Thursday, April 25, 2013

Yair Lapid's Fascinating 20 minutes in the Knesset by RaP

Guest post from RaP: Yair Lapid's Fascinating 20 minutes in the Knesset: The Charedim will have to come up with a MUCH better response!
Yair Lapid recently made a fascinating and powerful 20 minute appearance before the Knesset in the presence of the Charedi representatives. It is worth watching, especially if you have some understanding of the language. Lapid is an experienced and charismatic personality and communicator with a very big agenda!
While it is obvious he is a secular Israeli, but he is NOT his father Tommy who was virulent and an embittered Holocaust survivor. Yair his son has more obvious empathy and he is a skilled communicator who uses logic with a friendly manner who makes sense and only by countering with even greater SECHEL can such debates be won.
Screaming and shouting, even in the Knesset where it is a common practice, will NOT accomplish anything.
The Charedim will have to come up with better responses not just acting out-of-control in paroxysms of anger because, plainly and calmly, Lapid does make some very valid points, that need to be answered in a rational and logical and calm manner, even though by standards of the Knesset it seems acceptable to scream and shout at the loudest pitch to drown out opponents.
Lapid seems genuine when he says he does NOT "hate" the Charedim, that they do not have a controlling monopoly on the state, that in a democracy you get to be in the opposition as well, but that they sat in the government for the last 30 years and contributed to the deficit that must now be fixed, and that parents have to be the first ones to take care of their children because it is not the responsibility of the state or other people that must take care of the children, even though he says no child will hungry in Israel. 

He says quite simply that the proposals are not just his and have been approved by the top bankers and finance people in the government.

Lapid tells them not to tell him what to do on Shabbat -- for posting on Facebook -- because he is "not Shommer Shabbat" as he does not tell them what to do on Shabbat -- and in the background the Speaker of the Knesset can be heard humorously admonishing MK Gafni of UTJ that he is sure that Gafni does not even go on the Internet meaning how can he talk about "Facebook", a very good question.
Lapid is responding as a typical Chiloni. Therefore at this time when so much Kiruv is on the go, surely Kiruv people would now give a better response to such situations and NOT act like bizarre people in the Knesset? Maybe it is time to put Uri Zohar or some Kiruv professionals from Ohr Somayach or Chabad personalities like Manis Friedman in the Knesset, someone who is FRIENDLY and has experience how to smile in front of cameras and win over an audience!!! Aish HaTorah and Ner Yisroel already have Dov Lipman, and that should also be countered with people who can sell a counter-message! But surely the same Gedolim who support Kiruv can choose a select group of people able to sell Yiddishkeit because everything is now done in front of the cameras and no one will like the Charedim any more if all they see when they look at them yell at Lapid who is making sense (mostly) while they are having infantile TANTRUMS. Just as the people who formed and rallied around Yesh Atid were brilliant enough to chose a master communicator and someone who acts friendly (remember Lapid has been trained to do this career-wise for a long time as popular TV host.) 
If Charedim will just go on with spoiler tactics and not come up with better strategies to sell their point of view and win the debate (always a tall order, now even harder), then expect Lapid and Yesh Atid not just to stay in the government for a VERY long time, but to become the main party of Israel that sweeps the next elections and beyond.
See an article about that below:
"Lapid: Israel 'Sick of Taking Orders' from Hareidi MKs 
Lapid tells hareidi Jews he does not hate them, ‘the state is just sick of taking your orders,’ in stormy Knesset session.
(Israel National News) By Maayana Miskin 4/22/2013

The Knesset’s summer session got off to a stormy start Monday with an afternoon session that saw Finance Minister Yair Lapid clash with representatives from the hareidi-religious Yahadut Hatorah (Gimmel) party.
MK Meir Porush of Yahadut Hatorah criticized Lapid, accusing him of hating the hareidi community. Porush also took Lapid to task for his fiscal policy, saying, “I heard that he’s going to impose harsh economic decrees on the state of Israel. This man lives life based on what he’ll look like tomorrow.”

