Tuesday, February 26, 2013

12 Good Reasons Why Secular Israelis Reject Haredim

Jewish Press      In an article titled "Maybe the Secular Are Right?" that was published this winter in the Haredi Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Bloch asks: "Why is it so common for Haredi pundits and public figures to pin the motives for secular hatred against Haredim only on the formers' bad qualities, their emptiness, anti-Semitism and the ignorant man's hatred for the scholar? And another question we should ask ourselves is whether, in some cases, the value benefits from this conduct or another are worth the consequent heavy price of hilul Hashem (desecration of the Holy Name).

Rabbi Bloch then poses 12 questions which he encourages his Haredi readers to ponder.

    1. We've chosen, for understandable educational reasons, to withdraw and live in exclusively Haredi cities and neighborhoods, avoiding as much as possible any social contact with the secular.

    This is legitimate and understandable, but as a result they don't really know us, amd so they naturally view us as bizarre, in our manner of dress, our behavior, and our language. This creates aversion and alienation. Why, then, we are angry at them for treating us this way?

    2. We chose, for educational reasons—although some of us really believe it—to teach our children that all secular Israelis are sinners, vacuous, with no values, and corrupt.

    This could possibly be a legitimate view, but, then, why are we shocked when the secular, in return, teach their own children that the Haredim are all primitive, with outdated and despicable values?

    3. We have chosen, for the sake of the preservation of Torah in Israel, to prevent our sons from participating in carrying the heavy burden of security, and instead tasked them with learning Torah.

    Of course we could not give that up, but why are we outraged and offended when the secular, who do not recognize nor understand this need—or rather most of them are familiar with the issue, but argue that there should be quotas—see us as immoral, and some despise us as a result?

    4. We chose for our sons who do not belong, by their personal inclination or learning skills to the group of Torah scholars (Yeshiva bums and worse), to also evade enlistment—including into perfectly kosher army units. And when it comes to the individuals who have joined the Haredi Nahal, we do not praise them, but despise them instead, and we certainly show them no gratitude, while the Haredi press ignores them—in the best case.

    Why, then, are we outraged when the secular don't believe our argument, that the purpose of keeping yeshiva students from enlisting, is to maintain Torah study and not simply the Haredim's unwillingness to bear the burden?

    5. We chose to teach our children not to work for a living, and to devote all their time to Torah study. Clear enough, but, then, why are we shocked when the secular—who do not consider Torah study an all encompassing value—feel that we are an economic burden on their necks, as a mere 38% of us take part in the labor force, and they hate us for it.

    6. We chose not to teach our children any labor skills, and we condemn those who do pursue a profession. As a result our kolelim include all of those who do not belong among the scholars and still prefer not to work for a living.

    Why, then, do we complain when the secular feel, and say so with an increasing volume, that we are parasites, living off of their efforts?

    7. We chose (for educational considerations?) not to educate our children to show gratitude to the soldiers who risked their lives and were killed or injured for our sake, too. So we do not mention them in any way by any special day or prayer or special Mishna learning that's dedicated to their memory. Moreover, not a single Mashgiach or Rosh Yeshiva ever talks about it in a Mussar Schmooze, and you'll find no mention of it in the Haredi press.

    Why, then, are we surprised that the secular feel that we are ungrateful and despicable, and that the reason for our not enlisting is simply because we are parasites, living off the sacrifices of others in society?

    8. When extremist, delusional groups behave in ways that besmirch the name of God—e.g. the spitting in Beit Shemesh, dancing during the memorial siren, burning the national flag—our rabbis chose not to condemn them, clearly and consistently ( except for a few faint statements here and there). Why, then, are we explaining away the fact that the secular believe we all support those terrible acts? Why do we insist that their hostility stems from their hatred of the scholars?

    9. We've opted to allow our public officials and pundits to curse out all the secular all the time. Why, then, when the secular media treat us the same way, are we offended and cry out that they're persecuting us?

    10. The Haredi press will never offer any praise of or express support for secular Israelis who perform good deeds. Why, then, do we jump up and down when we are rewarded equally? And, in fact, while Haredi spokespersons rarely point anything positive about secular society, the secular media often gives positive coverage to Haredi organizations like Yad Sara, Hatzala, Zaka, etc.

    11. We would not agree, under any condition, that secular Israelis turn up in our schools to teach our children heresy, and we would have kept them from putting up stands with books of heresy in our areas. Why, then, do we not understand when the secular do not agree that we seduce her children into denying their parents' heresy?

    12. We do not agree—in my view, rightfully so—that secular people move into Haredi neighborhoods. So where do we get the arrogance and audacity to call anti-Semites those secular who don't agree that Haredim move near their homes, in secular neighborhoods?

70 comments :

  1. Excellent, excellent piece.
    I can't wait to read the response.

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  2. I think you could make a similar list explaining why Palestinians hate Israelis and vice versa.

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    1. Avrom. Are you suggesting that Haredim are closer to Palestinians than to regular Israelis?


      This is a very good article. I could perhaps write another 10 , but then I might get accused of being a Soneh Hashem.

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    2. Are you suggesting that Haredim are closer to Palestinians than to regular Israelis?"
      What?! When?! Where?!
      Why mix apples and oranges..??

      What kind of question is that?

