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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Anger at Haredim: Who Is to Blame?

There the draft is but one area Haredi leaders badly stumble over.
Haredi men scuffle with Israeli police.

Haredi men scuffle with Israeli police.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

Add to this the appearance to secular Jews of Haredim only taking and not giving… and you end up with an Aviad Kleinberg. He has written an op-ed in Ynet that expresses the outcome of such attitudes. He was not born anti Haredi. He was made anti Haredi. Not by the press but by comments like the ones above. Here is how he thinks Haredim see him and all secular Jews. I think he is very close to being right:

[T]he seculars…eat nevelot and terefot, desecrate Shabbat in public and are accompanied by prostitutes (the haredi term for secular women who dress and behave “immodestly”)

These people are not “kosher” enough do anything, apart from transferring money to the haredim of course. To get their hands on this money, the representatives of the haredi public are willing to overcome their contempt and sit in the Knesset with seculars (the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox also join the coalition; for the Ashkenaz haredim this is still too difficult). In order to receive State funds, the haredi lawmakers are willing to take time off from their Torah studies and sit in the plenum, where women dress immodestly and make their voices heard in public.

…The cultural and social boycott of the majority is a way of life in the haredi community. This does not mean that they cannot hold negotiations with the evil ones. They can, and they do; because there is no political boycott.

…They demand everyone else’s respect as the (sole) representatives of the Torah, but they do not have to respect anyone else in return. They have a right to meddle in every affair under the sun, while others are forbidden from intervening in their affairs…

I would add that of late (or maybe not so ‘of late’) Datim (Modern Orthodox Jews in Israel) are seen by Haredim in almost the same light as secular Jews. Some would even say they are even worse! (i.e. they should know better etc…)

Aviad’s anger is the creation of the Haredi world. The sooner Haredi leaders recognize this simple fact the better things will be. Rabbi Dovid Bloch said as much recently by asking The 12 questions. Until then they can cry Yehoreg V’Al Yaavor until they turn blue in the face. It won’t change a thing except to divide the country even more than it is now.

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Harry Maryles

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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