The only person who could write such a piece is one with firsthand information of the chareidi lifestyle, one who knows from the inside.
The last weeks in Eretz Yisroel have been accompanied by what many feel has been an unprecedented hate campaign against the torah tzibur, the chareidim. The animosity according to many has far surpassed that seen several months ago when the media pushed the inequality of women in the chareidi camp, compelling women to seat in the rear of the bus, to take a back seat to life.
While hate for torah is not something created by chareidim if one is absolutely honest, one must arrive at the conclusion that the chareidi tzibur in Eretz Yisrael has done more than its fair share to feed the flames of discord.
Where were the tehillim and tears for Gush Katif? Where is the solidarity with the dati leumi? They may be wrong but isn’t it up to us to live by example. Have we become so entangled in our daily existence that we cannot see anyone’s pain other than our own?
While one needn’t subscribe to the hashkofa of Neturei Karta their rabbonim are to be commended for living a life true to their beliefs, and in this case, that mean no acceptance of state funds, no playing the game. For Shas, Agudah and Degel, they feel they can walk the tightrope that permits them to be deputy ministers, seemingly giving an air of legitimacy to accepting treif money, treif by their standards.
How can you dare to expect anyone outside our little fold to understand? Yes, we are in galus and yes, the world is not perfect but in Eretz Yisrael avreichim are paid by the national government to sit and learn, and this does not exist anywhere else in the world to the best of my knowledge.
Enough of the general chareidi public throwing around its haughtiness and adherence to gedolei yisrael, for the same gedolei yisrael live a life of mesirus nefesh and modesty, unlike many who label themselves chareidim. Before you jump to submit a comment take a deep breath and think, not about your chavrusa who stands on line in Bnei Brak on erev shabbos for a free subsidized challah in the hope of having a bit extra, but about all those whom we all know simply wear the outfit but the black and white in their case is barely skin deep. You don’t want these guys marrying your children any more than any other ill suited prospect, because in your heart you know they have long abandoned the chareidi lifestyle. So I ask, what are they doing for Klal Yisrael?
And where were you this last shabbos, in kollel or the Mountains? Let’s be honest before we condemn others for most of the people I know, our lives have not yet achieved a level of 25/7 Torah.
Regarding our gedolim, Rav Shteinman Shlita, Rav Kanievsky Shlita and others, for those unable to read this because they adhere to the calls to abandon the tuma of the internet, that’s fine. Tens of thousands attended the Internet conference and jokingly, we all saw the photos of people in the stands playing with their smart phones – so who is the hypocrite know?
If you are among those about to comment, get off your horse and get real. Anyone who does not understand the koach of the avreichim learning will most likely not ‘get it’ any time soon. The point, those learning are undoubtedly keeping us going, like it or not, and the government recognizing this does not make it any more or less factual.
No less factual is the painful realization that too many people in chareidi dress are an embarrassment and simply wasting valuable time. We attend lectures by experts to understand why the young are going off the derech. Well, do you think keeping them in beis medrash where they don’t fit, not permitting them to work, not permitting them to enter the IDF. Hello, does anyone get it – they have been decreed to exile in their own community, outcasts in black and white. Everyone loses.
While Shaul Mofaz and Ehud Barak simply don’t get it and unlikely they ever will, they are not entirely wrong. For MK Gafne to get up at a chareidi conference in his utter arrogance and shout “If Bibi does not get it we will go with Ahmed Tibi on this”. How outragous – to link with the former advisor of Yasser Arafat! This is how shameful we are. Are you reading this? You have time to read this? Why aren’t you taking part in the three-day around-the-clock learning? The point is that we live in the real world, yes for avreichim the torah world, but for many others, perhaps most of us, the world that includes dealing with mundane matters.
It’s time to acknowledge the good that exists in secular Eretz Yisrael today – like it or not, and that is simply a fact that must be recognized. It’s time for dialogue and perhaps even compromise for if we can reach Tisha B’Av speaking with one another, we may actually accomplish a great deal, no less than round-the-clock learning.
Baruch Oberman is a proud Jew who made Aliya 5 years ago and now resides in Jerusalem.
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.