Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rabbi Berel Wein: Why Haredim Have An Image Problem With Most Israelis

[hat tip RaP]
The most dreaded status in Israeli society is to be considered a frier – a sucker, a boob, stupid and unable to withstand being taken advantage of.

The current backlash in Israeli society against haredim is not merely a matter of theology or of vastly different societal values, different dress and customs. That would prove insufficient to provoke the over the top reaction that has emerged over the past several weeks against haredim generally because of the abominable behavior of some haredim – with, unfortunately, the tacit approval of many other haredim.

The underlying motive for all this haredi bashing is that Israelis – religious, traditional, secular and haredi light – are tired and disgusted of being friers. They have had it with a large and growing section of the Israeli population that they feels is being supported by the general public while contributing next to nothing to the general good and welfare of society.

It is useless to protest that the study and observance of Torah and the continuity of Eastern European or Sephardic traditions is somehow the guarantee of the continued existence of the state of Israel. [...]


  1. I am glad that R' Wein said it, since he himself is very much in the Haredi camp.

  2. Bring in r yonasan rosenblum and you wIll have all the chradie bashers in one acsanya.

  3. Eddie said...

    I am glad that R' Wein said it, since he himself is very much in the Haredi camp.
    He is not viewed that way

  4. Wein is Right Wing MO but a good and accurate read anyway.

  5. Ortho former AmericanFebruary 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    I would point out that this article is obviously written for the consumption of the Jewish Press readers. It's not what the great Rabbi Wein holds deep in his kodshei kadoshim.

    What the Jewish Press wants to believe is that if we toss the lion of the chillonim some of our bones, then everything will be okay.

    This is quite wrong for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the chillonim are not lions and do not scare our leaders at all. It is not a problem for us if the chillonim hate us! They have hated us, they will hate us -- halacha hi! Just like Moshe Rabbeinu couldn't win with certain parts of the Clal -- no matter which way he went -- we can never win with the chillonim. Their complaints today are just their complaints today. If we bent over backwards and did everything they wanted, they would just start up with new complaints the same afternoon.

    The immense good done by keeping in the tents of Torah--even at the edge!--even those who's learning other more learned people might sniff!!

    Second, and related to this, we do know what to do. Learn as much as we can. Insulate ourselves from them as much as we can. This is our mesorah and it will work.

    But the most important point that Jewish Press non-religious readers miss is the faith in what other people call 'miracles.' The unbounded, time and again proven fact that Am Yisrael are chai. If Am Yisrael had to rely on the Israeli Defense Forces instead of HaShem...well...I'd like to hear how many seconds Rabbi Wein thinks we would last. One? I doubt it.

    And this is why we do not want to pretend that it is somebody else that is protecting us. Just because they get worked up into a tizzy if we do not pray publicly for generals who demand that we break Jewish law that is according many of our gedolim 'yarog volo...' is not enough of a reason to prostrate ourselves before their ideas.

    If we keep on like -- as they said about Avraham Avinu -- animals doing what we do...then...HaShem is going to work for us amazing success.

    The last thing He wants us to do is to get scared by the chillonim going Boo! at us and weaken, even a little, our hold on the tents of Torah. Think about it.

  6. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    First of all, the term "Charedi" is itself a basically undefined construct. It has become the politically correct pulp term for the pejorative previous term "Ultra-Orthodox" Jews. Basically, there are no such things as "Jews according to labels" -- even though everyone falls back on this by default and few are able to throw away that mode of "categorizing", because in Halacha there is only one kind of Jew, one born of a Jewish mother (preferably, and of course it should be, with a Jewish father) or one converted to Judaism according to Halacha who has become a righteous convert (ger tzedek).

    Rabbi Berel Wein is a typical example of the American "black hat" yeshiva-educated professionals. They are closer to the Charedi Litvisha yeshiva world and not to outright Modern Orthodoxy. Rabbi Wein is actually much more than that, but it's significant to focus on the fact that does happened to be a qualified United Attorney, and he used that with his Torah education to found Charedi type yeshivas, including helping his brother in law's Rav Avrohom Chaim Levin of America's Aguda Moetzes found the Telz Yeshiva of Chicago, and then in 1977 he founded Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Suffern, NY and remained its Rosh Hayeshiva until 1997.

    "Professionals" means people who went to colleges and universities and were trained to become qualified and licensed doctors, lawyers, accountants, psychologists, social workers, computer programmers, public school teachers, speech therapists, and many similar fields that require at least a two-year level degree but usually more with a BA, Masters, with various post-graduate degrees in law, medicine, accounting, therapies and there are tens of thousands of such Charedi Jews both male and female. They attend Charedi Litvish yeshivas mostly. Most of their sons are in Charedi Litvish yeshivas, they send their daughters to the frummest Litvish-type Bais Yaakovs, they support their sons in Kollel and encourage their daughters to marry kollel fellows and will support them to the hilt.

    Note, Chasidim DO NOT send their children to college or university and they do not allow them to have real secular educations in elementary and high schools. In Israel, even the non-Chasidic Litvish types do not allow secular studies so they do not go to colleges and do not become professionals.

    So it is the likes of Berel Wein who are most like the AMERICAN college educated Charedim, and yes many Charedim like those among the Litvish American Charedim are JUST LIKE Berel Wein, and their views cannot be dismissed that they "do not represent" Charedi Jews and Judaism.

    Just as the American Charedi world knows this, and BENEFITS from this, likewise the Israeli Charedi world is now having to learn that they must contend and take into account the voices of American-type more moderate Charedi voices.

  7. "It is not a problem for us if the chillonim hate us! They have hated us, they will hate us -- halacha hi!"

    You seem to be confusing the chilonim with eisav and and yourself with yakov, which is unfortunate since the Charedim in RBS seem to be the ones living by the sword these days. Also, if I remember correctly, Yakov is supposed to the one GIVING presents, not taking money from the Medina.

    "Insulate ourselves from them as much as we can. This is our mesorah and it will work."

    Get off the INTERNET, you hypocrite!!!

    "If Am Yisrael had to rely on the Israeli Defense Forces instead of HaShem...well...I'd like to hear how many seconds Rabbi Wein thinks we would last. One? I doubt it."

    I'd love to leave you on a street corner in Gaza and have you rely on Hashem. See how long YOU last.

    Your conptempt is contemptible.

  8. What "ortho former american" claimed about Rabbi Wein is completely wrong. He doesn't even write his articles for the jewish press or really any media outlet. He writes his articles based on what he feels like that week and they are put on the site and then different news outlets will choose to pick them up and publish them. For example his articles also sometimes appear in the jerusalem post or in arutz sheva. It is not his decision which articles get published by media other than his own organization and none of them are tailored to any specific site. They are for his readers!

    So why did this person post blatant lies about Rabbi Wein here? Was it just ortho former american's wishful thinking which he convinced himself was true? If you think that what Rabbi Wein writes is not what he really feels, you have obviously never met him and certainly bever spoken to him. Shame on you for spreading slander and lies.


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