  1. The monster they created has left the lab and is running amok across the countryside.
    First of all, some historical perspective. We tend to view Jewish history in Eastern Europe through Shlomo Aleichem tinted glasses but Chareidim back then were not much different. Has everyone forgotten the huge wars fought between Chasidim and Misnagdim that including bringing in gentile authorities to give one side the edge over the other? Has everyone forgotten the dire poverty many Chareidim lived in because they refused to work since it would interfere with their learning?
    What has changed in the open arrogance. Knowing that the Israeli police, unlike Ukrainian cossacks, will exercise restraint they have become emboldened as any bully would.
    As for the leadership, the Agudah's statement can be summarized as: We agree with the fanatics' definition of tznius and their desire to enforce it on others but disagree with their tactics. Hardly a ringing denouncement.
    But what can the leaders do? They've been put on a pedestal and had a new religion built around them that declares them infallible and omniscient. Can they really state "Oops, maybe we went a little too far?" when for the past several generations they've been exhorting people for not going far enough in their adopting of chumros?
    Rav Yitchak Adlerstein at Cross Currents wrote a piece on the "Chareidi Spring" but that is false. The leadership will fight any attempts at reform and the populace has been conditioned to follow those leaders who are really just following the followers. Change will have to come from the outside and it'll be nasty if it does.

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  2. I posted on Rabbi Adlerstein's site that I believe the actions of the zealots in Beit Shemesh were not spontaneous, but designed in order to drive non-Haredi out of Beit Shemesh so that the growing Haredi community can move out of Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. This would drive down the prices of houses. I think the zealot protesters are paid to protest by someone with money and the desire to take over Beit Shemesh. The moderator rejected this, perhaps because I used the word "obnoxious" to describe the Haredi presense.

    The fact that my post was rejected indicates to me that the most liberal of Orthodox Jews are unwilling to face the fact that the problem is not just a few zealots spitting on little girls. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

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  3. Recipients and PublicityDecember 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Amen!

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  4. This is exactly how I have been feeling.

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  5. Sholem aleichem was very critical of the jewish world of his time... It might be that those stories who express it best (how handicapped children were treated, for example) never were translated to english...

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  6. Perhaps you should ask a basic question...can a חרדי community (99%) force the the one percent to cOmply with them...Promenent left wingers such as shahar ilan and gidOn levy say yes.

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  7. Thank you for saying this in such unequivocal terms.

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