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  3. My own 2 cents:
    1. Excellent point. Whenever I ask secular people if the Haredi people they know (and they all know at least one) match the media's description, they reply that the one's they know are obviously the exceptions. If the secular knew us better as individuals, the animosity level would be reduced.
    2. I have tried hard (not always successfully) to teach my children otherwise, in spite of the propaganda they hear in school and among their friends. I explain that a Hiloni is a 'Jew'! Even something this basic is often missing.
    5. I actually never understood where this idea comes from. The Mishna in Avos clearly states Yofeh Torah im Derech Eretz. In Chutz Lo'oretz, this has not really been an issue.
    6. This point is not particularly characteristic of the Hassidic world. However, many of the working men are working 'off the books' so as to remain on army deferment for being in Kollel.
    8. Do we have public officials? How many pundits do we have (other than J. Rosenblum who does a wonderful job)? Does the secular media quote what our pundits have to say?
    I think that the root cause of most of the divisiveness is actually a lack of confidence in our own beliefs. Do we really teach our children how to be strong in an antagonistic society? Do we teach our children how to draw real strength from the Torah? Do we really provide a helping hand to those who have slipped and want to return to Torah values?
    I think that we have a lot to work on internally before we can become a light to the secular Israelis.

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  4. A story I never get tired of telling: in the late 1990's I visited Israel and spent time with both Chiloni and Chareidi friends. I spent one evening with the Chilonim listening to all their complaints about the Chareidi community. I spent another with the Chareidim listening to their complaints about the Chilonim.
    And I realized: both sides are right in what they're complaining about. Both the Chiloni and Chareidi communities have positives and negatives to them and the negatives that were pointed out were completely true.
    But when you have a ruling attitude that says "We're perfect no matter what we do" you can't listen to the other side and say "Well maybe they have a point and we should change something"

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    1. That was my experience in the late 1990's. As an American, I just thought to myself, "Can't we all just get along?"

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    2. Since all Jews in America get along...

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    3. One thing common to both groups that I found in the 1990's was that in general the Chiloni sincerely believed that the Haredi were clueless and in general the Haredi sincerely believed the Chiloni were clueless.

      I wonder if that has changed.

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  5. Not only have Israelis left to join Haredi areas but the readership of the Jewish Press left them for the Charedi HaModia.Before HaModia an article like this would never have been published. The late editor,Rabbi Shalom Klass,was a Chaver in the Charedi,Igud Harabbanim. The readers and those wishing to places ads took millions and millions of ad dollars with them . They want to find a more modern readership so this spiteful piece is expected.

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    1. it was originally published in kikar shabbat (charaidi).

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    2. I understand but I was explaining what was going on at the Jewish Press.

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    3. I don't generally read the Jewish Press and didnt know that it's readership has changed. However I did notice a improvement in the reportage when I do come across one.

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  6. 13. They mock both Modern O and seculars alike for studying in University, learning professions. Yet they are duplicitous when it comes to requiring those professions, eg Doctors.

    14. In Galuth, it was the tradition to say a prayer for the Gentile Government. However, they refuse to do this for the Zionist government, and even rip out the page from the Siddur if they find one in shul.

    15. Women are regularly degraded, and insulted, for their dress style.

    16. Boys and girls are regularly abused in mikvaot, schools, shuls, and neighborhoods. Now look at #15 again.

    17. The marriage system and Rabbanut is dominated by Haredi rabbonim. Converts are treated like dirt. Yet the loud voices who have their so-called higher standards of geirus are often caught in sex scams, where the conversion programs are abusive and women are used as prostitutes.

    18. In Bnei Brak the children sing songs agasint the Medina. This is how the kids in Gaza are also educated.

    19. Even flying on a plane to /from Israel, Israelis are always under pressure from Haredim to swap seats so that they can avoid being near women.



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    1. "Yet the loud voices who have their so-called higher standards of geirus are often caught in sex scams, where the conversion programs are abusive and women are used as prostitutes"."Often???Or occasionally."Boys and girls are regularly abused in mikvaot, schools, shuls, and neighborhoods. Oh sure.It happens everyday.This slander is "over the top".How much dirt can one person throw?

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  7. I also feel that it is immoral when I hear somebody here in the United States tell Israelis that Charedim should serve.Unless,you have served yourself you have no right to put somedbody else's kid in harms way.If the Charedim are to serve this most come about as a decision by the collective Israeli people.I find Dov Lipman's remarks that the Charedim should serve as complete chutzpa since he himself has not served nor will.

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    1. 1) his kids will serve
      2) everyone in a democracy has the right to voice an opinion; its called freedom of speech. there are charedi yishuvim over the green line. what right do they have to establish these yishuvim when they don't serve? other people's kids do the shmira, not their kids. answer - one is not dependent on the other.
      3) you can't say that the decision will be by the israeli collective and then say that some israeli don't have a say)

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    2. Ben Waxman said "1) his kids will serve.You don't know that.That is what Dov Lipman says. He does not know the future.They might become Charedim. They might move to the United States. Moshiach might come or they might serve in the IDF. My point is nobody knows the future.How often do we see kids not following in their parents wishes.He is entitled to his opinion but it is chutzpa to say I didn't serve but you have to.I guess what is good for the goose is is not good for the gander.The Israelis who served should speak to Charedi leaders is what I meant.