Lapid lashed back in his own speech to Knesset later in the session. “The previous government that created this deficit – were you not in it?” he asked the hareidi representatives. “Were you on Mars?”
“You sat in every government for the past 30 years, and this deficit has your names on it. I need to deal with the deficit that you created, you were not cheap coalition partners,” he said.
“You talk about hatred of hareidim,” he continued. “Nobody hates you, and you keep arguing that they hate you… The only thing that happened is that you aren’t in the coalition, and that’s called democracy… The state is sick of taking orders from you, and now you aren’t on the Finance Committee.”
“You need to understand that we don’t hate you,” he added. “But you aren’t registered as the rightful owners of the government.”..."

26 comments :

  1. RAP, you are right on the mark.

    Democracy is a system which has its own rules, and remember, that the freedom we enjoy in the West is because of this thing called democracy.
    The fight against nazi German, by Britain and America was done so for democracy, not out of sympathy for the Jews. And the fight agasint the Soviet Union was again for the same reason. Thus Jews have benefited from this thing called democracy. And in Israel, the haredim have greatly benefited.
    So, this shouting and behaviour of the haredi parties is not helping their cause, it is just a tantrum that they have lost influence in the current knesset. I suppose it must be quite traumatic for the Haredi world to no longer have a recognised gadol HaDor, and also no power - or less of it - in the Knesset.
    But such is reality.
    Lapid and Bennet are speaking for the majority of Israeli voters who do not want haredi views imposed on everyone.
    Yair is not the same as Tommy - he does not speak in terms of hatred, and I noticed this already a year or 2 ago. That doesn't mean I support him, but I dont demonise him either.
    Actually, I will suggest something even more radical, he is pro Jewish and pro Torah. He keep certain Jewish rituals, but not all. He celebrates Passover - some ultra hilonim do not.

    I also suggest, since we are in the period of Sefira, that we look outside our own selfish egos and needs, and look at Klal Yisrael. Great leaders like Hezekiah and Josiah, some of our most righteous kings, were not fixated on narrow issues like separate buses. They were interested in bringing the Klal back to keeping the Mitzvot of the Torah. Hezekiah even managed to "negotiate" with Hashem, that the Israeli(te)s who were impure, could partake in the Pesach sacrifice! You see the greatness of Hezekiah, who took a Rav Kook approach, vs the smallmindedness of the Haredim, who see teh chilonim as only instruments to use in funding yeshivas.

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    1. excellent choice...i.e. Hezekiah. little wonder that some in the Talmud thought he was/could be Mashiach.

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  2. Good analyis, RaP.

    We should remember that according to Pirkei Avos, a man who is loved by his fellow man is loved by G-d. If the religious are hated or resented, this should tell them something in their behavior toward their fellow man should change.

    But if Hashem won't send them leaders to make change from within, perhaps He has sent Lapid and the others to make changes that will ultimately reduce resentment toward the charedim (and thus toward Yiddishkeit.) The fact that Bayit HaYehudi is also pushing for these changes can also help the public image of Yiddishkeit.

    If these changes are carried out well, they can help bring Israel society together while at the same time setting the stage for increasing the observance and emunah of the entire population.

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  3. Lapid may not hate Chareidim, but he has surrounded himself with those that do:
    http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Deputy-FinMin-calls-haredim-parasites-apologizes-310912

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    1. nothing that mickey levi said is worse than what the UTJ MKs, especially gafni and eichler, have said repeatedly in the past. no one screams gevalt when they voice their hatred.

      actually, i take that back. the rosh yeshiva of ponivech did feel the need to admonish eichler on stuff that he said.

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  4. It just too bad,Lapid was not around some sixty years ago,because what Lapid and this government are trying to do should have been done a long time ago.
    The sad fact is,we have tens of thousands of young chareidim who grew up in a culture where work was frowned upon,secular education was practically non existent,and what is the result,tens of thousands of families living below the poverty level and must be supported by public welfare.
    does anyone in his right mind, really think,that did is what God want's from us? is this how he wants his chosen people to live?.
    Just come to any frum neighborhood here in N.Y.C,come into any shul
    during the davening,what do you see? you see every single day a fresh batch of jews from Eretz Yisroel,who are nebech forced to come and beg for dollars and quarters and dimes,as they are crying they need the money to marry of their children.
    generations of jews have been destroyed physically and mentally,brochnious and begashmious,by this criminally insane lifestyle forced upon them by their own society.
    If by any chance Lapid and this government will enable the chareidim
    to change back to a normal lifestyle,which by the way this is how jews lived for the last 2000 years,then i envy the reward he will get for this in OLOM HABOH.
    CH.S

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    1. Many of those crying that they want to marry off their children include buying apartments in the bill. As Lapid said recently, even working people can barely afford that.

