Thursday, December 29, 2005

More On The Yated

One point I forgot to make in this post is that the Yated seems to believe that the goal of the Israeli government is to make people stop learning. Like ministers sit around all day thinking up ways to get Charedim to stop learning. It has nothing whatsoever to do with getting people off government assistance. Nothing at all.

This viewpoint just perpetuates the cycle of hatred. I'm not going to pretend that Shinui votes dislike Charedim for only noble reasons. There is bigotry in every society, especially one that is so fractured.

But the Charedi "no-compromise" position that is underpinned by the view that "everyone is out to destroy their Judaism" makes, at the very least, good fodder for the haters.

I know I'm hardly the first to talk about this topic, but let's take a look at why the average secular Israeli might have animosity toward Charedim. A large percentage of the society does not work, and therefore does not pay income tax. The vast majority do not serve in army. They receive a large percentage of public assistance. And some seek to impose their values on the rest of society (protests against driving on Rechov Bar Ilan on Shabbos, refusal to allow civil marriages, opposition to the gay pride parade, etc.)

I'm not saying there are no good reasons for their course of conduct. There is Halachic support for sitting in kollel and refusing army service. Israel is a Jewish state and they believe Halacha should play an important role. And everyone else takes money, so why shouldn't they?

But what they need to understand is that people who dislike them are not out to destroy their Torah learning. Most Israelis couldn't care less about what they do in their spare time. But most Israelis also do not agree with their reasons for not working and not serving in the army, and to the person with a different world-view, they look like leeches who take but don't give.

This post was not meant to bash Charedim or their lifestyle. Charedim do a lot of good for Israel. But they need to understand that not every policy is designed to destroy them. The victim complex does no one any good.

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