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    3. ein chachi nami. as a citizen he has the right to speak out on this issue and any other issue. whether someone is tel aviv secular, jerusalem litvak, um el fahm arab, efrat srugi - all have the right to speak. (and as an MK he has an even greater responsibility.)

      this is a trick used on the chareidi radio stations - they always ask where the "pro-draft" guy served. many times the interviewee falls into the trap and answers. by answering the issue is reduced to the personal level when the debate should be debated on the idea level.

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    4. In a democracy everybody has a right to speak out. But what about ethics and morals? Is it moral to spend two years in Israel in yeshiva at the age of 18 and 19 and do the "Lipman" and turn around to 18 and 19 year olds and say forget learning and go to the army .The big Tzioni from Maryland didn't. That is immoral!(This is not some type of trick.The people on the radio wish to point out this duplicity?) I would also not tell the mother of kids serving in the IDF who want everybody to serve to drop their opinion as that would be immoral as well.I stay out of it. Moshe Feiglin said that the IDF was already too big before this pretext erupted.There was an article about two boys from Boston who were turned away because they were told that at 23(23!) they were too old to serve.The IDF wants to invest in 18-22 year olds for the long haul.They have no man power shortage.If you have different information let me know.At Aliyah forums in America people who want to serve are told this.This is a pretext for persecuting the Charedim.

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    5. yes it is moral.

      when in session mks vote on matters about which they know little knowledge, have never experienced. they are given this right by the people. it is the nature of a republic.

      it is a simple red herring to attack the issue because of rav lipman's lack of military experience.

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    6. Why is it a red herring? Others have asked and I am not the first. Telling people they don't do their fair share and that person doing the same is more than just a lawmaker voting.It is about as two faced as they come.And look who loves him .All the Torah haters.Puff pieces by our enemies.The New York Times,Haaretz,the Times of Israel.You can tell the most about our enemies love for him.I saw him wading into a crowd of Charedim,provoking them and then trying to get them arrested.Not exactly an innocent woman minding her own business on a bus.Despicable!Why did he not go to the army at 18.He was in Israel??19???in Israel as well.Aliyah or Play it Safe Sam who gets his sheepskins while leaving the burden of defending and dying for Israel to others .Yair Lapid has somebody to metaher his sheretz.The Hellenists had their rabbis too.Ben Waxman said "it is a simple red herring to attack the issue because of rav lipman's lack of military experience".It is only an issue, Ben because he accuses people of doing something what he himself did.The issue is not his lack of military experience.It is his own shirking while calling others shirkers.He is as opportunistic as they come.

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    7. this morning i heard mk so-called rabbi eichler say that if achmed tibi would promise to support the yeshivot, eichler would support him for PM.

      so go ahead and make whatever attack you want on mk lipman. if i have to choose between the two, there is no question as to where i would go.

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    8. If I were an Israel and had to pick one it would be Tibi. At least I know he is sincere in his beliefs .It can't come to that so I can make this statement. Lipman is about the worst I have seen.His behavior and choices have left me in shock. Everyone makes mistakes.If he did tshuva I could be supportive. Joining the Torah's enemies is beyond the pale.

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    9. "If I were an Israel and had to pick one it would be Tibi. At least I know he is sincere in his beliefs ."

      Then I guess you'd be even happier voting for Hitler.

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    10. flavor lounge displays the typical attitude (hatred) towards rav lipman (although he is generous in that he has used the title rav when referring to the freshman MK, something many chareidim won't do. no doubt the american culture of toleration has rubbed off on my esteemed inter-locker).

      i always find it interesting how our strongest, most violent feelings are often towards those who are closest to us. on the frum radio stations when a secular MK or professor or activist talk, they give him/her a certain respect. At least they allow the person to complete a sentence. but when MK lipman spoke on kol b'rama - wow. interruptions, an opponent who screamed at him mindlessly, the works. when mk rav shai peron (former student at mercaz harav) was on they showed him more respect than what MK lipman got, not to mention that no one has talked about "not including" mk peron in the knesset minyanim.

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    11. @Chana-Mr.Waxman set up an impossible scenario. If it were up to me there would be no Arabs in the Knesset.@Ben who said "I always find it interesting how our strongest, most violent feelings are often towards those who are closest to us."Yes,Achi Hayakar,that is the entire point! We feel betrayed. Tibi and Lapid can't betray us because we are not close to them and we know what they stand for.

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    12. @flavor - not me, it was MK eichler who set up the scenario.

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    13. Flavor--then do not fall into the trap of throwing out extreme rhetorical devices like saying you'd rather vote for Achmad Tibi for Knesset. I cannot imagine that Israeli charedim, apart from a tiny and eccentric minority, see themselves as enemies of the Jewish state on the level of the Arabs. But continually framing the issue that way does nothing but damage.

      And yes, I have heard too many Charedi propagandists abusing Dati Leumi brethren in an extreme, vicious, and alienating manner. To say this has had a negative effect is putting things mildly. It has drained nearly every drop of sympathy, empathy, and fellow-feeling over the years. Many of us are just fed up with Charedi hystrionics and demands for special treatment.

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  8. " 10. The Haredi press will never offer any praise of or express support for secular Israelis who perform good deeds."

    this is an exaggeration. i regularly listen to the chareidi radio stations and then "mefargein" seculars, especially those in the army.

    having said that, god help the non-chareidi who challenges some of their presumptions. the reaction to MK calderon's speech is an example of what happens when someone offers a different POV on something that they consider to be their turf.