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    2. Recipients and PublicityApril 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      1 of 2: response to browser:

      "browser said...It just too bad, Lapid was not around some sixty years ago,because what Lapid and this government are trying to do should have been done a long time ago."

      You are wrong on this point because 60 years ago the Torah world of the Charedim was in a VERY precarious position. The main focus of Israel was to first help the British in the their battles against the Nazis (Rommel almost made it to Jerusalem), then to fight and get rid of the British imperial occupiers (they sent hundreds of thousands of troops to try hold on to EY), welcome in the waves of millions of refugee olim from Europe and the Sefardi lands (who came with nothing), the big wars against the hostile Arabs (with well-equipped armies), and then to set up the infrastructure of the new state.

      In ALL these efforts the Charedim were full partners and that is why so many of their children became secular because it was all one huge war to SURVIVE. Meah Shearim gave refuge to both Begin of the Irgun and Shamir of Lechi and many others who hid out there. Many frum boys from Meah Shearim became freedom fighters and many girls from Ultra-Orthodox homes where they wore their hair in pony tails were involved in the wars against the British and then against the Arabs.

      In fact those who know say that the Charedi yeshivas said Hallel on the 2nd Yom Ha'atzmaut because EVERYONE had LIVED through the original nes of getting freedom and being saved from destruction and from invading Arab armies and therefore was obligated to give shevach vehoda'ah al pi halacha on the anniversary of that date for that.

      But then came the longer term question of what type of state would Israel be? A secular one? A religious Zionist one? Or a very Torahdikka one what is now called "Charedi". And obviously, after the Holocaust that wiped out the bastions of Torah Jewry in Europe, there was very little to work with. Thus an all-or-nothing policy was adopted as the Torah leaders of that time, such as the Chazon Ish, the Gerrer Rebbes, the heads of the Ponovezh, Mir, Chevron and other yeshivas, the Vizhnitz, Belz and other Rebbes HAD to adopt a no-compromise policy in order to make sure that the small flame of Torah was not entirely extinguished.

      Basically a do-or-die policy with take-no-prisoners. You either make it or you don't, it's that simple. Most made it but many didn't. That is how Torah was rebuilt not just in Israel after the Holocaust but also in America, that became the two main centers of this great revival of Torah life that still goes on all around us and that no one can deny or turn the clock back on.

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    3. Recipients and PublicityApril 25, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      2 of 2: response to browser:

      "browser said...It just too bad, Lapid was not around some sixty years ago,because what Lapid and this government are trying to do should have been done a long time ago."

      However, what was true 60 years ago has now changed. No longer are the Charedim a few thousand here and there joined by a few thousands more stragglers from the Holocaust and Sefardi lands. Now they number in the hundreds of thousands and within a few generations they will be the majority in Israel, it's just a matter of time.

      While a tiny minority can ask for help from sympathizers, a HUGE minority that looms as a soon-to-be majority cannot act the victim and constantly ask for handouts as if they were "nebechs" which they are not. Everyone knows that today Charedim have succeeded, and many are even millionaires and even billionaires. One such Billionaire based in Australia, the Lubavitch Gutnick was the key person who put Netanyahu in power first time around.

      Of course Charedim need much help. The irony is that there is now enough WEALTH in Israel that no one should be begging. If Charedim made peace with Chilonim and if Chilonim would respect Charedim, every single problem could be solved. If secular Israeli billionaires were sympathetic they could wipe out poverty in Israel tomorrow instead of dreaming how to ship and hide their wealth out of Israel.

      Chilonim will not succeed in making the Charedim into Sabra Tzahal people, and the Charedim will never succeed in forcing the Chilonim to pay their way in life. Each side will have to come to understand the limits of its demands on the other. It will take time, and it will happen.

      The new reign of Lapid-Bennet will usher in a new era of Charedi resourcefulness and rebirth as they will double up and look deeper into themselves to solve their own problems because no one can solve the problems of the Torah world except the Torah world itself. While secular Israelis will learn that they cannot break the spirit of the Charedim with threats of either forced military conscription or financial blackmail. Eventually both sides will learn to leave each other alone. It has already happened in political sphere: Two "states" for "two" peoples (especially if the Chilonim go ahead with their disastrous plans to push watered down conversions and welcome in the pluralistic movements from abroad).

