Is it any wonder that some of them do the kinds of things those sociopaths did yesterday to that Charedi soldier?
I am beginning to believe that they are not sociopaths at all. They are mainstream Satmar or Satmar sympathizing Jews acting on their beliefs. Which is why we are not hearing any condemnations of what they did. Their leaders aren’t opposed to it. They may even support it! …even if they won’t come right out and say so.
Is there any Charedi rabbinic opposition to what happened yesterday? The only one I am aware of that said anything is Rav Gershon Edelstien. He called the rabble that did this ‘imbeciles’ whose actions were counter-productive to the legitimate goals they were trying to achieve.
That was the biggest ‘but’ I have ever heard… Sure they are imbeciles. But they are not wrong in their goals. They are just going about it in the wrong way.
Gone are the Rav Chaim Shmulevitzes who understood and appreciated the value of even Chiloni IDF soldiers. Now, instead of appreciating them, a Charedi soldier is pelted with rocks and no-one says a word about it. Only how unproductive such behavior is!
This is the state of affairs in Israel’s version of Torah Judaism today. The rate of growth in this community outpaces all other communities. It will eventually result in their outnumbering everyone else. Centrist and Modern Orthodox Jews, while having bigger families than the average, come nowhere near the typical family size of Chasidim and other Charedim. And they are a much smaller number to begin with.
Which raises the question: Is extremist Judaism the wave of the future? Will extremism become our ethos? Will the current trend of a melding moderate Charedim and Centrists in America - by living together, living identical lifestyles, having similar values albeit differing Hashkafos – come to an end? Will this new anti Israel stridency cause a rift between us?
I know that basic economics is already forcing a small degree of change in the Charedi paradigm in Israel. But the concept of Daas Torah will remain even as many are forced by circumstances to join the workforce. They will see themselves as ‘Nebechs’… as their rabbinic leaders continue to encourage that type of thinking.
I don’t know what the future holds. But from my perspective right now and right here in July of 2013, it does not look so good.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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