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  9. Rabbi Bloch says that since the Charedim have a different manner of dress and speak a different language it is understandable that this creates aversion and anger. Why should we be angry at them (i.e. secular).FL- I am not Charedi but to justify hatred and do it on the basis of a person's language and garb would even be what American people consider racist.People can dress anyway they want to.They can speak any language and if you hate them for it ,it is justified???All Charedim are fanatics that spit on little girls and bully.Painting people with that type of broad brush is another racist way of writing. Charedim are not all the same.I could go line by line but I am out of time on this day.

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    1. You've misquoted. He has "aversion and alienation".

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    2. Aversion is a negative gut reaction. It's nowhere near hatred. You can have a negative first impression of someone without hating the person.

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    3. Look it up on the Websters online dictionary.I did.

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  10. I also note that Rav Bloch totally ignores those who are neither Chareidi nor Chiloni. I should imagine that the significant number of dati le'umi soldiers who manage to combine Torah learning and Mitzvah observance with Army service and contributions to the economy make it harder for the Chiloni to accept at face value the notion that Chareidi isolation from society is truly needed to preserve either Torah or mitzvah observance. And of course the dati le'umi tend to be offended by the casual assumption that their Torah learning doesn't count, only that of the Chareidim.

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    1. Despite the fact that the Hesder types are in the IDF and their are many in combat units the hatred never ceases. I remember reading accounts that after the Rabin death any person wearing a yarmulke could be subjected to harassment.The Charedim can't win.What is this Vietnam.Winning over hearts and minds. Nevertheless,not to act with derech eretz is never an option.

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  11. The hypocrisy is insane like this article points out. I'm from the "Haredi" world and find it laughable that people think it is one cohesive group. Chassidim and Litvish are not the same. Even within Chassidus, there are groups upon groups. And among the Litvish it can be Mir versus Brisk versus being in Lakewood. Of course I still keep the Mitzvos; but I don't let my children get educated with the nonsense mentioned in the article. Once I stopped wearing black and white, you would be surprised how much easier other Israeli's approached me. We have a regular conversation--and there is no put down of my observance. They feel more connected to me. The barrier the Haredim put up to protect themselves just isolate themselves from other Jews, make them elitist and end up making a box that is so small that only a few kollel-lite fit in. Just because I don't wear black and white now doesn't mean I am not makpid on the mitvos. Just because I do not learn in Kollel does not mean I don't learn Torah or support Torah. My family respects me and I them. I wish those with Torah would teach by example--instead of showering everyone with their dogma. This blog is example of how one person makes a difference by speaking about the important subject of abuse--and bringing a well known Posek's opinion about it to boot! The good news is that once outside that bubble, I can serve Hashem with sincerity and not phony religious devotion--which seems to be par for the course. If you can do that within, great.

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    1. But that is exactly the point!Since it is not a monolithic group not every Charedi (a tiny minority that gets the press) engages in shameful actions like spitting on women.Most never do.But the press will blame everybody.

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  12. It might be worth a few minutes to show how empty these questions are.

    First the intro:

    "Rabbi Dovid Bloch is the official spokesman for the Nahal Haredi, the Netzah Yehuda IDF battalion, was among its founders...That makes his record impeccable for Haredim"

    This makes him posul for Haredim. So that's the source of these questions.

    Let's go one by one:


    1. "We've chosen, for understandable educational reasons, to withdraw and live in exclusively Haredi cities... they naturally view us as bizarre, in our manner of dress, our behavior, and our language. This creates aversion and alienation"

    This statement is pure ignorance. I spent much of the last two years in western Michigan. I met people in their nineties who had never before seen a Jew. At all times I was treated with the utmost respect. Yes, they were curious and interested but their was no "aversion and alienation".

    The "aversion and alienation" is because we are living our lives according to the Torah and they are not. In their minds, our adherence to our life style is a direct indictment of their life style. Some Haredim may care enough about them to be bothered by what they do. Most of us just wish they would leave us alone.


    2. "We chose—to teach our children that all secular Israelis are sinners, vacuous, with no values, and corrupt. "

    If you are talking about the political leadership that is true. But I thought the secular Jews felt the same way.

    As far as "secular Israelis are sinners", this is definitional. The Torah defines right and wrong, we do not. Therefore, by definition, secular Israelis can be very nice people, and almost all of them are. But they can't be good people.

    3. "We have chosen, for the sake of the preservation of Torah in Israel, to prevent our sons from participating in carrying the heavy burden of security, and instead tasked them with learning Torah."

    Let's talk about defending the country. Did you ever wonder why the military strategists at West Point teach the cadets about all the historic battles from Alexander on, but do not teach about any of the Arab Israeli wars? The reason is that they can't figure out what happened. According to all the rules of warfare, Israel should have lost ever war.

    Was it part of the IDF's plan that in 1973 the Egyptian army who drove through the entire south of the country virtually would stop just outside of Tel Aviv and give the IDF time to group and counter attack? Was it their plan that Saddam Hussein would launch 39 missiles at the heart of the country and almost no one would get hurt? One missile killed 250 people in Saudi Arabia, but not here. The IDF did that?

    Unless you can explain what the best military minds living today can't figure out, which is why we are still around, don't be so sure about who is defending who.