      It's a new SITUATION now that requires new approaches and new solutions.

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    4. Dream on... We have a "Charedi" leadership (not the Gedolim but their handlers) who are incapable of change. It is a mentality that doesn't understand that the "uncompromising" attitudes of the greats of the previous generation was a Horas Shoah. It is hard to see how they will change from within... we need to separate from their banner and let them become what they become while the vast majority of B'nei Torah go back to the normal approach that has always served Klal Yisrael. All this black and white polarization is an embarrassment and speaks for the need of Moshiach.

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  5. if UTJ is dumb enough to scream and yell and go all "gevalt" every time lapid says something, that is their problem. in this round shas did the smar thing and stayed out.

    i'm a regular listener of kol b'rama. mordechai levi and his talking heads are of the opinion that the frum world needs people who on one hand know their facts and on the other are good at telling the seculars where they can go.

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  6. The Chareidi world has done pretty well for itself until now. If it wasn't for Lapid's gambit of refusing to sit with them in the government they would still be on the gravy train.

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    1. I am not aware of Lapid refusing to sit with the Charedim - they refused to agree to the agreement which created the present coalition. Had they agreed (which they obviously couldn't have done...) I am not sure that he would have had any problem with them joining as well.

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    2. An interesting analysis but I think it misses the point on 2 major issues. While I agree that we need to put a respectful, empathetic, and cultured face for the Torah world (I don't like the term Chareidi as it carries much too much baggage), it begs the question why do we need to scratch our heads to come up with 2 or 3 names. That itself speaks to the abysmal failure of the "system". But this leads to the second point that is more to the crux of the issue. Maybe, just maybe Lapid is not so far off base? Maybe its not just an issue of lipstick on the pig... maybe there is a real problem that the Torah world has to face?

      I personally feel that all B'nai Torah should receive at a minimum, basic secular knowledge, math, English, basic science and history. At the same time I recognize that there are some in the Torah world who are against this. My point is not to debate the issue, I am convinced that I am right and they are convinced that they are... but why shouldn't the Government have the right to say that we will not fund institutions that do not follow a basic curriculum? Why should they care? They care because common sense dictates that if children are not educated, they will continue to be a burden on society. They aren't saying that if you don't follow our standards we will arrest you... they are just saying that the State will not support your schools at least at 100%. This is no different then the USA... You have the choice to send your children to a Government funded school (Public School) or tuition required Parochial, the latter can follow any curriculum it chooses while the former must follow the State mandated curriculum. I must say, it makes perfect sense to me.

      Lets separate the message from the messenger. I think they both need to be addressed, but it is not simply a messenger issue.

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    3. Recipients and PublicityApril 25, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      1 of 2 to Torah Truth:

      "Torah Truth said...I personally feel that all B'nai Torah should receive at a minimum, basic secular knowledge, math, English, basic science and history."

      It's not going to happen. First of all Chasidim and very Charedi yeshiva people teach their boys zero secular studies (while girls, who are NOT taught Gemora, get varying degrees of secular education even up to a diploma level for a profession but not boys) yet they are incredible financially savvy and successful people such as retailers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, manufacturers, middle men, money changers, real estate owners, and many self-taught financial and money making skills, all in the oldest way Jews were able to support themselves and thrive.

      This is because Jews and Judaism have THEIR OWN well-proven educational system based on Torah that has worked for millenia, meaning in all its facets, such as Mishna, Gemora, Tosfos, Poskim, Shas, Shulchan Oruch, Meforshim, Parshanim, analysis and memorization and reading and writing in Hebrew, Yiddish, Aramaic and whatever home languages they pick up form parents, the whole gamut that sharpens and deepens the minds of its students, creating the classical "Gemora kops" that Jews were famous for.

      These type of people do NOT need "English" what for? They do not need "Science" what for? They do not need "History" what for? They learn enough from Torah sources and its enough. The vast Torah literature will keep any Jew busy for a lifetime. They make great businessmen. If they can't then they have no problems doing more practical stuff like driving trucks, managing warehouses, and learning skills. On the contrary it is secular Jews who should line up to receive this precious Jews heritage that is theirs for the asking and taking.

