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This is paranoia! The Haredi leadership and their agents in the Knesset and the media are fighting ghosts!

While there may be some in government whose purpose it is to destroy the Torah world, I do not believe at all that destroying the Torah world is what is driving the current crisis. It is a sincere attempt at righting what they see as an injustice with respect to military service – and perhaps more importantly an attempt to better the material lives of the Haredi population and in the process improve the overall economy.

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I therefore do not believe for a minute that there can’t be compromise – at least in theory. I think that many Haredi writers like Jonathan Rosenblum believe it too. But the leadership seems intransigent. They are wearing blinders from the past. They see only evil. And their agents in government and the media are doing their level best to make sure that this version of reality is the only version that is heard by their flock.

Why is the Haredi leadership so blind to the truth that people like Jonathan Rosenblum and many other Haredi writers see. What is happening is not a reincarnation of Czarist Russia and their willing Jewish ‘enlightenment’ accomplices. It is instead a legitimate concern about the welfare of a nation! Perhaps it is a willful isolationism that does it. When something like this happens they have a reflexive reaction to it without having any context.

I don’t know their reason for reacting in this way. But whatever it is, it is ultimately damaging not only to the Haredi world but damaging to all of us. “Kol Yisroel areivim zeh lazeh (all of Israel is responsible each to the other). We are our brother’s keepers. And if some of us are hurting, we should all be hurting. And there is no way we should just carry on with our own lives and ignore the sad fate of our brothers. They are being led down an unnecessarily path of enmity and suffering.

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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.