    "there should be quotas" Okay, that's reasonable. 10% is a good number. It's traditional. The Christians call it tithing, we call it maaser.

    Since there are 12 million Jews in the world, there should be 1.2 million learning full time. Uh oh. Maybe we need to draft secular Israelis to make this quota. It seems they are not carrying their share of the burden.

    For 2000 years Jews have not had an army. We have proven that we do not need the IDF to survive. You think the IDF doesn't need us? What's your proof?

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    1. Let's talk about defending the country. Did you ever wonder why the military strategists at West Point teach the cadets about all the historic battles from Alexander on, but do not teach about any of the Arab Israeli wars? The reason is that they can't figure out what happened. According to all the rules of warfare, Israel should have lost ever war.

      I have no idea what is taught at west point but i have read enough of the military history of this area to know that there is no great mystery here. well trained, well armed, highly motivated troops led by excellent officers beat the opposite. even in 48 we had many many advantages of the invading troops. in 67 there was no question that we had all the cards. when we, in our arrogance forgot that the arabs can also fight, we paid a price.

      Was it part of the IDF's plan that in 1973 the Egyptian army who drove through the entire south of the country virtually would stop just outside of Tel Aviv and give the IDF time to group and counter attack?

      complete and absolute narishkeit. they never got near tel aviv, nor ber sheva, nor the negev. the egyptians made into the sinai a few kilometers and that's it.

      Was it their plan that Saddam Hussein would launch 39 missiles at the heart of the country and almost no one would get hurt? One missile killed 250 people in Saudi Arabia, but not here. The IDF did that?

      no simple physics did that. the scuds were primitive rockets, incapable of being a aimed accurately. israel is hundreds of kilometers from iraq. their missiles simply couldn't contain a large payload. the missile that landed in SA had much more explosive material in it.

      the above is poor propaganda at best.

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    2. http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2011/11/satmar-rav-says-six-day-war-victory-was.html


      see especially the comments section

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    3. Anthony Kane wrote:

      Let's talk about defending the country. Did you ever wonder why the military strategists at West Point teach the cadets about all the historic battles from Alexander on, but do not teach about any of the Arab Israeli wars? The reason is that they can't figure out what happened. According to all the rules of warfare, Israel should have lost ever war.

      Was it part of the IDF's plan that in 1973 the Egyptian army who drove through the entire south of the country virtually would stop just outside of Tel Aviv and give the IDF time to group and counter attack? Was it their plan that Saddam Hussein would launch 39 missiles at the heart of the country and almost no one would get hurt? One missile killed 250 people in Saudi Arabia, but not here. The IDF did that?

      Unless you can explain what the best military minds living today can't figure out, which is why we are still around, don't be so sure about who is defending who.
      ===================
      The above is simply not true - despite being repeated over and over again

      Aside from the Satmar Rebbe's testimony here is a webpage from West Point dealing with the Arab Israeli wars

      http://www.westpoint.edu/history/SitePages/Arab%20Israel.aspx


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    4. If there is some unimportant error in Anthony Kane's words so what.They do or don't teach this at West Point.They do in fact teach it as General Wesley Clark the Head of Nato or the Joint Chiefs said.(BTW he has frum relatives).Rav Yakov Emden made an amazing statement that although the makkos in Mitzraim were the greatest most amazing thing ever in the history of the world there one thing greater.That the sheep (Am Yisrael) survive among 70 wolves (the goyim).No where can this be seen more than in the wars of Israel.I have met frum people who became frum based on nissim they saw first hand on the field of battle.With all due respect to the Satmar Rov ,TZ"L to say that everything is teva is complete nonsense.Despite the fact that the SCUDS were not top of the line they could have killed plenty of people.The Rebbe said they would not. Nissim occur every day in Eretz Yisroel.The IDF is 100 to 1 on the battlefield and still whooped the sonei Yisrael.Israel's defense is all nissim in the face of their overwhelming odds.There are people who even went through kriyas yam suf and said it was not a nes.Okay,so Mr.Kane has a few details off but the nature of what he is saying is on the mark.Word!

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    5. Nissim can only be accomplished through teva. Obviously,Israel needs an army!The Yidden do their part but at the end of the day it was Hashem all along.

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  13. 4. "evade enlistment— into perfectly kosher army units" "the purpose of keeping yeshiva students from enlisting, is to maintain Torah study"

    Let's look at the history. Ben Gurion established the army for multiple purposes Defending the country was only one of them. A more important reason was to take Jews with diverse backgrounds from all over the world a create a vehicle to mold them into a unified people. More specifically a unified secular people "like other nations." For secular Jews that is the Zionist dream.

    Religious Jews have another name for it. We call it shmad- the attempt to uproot religious Judaism from the world. We know this well. The Greeks tried to do this, The Romans tried. The Church. This was part of the Czar's plan to handle the Jewish problem in Russia of the 1800's. Now the secular Israeli leaders are joining in. Their self professed tool is the army.

    How can there be "perfectly kosher army units" when the agenda of the army is to uproot Judaism? So the author is wrong again. "The purpose of keeping yeshiva students from enlisting," is not "to maintain Torah study" It's to keep our children Jewish. Nothing less.

