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If they truly wanted dialogue, they would have someone like Dov Lipman there to answer some of their challenges… and correct some of distortions and even outright lies the right has been telling its public about the situation.

Like the ‘big one’ about how Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party is out to destroy the Charedi world via the assimilationist tactic of army induction. They have either not read the party platform or conveniently ignore it so they can vilify Lapid, the 2 sincere Charedi members of his party, and anyone else who disagrees with them. From the Yesh Atid website:

Yesh Atid’s plan for “equal service for all,” not only aims to solve the problem in a systematic manner, but, in doing so, also takes into account the needs and sensibilities of the ultra-orthodox population .  In fact, ultra-orthodox were involved in formulating the plan.  The Yesh Atid plan states plainly and simply:  For the next five years, open the doors for 18-year-old ultra-orthodox young men to go to work with no requirement to serve.  During those five years the National Authority for Civilian Service will identify the differing needs throughout Israeli society and arrange to address those needs by harnessing those who will enter National Service after the initial five year period.  Furthermore, during those five years, a payment plan will be established for combat soldiers who serve for a full three years.

During those five years, the army will develop programs to facilitate the service of much larger numbers of ultra-orthodox citizens to serve in the army, and national service models will be created to be specifically geared to the needs of the ultra-orthodox (and Arab)populations. These options will include serving in hospitals and homes for the elderly, enhancing the security of neighborhoods in conjunction with the police, assisting Magen David Adom/Hatzalah/ZAKA, and providing much-needed support in educational institutions with a focus on easing the burden of those engaged in special education.

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So much for Yair Lapid’s nefarious agenda of assimilating Jews out of religious observance – or even their Charedi lifestyles. And yet the big lie continues. They use Lapid’s calls for integrating Charedim into society as proof that he is out to destroy Charedi values and replace them with secular Israeli values. There is nothing further from the truth than that accusation. When he says integrating – he means financial and social integration. Not an abandonment of Charedi values.

A challenge to the Charedi masses who so rarely get an opportunity to see both sides of an issue because of bans on non Charedi news media and isolationism: Go outside of your box …go outside the comfort zone of a one-sided Mishpacha sponsored event and seek some objective truths. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

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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.
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