      As Moshe Gafni of UTJ said, when the Chilinom will agree to become Torah scholars and commit to Torah learning maybe then the Charedim will think about changing their own system In any case, the problem is not about education it is about ACCEPTANCE. That secular Israelis think that Charedi Jews are somehow "primitive" since they lack science education while the average yeshiva boy is way ahead intellectually and analytically compared to a secular counterpart in most instances.

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    4. Recipients and PublicityApril 25, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      2 of 2 to Torah Truth:

      "Torah Truth said...I personally feel that all B'nai Torah should receive at a minimum, basic secular knowledge, math, English, basic science and history."

      Secular Israelis and far too many Religious Zionists are too militaristic and think that Charedim can have "solutions" imposed on them artificially by war and force as if they were Arabs being pushed around and it will just not work since it hasn't worked with the Arabs either since after the 1967 Six Day War when the Arabs decided they had had enough of being pushed around that then requires a whole new "PEACE NEGOTIATIONS" because you can gain peace in one of two ways, defeating your enemy or working out an arrangement to co-exist. Right now, the Charedim and Chilonim are having to face how to work out a a peace settlement and an arrangement to co-exist. Otherwise the end result will no doubt be: Two "states" for "two" peoples.

      The type of education you mention is for people who may want to become PROFESSIONALS and most Charedim have zero intention of becoming lawyers, or doctors or accountants or anything that requires higher secular education and college study eventually. While there are growing numbers of more moderate Charedim, such as one finds in America who have college education, and as more of this type of "new" Charedi comes to Israel they will show that being Charedi and being a professional can be done.

      But as far as the old-time (one hates to use the word "hard core") Charedim, such as the Chasidim or many Sefardim associated with Shas, forget about them taking math or English or history classes. They are going to stay in yeshiva, learns as much Torah as they can, and when the time comes and given some freedom, will try to figure out how to make a "gesheft" or hussle in the "shuk" of commerce to bring in money -- many Sefardim are famous for getting VERY rich without ever going to college or getting a high school education and they still do it. They have done it for millenia and it's not gonna change any time soon.

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    5. It is interesting that you spent 2 sections replying to my comment but not addressing a single issue that I raised. You focused your attention on a side comment to which I said "My point is not to debate the issue, I am convinced that I am right and they are convinced that they are...", but not a single word on my critique of your post.

      Now as to your statement that Chareidim are so enormously successful in their unique professions, I would firstly challenge you on the percentage of this success, it seems to me to be minimal at best. Secondly, living in the heart of the Chareidi world and I would venture to say as much as it hurts me to, that a huge percentage of this "success" is clouded with a huge amount of "Geneiva" and "Chillul HaShem". The cash businesses that don't pay tax in the US and in Ertez Yisrael, the outright stealing from government funded programs in the US and in EY, the hiding of income so that they are eligible for funding, the purchasing of housing in In-Laws names so that they can rent them from them with government funding, the "Mezumin" or "Unter Tisch" financial model of the jewelry business... Rachmona Litzlan, do I need to go on? And to all of this you say.. "This is because Jews and Judaism have THEIR OWN well-proven educational system based on Torah that has worked for millenia, meaning in all its facets, such as Mishna, Gemora, Tosfos, Poskim, Shas, Shulchan Oruch, Meforshim, Parshanim, analysis and memorization and reading and writing in Hebrew, Yiddish, Aramaic and whatever home languages they pick up form parents, the whole gamut that sharpens and deepens the minds of its students, creating the classical "Gemora kops" that Jews were famous for."!!!!

      HaShem Yirachem!

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    6. "The type of education you mention is for people who may want to become PROFESSIONALS and most Charedim have zero intention of becoming lawyers, or doctors or accountants or anything that requires higher secular education and college study eventually".

      Did you even read my comments? I am not advocating any type of education for Chareidim. What I said is that the Israeli society has every right to require a curriculum for a school to "receive funding" so that they shouldn't be a burden on the country. They can choose to adopt this curricula as the vast majority of Chareidi Yeshivos in America do, or not, but not receive funding. What pray tell is unrealistic and unfair about this approach?