    Recently, there was an incident in the army where as part of the "entertainment" they had women singing to the troops. A few members of the "perfectly kosher army units" tried not to attend since this is a violation of Torah law. They were ordered to go anyway. I suppose the commander felt that not having religious soldiers violate the Torah at an entertainment event endangered this country's national interests.

    So what exactly is the purpose of the army? To defend the country? We're going to have girls sing the enemy into submission?


    5. "The secular feel that we are an economic burden on their necks"

    Okay I'll admit it. I have taken money from Misrad Hadatot while learning in kollel. And on those months when the government paid we did live high off the secular society. Once a month my wife and I spent an afternoon celebrating our $150/month check at the supermarket buying food.

    The government funds other forms of higher education and no one complains that Art history students are parasites. Jews have always valued education. Even the weakest kollel students spend more time learning than the best PhD candidates. You care to dispute this? I've lived in both worlds. What's your background?

    The reason "a mere 38% of us take part in the labor force" is because of #4. The only way to stay out of the army is to stay in kollel full time, even for those who would prefer to work. That's their law not ours. Staying out of the army is not a matter of laziness. It's a matter of survival.

    6. see #4 and #5

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    1. How can there be "perfectly kosher army units" when the agenda of the army is to uproot Judaism?

      spoken like someone who has spent much of the last few years in michigan.

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    2. "The purpose of keeping yeshiva students from enlisting," is not "to maintain Torah study" It's to keep our children Jewish. Nothing less

      the author is correct that the talmud torah claim is not the truth about what is going on. he is also correct that the army is a challenge for an 18 year old boy, even if he is in a plugah made up of other dati boys.

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    3. The only way to stay out of the army is to stay in kollel full time, even for those who would prefer to work. That's their law not ours.

      and the roshei yeshivot oppose changing the law so that an 18 year old chareidi boy could go out and work, learn a profession, etc. they know perfectly well that only the threat of the idf is what keeps their kids inside the yeshiva walls. in that sense they are partially responsible for the poverty levels of their followers.

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    4. @Kane
      Recently, there was an incident in the army where as part of the "entertainment" they had women singing to the troops. A few members of the "perfectly kosher army units" tried not to attend since this is a violation of Torah law.
      ~~~~

      Wrong. Torah does not prohibit men from hearing women singing. This is a Rabbinical law. A zionist Rav called Melamed took this even further, suggesting that this law is yehareg vlo y,aavor! There is no basis in halacha fro Melamed's assertions.

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    5. So it is rabbinical.This is the din.@DT...Where are you? Weight in,please.

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    6. I heard from an older chavursa that a lot of phony seminary students enlisted in Chaim Belin where he learned in the 60s to avoid going to Vietnam.But they did not take the learning seriously and they came in late so the Mashgiach Ruachani,Rabbi Avigdor Miller warned them."You can come to Chaim Berlin at 8:30 or you can report to Fort Dix at 8:30".When I learned in Eretz Yisroel (and I worked like I never worked in my life) I saw Chiloni fakers in a different places enrolled in yeshivas in order to get a patur.

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    7. @Kane
      Recently, there was an incident in the army where as part of the "entertainment" they had women singing to the troops. A few members of the "perfectly kosher army units" tried not to attend since this is a violation of Torah law.
      ~~~~

      Wrong. Torah does not prohibit men from hearing women singing. This is a Rabbinical law. A zionist Rav called Melamed took this even further, suggesting that this law is yehareg vlo y,aavor! There is no basis in halacha fro Melamed's assertions.

      ===============================
      Eddie you have to be a big person to assume that you know better than Rav Melamed. You are wrong. Even if Jews are told to violate a minhag with the express purpose of being anti-religious .

      שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות עבודת כוכבים סימן קנז סעיף א