      "many Sefardim are famous for getting VERY rich without ever going to college or getting a high school education and they still do it".

      I think I said enough... V'hameivim Yovim!

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  7. I am still undecided on Lapid, which comes from a general distrust of TV personalities. But I do not get the impression that he is either anti-Torah or anti-Hareidi. I actually think he admires them to some extent, certainly for their perseverence and growth.

    The Hareidim are their own worst enemies. They have successfully bargained their votes for entitlements for years, without much thought for the long-term implications and sustainability of their chosen lifestyle. They must have foreseen a time when their votes could no longer protect their constituents. But apparently - they did not.

    Throwing hissy fits in Knesset is a time honored tradition, probably as entrenched as arguing in Shul over minhagim. But they are looking only bitter and rudderless right now. That's a shame, since they still bear the responsibility of protecting and advocating for the Torah community.

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  8. First of all, I'm not an economist, but does Israel really have a "deficit problem?" They are not the United states. Why must the leaders of Israel play monkey-see monkey-do with everything popular in the United states? Is there an insane level of out of control spending in Israel like there is in the US with its trillion dollar deficits? Probably not. The reality is, Lapid (and netanyahu who is his boss as prime minister, and others) want to make societal level changes, and this is the absurd language they are choosing to dress that.

    Secondly, Austerity Doesn't Work. It's been proven. In real life. Austerity slows down the economy and leads to recession. Is that really what Israel's leaders want? All the talk about "deficit" leads me to think that they want to implement austerity measures. I don't understand that strategy at this juncture.

    Lastly, placing the blame on the haredi parties (and by extension, haredim) for the national debts and budgets is an absolute joke. So what if they were part of the previous government(s)? They are not determining national policy. They are not in charge. And his coalition partner, Bibi Netanyahu, was not only in the previous coalition, but HE LED IT! So did netanyahu and Likud also "created this deficit" according to Lapid and do their sectors need to be punished too? Come on, I'm not haredi, I'm religious zionist, and I can see through all this chilonist BS. You're correct, RAP, there are logical ways to respond and there need to be better responses than tantrums and silliness that further estranges the public from the haredi. They need personalities like you mentioned in knesset, not the old guard political hacks who are not equipped for this. This part of the problem of the haredi system however. It breeds people like the career politicians in UTJ etc. It breeds people to be subservient, not leaders. A leader could respond to Lapid and even show him up. A subservient plebeian cannot.

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    1. student v the only people who need to be worried about the budget cuts are the tzofnim. if the chareidim are pushed out of the yeshiva, they will be taking over the financial, political, industrial, and maybe even military seats of power within a decade.

      the only people who need to worry are home owners in savayon, herziliya pituach, and cesaria. pretty soon their homes will be bought out by super savvy chareidi mankalim.

      didn't you see RaP's stuff about their genius? plus they have the financial backing of world frum jewry (from other stuff that RaP wrote).

      all the stuff that they have been talking about in the frum radio stations (cuts in child allowances, arnona discounts, support for gananim and afternoon groups, etc) is chicken feed compared to what these people will be bringing in.

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    2. I don't see the connection of what you are saying to my comments. Are you saying that there is no reason to fight or defeat Lapid politically because haredim will do so well with these changes? And if that is what you are saying, are you being sarcastic?

      Please explain how it relates to my comments.

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    3. completely sarcastic. but the sarcasm wasn't on what you wrote, but on RaP post and subsequent followups.

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    4. Ahhh, I see, I see. Thanks for clarifying. I hear your point, also. RAP is getting a little too carried away with the hyperbole. On the other hand, he is right to point out that haredim are not hapless and helpless people. But they will need educational programs that help lead them toward whatever business goals they develop. It's fantastical to think they'll succeed on a large scale without training.

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  9. while the average yeshiva boy is way ahead intellectually and analytically compared to a secular counterpart in most instances.

    That is debatable when it comes to EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS. Today the business world is fueled with technological know-how, marketing strategies, and publicity. The savvy Yeshiva man either Ashkeniz or Sefard needs knowledge, training, and core info to get ahead..

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  10. Chareidim need to come up with a strategy to set an example that attracts other Jews to Torah observance, so we can all be family instead of a family feud. Short-term measures to survive also have a place but should not be the exclusive focus.

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