      כל העבירות שבתורה, חוץ מעבודת כוכבים וגלוי עריות ושפיכות דמים, אם אומרים לו לאדם שיעבור עליהם או יהרג, אם הוא בצנעה יעבור ואל יהרג. ואם ירצה להחמיר על עצמו וליהרג, רשאי, אם העובד כוכבים מכוין להעבירו על דת. הגה: ואם יוכל להציל עצמו בכל אשר לו, צריך ליתן הכל ולא יעבור לא תעשה. (ר"ן פרק לולב הגזול ורשב"א וראב"ד וריב"ש סימן שפ"ז). ובמקום שאמרו: כל מי שיש בידו למחות ואינו מוחה הוא נתפס באותו עון, מכל מקום בדבר שיש חשש סכנה אין צריך להוציא ממונו על זה. (מהרי"ו סימן קנ"ו /קנ"ז/). ואם הוא בפרהסיא, דהיינו בפני עשרה מישראל, חייב ליהרג ולא יעבור אם העובד כוכבים מכוין להעבירו על דת ( אפילו על ערקתא דמסאנא) (ב"י). אבל אם אינו מכוין אלא להנאתו, יעבור ולא יהרג. ואם הוא שעת הגזירה ( על ישראל לבדם), (ב"י בשם נ"י), אפילו אערקתא דמסאנא (פירוש רצועת המנעל) יהרג ואל יעבור. הגה: ודוקא אם רוצים להעבירו במצות לא תעשה, אבל אם גזרו גזרה שלא לקיים מצות עשה, אין צריך לקיימו ושיהרג (ר"ן פרק במה טומנין ונ"י פרק סורר ומורה). מיהו אם השעה צריכה לכך, ורוצה ליהרג ולקיימו, הרשות בידו (מהרי"ק שורש פ"ח /קל"ז/ בשם הר"ן). ובעבודת כוכבים, ג"ע, ש"ד =שפיכות דמים= אפילו בצנעה ושלא בשעת הגזרה, ואפילו אין העובד כוכבים מכוין אלא להנאתו, יהרג ועל /ואל/ יעבור. הגה: ודוקא כשאומרים לו לעשות מעשה, כגון שאומרים לאיש לגלות ערוה או שיהרג, אבל אם אונסים לאשה לבא עליה, או שרוצים להשליכו על התינוק להרגו, או שהוא כבר מוקשה ורוצים לתקוע אותו בערוה, אין צריך ליהרג. (ב"י בשם תוספות ור"ן פרק כ"ש). וכל איסור עבודת כוכבים וג"ע וש"ד =ושפיכות דמים= אף על פי שאין בו מיתה, רק לאו בעלמא, צריך ליהרג ולא לעבור. אבל אלאו דלפני עור לא תתן מכשול (ויקרא יט, יד) יעבור ואל יהרג. (ר"ן פרק כ"ש ופרק בן סורר ומורה). עובד כוכבים הבא על בת ישראל, אינו בכלל גילוי עריות. (ב"י בשם הרמב"ן והפוסקים הנ"ל). עובדי כוכבים שאמרו לישראל: תנו לנו אחד מכם ונהרגנו, לא יתנו להם אחד מהם אלא א"כ יחדוהו ואמרו: תנו לנו פלוני. (משנה פ' ח' דתרומות והרמב"ם פ"ה מהלכות יסודי התורה). ויש אומרים דאפילו בכה"ג אין למסרו, אא"כ חייב מיתה כשבע בן בכרי. (ב"י בשם רש"י ור"ן). וכן נשים שאמרו להן עובדי כוכבים: תנו לנו אחת מכם ונטמא אותה, יטמאו כולם ולא ימסרו נפש אחת מישראל. (רמב"ם פ' הנזכר). כל מקום שנאמר: יהרג ואל יעבור, אם עבר ולא נהרג, אף על פי שחלל השם, מכל מקום נקרא אנוס ופטור. ודוקא שלא יוכל לברוח, אבל אם יכול לברוח ואינו עושה, הרי הוא ככלב שב על קיאו ונקרא עובר במזיד. (ב"י בשם הרמב"ם פ"ה מיסודי התורה).

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    8. Rabbinical law is Torah. The Torah does not allow men to hear women singing.

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    9. Actually its not. The Rambam says that anyone who declares a rabbinic law as Torah law transgresses the prohibition of adding to the Torah.

      Maharetz Chajes (Darkei Horaah #6)...However to say that a Rabbinic prohibition is really a Torah prohibition – the Rambam (Hilchos Mamrim 2:9) clearly states that this itself violates the Torah prohibition of adding to the Torah. Such a practice also violates the Torah prohibition of lying – even if it is done for a good reason. Our Sages were always very concerned to identify and keep separate that which is from the Torah and which are Rabbinical legislation – even if there were no practical halacha involved.


      רמב"ם יד החזקה הלכות ממרים פרק ב
      (ט) הואיל ויש לבית דין לגזור ולאסור דבר המותר ויעמוד איסורו לדורות וכן יש להן להתיר איסורי תורה לפי שעה מהו זה שהזהירה תורה לא תוסיף עליו ולא תגרע ממנו שלא להוסיף על דברי תורה ולא לגרוע מהן ולקבוע הדבר לעולם בדבר שהוא מן התורה בין בתורה שבכתב בין בתורה שבעל פה כיצד הרי כתוב בתורה לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו מפי השמועה למדו שזה הכתוב אסר לבשל ולאכול בשר בחלב בין בשר בהמה בין בשר חיה אבל בשר העוף מותר בחלב מן התורה אם יבוא בית דין ויתיר בשר חיה בחלב הרי זה גורע ואם יאסור בשר העוף ויאמר שהוא בכלל הגדי והוא אסור מן התורה הרי זה מוסיף אבל אם אמר בשר העוף מותר מן התורה ואנו נאסור אותו ונודיע לעם שהוא גזרה שלא יבא מן הדבר חובה ויאמרו העוף מותר מפני שלא נתפרש כך החיה מותרת שהרי לא נתפרשה ויבא אחר לומר אף בשר בהמה מותרת חוץ מן העז ויבא אחר לומר אף בשר העז מותר בחלב פרה או הכבשה שלא נאמר אלא אמו שהיא מינו ויבא אחר לומר אף בחלב העז שאינה אמו מותר שלא נאמר אלא אמו לפיכך נאסור כל בשר בחלב אפילו בשר עוף אין זה מוסיף אלא עושה סייג לתורה וכן כל כיוצא בזה. [השגת הראב"ד - הואיל ויש לב"ד לגזור ולאסור וכו' א"א כל אלה ישא רוח שכל דבר שגזרו עליו ואסרוהו לסייג ולמשמרת של תורה אין בו משום לא תוסיף אפילו קבעוהו לדורות ועשאוהו כשל תורה וסמכוהו למקרא כדאשכחן בכמה דוכתי מדרבנן וקרא אסמכתא בעלמא ואם גרע לפי צורך שעה כגון אליהו בהר הכרמל אף זה דבר תורה הוא עת לעשות לה' הפרו תורתך ולא תמצא איסור מוסיף אלא במצות עשה כגון לולב ותפילין וציצית וכיוצא בהן בין לשעה בין לדורות בין שקבעה בדבר תורה בין שלא קבעה]:

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    10. @ DT "Eddie you have to be a big person to assume that you know better than Rav Melamed. You are wrong. Even if Jews are told to violate a minhag with the express purpose of being anti-religious ."

      The army is not singling with the express purpose of making frum people secular. They just do it for their own culture and enjoyment.

      Regarding Melamed's alleged greatness, I beg to differ. If you have the choice to flee rather than die , you must flee. But this isn't a choice between death and fleeing. It is a choice between missing some ceremony , where the worst case is you will be put in military prison for 30 days and released after 4 days. Kosher food provided, but maybe no internet.

      So there is actually no yehareg v'lo yaavor choice here, the entire basis of his claim is false.

      One further point. I will use a moshul from Economics to explain my argument. In economics there is a concept of "elasticity of demand". It means for some products, we will pay the price whatever it costs, eg water. For others we won't, eg cars, 5* Hotels. Now there is a certain elasticity of kavod - for some Gedolim, it is fine to call them any names you/I like, if we disagree with them. for others , they are too big for us to disagree with.

      My point with R Melamed is not to call him small time, but that he is making up halacha. There is no shmad. And kol isha is not forced on soldiers to make them change halacha, and there is not categor of yehareg v'lo got to military prison for a week or 2. That is a new halacha, which has no basis in Jewish sources.

      I am glad at least we agree that rabbinic law isn't Torah law.

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    11. Maharetz Chajes and Rambam are actually my Rebbes.

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  14. Also at least the Yidden who don't take from the medina a cent and ask nothing of it and want nothing of it. The Satmar Rov said "not by thy honey nor by thy sting". Where is the hakaras hatov to these gentle heroes who are bloodied at the sites of excavations in order that the graves of Kedoshim are not desecrated.Those who beat them until blood comes out do so without fear for who will they go to and who will plead their case? They don't have a police force they believe in and the police abuse them all the time. They won't file a complaint.Talk about not recognizing when secular Jews do good things when do Jews praise the great work of trying to halt the excavations until these poor men were hurt so badly they ended up in the hospital.Why don't they deserve thanks?

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    1. Why don't they deserve thanks?

      because everyone, including the people themselves, know that these guys are simply playing power games. in addition they are out of control thugs who attack (physically) anyone with whom they disagree, including gedoli yisraeli chareidim.

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    2. Right.Get yourself beaten to a pulp for power.On what planet.There is One who sees and will recognize and reward them in due time.

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    3. Several years ago, my family were attacked by a group of these "gentle heroes" protesting excavations by rioting, burning piles of garbage in the street, and in our case, attacking innocent passers-by trapped in the Geula area. This included my 3-week-old daughter, my two other small children, and my father-in-law, who was recuperating from a heart attack. They stormed and surrounded our car, smashed our windshield with a boulder, and hit my petite, modestly-clad mother-in-law in the head with a fist-sized rock. She needed stitches.

      Wonder why we are not filled with admiration and sympathy for these "gentle heroes".

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    4. Where is the hakaras hatov to these gentle heroes who are bloodied at the sites of excavations in order that the graves of Kedoshim are not desecrated.

      I know. Especially when those graves date back 4000yrs and are clearly Canaanite. The Canaanites were such Kedoshim that Hashem ordered them to be completely wiped out... but now we need to protect their holy graves from archeologists and such...

      It's a power play, nothing more nothing less. The guys that get beaten to a pulp are just, in the words of Marx, the useful idiots. Its the people who are sending them out there to get beaten to a pulp that are the ones seeking power.

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    5. Can you refer me to some sources that say the graves are Canaanite?I am all ears and willing to listen and learn.

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    6. A leading figure from the radical Eda Haredit ultra-Orthodox association has issued a broadside attack against the Atra Kadisha organization, which devotes itself to protesting against construction activity around the country that might possibly disturb Jewish graves.

      http://www.vosizneias.com/111605/2012/08/12/jerusalem-eda-haredit-issues-attack-against-atra-kadisha-for-acting-against-rulings-of-rabbis/

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  15. Although I identify with the Chareidi world (chutz laaretz chareidi) I see a lot of hypocrisy in the chareidi world. One of my favourite ones is the looking down on working people, the mizrachi etc but then visiting them first for donations from their sinful lifestyle :)

    I know of one story where a very wealthy family stuck a sign on the door for charedi collectors as a joke - there is internet in this house so it is assur to enter :)

    If we can't see our own hypocrisy and realise that any attempts to control and limit people doesn't work - it is what Nimrod tried to do and all those similar to Nimrod.

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    1. That attitude is sometimes found from people who learn not people who work.

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  16. http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=304972
    Pay 60 Euro fine, v'lo Yaavor

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  17. Equating bring a person to shmad and being machzir them biteshuvah is utterly outrageous. This lack of havchanah is typical of the secular, who are somim ohr lechoshech and choshech l'or because they are tinokos shenishbe'u. But from a rabbi??

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    1. Rav bloch was talking about the emotional response to machzirei b'tshuva, not their worth.

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